Photograph by Chris Crisman
Rock of Ages
The only way young thrashers Black Tide can get into a bar is to be on the stage
By Karl Byrn
M iami-based metal sensation Black Tide offer the usual youth clichés—with the members ranging in age from 15 to 19, their current tour takes them into rock 'n' roll bars they can't get into as fans, but their solid music and accomplished professionalism belong to bands 10 years their senior.
Yet there's a greater irony for the young thrashers. After an appearance at the 2006 Florida Music Festival caught industry ears, they were invited to play the second stage at last summer's Ozzfest, but were quickly dropped due to Jägermeister's sponsorship of that stage. This underage no-no shifted to a chance to open shows on Ozzfest's main stage. "Without Jägermeister," bassist Zakk Sandler (above, far left) says in a recent phone interview with the Bohemian , "we might not be as big as we are today."
Black Tide come to Santa Rosa to headline a show with local heavy rockers Sarcoma and Alleged Alibi on March 25. Since playing Ozzfest, Black Tide have been touring as a support act for such established metal bands as All That Remains, but as their tour shifts to such headlining gigs as this Santa Rosa show, they're ready for grassroots connections. "A local audience is much more focused," Sandler says. "They're not as jaded, because they don't get as many live shows." Does Sandler look forward to these more intimate headlining gigs? He likes hearing people sing along to the band's songs. "Chances are we're going to have more fun in Tulsa, Oklahoma," he says, "than in New York City or L.A."
Black Tide's debut album Light from Above , released on March 18, echoes a variety of classic '80s power-thrash in the hook-oriented mode of Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Anthrax. The worthy hit single "Shockwave" has already been licensed to the acclaimed video game Rock Band. Sandler says the best aspect of the album is its eclecticism. Along with hits, there are, of course, longer, proglike tracks such as "Warriors of Time." Variety is good. Sandler says, "I like the album being all over everywhere."
Black Tide perform with local thrashers Sarcoma and Alleged Alibi at the Last Day Saloon on Tuesday, March 25. 120 Fifth St., Santa Rosa. 8 pm. $10; 21 and over. 707.545.5876.
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