Black Tide rocks 'NHL 12'

Heavy metal band Black Tide is using the power of video games to help spread their music. Interscope

PlayStation is the new radio.

Don't believe me, just look at Interscope's Black Tide, a head-snapping speed metal band building a following of gamers through hits in popular franchises from "Rock Band" and "MotorStorm" to "Skate" and "Guitar Hero."

Most recently, the Miami-based band contributed their smash single, "That Fire" to EA Sports' "NHL 12," working in millions of spins as hockey fans smack each other into the glass and duke it out, goalie versus goalie on the virtual ice.

"The gamer community is pretty much as big as it can possibly be," explains Black Tide's bassist, Zakk Sandler. "Gamers include everyone from eight-year-old kids who want to go play as their favorite bands or their favorite sports teams, to guys in their thirties who have been playing since they were little kids. It's just such a huge community, and we're also a part of, so we're stoked to be able to have our music be a part of it as well."

And through EA Sports' NHL series, Black Tide is getting their music out to not only gamers, but to hockey fans, as Tide's music is also becoming a staple in NHL arenas across the country.

"We had a song called 'Warriors of Time' that was in 'NHL 09,' and we could see how much the game helped that song spread," says Sandler. "I had some friends who were watching the Stanley Cup finals and they even heard the song come on. It's pretty wild."

Sandler tells me that the group always wanted to be a part of video games because they've been such big fans of gaming throughout the history of the band, with Black Tide originally formed back n 2004 when members were as young as 11 years old.

"We definitely still play a lot, and always thought it would be cool to have our music included in games because of how much we play," says Sandler. "Gabe (lead vocals) is always playing 'Call of Duty' and games like that. We bring the Xbox 360 with us on tour and we play whatever is out."

Beyond gaming, Sandler tells me that everyone in the group is a huge Miami Heat fan, even sporting LeBron and Dwyane Wade jerseys on stage at various venues to show their support.

Even then, the group knows their limits.

Adds Sandler: "You still can't wear that in Cleveland."

Check out Black Tide live as their latest tour kicks off in Minneapolis, November 18.