Tetrarch’s dual-guitar attack is ferocious and straightforward. Rowe handles the leads and Fore handles the rhythm parts. “The parts that beef up the choruses and the lead lines … that’s always me,” Rowe explains.” Live if there’s a certain part that’s easier for Josh to do while he’s singing, we'll go ahead and switch.” Photo by Jenn Curtis
Did you have to modify your pedalboard so you could do those things live?
Yeah. I have a Line 6 POD HD Pro X in my rack that I use for all my effects. You can use it for amp simulation, too, but I bypass the amp simulation tones and just use it straight for effects.
So, you programmed all your settings into that before you went on tour?
Yeah, because I use a Voodoo Lab Ground Control Pro to switch all my patches with.
There’s some cool stuff on there. Like on the song “Break the Trend,” it sounds almost like keyboards or synths. What are you doing to create those sounds?
Actually, those are keyboards. We had a guy that we know from Atlanta, he does sounds and electronics, but he’s also a keyboard player. We had him throw some stuff on in a couple places throughout the songs.
Do you recreate those sounds live on guitar?
Live, we don’t do those. On that song live, the predominant lead part that you hear, that’s the part that I play. There are a few guitars and a few effects and synths, so we just take the parts that people probably hear the most and recreate those live.
Now that you’re using the POD HD, are you still using stompboxes?
No. Everything is running out of that POD. All I have is my Ground Control footswitch and that’s it. I’m thinking about switching over to some stompbox pedals after this tour. They’re a little more versatile, I think, and you can get a lot more of what you want out of them. But the idea of switching my rig around gives me so much anxiety.
I saw that you were using a Tube Screamer, which is not a typical heavy metal pedal. What’s that for?
Man, see, my main amp is a Mesa Triple Rectifier and they’re very odd amps. You really have to dial them in perfectly to get what you want. But the only way I got it to be exactly how I wanted was to use the Tube Screamer, the TS9, on top of it for rhythms. My TS9 is always on. It just adds a little more gain—a little more chunkiness and depth to my amp.
Even now with the POD, you still have the Tube Screamer on?
Do you show up with the songs written and ready to go or do you compose in the studio?
I’m not going to lie. Some bands go into the studio and they bang out songs so fast. We’re not the fastest songwriters, unfortunately. I wish we were. Usually we go in the studio and the songs are about 80 to 85 percent done. Usually the most work we have to do is on the vocals—on lyrics and vocal melodies. Usually the music is pretty much done. Obviously, when you get in the studio, things get rearranged. Luckily, it usually goes quickly.
Talk about songwriting. What’s your process? Do you and Josh come up with riffs, save them to your phone, jam as a band?
Me and Josh live together now that we’ve moved to L.A. [from Atlanta], so it’s easy. Usually he’ll come up with a riff or a full song, or I’ll come up with a riff or a full song. We’ll demo it out in our own room and then call the other one in and say, “Check this out.” Then we work together on what we have.
Does the band track live or do you get a good drum track and then replace all the guitars and bass?
We usually do it one at a time. We lay down a scratch track for the drums and he’ll record to those. Then we edit the drums. Then we do guitars and bass, and then vocals, and then leads.
Is the album mixed with you in one speaker and Josh in the other, or is it more complicated?
On this record Josh recorded most of the rhythms. But on our EPs, it’s me on one side and Josh on the other.
What’s the secret to getting your tone in the studio?
We used a Peavey 6505 and that’s the secret to studio tone for metal. That or an EVH. That’s the tone that’s flawless for metal records and that’s predominantly what we used on this record. I think that’s on every recording we’ve ever done.
Why don’t you get one to take on the road with you?
God, everyone keeps saying that! Josh, the other guitar player, plays an EVH now and everyone asks me, “You don’t want to get a 6505?” I’m just married to my amp. I’ve had it for so long. But when I do get the guts, the bravery, to switch over, it will be to that. I get emotional connections to my gear.
Diamond Rowe shreds her way through Tetrarch’s “Relentless,” from the band’s EP of the same name. She’s playing a composite of her own searing lead lines and singer-guitarist Josh Fore’s rhythm parts, on a Kirk Hammett ESP LTD KH-602. Note the skull-and-crossbones inlays.