- I first wanted to take the time and thank you for doing this interview with me today. For our readers who haven’t heard of you yet, can you tell us about yourself and anything about the band you’d want us to know? Who have been your major influences in your writing style?
Thank you for chatting with us. We are BackBlast, a heavy metal band based out of Manassas, VA just outside of Washington DC. We’ve been around since 2015 and have been playing up and down the East Coast since. Our band is Dan Cunningham (Lead Vocals), Chris Tamberella (Drums), Adam Pritcher (Guitar/Vocals), Wilsen Rivera (Bass) and Jake Ford (Lead Guitar). All of us like a lot of assorted styles of music, but I would say our biggest influences are Lamb of God, Black Sabbath, Iced Earth, Arch Enemy and much more.
- Let’s talk about what you currently have going on. Any new music or new tours in the works? If you were to say one song of your own perfectly sums up what you are all about which song would that be? ( Please attach any link for public use )
Right now, we have a ton going on. We are in the middle of writing the new record. It’s the first time we are writing as a 5 piece since we added a 2ndguitarist and brought on a new bass player. It is going to be a change for our fans. We are excited for everyone to hear the new material. We are going to slowly roll these songs out live during our East Coast dates in the upcoming months.
Over the next few months, we’ll be playing Baltimore, MD, Asbury Park, NJ, Martinsburg, WV, Woodbridge, VA and have some other east coast dates we’ll be announcing soon.
One song that sums up our sound from our last release would be “Uprising”. This is off our 4 song Concept EP telling the story of an evil being called The Ringmaster.
- When you write any new music, can you tell us what the process is like? Describe to us what happens in a typical writing session.
Our writing process is usually Jake and Adam coming up with the basic guitar structure for a song. From there, Drums and Bass are added during rehearsal and studio sessions. The last thing added in the vocals. From a vocal standpoint, Dan usually comes up with what he wants to do phonetically then writes the lyrics.
- With the music industry always changing and evolving, what are the things you like and don’t like about it? What aspects of the industry do you feel have hurt or helped your career? If you could change anything about it, what would it be?
The changes in the music industry has changed things drastically. From a positive standpoint, it is possible for any artist/band to get music out to the masses with enough work. However, people simply aren’t buying music anymore. It’s easier to stream it and pay nothing or next to nothing depending on the service. These streaming companies (Spotify, Apple, Google, etc.) are paying pennies per stream. Unless your getting Millions of streams, you are relying on merchandise and touring for any real income. However, promoters, venues and booking agents know this also. So, what they would have paid a touring band 10 years ago has drastically gone down.
- Do you or any of your band members have any side projects? If so, what are they?
Our bass player Wilsen Rivera has a solo side project. Really cool stuff.
- When you’re performing how do you handle any mistakes on stage if they ever happen? Do you have any stories that stand out to you that you had to make a memorable recovery?
Of course, mistakes happen on stage. Any band that says otherwise is bullshitting ha-ha! Probably one of the funniest that’s happened to us is when we had the pleasure of opening for Kataklysm. They back lined the stage, so what was left was just enough for our drummer to set up his kit. However, during the first song, were all going balls to the wall and suddenly, I have cymbals falling on top of me. They’re wasn’t a drum rug, and everything was sliding forward from him playing hard. It was hilarious, but we made it through it. We take a lot of pride in our music and especially in our live shows. We bring a ton of energy on stage. When there is a mistake musically or a gear malfunction all you can do is laugh it off and keep playing. Life is too short to be pissed off. I mean come on…. we get to play in front of crowds of people with music that we’ve written. What’s better than that?!
- How do you decide which songs go into a set when you perform live? Do you change up the sets or stick to a regular set list? Do you have any covers?
We usually decide what songs going into the set after we arrive at the venue. A lot of times when were on the road, we won’t know what type of music the other bands are playing or the type of crowd it might be. We try to cater our set to what is going to be the best fit for the vibe of each individual venue and crowd. We used to do a VERY Heavy version of Zombie by the Cranberries, but we phased that out since we have so much new material.
- If you had a choice to go on any bands tour, which tour would you pick and why?
Awesome question! I think it would have to be Lamb of God. First, they are another band from Virginia. Second, they are incredible live, their music has been a massive influence on all of us, and they all seam to be fun to hit the road with in general.
- Do you have any advice for any upcoming artists? What’s the best piece of advice someone gave you when you realized you wanted to be a musician?
Best advice I can give any new band or artist is to take your music seriously, but make sure your having fun. When BackBlast first started out, we tried taking on too much at the same time. It ended up blowing up in our face and almost breaking up the band. Let your growth start with your music. The rest will fall into place with hard work and sound business sense.
The best advice I’ve ever been given (Dan) was from 10 years ago when I was playing with my old band Kaivol Motak. We were fortunate enough to headline The Norva in Norfolk. This was the biggest show and stage I’ve ever played. Before we went on, a friend of mine who was a seasoned touring artist came up to me and saw how nervous and stiff I was. He simply told me to take a breath and just have fun. It seems stupid and simple, but it helped me. I see so many artists when were on the road that are great musically but have ZERO showmanship. Yes, people want to hear good music, but they also want to be entertained. BackBlast lives by this. We are very prideful in our music, but we want our shows to be an interactive experience. We want our fans to walk away from a show with a horse voice, sweaty and with a big smile. If we can make people have a good time, we have been successful.
- Any last words?
BackBlast just came out with a new EP called “The Ringmaster”. It is a 4-song concept Album telling the story of a tormented being that has come back with his army of the damned to torture the souls of the wicked. You can check it out on any online retailer or on our website at BACKBLASTMETAL.COM