Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Interview With Tantric

Bleachers brought another big band to the city, and it was Tantric.
Tantric, made up of Hugo Ferreira on vocals, Marcus Ratzenbeck on Electric Violin, Joe Pessia on guitar, Erik Leonhardt on bass and Kevin Figueiredo on drums.
In 1999, the band came together when three former members of Days of the New — Jesse Vest, Todd Whitener and Matt Taul — and Merge singer Hugo Ferreira started the band C-14. The name C-14 was later changed to Tantric and the group was signed to Maverick Records.
The guys’ first album was self-titled and debuted in February 2001, reaching No. 193 on the Billboard 200. The album went platinum because of the hit single “Breakdown” and the touring they were doing with Kid Rock and Creed at the time.

In 2004, they released their second album, “After We Go,” but the band, as it was, ended. The third album introduced new band members Pessia, Leonhardt, Ratzenboeck and Figueiredo. Ferreira brought them all together and they brought Tantric back from the dead.

The third album, “The End Begins,” spawned the Top 5 Active Rock single “Down and Out.” The song has a very well known opening thanks to the talents of Ratzenbeck on his violin.

Ratzenbeck has a long history of playing various instruments, starting with the guitar while he was in middle school and then moving onto the violin and even playing in orchestras.

“I wasn’t performing rock at all,” said Ratzenbeck. “I was teaching violin at the University of Louisville and I got into some session work and then playing as a ringer for some bigger bands.”

Ratzenbeck grew up around music and listened to mostly everything.
“I was big into Led Zeppelin, but I listened to whatever my dad was listening to,” said Ratzenbeck. “I listen to pretty much everything.”
Yet, when Ratzenbeck and the rest of Tantric are on tour, he doesn’t pay much attention to the radio.
“I stay out of touch,” he said.
Tantric has toured with some great bands in the past, but a few bands really stuck out for them.
“We really like playing with Shinedown, Three Doors Down and Alice in Chains, because a lot of our fans are Alice in Chains fans,” said Ratzenbeck.
The band put together their latest album, “Mind Control,” after touring for two years, headlining and supporting bands like Saliva and Drowning Pool. “Mind Control” came together not in a rehearsal space, but from the band member’s homes scattered across the United States. What they wrote separately, they’d send as electronic files to Ferreira, who would make them into working demos. “It was a really unique way of approaching a record,” said Ferreira. “It was definitely more of collaboration than the last record in terms of writing. And we wrote it together even though we were thousands of miles apart. I don’t know how, but we really wrote an incredible record in a short period of time. I’ve always wanted to make a record like this.”

With a host of popular singles, Tantric touches on all their hits from all the records. Yet, when deciding which one is Ratzenbeck’s favorite to perform, it becomes a very tough decision.

“It’s really hard to pick, it’s like picking one of your children. The highest energy level is ‘Down and Out,’” he said.

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