Often when we do a Q & A interview, it’s with a single member of the band, but recently we caught up with Tantric and the entire band answered our questions collectively. Tantric just released their 7th studio album Mercury Retrograde and are out on tour supporting this great album.
XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Tantric just released “Mercury Retrograde” (Oct 5 on all digital mediums, Walmart, FYE and Meijer store outlets on Pavement Entertainment).
We are launching a new tour 10/10 thru 11/18 with Wayland, Talia and Paralandra. This is the Official “Mercury Retrograde” Tour with a release party 10/20 in Bradley IL at the Looney Bin.
XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?
Tantric has been around since the late 90’s. After Days of the New dissolved, those 3 guys and Hugo put Tantric together and the band has been writing it’s history ever since. The current line up both touring and on the Mercury Retrograde album has been together almost 2 years.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?
There’s nothing like finding 3 or 4 other guys to do what you love with them, doing what they love. We all started in our teens, so we would forget chores, homework, cutting the grass and get in our garages or storage
spaces and pretend we were KISS or whatever other favorite band we wanted. It’s indescribable what we do, for better or for worse!
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Most of our backgrounds aren’t necessarily “Schooled”. Most of it is from the street so to speak. Sure, we have all taken some music direction or lessons at some point, some sort of a structured environment, but most of the learning comes from just doing it and finding out what you like and what you don’t like. Learning what’s right and wrong, and we’re still figuring it out today.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Tantric’s image is sort of like the saying; “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. It conveys whatever you want it to. Each of the 4 guys on stage bring their own vibe and feel to the band and the music is an entirely different animal. It’s dark, it’s curious, it’s anticipatory and it also delivers and brings it all home, but always leaves you wanting more, or so we hope.
XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
To continue to bring Tantric back to the masses wherever we need to go to get them. It’s a different day and age for bands like Tantric and we know there are fans out there. We are finding them and they’re finding us either for the first time or finding us again years later for the 2nd or 3rd time.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
It’s all important however we thrive in a live situation the best. Recording is what’s done after you’ve had the magic moment and wrote a song. There’s still a lot of magic and song development that happens in the studio as well, but we all play music for people who enjoy it and live is where we can get that connection. There’s no other connection that when someone can clock out of work on a Friday, get their little ones to the baby sitter, grab a few drinks with their favorite significant other, and go see a band where every show is different. You really can describe the vibe a band gets when they connect with an audience.
XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Songs are best left to the listener as to what they mean but Mercury Retrograde has songs about moving on from a person or situation that’s let you down, “Wanna Be’s” and lost loves. It’s got it all but we love to play a song and hear what fans get from it.
XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?
I suppose making sure we are reaching the people, not only in performances and that they’re good, but reaching them on a different level. Leaving them with something well after the show is over, the lights are off and the bus coughs out exhaust as we head to the next town. And hoping you’ll have us back again.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road?
Things these days are fairly tame but nonsense can still happen. From the time the bus was getting off the freeway and the trailer passed on the left continuing on the interstate, or the time we took a wrong turn and ended up traveling through the Rockies in Aspen on a two lane road, in the winter, In a Bus.
Playing a tattoo convention with all of the lights of the gymnasium on. It never ends it seems but mostly it’s business as usual.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
“Will you have my baby?” was a question once heard. The odd part is it seems as if she wanted us to actually give birth to the child. Now that’s looking for a miracle!
XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?
Rock band, jazz band, Christian band, they all support the cause. Our parents have put up with odd hours, interesting “looks” and clothing styles. Hiring attorneys to battle the neighbors down the street suing for noise issues during rehearsals, and other things. Coming to shows that start at 11pm, while they’re in their 60’s and 70’s. Yeah, our folks are definitely supportive of our choices to pursue and continue to do this. We play good music, so that helps.
XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?
Remember this is a business, and don’t forget to have fun doing it. You’ll see a lot of nonsense out there. People just phoning it in, not caring as much as you. Choose your battles but don’t compromise (too much). You’ll have to compromise a bit at times.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
We are all digging the new single “Letting Go” and we always dig the classics, “Breakdown”, “Mind Control”, “Fall Down”. And sometimes a different song will just hit at a venue and those nights are special when we connect with a crowd.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
We’ve all been inspired by different bands, some we grew up on, others our parent’s were playing in the house as we were kids. You have Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy, Neil Diamond, KISS, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, this list goes on.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
How about Kid Rock, Kings X and Tantric
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
The fact we get to wake up every day, and play music for people and take them away from their angry bosses, screaming kids, nosy neighbors and let them enjoy an experience that’s personal to each and every audience member. It’s a gift to do this.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
We’d all do music in some fashion, we just found a way to sustain a living at it. Some of us are mechanics, some know music management, others of us really just look at this as what we do.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Typically on “fly outs”, we are at the mercy of the promoter and support acts to supply gear and we’ve been fortunate in the past, so we thank those folks for that! Most of us are endorsed or have our go to companies that just put out the best stuff.
Rockett Drum Works, Sabian, Vater, Aquarian, Beato Bags and Cool Claws for drums. Ampeg and Orange for bass, Marshall and Les Paul for guitars.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
It always goes in waves and it seems as if a lot of bands from back in the day are back. Look at this month of October alone, new releases from Saliva, Tantric, Chevelle, 5FDP, Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown, Papa Roach… Puddle of Mudd is looking to release new material soon. They’re all out there right now spinning on radio. It’s a beautiful thing.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
We are all pretty handy in other ways and have outside interests. Some of us play softball, work on diesel trucks and knitting.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
See Tantric on the Mercury Retrograde Tour 2018 starting 10/11 through 11/18 and you can find those dates at www.TantricOfficial.com or www.Facebook.com/Tantric
Mercury Retrograde (The Album) is available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and at all finer outlets of Walmart, FYE and Meijer Stores.
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!
HUGO FERREIRA (VOCALS)
JARON GULINO (BASS)
SEBASTIAN LABAR (GUITARS)
TROY PATRICK FARRELL (DRUMS)