Red Tide ‘Rising’
By: Emilee Franklin
Originally posted January 9th, 2015
Background about the band
Red Tide Rising first erupted into the national music scene circa 2012, having formed a few years earlier. The lineup was initially formed while the original band members were still in high school. After the band released their first six-track EP, The Inferno, they were invited on their first national tour, the “Blood Tour” with the band, In This Moment.
After the tour wrapped up, the band started work on their first album The Rising, which was released with 13 intense tracks in October 2013. On Red Tide Rising’s website, the band talked about how they chose to premiere the album on Itunes. Three singles were chosen to be released off the album before it premiered; “The Rising,” “Cold,” and “2:13.” According to the Red Tide Risings website, front man Matthew Whiteman says, “The ‘tastemaker’ singles were released because we wanted to give a preview of the album that was in the works. We chose to release three songs that would showcase the different intensities of the album.” The band has since released a music video for “The Otherside,” off the album, which has been received very well.
In July 2014 there was a brief lineup change, and Michael Lebois joined the band on Bass. He would go on to support the band in the fall of 2014, which included a 30-date national tour opening for Drowning Pool. Red Tide Rising current members include Matthew Whiteman (vocals), Andrew Whiteman (guitar), Matt Guerin (Drums), and Michael LeBois (Bass).
Red Tide Rising and the rest of the Unlucky 13 Tour made a stop in Spring Lake Park, Minnesota this past November, and that is where we met up with the band. The band was gracious enough to brave the freezing temperatures for an outside interview, since the tour bus was full.
Motivation to make music/cause
So how does a young band like this have such drive and the motivation to continue to make music, and push for the future, other than the dream of being rock stars? We believe that the answer lies partly with the area that they grew up in. The band hails from Denver, Colorado, not too far away from the famous 1999 Columbine school shooting, as well as the 2012 mass shooting inside an Aurora, Colorado movie theater during the release of The Dark Knight Rises. Now these events may not seem like they could be connected to something like motivation, but in many ways they have proven to be for Red Tide Rising.
Suicide and the things that may proceed it like depression, and drug or alcohol abuse, and mental illnesses are a problem around the world but seems to be especially prevalent, and in the news in this particular area. Suicide is one challenging concern that nobody ever wants to have to deal with, yet all of the band members have had to cope with it, and still do in their lives. As somber as it may sound, it is also one of their prime motivators. Matt and Andrew Whiteman , and Matt Guerin had classmates while in high school commit suicide, that the three of them knew. Not too long after the three had the idea to write a song in their honor, and play it for their high school talent show. Part of the talent show proceeds went towards the national suicide prevention organization “The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention with the Out of The Darkness” walks in their honor. At the time of the show, they hadn’t recorded the song yet. They went on to record the song and make a music video for the track “Finding Home,”and have continued to make donations off the sales of the song. Andrew Whiteman went on to say “It’s the least we can do to help out. So that’s where that kind of stems from, trying to honor them and to help the program to try and prevent more situations like that. I think that’s a big part of it yeah, it’s all personal to us you know.”
The organization that they donate to, “The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention” every years hosts “Out of the Darkness” walks around the United States to help with “understanding and preventing suicide through research, education, and advocacy.” The walks happen in local communities around the country in effort to raise awareness about suicide, and to provide some comfort and assistance to those who have lost someone to suicide. Most of the walks are somewhere between three to five miles, and the walkers include friends and family who may have lost someone to suicide, and other people who may not have experienced the loss but those who are in support of the cause.
Bassist Michael LeBois also has his own story with the subject having his brother pass away five years ago from suicide. Lebois says, “For me personally with this situation, I actually didn’t know that until right now (band members in the background in the interview said “welcome to the band.”) I am very public about my situation with that. I lost a brother five years ago. So knowing that was what that was about makes it ten times better.” He went on to say that “He is the reason that I am here,” playing music. The band members have found some light through their shadowy situations, and want to make this raise awareness of this issue to prevent more tragic stories.
Where they see the music industry, is live music dead?
