Revolver has teamed with Tetrarch for an exclusive white vinyl variant of their new album Unstable. Quantities are limited to just 100 worldwide — so order yours before they're gone!
There are so many bands out there doing so many interesting things, it's hard to know where to turn. That's why we've created Crash Course, a recurring feature offering a concise introduction to a band or artist that we think slays, covering their origins, process and vision. Our latest subject is Tetrarch, a rising L.A.-via-Atlanta outfit that delivers a fresh take on nu-metal–infused metalcore, as heard on their Napalm Records debut, Unstable.
Tetrarch's roots stretch back to 2007 when singer/guitarist Josh Fore and resident shredder (and bass-fishing enthusiast) Diamond Rowe were just teenagers growing up in Atlanta. After discovering their shared love of metal, the pair formed Tetrarch — and have been hitting it hard ever since. In the ensuing years, the band has self-released four EPs and one full-length (2018's Freak), toured as much as possible and even landed some high-profile regional gigs opening for big-named acts including Avenged Sevenfold and Alter Bridge.
But if the success of Unstable's crushing debut single "I'm Not Right" is any indication — the track cracked the Top 40 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Songs chart and its video has 1.5+ million views — Tetrarch are about to have their breakout moment.
Below, we caught up with singer-guitarist Josh Fore to find what out what makes Tetrarch tick.
WHO IS TETRARCH — CAN YOU GIVE US A BRIEF HISTORY ON HOW YOU CAME TOGETHER?
JOSH FORE Tetrarch actually has a pretty fun backstory. I met Diamond in the 7th grade at the private school in the Atlanta area that we both attended. I had been playing guitar for a couple of years and had started jamming with a couple of my friends who also had picked up the drums and bass. Diamond started playing guitar and was getting super serious about it and asked if she could jam with us. I notoriously told our old drummer at the time — like an idiot — that, "I didn't want a girl in the band." He convinced me though to give her a shot and after one song of playing with her I knew we had something special. So we would go over every single weekend jamming for hours and hours and helped solidify the unbreakable bond that we still have to this day.
We started out mostly playing covers of bands like Green Day, Metallica, the Ramones, etc. but by the 10th grade we were ready to write music of our own. We had started getting into heavier bands and metal was the obvious genre for us. I can still vividly remember being in history class in 10th grade when our teacher was teaching us about a "tetrarch." Tetrarch was basically a government ruled by four people and when we heard the word both me and Diamond agreed that it was a perfect metal band name and we have never looked back. We still argue to this day over who actually suggested we use the name. [Laughs]
IF YOU HAD TO DESCRIBE YOUR BAND'S MISSION STATEMENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
"Keep pushing." One of my favorite things about our band is the fact that we have never given up. We have always seen every obstacle as an opportunity to grow and to make our own path. We have had the same goal since we were 13 or 14 years old which is to be one of the biggest bands in the world and we will do any and everything it takes to make that a reality.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO EXTREME METAL?
Interestingly enough Diamond is the person who actually got me into the heavier styles of music. Growing up my favorite band of all time was Metallica. I knew they were metal but that was the only "metal" band or style I was familiar with. Diamond though was always showing me DVDs at her parents' house of various bands and one that stood out in particular was her Ozzfest 2005 DVD. I remember her playing me Trivium's "A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation" from that performance and I was instantly hooked. That was the first song that got me into screaming and opened the door to discover even heavier sides of the genre.
BEING IN A BAND, WHAT'S THE HARDEST CHALLENGE YOU HAVE COME ACROSS SO FAR, AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?
The hardest thing about being in a band especially in the beginning is just having too many people in your ear. Everybody from friends and fans to other bands will always have an opinion of what you should do and how you should sound or look. We found that keeping to ourselves and trusting our own instincts has paid off immensely. We are never scared to go with our gut and so far it has always proved beneficial. We always listen to others' opinions but at the end of the day you only get one shot to follow your dream and we will live and die by our own decisions.
OBVIOUSLY LIVE SHOWS ARE ON HOLD RIGHT NOW. BUT BEFORE COVID WHAT WAS YOUR PRESHOW RITUAL?
Shows for me are the best part about being in a band. Recording songs is insanely fun but it can't even touch the feeling and energy of playing for a live audience. I grew up watching bands in huge arenas and stadiums and was always drawn to the acts that really knew how to entertain a crowd. Before a show I mentally prepare myself to go to another level and side of myself. I live to be an entertainer so preshow is all about getting into the right mindset to perform. When the first note starts, I leave everything I have on that stage.
WHAT IS THE BEST, AND WORST, PART OF BEING ON TOUR FOR YOU?
