Rising Rockers, Like A Storm, have made massive strides over the years and have created a global presence that stems from remaining grounded in their humanness. On the brink of the release of their new album, ‘Catacombs’, Like A Storm have been creating unique experiences for their fans that allow them to spend quality time and dig beneath the surface with the band. I caught up with Drummer, Zach Wood, to discuss the release of ‘Catacombs’, the deep meaning behind the album, his latest tattoo and much more.
Congrats on the upcoming release of your third studio album, ‘Catacombs’. Tell us about the creative and recording process this time around and what you guys learned about the band throughout the process.
The inspiration for this release originally came about back in 2015 when we were on tour in Europe. We had a day off in France and we actually went to visit the Catacombs of Paris. It was pretty life-changing because there really is death all around you and it is pretty surreal to see. Our Vocalist, Chris, had an idea about metaphorically comparing this release to how everyone has their own catacombs and feelings that are trapped underneath below the surface of themselves. Back when we started touring in 2016 with Gojira and Alter Bridge, we were really influenced by the style of Gojira. They are just so heavy and it really pushed us to want to create heavier music because we were in the midst of figuring out the music that we liked and what was more fun to play live. We wanted to challenge ourselves. This album is a lot heavier than our other stuff. It definitely tested our musicianship. It took months and months of practicing and really mastering our craft. This album and the meaning behind the songs is all about internal feelings that people have and fight through and how you choose to express them and deal with them. And that is the catacombs inside of everyone.
That’s so cool and such a unique metaphorical experience that you are creating for the listener. At this time, people are becoming a lot more vulnerable and expressive with the way that they are feeling. I think that it is great when musicians use their art to express themselves and aid in creating a deeper connection with their fans.
It’s true. It’s definitely what we wanted to do. We like making music that comes from the heart. We want to write how we really feel. I am super excited to see what the people who listen to the album think of it. Our first single, “The Devil Inside”, is doing really well so far. I hope that it is a sign that we will be album to reach more people with this album.
For sure. You guys had a really unique listening party experience with fans in Vegas. Did you end up making it out this past weekend?
Yes! It’s a funny story because I had jury duty during that time frame. Every night leading to it, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to make it out while I was waiting to call in to see if I had to go to jury duty. The night before the listening experience in Vegas, I had to call the jury at 7:00pm and luckily, I found out that I wasn’t needed! So, I drove to Vegas the night before the listening experience and stayed there to sign the ‘Catacombs’ albums and then the following day, I was stoked because I got to attend the listening experience with a bunch of fans. It was taken really well.
Awesome. I saw that there are fans that will be able to jump on your tour bus as well throughout the tour?
Yeah. We usually tour in something called a bandwagon which is basically a semi-truck that is converted into a tour bus. It is really cool and definitely does the job. But, as we are heading out on the road with Shinedown and Godsmack, we are actually getting a legit tour bus. We are going to have a few fans come on the bus and hang out with us every night for 30 minutes! We love doing that. It is always a good time and experience to share stories with your fans. We actually did another listening party in Chicago and it was amazing because we had people fly from all around the world to listen to the album before it was released. I think that it is something that we are going to continue to do on releases in the future.
That’s great. Let’s talk tattoos. You have work that was done at Black Anchor Collective in California, right?
I do. I would say that 90% of my tattoos are from Black Anchor Collective. I have the occasional tour tattoo that I have collected while I was on the road but majority of my work has been done by Aric Taylor. He was actually on the last season of Ink Master. I just got a new tattoo three days ago! I got ‘Catacombs’ tattooed across my back with a cool, haunted theme and font with ‘2018’ in roman numerals. For me, it is the first album that I recorded with Like A Storm. I joined the band right when ‘Awaken The Fire’ was released back in 2015. I wanted to commemorate my first album that I ever recorded in the studio and the first album that I contributed to that I will be playing on tour.
Also, since the last time that we talked, I got my hand tattooed by Aric Taylor as well. It is a continuation of the mandala theme that I have tattooed on the upper half of my arm. It goes from my wrist and all the way to my knuckles. I am starting to run out of room!
That is meaningful. What are some tips that you have for up and coming artists pertaining to remaining creative and expanding your horizons as a band?
Don’t be afraid to write and play any style of music that you want to write or play. I mean, music is a form of self expression and in the business, you hear a lot of people say that you have to do this or that, but that’s not necessarily true at all. Music is how you interpret it. You have to stay true to yourself. Show your true colors. People appreciate that and can tell the difference between something real and something generic. You can tell when someone is passionate about what they do.
Totally. Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans or anything else that you want to share about ‘Catacombs’?!
Our album comes out on June 22nd and you can catch us on tour this July and August with Godsmack and Shinedown. We love meeting our fans and couldn’t do this without you. We cannot thank you all enough for your support. It’s amazing to hear all of your stories and hopefully I get to see you this summer!
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