Tool fans have described waiting for a new album from the band as a kind of suffering – it's now been a full 11 years since their heroes last put out a full-length. Imagine, then, how fans of post-hardcore pioneers Quicksand must feel – in their case, they have literally had to wait double that amount of time. Its members, of course, have comfortably filled the intervening years musically – vocalist Walter Schreifels with Rival Schools and Gorilla Biscuits reunion shows; Sergio Vega in the fold of the beloved Deftones. There was, however, something truly special about what happened when the band's four members – Schreifels, Vega, guitarist Tom Capone and drummer Alan Cage – came together and created their unique blend of downtuned alt-rock and second-wave emo.
“I definitely spent quite a few years thinking this was out of the question – that this would never happen,” says Vega about the reunion of his breakthrough band. “It was a few years ago where that started to change. I began to think that not only was playing with Quicksand again something that was possible, but it was something that should happen. Being with Deftones, and seeing how long they've been together, really opened my eyes. It gave me a real sense of perspective – it made me think that there was no real reason why Quicksand shouldn't exist.”
So it went in 2012 that Quicksand would reunite under cover of darkness, playing a secret set at the 25th birthday celebrations of Revelation Records – the label that put out the very first Quicksand release all the way back in 1990. Headlining shows followed, and then a North American tour. This, however, was all built on the foundations of what the band accomplished in the ‘90s. As to whether any new material would surface, the question mark always seemed to linger. “It was important to us that we didn't put any pressure on ourselves,” said Vega.
“We didn't want to do a big announcement, like, 'We're back! We're making a record.’ When we first started jamming, it didn't take too long at all for some ideas to start floating around. It was bound to happen. It's second nature – we're a collaborative band, and all the guys are very prolific writers. Everything we've written has come out of things we've jammed at soundchecks or rehearsals. I think we just wanted to be a band again – we didn't want to romanticise the past, and we also didn't want to romanticise getting back together.”
After a couple of years of demos, ideas and half-formed songs building up, there was finally some semblance of a new Quicksand record in amongst the material. Interiors, the band's third studio album, was recorded over a year's worth of sessions at Studio 4 Recording in the tongue-twisting Conshohocken, a town in the south-east of Pennsylvania. Despite there being minimal sonic crossover between Quicksand and Deftones, Vega has still kept his bass setup relatively consistent while performing with both bands.
“My Deftones setup is more or less a maturation and development of what I had going with Quicksand anyway,” he reasons. “I've not gone out of my way to bring in a different bass or different pedals or anything like that just because there's a different group dynamic. What I've learned from friends that are involved with multiple musical projects is that there's gotta be a trust there in relation to your own instincts. You don't have to develop multiple personalities just because you're playing with a variety of people. You've just got to do what you do. Each collaboration will present something unique.”
Although members of Quicksand have visited Australia – Vega with Deftones, Schreifels with Rival Schools and Gorilla Biscuits – the band itself has never performed here. That's all set to change this coming March, where the band will team up with Thursday for a run of theatre dates that have music nerds salivating. Although they've not properly bonded, Vega is looking forward to getting to know his touring counterparts on the other side of the world. “I've never been in the trenches with those guys,” he says. “Once you've toured with someone, that's a bond for life.”
Interiors is out now via Epitaph Records. Quicksand are touring Australia in March 2018.