It's been a little over a year since the release of Light From Above, the debut LP by the young Miami metal quartet Black Tide. (For more background, click here to read an article I wrote last year about the history of the band). But the recording process for the disc was relatively long, and some of those songs were written some years before. It's been time for the band to come up with some new material, but its relentless international touring schedule has prevented much writing.
Finally, though, they've gotten together a new crop of tunes, and will be heading back to the studio to flesh them out before hitting the Warped Tour this summer, says the band's bassist, Zack Sandler. And the only way they'll be able to get anything done, he says, is through utter seclusion -- so they're heading to a studio in the middle of a Kansas cornfield. "We didn't want to be distracted by our personal lives," he says, "So we had to find a place where nobody was going to be able to fucking bother us. I wanted to do three weeks in Siberia, and there is a studio out there I found, and I was like, See? But nobody wanted to send us to Russia."
The new material also marks a change in direction and melodic style, due, in part, to 16-year-old frontman Gabriel Garcia's voice changing. (Older songs have also been reworked.) And a new crop of influences might initially take longtime fans aback. "Gabriel's been listening to Incubus and shit, like Warped Tour type bands like Saosin. We've all just been going back and listening to things we haven't listened to, or kind of that we needed to listen to," Sandler says.
But don't panic -- this also includes a much-needed re-exmaination of the metal canon. "We stopped listening to Iron Maiden and stuff as much as we used to, so we thought, We 'll revisit that. Lets not just throw it away. For me, playing bass, not listening to Iron Maiden for a little while -- I could tell that I wasn't getting that same influence."
And although Sandler says the band enjoyed working with Johnny K, the producer of Light From Above, they still haven't decided on a producer for their sophomore attempt. "We've definitely gotten a few offers from some pretty big-name producers, but we're just feeling it out," he says. "It's awesome to have input, but for the primary writing we'd like to do it all by ourselves, and not have anybody else's opinion for a change. Because I hate other people 's opinions when it comes to music."
Black Tide next plays South Florida this summer as part of the Warped Tour, this year at the Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach on July 25. Visit blacktidemusic.com for the latest updates on the band.