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Interview with Red Tide Rising

Red Tide Rising

By: Nina McCarthy, Music Journalist

 

With Matt at The Palace Theater, Stafford Springs, CT


Matthew Whiteman – L­ead vocals
Andrew Whiteman – Gu­itars
Michael LeBois – Bas­s
Matt Guerin – Drums­
­
“Colorado quartet Red­ Tide Rising have a point to prove and wit­h their latest releas­e, Voices­, it comes across lou­d and clear. Tired of­ being the bridesmaid­, the band has decide­d that all attention ­needs to be directed ­towards themselves an­d delivering a five s­ong piece de resistan­ce as a whole, rather­ than only trying to ­focus on hits.” -2016 RTR Biography

 

Thank you Matthew and Andrew for answering some questions for me. I enjoyed the show immensely! The “Mad World” cover was amazing! A special thanks you to Dave Tedder of  Head First Entertainment  for making this interview possible.

 

BRR:  I live by the beach, so I'm familiar with the “red tide”, so how did you choose this band name?

 

MW:  It actually has nothing to do with the red tide phenomena.  In fact I didn't even know of the red tide phenomena when I was that young deciding this name.  Honestly, it just sounded cool at the time and has kind of turned into this whole meaning, but we are not going to change the name because we have been a band this long and were going to make it with this name.  We have had a lot of people say that we should change the name, but NO, we are not going to do that.  We’re going to go.

 

BRR:  You are only 21 and the others are not much older, but RTR has been a professional band for 8 years now.  Were you just starting High School?

 

MW:  It was actually a little bit before High School for me.  It was middle school when I started with Red Tide Rising.  I think Andrew had started High School at the point, but it was way back and we are a much different band now from what we were then.

 

BRR:  Can you give me a brief history of the band and what was your initial “big break”?

 

MW:  We were teenagers that liked music and wanted to see how we would do writing our own tunes.  Before that, we had experience in cover bands of just doing classic rock covers and later on some harder stuff that we now resemble, but it's come a long way.  I would say our initial break was our first national tour.  When we got that we had to drive out of Colorado and to all these different states and that's when it started to become real in our eyes.  We got to see how larger productions were put into place.  That was the eye opening moment for this band.

 

BRR:  You've already been on tour with Drowning Pool and In This Moment. What do you like best/least about these long brutal tours?

 

MW:  I would say the best part of these tours are the tests we get to do.  For me, it's if my voice can withstand what I put in studio.  It is a different feel every night when you are in a live environment versus rehearsal and when you do six shows in a row and one off date and maybe eight or nine shows in a row and one off date.   You really get a test to see if you can hold out as a lead singer or not.  The worse thing is having to set up all the stuff every single day and then tear it down, and the performance is only half an hour.  It's a grind!

 

BRR:  Your latest release Voices is great. How is it different from your previous ones?

 

MW:  Voices was started in a different mindset.  We had just gotten done with the first Drowning Pool tour at the end of 2014 and Mike Luce, their drummer, had an interest in this band and what we were going to do with our next recording.  He stepped up as the producer and we had never gotten that role as someone on the outside that had experience in studio for several years as a musician themselves and it brought out a lot in this project.  He found small details that make the difference.  He brought out a lot of color in my voice.  He found different ways that demos didn't showcase the full potential of this band.  That was a huge step up for this band.  I know some members had different experiences then what I had, but it was definitely a good one overall across the board.

 

AW:  Working with Mike on Voices, as far as guitar goes, there wasn't too much that was added, although on “Suffocate”, he did a pretty big overhaul, or suggested a big overhaul.  Just seeing how comfortable he made us going into the studio, I think that had a lot to do with the way it turned out because this was the first time we went into the studio knowing exactly what we were doing, so we were able to execute it a lot more confidently and a lot more efficiently.  We had extra time at the end of the week where we could go listen back and change things that we weren't 100% stoked on or just to add some more ear candy.  In that sense it made recording so much easier and I think that showed up on the final product.

 

BRR:  The lyrics speak about how ugly the world we live in really is. Can you elaborate on that?

 

AW:  I can and I will. (laughing)  Like I said in the previous answer, we were in a different mindset at that time and that was because we entered a new level on the industry where we started popping up to these managers and different people and of course, when you are on their radar, it can either go great or it could go badly.  You meet new characters, some good and some that want to take advantage of you.  We, unfortunately, had been taken advantage of several times up to this point and so I had this idea of making an EP on the difficulty it is being an unknown band trying to make it.  There are so many unknown things that can happen at any time. There is no book that you can follow for this career.  It's all learn by your mistakes and keep moving on.  So the songs are dark in that way from the mistakes that we have made and they get more enlightening as they go towards the end with “New Breed” and “Sound of Voices” because those are kind of our goals.  “End Game” is so we can get past the barriers and people can hear our songs and recognize this band as a band that worked their ass off, doesn't hide behind an iPod Live, and just gives an overall unique performance.

 

BRR:  My favorite song on the album “You're Nothing (But Shit)” was produced and co-written with Mike from Drowning Pool and Ill Nino guitarist, Ahrue Luster. How did that come about?