In light of the recent controversial statements made by American rock God Gene Simmons bassist of Kiss, we asked Red Tide Rising what they thought of his comments on how “Rock is finally dead?” As expected, the band mates really didn’t appreciate his recent comments, as he is still touring with Kiss, and making these claims. They even went as far as to say that he is an idiot. Matthew Guerin chimed in that “I more or less agree that the music industry is in somewhat of a hiatus, but it is not dead at all. We play with so many bands and so many people.”
Matthew Whiteman responded quickly. “When he quotes, I live an average lifestyle, where is the validity of that? Really so being married to playboy model, living in the hills, having like 20 car garage spaces, that’s the average life?” asked Whiteman. “I think too what he’s speaking too is that no band will ever again reach Kiss status ever, which I completely agree with, but you don’t need to, you do not need to be that big to be successful,” Lebois added. With confident answers like those, it begged me to ask the question of “So you guys don’t care if you don’t make it to Kiss status?” Once again confidently in unison the whole band answered “No.”
“Go back to In This Moment right now,” said Whiteman. “They are doing well. The Fillmore for Denver is like 3500 capacity and they are doing that every night, and it’s selling out. That means that they are making some good money. Keep in mind that the ticket sales go to them partially then the merch is really where they make the money. “They have made it, so no they do not have to be at Gene Simmons level but they are going to find a lot of success and they are probably not going to have to work another day job in their life.” Guerin then piped in “Rock isn’t dead. It’s more of how hard are you are willing to pursue the life of rock, how hard are you going to work.” With comments like these it is clear that Red Tide Rising is willing to go the distance in order to pursue their dreams of “making it.”
Band members don’t think they have “made it” yet. The band mates went on to say that this is merely a stepping stone in their career. When will they feel they made it big? “Probably when the crowd actually knows who you are when you get on the stage,” said Matt Whiteman. “When my name is on top of the ticket I will feel satisfied not saying that opening up for touring bands and being on tour isn’t satisfying, it’s just that would be the ultimate.”“Part of the mindset of making it, I think we will all agree in this The first day on tour, we’re sharing the bus with Drowning Pool, we never expected at this point in our career that riding on a tour bus for a tour was a thing,” added his brother Andrew.“This has been a life changing experience for me,” said Lebois. “We all took a lot of risk to come out here too. I mean some of us left jobs and family behind to be here. We hope this is the start of a beautiful relationship that leads to craziness.” “It’s hard to define what making it really is to me,” said Guerin. “It’s more like alright what’s the next stepping stone, where’s the next mark in which we can get. For a while it like alright let’s get 2,000 fans on Facebook. We did that. Then 5,000 fans. We did that, now let’s get a cd label, and agency request.” “If you look at it as I want to being playing the state,” said Andrew Whiteman, “you’re not going to get there, because you have to think of how do you get there.”
Where do they see themselves in 10 years? Most of the band answered in unison, and all smiles, “Retired,” they joked. Within 10 years they would love to be seeing Fillmore-type venues (big concert auditorium in Denver that Marilyn Manson, Seether, and Papa Roach have headlined just to name a few), playing festivals, or world tours. Within this time they would also like to see themselves having the freedom to do the things that they want to do with their music, such as starting a new album at a particular time, or choosing to push it back.
Red Tide Rising is a bright young band full of energy, passion, and desire. If you don’t choose to join the rising now, be on the lookout for them in the next few years, and do not be surprised if they headline a show near you. Hopefully within that in 10 years, we will see them touring on the big circuit with a lot bigger bands, and headlining their own tours. It is only a matter of time with the level of dedication, and talent these musicians have.
One thing we already know: Minnesota wants you back!
#livemusicisdead #supportlocalmusic #supportplayinginstruments #rocknrollisdead #mnlovesmusic #coloradobands #denverscene
Please check out these links to learn more and support local artists, like Red Tide Rising!
Bands Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RedTideRising
Bands Twitter: https://twitter.com/redtiderising
Band Website: http://www.redtiderising.com/
Finding Home Music Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b_qtrgNQnM
The Otherside Music Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxxj2dzEML4
More Photos: http://www.efranklinphoto.com/p42214780
Out of the Darkness: http://www.afsp.org/out-of-the-darkness-walks