Meet The Band: Tetrarch

Jeremy Saffer

The L.A. based metalcore band Tetrarch have released two EPs over the past few years, and now are unleashing their full-length debut, Freak. Guitarist Diamond Rowe introduces us to her band.

Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Tetrarch.
Diamond Rowe: Josh and I started Tetrarch back in high school. It basically started with me, him and some high school friends jamming covers and playing at talent shows and stuff. After a while, he and I just really decided that this is what we wanted to do so we put our all into growing into who we are today. Eventually that just kind of evolved into a nu-metalcore band, if that’s what you want to call it. (laughs)

Describe the songwriting process for Freak.
For Freak the primary writers were Josh and I. He or I would come up with riffs and/or full songs and the other would help solidify the complete song structure and parts. Once we got our favorites together, we brought them to Ruben and Ryan at practice and they threw in their ideas and styles. Writing this record was actually a lot of fun because it gave us the chance to dabble with incorporating influences that we never have before and I think we really came up with something cool.

How did you decide to work with producer Dave Otero?
Dave actually mixed one of our very first EPs called The Will To Fight. He did such a good job on it that we knew at some point we wanted to go work on a complete record with him and the timing was just right for this.

What’s his producing style, and how was the experience?
Dave is a super laid back guy which really made for a comfortable experience for me and the rest of the guys. He usually only works with death metal/grindcore bands so it was really cool getting his input on metal like ours. I think we were just as excited about working with something different as we were to work with him so that made the process a lot of fun.

How has your sound evolved/progressed from your earlier EPs to this album?
In the beginning you could definitely tell who our influences were I think, which was really cool, but it was very streamlined. I feel like now we incorporate so many different aspects of metal that we like to come up with something we truly love. We have always been a fan of bigger metal bands such as Slipknot, Korn, Metallica, etc., so we will always strive to be a versatile mass appeal band because that’s the music we enjoy listening to and playing. Big choruses!

Why did you decide to go the independent route in releasing Freak?
We’ve never been afraid to do things on our own. We definitely don’t want to settle when it comes to the way we release records and how we benefit from them, and sometimes because of that it’s a lot better to do it yourself. Who knows what the future holds for our next release, but we have a pretty awesome plan for this one and were really excited to show people what we got.

What are your goals and expectations for the record?
For me Freak is an introduction to what’s to come from this band. We have huge plans for Tetrarch and Freak, to me it shows what we’re trying to build on. We want to be that heavy band that has choruses that anyone can sing along to. We’re excited about this can of worms that we are opening.

You’re currently on tour with DevilDriver. What have been some of the highlights for you?
This whole tour has been a blast for us. Being on the road with such great musicians and learning from them every night is a highlight in itself and everyone is just a lot of fun to be around. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to be out with. As far as shows are concerned, Portland, Oregon — hands down — has been the best show. That city has such an incredible metal scene and other places can definitely take note.

What’s your favorite way to kill time on the road?
I bring my fishing pole out on the road so whenever I can. I try to hit up a local lake or pond and fish for a little, but it’s not something that I can do much of. But when I can, I enjoy it. Other than that, we just kind of hang out with everyone and sleep. There’s also always a good 30 minutes each day where every band is on a mission to find food! (laughs)

What else do you have planned for touring?
Right now we are still trying to fill out our calendar for this year and next year. We have some pretty cool tour prospects that we hope to land, but we should know about that soon.

How did you get started in music?
I’ve always loved music, but I got into heavier music when I was about 13 years old. I had a friend in school that was really into bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, etc., and I really wanted to know what these bands sounded like that she was always talking about. So I checked them out and never looked back. The first heavy CD that I ever bought was System of a Down’s Toxicity and it changed my life.

Who were your early influences and inspirations?
As far as a guitar players, guys like Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Slash (GNR), Head (Korn), Jim Root (Slipknot) and Dave Mustaine (Megadeth) really led the way for me in learning how to play guitar. Those guys were indirectly my teachers. I studied them like I was taking a class. (laughs)

What was the first concert you attended?
I think the first concert I went to was actually a Janet Jackson show. But the first metal show I ever attended was Summer Sanitarium 2003. Hands down the best show of my life to this day and I’ve seen many. Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Mudvayne and Deftones. We just don’t get tours like that anymore. It was such a sick experience.

Besides family and friends, what do you miss most about Atlanta now that you’re based in L.A.?
You really hit the nail on the head with those two. The main things I miss are friends and family. That’s honestly what makes a home more than anything. Luckily my closest (band) friends moved to L.A. with me, but I do miss being near my parents quite a bit. Luckily with touring so much I see them pretty often on the road.

What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
My music rotation stays pretty consistent. I always keep my favorites in there like Metallica, Gojira, Slipknot, Lamb of God, Korn, Deftones etc., but I also add some new favorites in there like Ded and Cane Hill. Both are great new bands that are out there killing it and keeping metal and hard rock alive.

(interview published September 29, 2017)

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