 

MW:  This song came about right after that tour as well.  Ahrue had approached us.  He is a local in Denver and he has known about our band for a few years by seeing live stuff and knowing about our projects in different studios because he's worked with some of the studio engineers we worked with.  So he was aware of the existence of the band and he was looking for a band to do one song with and make a radio hit with it.  We started talking and showed him demos that we had up to the start and “You're Nothing (But Shit)” was the one that was picked.  It was a cool process because it started with Ahrue and it ended with Mike, so that song was collaborated with two guys, so the song changed drastically through both revisions.  I think it stands out as its own on that EP.

 

BRR:  Tell me about the cover art to Voices.

 

MW:  The cover art is an overall representation of every song on there, which is this survival feel.  I gave these songs to our artist, Adam Rhodes from Denver, and he is just amazing at capturing what everything should feel like in art form.  He listened to the songs and drew two to three different ideas and I saw this survivor one that he drew up and said, That's the one!  It showcases this character that looks like he's been through hell and there is a mysterious figure behind him looking at him.  It captures everything that that this band has been going through and will go through and it's just a badass art piece that the fans have loved seeing when they come up to the merch table to buy the album.  I think cover art is important these days because it is the only visual representation that people see anymore from the songs because they buy digital formats and they don't really actually buy the entire CD with the entire layout and booklets, which we have in the physical copy. I did all that art and it goes with the theme of survival.  It's very rugged and kind of mysterious looking as well.  I'm going to give it back to Andrew for question 9.

 

 

BRR:  What made you decide to cover “Mad World” ? It's excellent!

 

AW:  When we were releasing Voices, we had a big show at Summit Music Hall and we wanted to do a cover.   I threw out “Mad World” kind of half joking but it stuck.  It's a really cool song.  I think it was a good choice because it also fits in with our theme of the Voices EP.  We put it together for that Summit Music Hall EP Release show and we ended up not being able to play it because the first band ran over on time.  We didn't get to debut it until our run with Sevendust.  So that was the first test of it to see how we would do.  We hadn't recorded it yet and it ended up being one of the highlights of the set because it's a familiar song and we slowed it down from the original and made it really dark guitar for most of it and Matthews voice is very haunting on it.  After that run we decided it would probably be a good idea to flat out record it and release it and push it as another single and to help people to get more familiar with us.

 

BRR:  Does the band have any endorsements or favor certain brands?

 

AW:   We have two official endorsements.  I just got endorsed by InTune Guitar Picks.  They are a fantastic pick company.  They do a custom print job, single full color, one or two sides.  I am very happy to be with them.  Also, I just got an endorsement with my favorite guitar pedal company, Walrus Audio.  I am currently using three of their pedals in my rig.  I'm using their Jupiter Fuzz, their Vanguard Dual-Phase and I just got the brand new Descent Reverb, which is pretty badass.  It's hidden behind the amp and the effects loop.  So, I use all three of those.  Another brand I'm not endorsed by but a couple brands that I really like, I play a Gibson SGs.  Been a fan of Gibson SGs since I saw Angus Young play, so I don't think that is going to be changing anytime soon.  I have a Marshall JVM205, that's my amp of choice and I have several other DigiTech pedals that help round out the rest of my tone.  As far as endorsements go, just the picks and the pedals, but those are the most important to me because I obviously go through a lot of picks but the pedals are special to me because they have always been super badass and I've had them for a long time.

 

BRR:  What is next for RTR?

 

MW:  That's the question, isnt it.  That's the grand mystery.  In all seriousness though, we do hope to get out and tour the United States again and maybe Canada again, that would be great.  Earlier this year we are working on some tours for the beginning of Spring, hopefully.  Fans will just have to wait and see what we get and those will be announced across all the social media platforms, Facebook, the website redtiderising.com and Twitter.  I think we will keep doing what we're doing and turning heads as we go and making fans one by one.  That's all we can do at this point.

 

BRR:  I work with a lot of local artists.  Do you have any advice for young aspiring musicians that dream to live the life you are experiencing?

 

MW:  Yes, I do have advice.  If you're going to try to make it, get ready for disappointment and you have to learn how to handle that disappointment.  For us, we have been able to take the hardships and put it into our songwriting.  I think it has come out better.  A lot of bands have done that.   Slipknot has done that, Five Finger Death Punch has done that.  Hellyeah is doing that right now.  There is a lot of stuff in this industry that is terrible and there is no way around it right now.  You have to truly believe in what you are doing otherwise don't even attempt it at all because it is going to destroy you.  It is something special to us, to get up on that stage and see those people forgetting about their own hardships outside of that venue.  They are all gathered in that room for one reason and it is to be entertained and forget about that outside, just for a few hours.  To be a part of that is a great feeling and that's what drives me to do it.

 

BRR:  Any further comments for your fans?

 

MW:  I love them all.  I hope to get more.  You will have to be patient this year with us when it comes to new content.  We are going to keep riding out the Voices EP because it's doing great for us.  We'll see you at the next show.  Thank you very much.

 

For more info:

www.redtiderising.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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