The best part about being on tour is for sure the show itself. I love being in a different city every night with an opportunity to perform and entertain an audience. It is such a rush and something I absolutely live for. It is also amazing on the road to be surrounded by the people you are closest with traveling around and seeing things and places that a lot of people only dream of. There is honestly no worst part of being on tour for me. We in Tetrarch have always embraced life on the road and have found humor in some of the worst situations. From starting out sleeping in Walmart parking lots in the freezing cold of Montana to having our old van breakdown in the middle of Missouri we have always found comfort in the fact that we are our doing something we love and are doing something special together.
WHAT'S THE WEIRDEST PLACE YOU EVER SLEPT ON TOUR?
Weirdest place I have slept on tour has to be from one of the first times we got out west to Los Angeles. We had a few off days in the city and stayed in Hollywood with a friend of ours Patrick who is now our production manager. I didn't feel like being crammed inside an apartment with everyone so I grabbed a yoga mat, pillow and blanket and slept outside on the porch facing the communal pool. The temperature was amazing and I got some of the best sleep I ever have. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy but I enjoyed it. [Laughs]
WHAT'S THE CRAZIEST, OR MOST MEMORABLE, THING THAT'S EVER HAPPENED AT ONE OF YOUR SHOWS?
That is a tough question because there have been so many crazy things that have happened and every show is so unique. One image I will never get out of my mind though was during our set at Epicenter Festival in 2019 when I kept noticing a crowdsurfing "bacon." This dude had gone all out in a bacon costume and as hard as I tried to stay intense and aggressive onstage, every time I saw him riding to the front I just lost it died laughing.
HAVE YOU DEVELOPED ANY NEW CREATIVE ROUTINES OVER THE LAST YEAR DURING THE PANDEMIC'S LOCKDOWNS?
The pandemic lockdown has definitely been interesting. I've never really been one to go out too much as I've always very much been a homebody. But staying in even more than I normally would has allowed me to reconnect with my guitar from a fun perspective. I pick it up constantly throughout the day like I did when I was a kid playing songs and coming up with random ideas. I have been learning some random genres and such so I'm interested to see how I will twist all that and bring influences into the Tetrarch sound in the future.
OUTSIDE OF THE BAND, AND MUSIC IN GENERAL, WHAT ARE YOUR PASSIONS?
The band takes up the majority of my time, but outside of it I am definitely the sports guy of the group. I am a diehard fan of all things Atlanta: Braves, Falcons, Hawks. I have also gotten obsessed with golf so I have been playing that a ton and really been starting to improve. I'm actually super excited to get on the road again and play some courses on off days all over the world.
DO YOU HAVE ANY MUSICAL INFLUENCES THAT MIGHT SURPRISE LISTENERS, AND HOW WOULD YOU SAY THEY IMPACT YOUR OWN CREATIVITY?
I am all over the place when it comes to what I listen to. Metal will always be my number one and it is without a doubt the most exciting and rewarding style to play and perform. But I definitely love listening to all kinds of stuff. Green Day is tied with Metallica for my favorite band of all time, but I also listen to things like country and pop and everything in between. My favorite thing about music is that there is no right or wrong. Everyone can listen to anything they want as long as it brings them joy.
As far as creativity goes, I strongly feel like listening to things outside of the genre I play can help spark new ideas. It's easy to get in a rut writing the same type of riffs listening to the same music all the time so I like to throw in some curveballs and kinda cleanse the creative palate.
WHAT BAND OR MUSICAL ARTIST ARE YOU THE BIGGEST FAN OF? ANY SUPERFAN STORIES?
Without a doubt Metallica and Green Day are the bands I am a superfan of. It's funny because I made myself a couple playlists on Spotify of what was supposed to be some of my favorite songs by both of them, but I now realize I pretty much picked their whole discographies to make the cut.
I did get the opportunity to meet Metallica in 2004 through a friend of my dad's and one thing has always stuck out to me from that experience. First it was amazing how genuine and kind they were to each and every fan they met. That is something I have always tried to emulate with Tetrarch. I will always talk to any and every fan that comes up to me or I run into because we do this for them, and I know how it feels to be on the other side of that barrier.
The other thing I took with me was from meeting Kirk Hammett. I had a guitar with me that I wanted to get signed and when he saw it he told me to play him something. So I played him the lead intro to "Fade to Black." I still have the picture at my parents' house of him smiling over me while I play it. After I was done he asked me if I had a band which of course I told him yes. He told me to never quit and that has stuck with me to this day. He would never remember that but it's amazing how words can affect a kid. I hope to inspire others in that same way.
IF YOU COULD ONLY PLAY ONE OF YOUR SONGS FOR SOMEONE TO INTRODUCE THEM TO YOUR BAND, WHAT SONG WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
If I could only pick one song it would have to be our song "Freak" from our debut record. It was the perfect combination of catchy and heavy and an easy introduction into who Tetrarch is!