Tetrarch dissects 'Unstable' with a track-by-track breakdown exclusively for Knotfest
Currently at the helm of what is being regarded as the next wave of nu-metal, Tetrarch have managed to capture the attention of the world of heavy music with their explosive brand of angst. The band's forthcoming Napalm Records debut 'Unstable' has mounted an impressive charge with a series of compelling singles offering a glimpse into the extraordinary talent of the LA-based quartet.
The four-piece of singles in "I'm Not Right", "You Never Listen", "Negative Noise" and "Addicted" have not only resonated with a new generation of fans that connect with the band's catharsis and heft, but have arguably drafted a new narrative when it comes to the often misunderstood moniker of nu-metal. Free of the exaggeration and cliche that often marred the first wave, Tetrarch's brand strikes effective as an earnest tribute to their predecessors while paving their own lane.
Just hours ahead of the global release of what has the makings to be their seminal recorded effort, Tetrarch have detailed a track-by-track recount of the album, revisiting the stories and significance of each of the 10-songs on the record. The testimonials from the band underscore the weight of the project and feature a creative force that is primed to make a huge impact on the world of heavy music.
In their own words, Tetrarch's principle songwriters Diamond Rowe and Jose Fore dissect 'Unstable' one track at a time. Read their account below.
“I’m Not Right”
Diamond: I’m Not Right was the very first demo that we started writing for Unstable. It started up with just rhythm guitars and drums and was this chunky and groovy song but as we started writing the rest of the songs for the album, it kind of got pushed to the backburner and was a song that almost didn’t make the album initially. However, there was something about the main riff of the song that kept pulling us back. Once we started layering the creepy guitar sounds on the song and eventually vocals, the song really came to life and became my absolute favorite on the record. The vibe of the chorus really hit the mark for me and came out to be something that we were all so proud of.
Diamond: When we started writing Negative Noise, we knew that we wanted a song that was going to be a complete banger and a monster in a live setting. We definitely opened up and expanded our box of tricks when it comes to song writing for the last 2 albums but one thing that we never want people to forget is that we can riff our asses off. Just because we don’t do it every song doesn’t mean that we can’t haha. We wanted to bring those driving guitars and insane drums to the forefront again with this one and I think that’s what we did. Lyrically, this one is about being surrounded by unwanted negativity from all directions. There may be people talking in your ear or breeding negativity in your life but its about being aware that its all just static and continuing to excel and move forward regardless.
Diamond: This song has to be the first time that we have ever incorporated that much bounce in a riff. When I started writing this song, I think I had spent the majority of that day messing round with riffs that incorporated heavy whammy pedal. When I finally came up with the riff I sent it to Josh and to be honest I don’t think he liked it very much at first because it was such a curve ball and he didn’t really know what to do with it. I kept hashing the song out and eventually he kind of saw a vocal vision for it. This one was basically from the start meant to be pretty angsty and lyrically very tongue and cheek. Essentially its reminding people around you that you may be fun and games the majority of the time but if they come at you wrong, you are unstable and will pop off. Haha – I remember josh skipping around the apartment pumping himself up to track the vocal demo for this song which is a image that will forever be stuck in my head.
“You Never Listen”
Josh: On every album each member has that one song that is almost like their baby, the one they are hyper tuned into every aspect of and want to get absolutely perfect. For me that song was “You Never Listen.” It was written early on in the demoing process for the album and has one of my favorite chorus on the whole record. Instrumentally it is super simple but how it was arranged and how we built the verse layers I feel like really helps build energy and tension throughout the song. I love how Rubens drum patterns and Ryan’s (Dooms) bass are super tight together providing the backbone that a song like this absolutely relies on. Our producer Dave really pushed me vocally on “You Never Listen” especially with some of the high harmonies and parts in the climax. One thing a lot of people don’t know is that Diamond has a really great singing voice. She does all the vocal harmonies live and even helps me out on lines where it’s impossible for me to catch a breath. This was the first time she has ever tracked vocals in the studio on a Tetrarch song and she absolutely killed the harmonies in the chorus and I really think that helped create the kind of thick chorus sound this song needed. I really hope i can convince her to sing more in the future on our records haha.
