St. Louis Band Takes Strides In the Music Industry

Tidal Volume is no “high school” band. Playing at local Saint Louis venues, recording an album and constantly working on new material have not only helped them to create a large and loyal fan base, but make some serious connections in the local music scene as well. And now that (almost) all of these boys have graduated to the college life, their music has evolved with them.

College Gloss Mizzou sat down to talk to them about their start, sound and future shows.

How did you guys get started as a band?

TV: In mid-to-late 2010 was when things with our band became serious. Matt and Zach Sullentrup (brothers) had been playing together for a year when Andrew Scherping, (a friend from high school), entered the group. There was a Battle of the Bands scheduled at our high school, but in order for it to be a real “battle,” they needed one more band … and we signed up to save the De Smet music scene.

When did you record your first album, "Letters from the Coast of Somewhere?"

TV: Our album was a long time coming. Once we had the songs set, it was just a matter of getting in the studio to record them. In January and February of 2011, we went to a studio in Wentzville to record LFTCOS. We’d been self-recording demos for a while, but then we finally got in the studio. It was a good first album. We learned a lot about the process of making music and the necessary trial and error and clean-up involved in making something great.

How would you describe the sound of Tidal Volume?

TV: The songs and music are very scattered … in a good way. We wanted to try a bunch of different things, and we all pulled inspiration from different musical influences: Zach, 18, guitarist and lead vocalist, was really into a lot of different things; Matt, 16, drummer, was into more underground rock; Andrew, 18, bassist, listened to a lot of different things, as well; Jake, 19, guitarist and back-up vocalist, was interested in pop-punk music; And Will, 18, keyboardist and back-up vocalist, was a bit of a metal head. So, in a way, if you add up all of our musical influences, you end up with the common ground of Tidal Volume, really fun, upbeat pop-rock.

Do you have a favorite show or favorite moment while performing?

TV: Our release show and our last show, Tidal Funeral, were some favorites. With our release show, it was the first time we headlined, and we were really excited to get back on stage after making our album. At our last show, we had total control of the show without the stress of the album. It was our best performance at a show, yet. Our first “Wreck the Halls” Christmas show was fun, too, because people were really getting into the music and dancing. If there aren’t dance circles, then we aren’t doing something right. People were really excited.

Do you partake in any pre- or post-show rituals?

TV: We usually spend the day of the show together. We get food, hang out and go to the venue early. We do a joke pep-talk in the green room and do standard vocal warm-ups. We usually walk on stage to an upbeat rap song. After the show, if we’re headlining, we won’t be done until about midnight. Then we usually sell merchandise and hang out with the staff at different venues. Afterwards, we go to Steak ‘n Shake, which is “on Tidal Volume.” The day after a show is always “nap day.” 

What are you working on now? Any new projects?

TV: We’re recording a new single in a couple weeks. We’ll do that before we go back to school. The B-Side of the album will be an acoustic recording of “Letters from the Coast of Somewhere New.” And we’ll release a digital recording of that for free for our fans, just for fun. We’re also hoping to do a show in Columbia this spring, do a little touring, and then we’ll probably do another show in Saint Louis this summer.

Zach: Matt and I are working on some new projects. I think it's healthy to do different things if you’re in a band because then when you come back to the band, you’re more excited to work on things, you’re refreshed. But right now, we’re working on The Natural Anthem (a new group), which I’m still writing songs for. We’re not going to rush it, though. We want the album we make to be exactly how we want it. Sometimes it’s good to wait and not rush things in order to ensure that your product is what you want it to be.

Matt: For The Natural Anthem, Zach had been sending me demos over the last semester. We’ve been doing things digitally where he would send me demos, I would work on drums, and then when he would come home for a weekend during the semester, we would work on it together. And our first show was Wreck the Halls (II). It was kind of test more than anything, just to see how the songs translated live and what people thought.

How is The Natural Anthem different from Tidal Volume?

Zach: Tidal Volume was my first experience with writing seriously. It was a lot about overall appeal. I was writing songs for Tidal Volume. With The Natural Anthem, it was an escape from that mindset. I was writing music for the sake of writing music that was really personal and honest, and I was focusing a lot more on lyrics.

Do you have any hopes for the future of either Tidal Volume or The Natural Anthem? 

TV: We’re going to keep doing what’s fun for us. We’ll push projects and pursue bands or ideas that we think would be most fun for us and for potential fans. I don’t expect to “make it,” I just like doing it. We have fun. The day Tidal Volume or whatever project stops being enjoyable is that day that we’ll move onto something else. It’d be nice if one of these projects would break big, but it’s not about some childish, rock star dream; it’s about doing something that we think is cool and hopefully other people will think is cool, too.

Check out Tidal Volume's Facebook page or visit their website to listen and download their music!

By: Marisa Tesoro | Images: 1, 2, 3, 4


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