Black Tusk‘s awesome new E.P. – Tend no Wounds – is just about to come out. We caught up with Andrew from the band to see what all this “new sound” was about?
Congratulations on the new E.P. I was a little scared when I read the PR blurb surrounding it, but your sound hasn’t changed that much, has it? Is this a natural evolution of the band or have you made a conscious decision to tread new ground?
Thanks! I saw that blurb after it came out, not the way we would have described it. Someone forgot to put that across our inbox before it was released… Its not that our sound has changed per say, its just evolving still. We try to make every release different, but at the same time make sure that you know its black tusk when you hear it. We don’t want to have every record sound the same, that would be boring for us as well as you guys. We have always got to be trying new things to keep our sound from getting stale. I feel like the sound of the EP is a mix between Set the Dial and The Fallen Kingdom, one of our most recent releases and one of our oldest. It has that gritty punk rock sound of our earlier records and the bluesy metal/punk/rock feel of or later stuff.
Is the new E.P. a chance to test the water, or is the new album ready to go regardless of any reaction?
I don’t think we are testing any water, rather we are just diving in headlong. That’s just how we do things i guess, all or nothing. We don’t have another album written. The EP was a project we wanted to do, and we wrote material specifically for that. People will either like it or they wont. You cant please everyone all the time. For every 10 fans you gain, you are bound to lose one. I mean, there are people out their who call slayer a bunch of hacks! But hopefully a majority of people are going to like the songs, and like the direction that the band is going and they will be excited for us to record a new record when that time comes around.
Has the new material been road-tested yet?
We typically don’t play new songs until they have been released whether it be on a physical format or the internets. But, we have a long run of shows starting the day after the release, so there will be plenty of time to rock these on road!
You keep fans well updated through social media when on tour. Have you ever thought of making a road movie?
Man, that would be a booooooring movie! Don’t get me wrong there would be incredibly awesome parts, but for every hour of radness, there are about 8 hours of dudes sleeping or checking their phones or staring out the windshield.
The artwork has been expertly crafted by Brian Mercer, is this the end of the John Baizley connection with your work?
No it is not. We have used other artists before. Chris Parry did the cover of our very first EP, and Jeremy Hush just did the cover of our latest 7″. John Baizley is a very close personal friend of ours, and he will still be doing all of our album covers, but dude is BUSY now and we like to rely on him for the big ones! Plus Us and him have created Agatha, and it wouldn’t be a BT album if she did not grace the cover. Brian Mercer is an exceptionally talented artist as well, and also a very close personal friend of ours as well. We have been in love with his work from the moment we saw it and are glad we finally got to collaborate on a project larger than a t-shirt or tour poster. In fact, BT has the Mercerrock motto tattooed on us!
You are regular visitors to the UK, but we are always thirsty for more. When are you likely to be back on our soil?
We have a string of UK dates coming up on our Headlining EU tour with our New Jersey buds Fight Amp.
Is there anything that stands out about touring the UK? Either good or bad…
it still freaks me out driving on the other side of the road, ha ha! our UK shows are always a lot of fun and we look forward to playing there on every EU tour!
It seems to be fashionable for bands to come up with their own beer or wine brands at the moment. What would be the ultimate Black Tusk brew and what would you call it?
Well, there is already a Black Tusk ale. Its named after the mountain in BC though, not us. Then there is an African Beer called Tusker, so it might be hard to come up with a new beer name based on our name, cause they already exist! We do have a few of our own drinks though… Athon and James drink this shit in hotel rooms, damn! i can’t remember what they call it, but they mix this drink called “Lean” which is the opposite of a energy drink, with red wine and it helps you go sleep. I think it tastes nasty cause I’m not a big wine fan, but i bet it could catch on.
If not a beverage, what would be the dream piece of Black Tusk merch for you to come up with?
How about an above ground pool, with a giant TCBT logo printed on the bottom, and a swim up keg grill station (we make our own keg grills) and bar? That’s every southerners dream in the summer!
Catch Black Tusk on tour in the UK this Autumn: