In accordance with the festivities, I bring you another female fronted band! And they go by the name of ‘High Voltage.’ I also had the chance to interview Josh Rhines, primary songwriter and guitarist of the band. Here he talks about; the new album, accidentally starting fires, being falsely accused of instigating riots – you know the usual ‘rock and roll’ lifestyle. Enjoy!
Starting off with a little history about the band. When and how did the band form? And how did the name High Voltage come about? Is there a story there?
We formed the band in the winter of 2010. Me and, Collin Scott (drummer) had played together in a previous band. We both had a similar passion for rock and old school metal. We thought about a band name for a while, but, rather than overthink things, we went with High Voltage. To us, the name described the music we wanted to play – which was essentially loud rock music. To us, that is what the name means. From there, we went through a few line up changes to find the right group, which is what we have now. We decided early on that we were looking to find a female vocalist – there is just a unique quality about having a bluesy female rock singer that just can’t be explained, and it works very well in our music.
If for some strange unknown reason, you only had enough time to say 3 imaginative words to describe yourselves as a band, what would they be?
Electrify, Explore and Fuze
Who would you say that as a band your main influences are? Who would you compare yourselves to?
I’m the primary songwriter, and my main influences are Muse, Led Zeppelin and Metallica. Our singer, Erin, comes from a more bluesy background, citing Joni Mitchell as her major influence. Collin, our drummer, has a similar background as myself, being inspired by the likes of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.On the other hand, our bassist Kevin likes the modern side of rock a bit more. Our keyboardist, Oliver, has a classical background and is into hard rock and metal. We have a wide range of influences as a band, and I feel this ultimately leads to us creating a diverse and interesting spectrum of sound in our music. Also, being a female fronted rock band, some of the heavy hitters in that realm such as; Evanescence, Halestorm and In This Moment, are big inspirations.
What would you say is unique about your band?
I feel that the uniqueness of High Voltage is the diversity of our sound, while still maintaining a definite band identity. On our new album, we wrote a song called Summer Snow, which is a laid back, reggae rock tune. On the other end, we also have a song called Love Hate, which is a six and a half minute epic metal tune with chunky guitars and double bass guitar. All of these songs are brought together by the sultry delivery of our vocalist Erin, who really ties our music together.
Is there one song in particular, by any existing band or artist, that as a band you wish you’d written and why?
A song that I am in constant awe of is Knights of Cydonia by Muse. That is such a brilliantly written and performed piece of music. From the galloping intro, to the vocal driven mid section, to the head-banging riff-fest outro – it’s all there.
I’ve heard some pretty horrific stories from bands about their first live shows, what was your first ever live show like?
While it wasn’t our first show, during one of our early shows as a band, the monitor behind our drummer caught on fire mid song.
We were using a fog machine so we didn’t even notice it until we smelled the burning electronics and saw the fire! The funny part is that the venue and soundguy, who owned the sound equipment, didn’t really seem to care.
What’s been the best show you’ve ever played and why?
Live performances are a major passion and emphasis for the band,so it’s hard to choose just one.One of my personal favourites was during the summer of 2011.We headlined a local festival, which had over 4000 attendees. We were advised to play mostly covers, but being stubborn – we went in and played all original music, and the show was a major success.
Any funny band/live show stories you wouldn’t mind sharing?
We had just won a battle of the bands, which gave us the chance to play at Warped Tour in Boise, ID. We played a good show there at the Ernie Ball Stage and were having a great time enjoying the other music. Some group of teenagers randomly threw a bottle at our drummer and started heckling him. To this day, I have no idea what provoked the heckling. They kept on, so our drummer threw water at them. Pretty harmless really, nothing super rock n roll about this encounter…until a security guard comes out of nowhere and tackles our drummer. They proceeded to tell him that he was trying to instigate a riot and they kicked him out of the place. Pretty ridiculous… but pretty hilarious looking back at it.
Is there anything that inspires you when you are writing the music and lyrics to your songs?
We are inspired by the world around us, and the trials we all face every day.
Obviously, every band has their songs about love, relationships and break ups. But we also write about other emotions and ideals. This last year was an election year over here in the United States, so there was a lot of hypocrisy and corruption. We are by no means a political band like Rage Against the Machine, but our frustrations over issues provide inspiration to write tunes that are a bit rebellious in nature, but still relatable to your average listener who may or may not have extreme opinions and views.
If you could choose any bands to go on tour with, i.e. a dream line up/dream team; who would they be and why?
I would personally love to open for Muse, Metallica, Evanescence or the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Touring with hot upcoming talent such as Halestorm, In This Moment or Valora would be great too. There is a whole world of talented artists out there, especially in the UK, and we’d love to discover and be a part of the powerful independent music scene.
What do you hope 2013 brings for the band? Anything in store for your fans?
2013 is a big year for us in High Voltage. We just finished our new album Colors, which is actually available globally on iTunes right now. We are trying to promote this album and the songs on it. We feel very strongly about this album and believe in it. We want to share it with the rest of the world, not just the United States. Besides promoting our new album, we are actually starting to write material for the next album! It’s a busy year, but busy is good!
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