October 13, 2017 Interview – Diamond Rowe of Tetrarch
Looking for a fresh new Metal band who celebrate individuality and intelligence with massive choruses and a fully infectious sound? If so, look no further than Tetrarch! Waving the do-it-yourself banner high and with great pride, this Atlanta, Georgia quartet recently self-released their debut, full-length album Freak. Ready to make an impact, it is an album that is chock-full of haunting melodies and sing-along anthems, superb musicianship, as well as a gentle nod to the 2000’s Nu Metal sound (minus that pesky Rap stuff). Call them Nu Metalcore or just Metal, whatever the case, do not miss this band!
With the album’s release, Tetrarch have been turning heads for a multitude of reasons, amongst them the group’s phenomenal lead shredder. That talented young woman is Tetrarch’s resident Guitar Goddess, Diamond Rowe, who recently sat down to discuss the band’s debut album, touring, the over-saturated 2017 music scene, positivity, what it means to be a lady in Metal, plus more.
CrypticRock.com – Let’s start with the obvious, which is that you are not what most people would envision when they think of a guitarist in a Heavy Metal band. How awesome is it to ruin all their stereotypes and preconceived notions?
Diamond Rowe – Thank you! (Laughs) It’s pretty awesome. I’ve always been different and enjoyed it, so why stop now? I like entertaining people, and if part of that is the element of shock, I’m okay with it! On a serious note though, I really hope it shows people that it is possible to break those stereotypes and be yourself!
CrypticRock.com – There is no excuse to not be yourself, right? Okay, so how did Tetrarch come together? Was there ever a hesitation about being the only lady in a group of young men?
Diamond Rowe – Me and Josh [Vocalist/Guitarist Fore] essentially started Tetrarch back in high school. When I initially started playing guitar, Josh and another high school friend of ours used to jam. When I asked to jam with them, Josh actually said he didn’t want a girl in the band. (Laughs) He finally became okay with it after he saw me play, and he and I went on to start what Tetrarch is today and really take it seriously.
CrypticRock.com – What a compliment to your playing – which is superb – that you were able to turn his mind around and build a band together. Now be honest: what is it like on the road, in a van, with three dudes?
Diamond Rowe – The best thing in the world! Those three guys are my best friends; so it’s basically like being on a road trip with your best friends for months, and getting to do what you love every single night in different places. I can’t think of anything that beats that!
CrypticRock.com – That is truly wonderful and something few people get to experience. Playing devil’s advocate for a moment here, there are a lot of bands who are waving the banner of individuality and being proud to call themselves a “freak” these days. What makes Tetrarch different?
Diamond Rowe – We do not try to fit any mode: we genuinely play the music we like and love. We’re not trying to be anything that we’re not either: we play honest, graspable Metal just like our influences, and, in my opinion, that’s really hard to find in bands these days. It all can be very cookie-cutter.
CrypticRock.com – That is very true: much of music today has become horribly formulaic and insincere. Speaking of music and genres, the band’s Facebook page categorizes you as “Nu Metalcore.” What does that mean to you?
Diamond Rowe – We honestly hate sub-genres, but it was the best way we could describe the sound that we’ve evolved into having. We are a Metal band with some core elements that also utilize dark tone guitar effects and melodies that remind you of 2000s Nu-Metal a bit. The dark element of Nu-Metal, not the Rap side. Also big choruses: we love strong choruses.
CrypticRock.com – That all makes perfect sense and, included in those strong choruses, there is a hopeful positivity throughout Freak. The band acknowledges what it means to be beaten down for being different, and yet there is a strong hope that society can rise above this eventually. Where does that come from? What inspires the band’s lyrics?
Diamond Rowe – We’ve always felt like the underdogs that everyone is rooting for. (Laughs) In many ways, we’ve had to literally fight for every opportunity that we have been given; but honestly it’s very rewarding to know that you can accomplish anything with the right attitude. So that kind of bleeds into this album. In some ways we are the freaks of the Metal world right now! We’re not like everybody else, but more than not, it’s worked to our benefit and you can apply that to any aspect of your life. On the flip side, there are also songs about sex freaks and obsession. So it can be a good and a bad thing.
CrypticRock.com – Having to fight makes the band hungry, which, in turn, leads to inspiration, no? That seems the case as the album is a superbly energetic, intelligent, and fun offering. Do you have any personal favorite tracks? Is there one song in particular that you look forward to playing each night?
Diamond Rowe – Honestly, I love them all so much, but “Mary” and “Freak” are probably my two favorites. I can’t wait to play “Mary!” It’s more of a creepy, mid-tempo song and we’ve never done anything like that live, but I think it’s going to be pretty sick.
CrypticRock.com – That will be a thrill for fans when the band breaks that out of your arsenal! Speaking of touring, Tetrarch just finished up a run with DevilDriver, 36 Crazyfists, Cane Hill, and Uncured. How did that go and what is next for the band, tour-wise?
Diamond Rowe – It was actually pretty amazing. We were lucky enough to tour alongside some of the best musicians and nicest dudes that the Metal world has to offer right now, and it was great just to share the stage every night and play for so many new people. We’re currently working on what the next tour is and should have something announced soon!
CrypticRock.com – We will look forward to hearing where the band is headed next! The scene is, arguably, over-saturated with bands these days. For every one that folds, there are 100 waiting to take their spot. How do you keep Tetrarch relevant and moving forward in the face of those odds?
Diamond Rowe – By staying honest to who we are and our goals. Too many bands are living other people’s dreams right now and limiting themselves because of what other bands couldn’t do. We think that the sky is the limit, and we are not afraid of the obstacles that come with getting to that status that we want; we won’t stop until we get there. Also, writing good songs that people can understand and feel.
CrypticRock.com – You are absolutely succeeding at that right now! Congratulations! Let’s move to a different topic, one especially pertinent to us ladies: which is that it seems that the tide is slowly turning for women to be taken much more serious in Metal. What do you hope for the future?
Diamond Rowe – Yeah, it seems like it! I honestly just hope that in the future people just take talent for talent regardless of female or male, and in some capacity they do now. I’ve never really met anyone that didn’t think I was a good guitar-player solely because I’m a female. So as long as that continues and women stop limiting themselves, I’ll be happy!
CrypticRock.com – It is wonderful to hear that you are being acknowledged for your skills instead of your gender. However, in a witty turn of the tables, this must be asked: in a recent interview with Revolver, you joked that there should be a Hottest Dudes in Metal calendar. This sounds like a brilliant idea! Who is going into this calendar?
Diamond Rowe – (Laughs) You know, I started to list a bunch of hot Metal dudes, but I think I should just keep that to myself. (Laughs)
CrypticRock.com – That is fair. We will have to have a ladies pow-wow off the record, later on. Last question: CrypticRock covers a broad range of music as well as movies, particularly Horror and Sci-Fi. Are you a fan of Horror and Sci-Fi films and, if so, what are some of your favorites?
Diamond Rowe – I love Horror movies, but I’m always disappointed by them, because they never scare me! I want something that really freaks me out!
CrypticRock.com – That is all too common these days! So what are some of your favorite films, over all?
Diamond Rowe – Some of my favorite movies in general are No Country for Old Men (2007), Monster (2003), Titanic (1997), and Forrest Gump (1994).