July 1, 2014 Interview – Matthew Whiteman of Red Tide Rising
The music industry is a tough nut to crack for many aspiring young bands. For Denver, CO based hard rock band Red Tide Rising, the prize is in their sights. Coming a long way since forming while still in high school, they have taken on the national stage with acts such as In This Moment and releasing their debut full-length album The Rising (2013) on Deathbox Records with worldwide distribution via Vanity Music Group . Mixing dark melodies, heavy guitars, and moody vocals, the band is young, hungry, and ready to take things to the next level in 2014. Recently we sat down with lead vocalist Matthew Whiteman to discuss the drive behind Red Tide Rising, where they are headed musically in the future, touring internationally, and much more.
CrypticRock.com – Red Tide Rising began back in 2012. In that time the band has accomplished a lot at a young age including touring with In This Moment and playing with bands such as Nonpoint, Soil, & Kyng. How would you describe the experience thus far in these formative years of the band?
Matthew Whiteman – The past few years have definitely been an experience, as a band we were exposed to a lot of eye opening things in the industry which motivated us to get to the levels of the national bands that we toured with and opened up for. The experience has had its rewards and letdowns but we still are determined to get there.
CrypticRock.com – That is a good goal to set for yourselves. In a hard rock and alternative metal scene that is over-saturated with many sound alike bands how important is it for you and Red Tide Rising to stand out with your own sound?
Matthew Whiteman – It’s one of our most important factors when we work on new songs or imaging the band, we don’t want to copy someone else and at the same time we don’t want to be too far from the metal genre. So over the years it gets closer and closer to what we want it to be from a lot of fine tuning and experience.
CrypticRock.com – Right, it takes awhile to achieve that sound you are happy with. That goes for any band. The band does seem to have a hybrid of sounds mixing in heavy melodic guitars, synthesizers, and some really dark elements. Where does the inspiration for the darker aspects of the music derive from?
Matthew Whiteman –Really it’s just a preference and I enjoy the darker elements because you can do a lot of different things with them. I also like the darker themes because in my opinion the music industry is too saturated with songs about sex or drugs and alcohol. The music and style we like to write has a lot of melodies that create the dark sound that sits in the music almost phantom like. As far as the influence from which they came from Disturbed’s Down with the Sickness (1999) album was the first metal album I listened to so I guess you could say that album inspired me a lot.
CrypticRock.com – That is very interesting. Your debut album The Rising was released in 2013. On this record you worked with established producers Mike McAree and Jeff Kanan. What was the writing and recording process like for the album?
Matthew Whiteman – You could say it was a challenge because we basically started The Rising as an EP because we only had five days to record it with the schedule of Mike McAree. The first two days were all about dissecting the songs and fine tuning them. After that we only had three days to record in studio, the first day we recorded the drums and the last two were vocals. It was one of the most stressful weeks of my life because it was pretty much 24/7 of recording and practicing. About a couple of months later we decided to write six more songs and make The Rising a full album. This is when we hired Jeff Kanan whom we met in the studio when recording with Mike. Jeff took on the producer role and finished the project with us. Again the schedule worked out for only a few days, so we did round two the same way, all while balancing out my high school graduation, In This Moment’s live DVD show, and my birthday. It was another crazy few days of being brain dead from studio but it was well worth it. It was the most ambitious project we have ever taken on.
CrypticRock.com – It sounds like the band was under a lot of pressure. The record seemed to come together very well balancing heaviness with melody. Now that the record is complete and out do you feel this is the most clear vision for Red Tide Rising to date?
Matthew Whiteman – I believe it’s getting there, I wouldn’t say it’s at where we envisioned it because again we are young musicians still practicing and trying out new methods. One thing I will say is the next album is going to be heavy.
CrypticRock.com – It will be interesting to see where the band goes in the future then. A positive thing about The Rising is via your label Deathbox Records it has worldwide distribution. Your sound definitely does have a European appeal. How are you finding European markets responding to the record and do you have plans of possibly touring overseas?
Matthew Whiteman – The European markets have been nothing but great to Red Tide Rising, almost on a daily basis we get an order to ship an album out overseas and its really cool to see that happening. As for touring we would love to go overseas and play our music.
CrypticRock.com – Well the opportunity will be a big one for the band and is bound to happen with the support of European fans. Being a young band coming up and looking to make a statement how do you approach the task of taking on the modern music scene and what are some valuable lessons you have learned in the past few years out on the road?
Matthew Whiteman – It is difficult that’s for sure. I guess with the way the modern music scene is, you have to constantly adapt to new social media trends and find ways to connect with the fans. Of course you also have to get out on the road and pay your dues. Some valuable lessons I’ve learned is you never know what’s going to happen next. I say this because the touring life is unpredictable for what can happen. An example of mine is on the In This Moment tour a show was cancelled in Indiana, and of course we were all bummed out. But because that happen a couple months down the road we were added to another show with them and Hatebreed, and let me tell you that show was one of the best shows I’ve ever played. So basically you never know what the road will lead you to, one night you might be performing to a bartender and the next night you’re on stage with Drowning Pool singing “Bodies” with them. (That actually did happen twice)
CrypticRock.com – (laughs) Yes you definitely do not know what is going to happen one day to next and you have to learn to take the good with the bad. A positive attitude is essential and it seems your approach is very level-headed. What are some of your musical influences?
Matthew Whiteman – For me as I said before a lot of Disturbed, I also have influence in Slipknot because of Corey Taylor being able to be diverse in his screams to clean vocals. Other influences include Five Finger Death Punch, All That Remains, Mudvayne, Trivium, and some classic rock/metal icons like AC/DC and Metallica.
CrypticRock.com – Sounds like a nice mix of classic rock and melodic metal in there. My last question for you is pertaining to movies. CrypticRock.com covers music and horror films. If you are a fan of horror films what are some of your favorite horror films?
Matthew Whiteman – If you count the Saw series as horror than I would say them, because of the psychological decisions throughout the movies and the way the story is set up with all the twists and turns. I also enjoy the Alien series and Prometheus (2012) as well as the classic horror films like A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).