Interview: Andrew Fidler of Black Tusk Talks ‘The Way Forward’

Sludgy Savannah powerhouse Black Tusk are back again with a new record, and this one has a sense of renewed energy and power. Ever since they lost founding bassist and vocalist Jonathan Athon to a motorcycle accident, the band have been struggling with loss, despair, and how to pick up the pieces. But now on The Way Forward, out now via Season of Mist, they are quite literally doing what the title says and finding a way ahead.

“This record was started in 2020, so we weren’t touring and nothing was really happening; we took our time,” says guitarist and vocalist Andrew Fidler. “In the past when we suffered a big loss, everything was derailed for several years, and then we kind of put it back together despite everything that’s been thrown at us. That’s kind of the idea behind the record—the highs and lows and being true to yourself in music, which is what we’ve somehow been able to do. This is what we’ve created, this is the way forward, what the band sounds like now and the direction we’re moving despite all the things that have happened. We’ve learned from it all, and we’re moving forward.”

While this is the band’s seventh album, it is the first with their new lineup featuring guitarist Chris “Scary” Adams and bassist Derek Lynch, as well as drummer James may. This is also the band’s first record with two guitarists.

“Having Derek in the recording studio and joining the band officially has been really great; he joined officially, and he’s been touring with us, but this is the first record he really got to write, so it was our first album writing with two people,” Fidler notes. The new dynamic of the band shows up on the renewed lineup, as they sound fiercer and more powerful than ever before.

And now that they’ve officially returned, there should be more to come.

“Our flow has always been, we write a record, release it, tour on the record, then write another record and tour on that. We’ve slowed down a bit, but now Scary, he’s an audio engineer, so he has access to, like, his own professional commercial studio. That means now we could create a song or two to release whenever we want, because it seems these days, bands always have to be releasing new things. But we’re excited to keep writing with this lineup and see what happens.”

The Way Forward is out now and you can order it from Season of Mist. Follow Black Tusk on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for future updates.

Photo courtesy of Adriana Ira Boatwright

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