With a name like BackBlast, you’re expecting something fairly heavy and metallic… and you’d not be disappointed! With some more info about the band, here they are in their own words as they tackle our Band of the Day questions…
BackBlast is from just outside of Washington DC in Manassas, VA.
How did you meet?
Dan Cunningham (lead vocals) and Chris Tamberella (drums) are cousins and grew up in New Jersey together and were two thirds of the original lineup. Adam Pritcher (guitar/vocals) we met on social media and brought on board in 2016. Wilsen Rivera (bass) was a referral from a friend from another band from our area. Finally, we brought Jake Ford on at the end of 2017 on lead guitar. We met him at a show we were playing, believe it or not.
How long have you been playing as a band?
BackBlast was conceived in 2015 as a studio project with Dan Cunningham, Chris Tamberella and our original guitar Player Marcos Eguia. Originally, we were writing what is closer to hard rock and finished a 5-song EP we wrote, engineered and produced ourselves. It was only supposed to be a studio project. After we brought Adam Pritcher on board to take over on guitar, the music changed drastically towards metal and we quickly started taking gigs in our area. We’ve been up and down the east coast ever since.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
BackBlast came from our ties to the military. Dan (army), Adam (air force) and Wilsen (army) are all prior military. The backblast is a cone-shaped area behind a rocket launcher, rocket-assisted take-off unit or recoilless rifle, where hot gases are expelled when the rocket or rifle is discharged.
What are your influences?
Our influences are all over the place. It shows in our music for sure. Some of our biggest influences are bands like Lamb of God, Iced Earth, Black Sabbath, Dio, Arch Enemy, and much, much more. We are all different in the styles and artists we listen too.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
I would say our music is a mix of hardcore, power and progressive metal. I think what makes us unique is that you can hear so many different types of music within ours. We never have a goal while writing that we want to write any specific type of song. It’s what comes organically to us. Our vocals are brutal and then very clean at times. You can hear the hardcore and power metal influences. However, instrumentally you’ll hear some of that, but a strong mix of progressive, jazz, and so many other types. It’s what makes us happy and unique all at the same time.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Dan writes all the lyrics to our music. Most of our music is based off stories that he has constructed. For example, we recently released a 4-song concept EP based on the character “The Ringmaster”. He is an evil supernatural being that was a tortured soul during his mortal life. He has raised an army of the damned and is preying on the bullies and bigots of the mortal world. However, some of the new material is very personal. It really depends on what is going on in the world and in our personal lives.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
I think the best part of our band is our live show. We are high energy and do everything we can to make our shows a true interactive experience. If you ask our fans what they like best about BackBlast, usually it’s when we play live. I have no clue how many shows we’ve played at this point. But, I can tell you the best shows we’ve had over the past few years has been opening for Kataklysm, Tim “Ripper” Owens and Carach Angren.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Wildest thing? Geez… I would have to say that a “friend” of the band (who shall not be named) decided it would be a fantastic idea to feed all of us a shot after every song. Not only were we completely shit-faced during the set, but I don’t think any of us remember the next 4 hours after. I have no clue how we made it through the set, but our fans really thought it was hilarious.
I would say the funniest thing recently is we had a few hecklers at back to back shows. We were on the road up in New Jersey, and there was an absolutely hammered female screaming at us in between every song to play Motorhead and to do it for Lemmy. Just a few days later, we were playing a show in Woodbridge, VA and another drunk female kept yelling at Dan saying she couldn’t understand him and that she wanted to hear Lynyrd Skynyrd. Neither one of them was obliged.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
- Adam Pritcher – Guitar: Chapman Ghost Fret, Schecter Jeff Loomis Signature, Peavey 6505+, Marshall 1960a
- Chris Tamberella – Drums: Tama Starclassic Performer Bubinga/Birch – Sabian cymbals – Pearl DemonDrive double pedal – Evans head
- Dan Cunningham – Lead vocals: Shure GLXD24R/B87A-Z2 Beta87 Handheld Vocal Wireless Microphone System
- Wilsen Rivera – Bass: Warwick basses/strings, Bose L1 model II for amp combo darkglass for pedals
- Jake Ford – Guitar: Warwick basses/strings, Bose L1 model II for amp combo darkglass for pedals
What are your plans for 2018?
2018 has already started off as a banger. We had the pleasure of playing a Don Jamieson event up in New Jersey. Additionally, we’ve been able to hit Maryland, DC, VA and WV so far. We will be in the studio to track the new record in late September and hoping for a November or December release date.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Man, that is a very tough question. I would have to say a great opener from our local scene would be Hellpie, Croatoan, One Slack Mind or Silence the Blind. Yeah, I know that’s four different options, but those are some of our good friends from our area that we absolutely love playing with. We would love to support Lamb of God. First, they are also from Virginia. Second, their music has been consistently outstanding for 20 years. They are also one of the best live metal bands I’ve seen. The amount of energy they bring is insane. Something we try to emulate as a band.