“Sick of You”
Josh: Sick of You has probably one of my favorite guitar riffs on the whole album. The intro riff absolutely slams and I already know it’s gonna be a favorite to play live. I was so hyped about the instrumental of the song that it was actually the first one I tracked vocals for on the album. It made me feel so much aggression and made me want to get rid of some pent up anger I had at some people from my past. The first thing that popped into my head was the tag line “I don’t care I’m sick of you” which is something I feel like all of us can relate to with people in our lives. This song has so many dynamics condensed into such a short song and I feel like it really takes the listener on a journey of emotions. Plus it has one Diamond sickest guitar solos on the album!
“Take a Look Inside”
Diamond: Take a Look Inside is definitely probably in the top 3 heaviest songs that we have ever written, especially the ending where it all falls apart and just becomes an ass beating monster. This is also the first song where I sang harmonies on a entire chorus with Josh which turned out sounding very cool and ominous. As mentioned before though, I think for me the ending of this song is what makes it stand out. You have this pretty heavy and percussive song that has a big smooth chorus but when you get to the end its like the entire world ends and nothing will be saved haha. This is definitely going to be a live staple for sure.
“Stitch Me Up”
Diamond: Sonically, I personally feel that this is one of the hardest hitting songs on the entire album. It starts with kind of that lo-fi guitar effect and then when it kicks in its MONSTROUS! This is definitely a very bass heavy song and Dooms did a really goods job keeping it simple but very impactful. This is another one where I got to have a ton of whammy fun on the verses and really make it mysterious sounding. It almost has this vibe of walking through a haunted house or something. Just very cool. We knew we wanted musically for this chorus to be very open but super low and rumbly so we added some subs to the guitar chord hits and that really gave it that extra shake that we were looking for. Lyrically this song is very much a cry for help. Its for those times that you kind of reach that breaking point andf you just need someone, anyone, to help you find your way. Another really cool element of this song is the guitar solo. It kind of has this Tom Morello vibe to it because a lot of it has whammy on it. Even though its short and simple, it was kind of tough to come up with because its not the typical sounding guitar solo song but that’s even more of a reason why we wanted to put one in it – because there usually wouldn’t be one.
Josh: Addicted was a roller coaster of a song to write and it’s crazy to think how different the final product finished from where it started. I remember this song had this super slow clean and almost dreary vibe to it on the verses with the big chorus you hear today. Then there were these collection of riffs making up a bridge section that didn't even sound like they were from the same song as the verses. It was really bugging me when I got home one night from our writing studio and I literally deleted the verses and took the bridge riffs, chopped them around to make a new intro and verse riff and made a brand new song structure. Plopped the chorus in that we already liked and it was like a breath of fresh air. I think this song has one of my favorite verse vocal patterns both with the rhythm and melody and how they weave around the guitar riff. For the record that old verse riff got tossed into the trash and will never see the light of day haha.
Josh: This song is just plain fun. It’s super short and lays everything out there in plain sight. These aren't my deepest lyrics I’ve ever written but they are honest and represent everything that Tetrarch is all about. Everyone in our band is strange and very unique and we love that a lot of our fans are exactly like us in that sense. This is for sure our call to everyone out there that if you are different, if you want to embrace your weird and let your psycho loose, then we in Tetrarch welcome you with open arms. Fun fact… In the chorus of the song there are some group vocals chanting ‘’the untouchables.” In the studio each of us took a turn on different takes saying “uncrustables,” yes, that delectable, crustless peanut butter jelly sandwich you find in the box at your grocery store. Next time you listen to that song see if you can pick it out!
Josh: Let me start off by saying this song has my favorite guitar solo from Diamond on this whole album. The solo takes you for a ride and is so eerie sounding thanks to the guitar effects and whammy pedal as well as her unexpected note choices. This song is all about vibe. The way Dooms’ (Ryan) bass blends with Rubens straight forward almost relaxed beat created so much space for me vocally. There are electronics in the song that almost sound out of tune with our guitars and bass and it gives this almost dreamy vibe to the song. This was the most naked I have ever been vocally. There was no hiding behind layers and and my vocals are super up front and right in the listeners ear. The ending of the song fades out and almost drifts off and I feel like it was the perfect closer track. Its such a departure from the rest of the album that I think it will make the listener think and really try to process what they just heard when they listen to the album start to finish.
'Unstable' from Tetrarch arrives April 30th via Napalm Records. Order the album - HERE