From: United States
In 2008 Tantric released what can either be considered their third album or their first. The rock band had been resurrected from the ashes by singer Hugo Ferreira after the group released two highly successful albums (2001’s self-titled platinum debut and 2004’s After We Go) and essentially called it quits. The End Begins, although technically Tantric’s third album, represented a new beginning and, in a way, a new band. The album was a success, spawning a Top 5 Active Rock single with “Down and Out.” Now, the album’s follow-up, Mind Control, firmly establishes that this inception of Tantric isn’t just a reincarnated version of an old band, but a career band with an unmistakable vision of who they are.
After spending nearly two years on the road, both headlining and supporting bands like Saliva and Drowning Pool, the band members of Tantric returned home to begin penning their new album. Except home, for each member, was a different place in the U.S. So instead of sitting together in a rehearsal space in the same city, the members of Tantric wrote separately, sending files electronically to Hugo, who compiled them into working demos. After a few months, the band had written almost thirty songs.
“It was a really unique way of approaching a record,” Hugo says. “It was definitely more of collaboration than the last record in terms of writing. And we wrote it together even though we were thousands of miles apart. I don’t know how, but we really wrote an incredible record in a short period of time. I’ve always wanted to make a record like this.”
The band then reconvened in the secluded studio in Poconos where they had recorded their last album, The End Begins. There they spent a week playing the songs live and experimenting with what they had written long distance for Mind Control. Inevitably, some of the numbers shifted and evolved during that week.
“We had written the whole record over the computer,” Erik says. “So a lot of it changed once we got into the studio. When you have everyone in the same room the ideas start changing. ‘What if we do this? What if we do that?’ We definitely went heavier on this record, too. I think it has a lot to do with having all new members. This is the new band, full on and writing together. We never said ‘Let’s write a heavier record,’ this is just what happened.”
Brett Hestla joined the band in the studio to co-produce the record, bringing his experience as both a producer and a musician in bands like Creed and Dark New Day to help Tantric make the album the best it could be. The entire album was recorded in less than a month, with the band averaging a song every day and a half. That efficiency and clarity of vision is evident on the resulting album, which surges with confidence and streamlined intent.
“It just felt really natural,” Hugo says. “The band gets along really well. Everyone’s work ethic was strong. Brett really brought out the best in us. I think ultimately that’s why we were able to deliver a record so quickly.”
The songs on Mind Control are far ranging both in terms of lyrical content and sonic aesthetic, something the band feels truly encapsulates who they are as artists. The title track and first single, “Mind Control,” a song about the media, sits on the heavier end of the spectrum, chugging with propulsive guitars and an arena-ready rock melody. “What Are You Waiting For,” fills the other end of the spectrum, an emotionally urgent power ballad that immediately engages its listener. The album, as a cohesive whole, reveals the band that Tantric has become. After a tumultuous ten-year career, a shifting of members, and four albums spent searching for themselves, Tantric has solidified their line-up and crafted an album that successfully represents who they are.
“My goal is always to do what I love and survive at it,” Hugo says. “But I would like this record to take us farther than the last record. I would like it to establish Tantric as this band that’s not going anywhere. We’ve been here for four records already and every record that we’re delivering is getting better. I’m so proud of this record. It’s the one I’ve always wanted to make.”