The swamp metal sound of Black Tusk is distinct. Once you hear it, you know that something special is happening in the world of metal. The Savannah rock trio's latest record, 'Set the Dial,' is 10 tracks of hard, high-energy Southern rock.

On Saturday afternoon, Black Tusk had the privilege of setting the bar for Metallica's Orion Music + More festival in Atlantic City, N.J. When they finished rocking Bader Field, guitarist Andrew Fidler and drummer James May took some time to chat with Loudwire.

You guys opened up the weekend on the Damage Inc. stage. How did it go?

Andrew Fidler (guiter/vocals): It went great, man. Couldn't ask for anything more.

James May (drums/vocals): As soon as we started playing, the whole grass area filled up with a ton of people. You could see them herding over there. It was awesome.

How did it feel to be handpicked by Metallica for this festival?

JM: Very, very honored, man, definitely.

AF: I had read about this festival online and I thought it sounded really cool. Then two days later I got a call from our agent who said we got picked for Orion!

Do you think you guys converted some new fans here at Orion?

AF: I think so, man. There were a bunch of people getting into it. A little moshing!

JM: That's the whole point, that's the whole point of playing a festival, to try and get new people.

What do you think of this kind of festival that spans so many genres?

JM: I think it's a lot better than just having a metal festival. It's catering to a lot of people seeing a lot of music they probably wouldn't have been exposed to.

AF: Europeans are kicking our ass in festivals, we need to get some good ones going!

Have you played a lot of festivals?

AF: We've played a few. We played Road Burn in the last couple of months with Red Fang. That was a lot of fun, it was more just a rock 'n' roll festival. It was really cool.

JM: We tour a whole lot, so sometimes we don't get to do them because we're out on the road.

You mentioned Red Fang. You have a lot of friends here at Orion, I know you're tight with Baroness. Is it cool hanging with them, living the dream?

AF: Dude, we've all been playing for about the same amount of time and here we all are. We're playing together. We're friends with the guys in Lucero, too.

JM: And all hand-picked by Metallica, I mean come on, man! Everyone is happy as hell about it.

How did your fans receive your most recent album, 'Set the Dial'?

JM: They liked it. I mean, I haven't heard much bad about it.

AF: The CDs have been re-pressed already and the vinyl has been re-pressed. A few times actually. It's selling.

Are you guys thinking about the next album?

AF: We're always thinking about it, but we haven't had any time to write anything because we're always on tour.

JM: We do have an intro for the new album.

Can you give your fans a peek into the intro for the new album?

JM: It's going to be kind of tribally weird type sounding, but it'll have the Black Tusk groove to it still.

You say you tour a lot. What's one of your favorite pastimes when you are not on the road.

JM: Sleeping, watching TV, just stuff around the house. You know, going to the grocery store becomes a privilege. Hell, petting your dogs is great!

You're touring. You're playing Orion. What's on the horizon for Black Tusk?

AF: We are on tour right now with Municipal Waste and 3 Inches of Blood. We actually drove all night from Columbus, Ohio to get to this show. Now, we go back on tour. When we're done, we have like six days at home, then we're going to go to Europe and headline a short run.

JM: Then we come and for two months we'll try to write some music. Then we go back on tour again!

Congrats on playing Orion. It's awesome that you guys got to open up this festival.

AF: Thanks, man. It's been great so far!

Watch Black Tusk's video for 'Red Eyes, Black Skies'