Backstreet boys

Beartooth Talks Backstreet Boys Inspired Track Riptide

Beartooth has released a new single “Riptide”, inspired by BTS, Ariana Grande and Backstreet Boys. Check it out below alongside an interview with frontman Caleb Shomo.

The new track represents a “clean slate” for the band, following on from 2020’s “Below.” Shomo said NME that “although I love this record and it was important to my life and career, it was absolutely the most depressing and saddest work I’ve ever done.”

He continued: “[On ‘Riptide’] I wanted to do something to get myself out of that mental space. I wanted to do something that was really fun, that made you happy and not really sad.

Towards the end of 2020, Shomo returned and revisited much of the music he loved growing up – including One Direction, N*SYNC and Backstreet Boys – as well as looking to their modern contemporaries like Grande and BTS to capture their “great pop vibe”. “I basically did Beartooth’s version of a dance song,” the frontman said of the resulting “Riptide.”

After four albums and a killer rock ‘n’ roll EP, the musician said he was “very nervous” about sharing such a different vibe on a song. “It’s a whole new thing for Beartooth and it’s pretty wild,” he said. “If I wasn’t nervous, I would know this isn’t the right song to release. It’s really important to know where Beartooth is headed.

shomo said NME that he wants this stand-alone single to “catch people off guard” and show another side to him “other than just being miserable and sad all the time”. He added that the new version is “just a really brash way to do it”.

As well as highlighting the pop side of Beartooth, ‘Riptide’ sees Shomo “making a statement to our listeners and to myself as a writer that it’s time for me to work on the shit I’ve been dwelling on. for so long”. Since their formation in 2012, the group has been a vehicle for the musician to “talk about exactly what I’m going through, no bullshit.” “Most of the time when I was writing it all sounded very desperate and gloomy, that’s how the music came out,” he explained. “There was rarely a glimmer of hope.”

This new single, however, is very different. “It’s me realizing that there are a lot of things I could do to help myself feel better and happier that I just haven’t done,” he admitted. “I still let that negativity out, but I’m now really working on being happier rather than just letting go or letting my emotions run wild.”

He continued: “Anyone who knows Beartooth knows I deal with depression and anxiety. I’ve dealt with this all my life – it’s just the way my brain is wired – but what changed , is that I decide that I will do everything in my power to fight against it.

Shomo said part of this shift has him questioning what he likes to do and what makes him happy, drawing conclusions about “making music and performing.” Every decision he’s made about his life since — he quit drinking, quit smoking, and started seeing a therapist — has been with the goal of making Beartooth the best possible version of himself.

Beartooth CREDIT: Johann Ramos

When he entered the studio in December 2021 for his first writing session since ‘Below’, however, he wasn’t sure what he was going to write about. “It was absolutely terrifying because every Beartooth record so far has been brutal,” he said. “People connect with the pain and understand that they’re not alone in this pain because I’m actually talking about it.” However, ‘Riptide’ came out of him, with the frontman describing it as that “crazy, natural moment”: “I remember listening to it for the first time and crying in my basement because I didn’t couldn’t believe that song came out of me.

He added, “With this band, the lyrics always had to scare me because if I haven’t gone that far then it’s probably not important enough for me to say. I felt the same ‘Riptide’ writing. I’m really opening up a part of my life to people that I haven’t really opened up to before.

Shomo said he hoped the band’s fans would find the single “empowering”, describing his own experience with the song as “outrageously empowering”. “That’s what a lot of the music video is about,” he said, referring to a video that sees him embracing his inner pop star with some choice dance routines. “Whether people understand it or not, I don’t care. Looks like I’m an asshole, but it’s about empowering yourself. If it feels good, chase it away. Don’t be afraid of who you are and who you could be.

“Riptide” was not only an “important part” of Shomo “deciding to continue this journey to be healthier and pursue happiness,” but also gave him the confidence to know that Beartooth isn’t over yet. “I’m sick of being scared of shit, especially with my own music,” he explained. “I just need to be honest. I have a lot of stuff I need to get off my chest, so I wouldn’t expect a cookie-cutter Beartooth record anytime soon.

Last year Shomo said NME that he saw Beartooth’s early era end with their fifth album coinciding with his 30th birthday. Now, he’s explained that ‘Riptide’ will help the band “transition” into that final stage of that first period. “While writing this song, I realized that I just wanted happiness. That’s what this story has always been about, I think. We all want to be happy and I know that means a lot of different things to a lot of people. different people, but I think the one thing we all have in common is that it takes hard work to get there. It’s definitely worth trying this, taking a risk and seeing what happens .

While ‘Riptide’ is a Beartooth pop song, Shomo is “still writing a lot of heavy stuff” for the new album. “It’s still going to be a rock record, but I try to push the boundaries as far as I can and dive deeper into what I love about every facet of Beartooth. Don’t be afraid to go overboard.”

Beartooth is touring with A Day To Remember in the United States throughout the summer. Visit here for tickets and details.