If you were into hardcore music back in the 1990s, then chances are you were a fan of Quicksand. The band erupted out of New York in the early 1990s and delivered two genre-changing albums with Slip and Manic Compression before splitting up. The most notable member was bass guitarist Sergio Vega who would, later on, become the bassist for Deftones.
Now Quicksand is back together and has just delivered the very brutal Interiors album. Vega took time out to chat to Heavy Mag, and straight away, told us that the entire band is very excited about their forthcoming tour to Australia alongside Thursday. It’s the tour that I never thought I would see I happen, and I begin by asking Vega what led to Quicksand reforming after such a long time apart. “Ummm… I’m not really sure,” he says after a large pause. “Speaking for myself playing with Deftones made me realise that they are band that has had their highs and lows but they are still super tight friends, and they make music and do all these things, and I’ve had that opportunity to delve into that, and that got me thinking how much I enjoyed being with Quicksand and playing with those guys. Then I got talking with Walter (Quicksand’s frontman) because a label was about to license our first album for a vinyl release so we got talking about that, and then that led us to talking to Tom (guitar) and Alan (drums) and then we played a couple of shows and had a lot of fun. That kind of expanded into us playing a couple of more shows and then every time we got together we would kind of jam, and we were collecting and documenting those little jams. By playing shows and having fun together, we ended up amassing a bunch of material that we sat down and listened to, and that was the start of all of this. We know have this material that we are all really excited about recording and sharing.”
That means that, as an album, Interiors has come about in a very unique way. “Technically, we never sat down and wrote for Interiors,” explains Vega. “It wasn’t that we intentionally did not, it was just that we got together and had fun and just recorded everything. We went through this gestation period with all these songs coming, and they were all pretty cool but not necessarily Quicksand. We just did it to have fun, and there was no pressure on ourselves; we didn’t say that we were going to make an album or announce anything, we just allowed ourselves to have fun playing with the act of collaborating together again. It was seriously just a little bit here and a little bit there, and over time, with the collection of material we had, we were able to kind of whittle away and be left with what we thought best represented us as Quicksand now. That point was fun, and that was when we got a little more conscious about the fact that we started to think about how to release it to people.”
As we explore what he meant by the term ‘Quicksand now’, Vega says he doesn’t believe that the sound of the band has changed at all. “No, I don’t think that what I think is that we play the way that we play and it has developed over that time. For us, it was about finding something that represented the band name well and wasn’t bound by our past albums too strictly… because they were a long time ago.”
Vega says that Quicksand’s Australian fans have a lot to look forward to with their new tour because the tracks from Interiors sound great live. “They are going down really well,” he says. “We knew going into it that we played them well people would be happy and that it would instantly get posted on Youtube. A couple of shows into our U.S. run and the people who were inclined to check out Youtube beforehand were familiar with our songs. We’ve been playing four songs off our new album, and that has been really cool, they’ve become a really nice part of our set in a way that wasn’t out of place. They fit in really nicely, and as the tour progressed, people became more familiar with the new material, and that was really helpful for us. In the age that we are in now, it is a big plus for a band introducing new material. But we’re not sure what our set list will be like for Australia yet because what we like to do is put a lot of effort into a set for a run and do fun things with our songs because our songs are not static to us. We have fun playing with arrangements, and we have fun changing that from run to run so that changes things up. We put effort into it because we enjoy doing it. People put time and effort into coming and see us, and we want them to be aware that we recognise that.”
For fans of Deftones, however, there is never a danger of Vega quitting the band, and he tells me how he plans on juggling both the Deftones juggernaut and being back with Quicksand. “It’s just really a willingness to do it,” he explains. “All the guys are friends and when Quicksand first re-formed we formed around Deftones, and they helped it happen, and in our individual lives we have all been rooting for it. It really revolves around time management, talking with each other and having that willingness to go back and forth but still have some downtime.”
Interiors is out now. Quicksand tour with Thursday in March 2018.