US outfit, Backblast, create a heavy metal roar embracing the flames of other styles and flavours. It is a proposition which is constantly growing and evolving as well as building on the success of the Manassas, VA hailing band’s well received debut EP, of 2015, The Area is Clear. We recently had the chance to get to the heart of the band with drummer Chris Tamberella, exploring its origins, growth, the band’s latest attention drawing release and more….
Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?
We are a five piece metal band consisting of Dan Cunningham on vocals, Jake Ford on lead guitar, Adam Pritcher on rhythm guitar and backup vocals, Wilsen Rivera on bass and myself, Chris Tamberella on drums. In 2015 Dan and I, along with original guitarist Marcos Eguia, began recording tracks in Dan’s basement. After 6 months of writing and recording, we decided to bring the studio to the stage.
Had you been involved in other bands before?
Wilsen has been in a number of projects including Kaemon, Bourne of Ash, Greythor, Pandora’s Box, Sanguinus and some solo work on Wilsen’s Sessions. Dan was is a heavy metal band in Newport News, VA called Kaivol Motak who enjoyed local success. Jake was in a band for a few years in high school and since has filled in periodically for the Miami based band Inferion.
What inspired the band name?
The majority of our band members are military veterans and have experienced the back blast of an RPG before.
Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?
There was no specific sound that we targeted at first. We played what came naturally which was best described as rock. After recording The Area is Clear, we wanted to add more to our sound but didn’t know exactly what we were looking for. Enter Adam Pritcher and his heavy riffs and we were on our way to making metal songs. Since then we added Wilsen on bass which opened the doors for another evolution in the band with his ability and experience. The final piece to our sound is the addition of Jake Ford. Adding a lead guitar to our sound has provided more opportunities for growth and another evolution in our sound. With the addition of Jake we are steering in somewhat of a power and progressive metal sound. Who knows what we will create in the future.
Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?
Our band has evolved in all aspects including what drives us now. As a band we want to push ourselves and churn out the best sound possible. That can only occur if we are all driven individually and as a unit. When we started in Dan’s basement we were messing around and seeing what came out. Right now we feel like the sky is the limit between the five of us and are excited for our next release and to continue bringing our brand of metal live on the east coast.
Has it been organic, especially the movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?
Everything that happens with our sound is organic and nothing is forced. We certainly want to try new things but we haven’t limited ourselves into what we are trying. If it feels right we move forward. If it’s clunky or not smooth than we move on to something else.
Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?
With five guys in the band there are many different inspirations. We all share some of the same likes such as Black Sabbath, Dio, Lamb of God, Iced Earth but some of us like reggae, jazz, classical music, electronic music and more. For myself as a drummer I am inspired by Chris Adler of Lamb of God and Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan of Avenged Sevenfold.
Is there a general process to the band’s songwriting?
Most of our songs are based off guitar riffs. Sometimes that riff is structured before it comes into the band room or it may just be a small riff that starts with a jam session and grows into a full track.
And lyrically, where do you draw the inspirations?
Past experience, current political climate and what happens inside Dan’s head (which could be scary).
Would you give us some background to your latest release?
Our latest release is a four song concept EP, The Ringmaster. It revolves around an evil entity “The Ringmaster” who has pulled in all the outsiders of society and placed them under his spell. He lures with them with the promise of hope and acceptance but his true motive is to create an army of minions. After realizing their fate those who have come under his power rise up to fight back. In this story the good guys just might not win.
Give us some insight to the premise behind its songs.
The first song, The Ringmaster, tells the story of our protagonist and gives the listener a hint of his plan. Next is To the Grave which lets the newly acquired minions understand what is actually in store for them under the big top. The third track Uprising is when the battle begins. The minions have come together to throw down with “The Ringmaster” for an epic battle of good and evil. Our battle finally comes to a bloody finish with Bend the Knee. Who will be left standing?
Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?
We are 100% ready to record each track when entering the studio. Studio time is a pricey endeavour and we don’t like to burn money. The blade is sharpened before we hit record.
Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably a favourite aspect of the band?
Our live shows are our bread and butter. I promise you will not be bored. At one point you could be two feet away from a slinging guitar or about have Dan singing in your face. Our shows require audience participation and I promise you won’t be able to resist joining in.
It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?
Our region has had a recent bump in the past year but it is an uphill battle. The underground metal scene has some very strong bands and personalities but the only way we grow is standing side by side. We are doing our part to make sure the scene keeps pushing.
How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success?
At this point social media is crucial for BackBlast and for all underground bands in any genre. On one hand social media gives any band exposure that would typically cost a ton of cash for free. On the other hand our music is free. There seems to be some formula for success through social media and we are still doing the math.
Our big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?
Right now you can grab a free copy of our EP, The Ringmaster, by going to our Facebook page. Give it a like, and shoot us a message to get your free download code!
Pete RingMaster 02/05/2018
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright