“On every record we like to try new things but not really try to be a different band”
Two years after their latest release “Set The Dial”, the American sludgers Black Tusk return with an EP this time that is called “Tend No Wounds”. Guitarist/vocalist Andrew Fidler talks at Metalpaths about all you need to know regarding the EP, the recording process and touring plans…by Kostas Tsotsanis
Hello Andrew! Tell us a few facts about Black Tusk’s latest EP.
Well, the title of the EP is “Tend No Wounds” and the artwork is by Brian Mercer. It was recorded at the jam room in south carolina with Phillip Cope of Kylesa as producer. We decided to do an EP instead of a full length because we like to keep things fresh with splits and 7inches not just full length albums.
Should we expect something new from you this time or in the future? Something more experimental?
On every record we like to try new things but not really try to be a different band. Each time we write a group of songs they take on a personality of their own, we sort of let the music flow and our state of mind and feelings at that time dictates where it goes from there. We want to keep things new for us and the listeners but want the music to be easily picked out as black tusk and not imitate anything.
What kind of process does Black Tusk usually follow while in the studio? Do you stick with jamming or do you compose your songs by planning all the details from the beginning?
We write most of the music before we go to the studio and sometimes things change once we get there. I guess a good way to describe it would be: we have a solid outline before we go and as the recording goes on it takes on a life of its own. That normally reflects into the lyrics, overall tone, and the art.
Are there any plans of releasing a full-length record after the end of your touring obligations?
We are actually in a few talks right now to do quite a few things recording related. Maybe a few more rare releases or a new full length. At this point we are going to start writing again and see where the music takes us.
As I noticed in your facebook page, you are currently touring in Europe. Inform us about your current tour experiences.
The Europe tour is going to start soon and will be with our good buddies Fight Amp as direct support. It is rare that you look forward to spending weeks on end with lots of people living in one van but I can’t wait for this tour. We toured the States together recently and both bands have such a good time together and mesh so well that this will be one for the books.
We would love to attend a concert of yours in Greece! Are there any chances to add a date in Greece during the current tour or not?
It is funny you ask that. When we where on tour in Europe with Red Fang they got to fly out to Greece and have a blast. We had to stay a hostel in Berlin. There was a talk about a show at the end of the tour in Greece for us this time and I would love for that to finally happen.
Are you planning another tour by the end of your European tour or will the band resort in the studio again after your last concert in October?
We missed out on an Australian tour directly after this tour by a few days so it will be back to our small secluded space to keep writing and coming up with things to make sure the fans dont get bored.
Are there any plans of sharing the stage with another major band like Baroness for example, sometime in the future?
We will be sharing the stage with them in Denmark on this next tour as our schedules lapped over on the same day in the same city. This will be a show to remember!
Your collaboration with Relapse Records is counting three productive years. How did it come up and why did you choose Relapse Records to help you?
I’m not sure how it all started but a few people who work there had seen us a few times and we took a shot in the dark and sent them a rough recording of what would turn out to be our first album on Relapse. They are all our friends now and we see eye to eye on a lot of the same things. They want to see us succeed just as much as we want to have our albums put out and loved and have the chance to tour the world.
The sludge metal scene has been growing stronger and stronger in the last decade. What are your thoughts about the scene?
We are on tour so much… I’m not sure that I can really tell you anything about the scene. We play the music that we feel inside and if other people like it that is a plus.
United States of America have been embracing the scene a bit more than Europe. Is it because of the strong collaboration between the bands and the concert venues or do you think that the classic metal sound is actually no longer popular and more new sub-scenes should raise?
I think that people everywhere are hungry for new things. Don’t get me wrong, I will forever jam the staples of metal and rock music but when I hear a band that is heavy and trying to do something that isn’t formulated and cookie cutter I will always get really stoked.
Tell us about your influences as a person. Which bands do you admire the most?
I really admire so many bands from so many different genres that the list would be to long to type. As far as influences, I think that I take away an attitude or feeling of bands that I like instead of trying to sound like them.
Have you heard the latest Black Sabbath record? What is your opinion on the come-back of the most influential band of doom/sludge/stoner sound?
I have not heard that new one or a lot of the old bands putting out new records. I can’t bring myself to go see most of the bands that shaped my life as a young kid that record and tour still. If it is good I will hear about it from other people, if it sucks i might end up hating the older stuff or losing respect for them. Not to mention if the new stuff is band there might be some band influenced tattoos that I would have to get rid of.
Last words on you! Do you have a message to share with your fans?
Make sure you check out our new video for “Truth Untold” from the new EP “Tend No Wounds”. We will be back to our relentless touring soon enough so come out to see us and lets make some memories that we wont remember!