Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Dan Cunningham (Lead Vocals), Chris Tamberella (Drums), Wilsen Rivera (Bass), Jake Ford (Lead Guitar), Adam Pritcher (Guitar/Vocals)
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to BackBlast? How long has the band been around?
BackBlast started as a recording project only with Dan, Chris and our former guitarist Marcos Eguia. After about 6 months of writing, we all wanted to take our music to the live stage. We added our former bass player and Adam on guitars is 2016, and we started playing live. Our former bass player and us parted ways in 2017, and we added Wilsen and a 2ndGuitarist Jake shortly after.
Dan – I was the vocalist for the metal band Kaivol Motak based out of Virginia Beach for 4 years. Those guys are still some of my closest friends.
Wilsen – I was involved in numerous projects (Kaemon, Bourne of Ash, Greythor, Pandora’s Box, Sanguinus and Wilsen’s Sessions).
Jake - My first band was black onyx. Yes, black black rock was essentially their name. It was super fun to be in but ended after a few years. After that I was filling in in whatever band I could find. One of those bands was Inferion. They're based out of Miami and have been together since the late nineties. I still fill in and help those dudes out.
Adam and Chris - played in some side projects but nothing on a serious level.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
The name BackBlast came from our military origins. 3 of our 5 members are veterans (Dan and Wilsen were in the Army, and Adam was in the Air Force). A BackBlast is a cone-shaped area behind a rocket launcher, rocket-assisted takeoff unit or recoilless rifle, where hot gases are expelled when the rocket or rifle is discharged. Originally, we couldn’t quite decide on what to name the band, but once we came up with BackBlast it has stuck.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Lyrically, Dan writes all of the lyrics. Musically, our songs usually evolve from Guitars. Jake and Adam work really hard on coming up with the structure of the song before presenting it to the band as a whole. Once we have that, Chris and Wilsen will put the drums and bass parts on. Last, we add the vocals. As far as our lyrical themes and topics, It changes pretty frequently.
The only time it hasn’t is when we wrote our latest release “The Ringmaster”, which is a 4 song EP telling one story. Most of the stories or themes overall vary depending on the feeling of the music, what’s going on in our lives, what's happening in the world and more. One thing we pride ourselves on in really not trying to force things musically or lyrically. It’s whatever comes organically in the process and what makes sense to us as musicians and as a fan.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
This question always makes us cringe, because all five of us have varying tastes in music. I thinks bands like Kamelot, Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Anthrax, Sevendust can all be heard in our music. Musically, all of us come from varying backgrounds musically, so it really is a mesh of a ton of different styles.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Dan – The first Metal show I saw was Puya, Ill Nino and Lamb of God in 2000. It was an absolute shock to my system and made me want to be on a stage.
Chris - Countless bands inspired me to play drums but seeing a Slipknot/Lamb of God show fully inspired me to start a band.
Adam - My first metal show seeing In Flames and Iced Earth was probably the biggest inspiration for it.
Wilsen - Jaco pastorius inspired my love for jazz and trying different stuff on the bass.
Jake - I would say it wasn't a concert or band or anything that made me want to play, it was my Dad. He plays bass and fucking shreds!! I thought it was so cool and wanted to be like dad so I tried bass and a few other instruments but landed on guitar. The rest just kind of fell in place.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, ect …
12 ounce curls of the cheapest draft on tap! Seriously, some of us stretch, a few vocal exercises but overall not too much. Our live show is very in your face and crowd pleasing. It’s really something we take pride in. All of us have big personalities, so we are pretty loose before any show.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
2017 was a great year for us. We had the pleasure of opening for Kataklysm, Tim “Ripper” Owens and Carach Angren. All of those shows were massive for us from an exposure stand point and allowed us to catapult that into getting tour dates throughout the East Coast.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Another tough question! There are so many incredible bands that we love. I guess if we had to pick one it would be Lamb of God. First, their also from Virginia. Second, they are not only an incredible band, but bring so much energy to their live shows.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
2017 was incredible for our band, and 2018 has already started strong. We are headed to the studio in the fall to track our new record. We would like to give a massive shout out to all of our fans, friends, family for allowing us to make this possible. We can’t wait for people to hear the new material!