Bassist Zakk Sandler of the band Black Tide spoke with me recently about the band’s yet to be titled upcoming release. Black Tide’s debut release, Light From Above, thrust them into the spotlight where they had the good fortune of sharing the stage with heavyweights in the business such as Lamb Of God, Ozzy and Static X. They are currently on tour with Bullet For My Valentine, Escape The Fate and Drive A. Here is what Sandler had to say about the tour and the upcoming release.
You guys are currently on tour with Bullet For My Valentine, Escape The Fate and Drive A. How is that going so far?
Zakk: This tour is amazing! We couldn’t be out doing anything better for us right now. We’ve known Bullet for a while now and they treat us great. We also go back with ETF and Drive A so this really just feels like a family tour.
Have the fans been receptive to your music?
Zakk: So far the fans have been very receptive to our music. We’ve played in front of some of them before… but now they are showing a ton of interest in us in part because I feel that we are an overall better band.
When you began putting your sophomore album together was there any pressure?
Zakk: I feel like there’s always some sort of pressure on any band that’s putting out a new record. However it’s especially stressful when it comes to a sophomore album. We’re always striving to be better and better and with all of the attention that our first album got, there was quite a bit of pressure on us to out do it.
Were you concerned at all about commercial success?
Zakk: I’m never really concerned about commercial success. All I can do is strive to be my best and see where it takes me. Worrying about success won’t do me any good.
Is there a title yet? What can fans expect from the new material?
Zakk: We haven’t completely come to a decision on the title of the new album but what fans can expect is a record that hits them from all angles. We’ve worked very hard and have come up with an album that is very diverse and intense all around.
How quick are you in the studio? Can you usually knock things out in a couple takes?
Zakk: I love studio work. It’s very different than my live performance because I don’t worry about my showmanship. It brings me back to basics and allows me to focus more on dynamics. Depending on how final my parts are, I can get in and out of the studio fairly quickly.
What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?
Zakk: During my first recording session ever I learned that without consistency and solidity, a drummer is nothing. That goes for all musicians. In a live setting I’ve learned not to dwell on mistakes if they come, if you do they’ll just keep coming.
Tell me about a book or two that you’ve read that you think other people should read?
Zakk: “The Secret”… read it!
Do you have any special rules or rituals that you follow while you’re out on the road?
Zakk: Only the road I try and stay healthy and fit… the way I treat myself directly relates to how I feel and what I can do.
What is a normal day on the road like for you? Can you walk me through it?
Zakk: Well on this tour specifically we don’t have an official tour manager so I have assumed most of the TM duties. In other words you really don’t want to know what a normal day on the road is like for me!
Do you find it difficult being away from family and friends for such an extensive period of time? How do you cope with the separation?
Zakk: I value family and friends so it is very difficult being away from them so often. To cope I just keep my focus on my long-term goals. I try and stay in contact with them as much as I can. Being away for so long helps me appreciate the time I do share with them even more.
What is the one thing you travel with that you just can’t live without?
Any closing words?
Zakk: Be sure to check out the new album! In stores early 2011! Let me know what you think about it. Thank you.