Interview mit Corey Barhorst von Black Tusk

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With „T.C.B.T.“ BLACK TUSK have released their first album after the tragic accidental death of bassist and singer Athon. The man who took Athon’s position, his old friend Corey Barhorst, reveals why the band decided to continue, what has changed in the band structure and what lies behind „T.C.B.T.“.

Your new album is entitled „T.C.B.T.“ – „Taking Care of BLACK TUSK“. What was the idea behind that title?
We have been using the „T.C.B.T.“ bolt for a few years for sticklers and patches, Athon and James actually came up with it. And we really felt as this album came together that it was the most appropriate title. It was what the band need to do. And want to say more less, as in we been a band and touring heavily for the last decade, been through a major loss, been moving forward.

To be honest, I did not get the concept of the artwork, I guess – what can we see here?
The artwork has to do with what I just said about the title, it’s actually a photograph of one of our road cases, and it’s also artwork in the background by Brian Mercer. We wanted something that was just dark and represent a new shift in the band. A lot of the last covers were all bright and colorful and very detailed. But we wanted to go with more of a DIY/punk-Xerox-flyer type look.

It’s only two years that you released „Pillars Of Ash“ – how did you manage to be that fast? Is there some old material featured or did you write all songs after the recordings to „Pillars Of Ash“?
Every material on this record is all new. It might seem fast, but two years is a long time. To have to be able to write and record a record next around all the touring. So  after „Pillars Of Ash“ came out, we did the rounds of touring for that record. And started mid 2016 working on this record. And doing shows here and there when we had time.

The album is out for some time now – are you satisfied with the feedback you got?
Totally, for the most part we seen some pretty good feedback and are definitely stoked on it. There has also been some negative feedback but that’s cool, too. You have to understand that not everyone is going to get it or like it. And that’s just fine.

And are you satisfied with the album yourself in each and every aspect, or did anything not work out as you imagined?
We are all extremely happy with the turnout of this record. If it didn’t work out the way any of us expected it to, it wouldn’t have been released.

Musicwise, it’s very typical BLACK-TUSK-material, with a lot of punk-attitude. Where do you see the main differences between this one and it’s predecessor?
Well the big differences between the two records is that it is a different lineup. Athon was playing bass and singing. And he was a huge contributor to the writing. And with this record, I joined. So basically the three of us it was sort of like a new band in a sense. Where Andrew and James obviously have worked with each other for a long time and me being the  newcomer. So the songwriting shifted a little.

I think the new one has a way better production – who was responsible for that, and what did you do different then last time?
Well for this record there was a couple of different people working together. Scary, our new guitar player, engineered the whole record and mixed. We also as a band were very closely involved with the recording aspect and the mixing. We actually recorded all the demos of the album ourselves at our practice space before we even entered the studio. So we all knew exactly what sounds, tones and direction The record was going to go in before we even stepped into the studio.

You have decided to proceed soon after the fatal accident. Did you ever question that decision?
Those guys all made a promise to each other to continue no matter what happened. And James and Andrew decided to do just that. BLACK TUSK meant the world to Athon, it would’ve been a disrespect to him to not continue on. And that’s why I was asked to join. I was really good friends with Athon, and respected his dedication. And liked the band, too.

Besides you there is with Chris Scary Adams also a new guitarist, making BLACK TUSK a quartet. Why did you decide to go this step and step away from being a trio on stage?
After finishing this record, we really wanted to add the second guitar player to help fill out the sound that we knew would be difficult as a three-piece.

By the way: Will there be some German dates in forseeable future?
Of course! We don’t have anything in concrete at the moment but definitely by spring time we should be over there.

Thank you for the interview! Please let us do a short brainstorming in the end of this interview:
Hamburg and Mexiconner shots
Your favorite movie: „The Road Warrior“ (the original 1980’s one)
Donald Trump: Dickheaded asshole
Your favorite album at the moment: Ha, confusion, they are like 30 at the moment! My go to is always „Plastic surgery Disasters“ by Dead Kennedys.
BLACK TUSK in 10 years: Old and on the road.

Once again thanks for your time. The last words are yours – is there anything left you want to tell our readers?
Do yourself a favor and buy the new record And we’ll see y’all soon!


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