Interview with Brandon Saller from HELL OR HIGHWATER/ATREYU @hellorhighwater @atreyuofficial
Here’s one we did on the fly with Brandon Saller from Hell Or Highwater just before they finished up a run supporting The Darkness! How fun must those shows have been, huh?!
G- Hi there and thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five! Introduce the members in the group… Who is everyone, what do they play, and where does everyone come from?
B- Brandon Saller-vocals. Neal Tiemann -guitar Matt Pauling-guitar. Joey Bradford-bass Kyle Rosa-drums. We hail from Southern California
G- When did you first decide to put Hell or Highwater together, and how long has the band been actively performing? Do you remember the moment that you really felt the group “click?”
B- The idea started with me about 2 1/2 years ago. It honestly clicked for me at our first show. The chemistry was unlike anything I’ve felt.
G- You’re just about to release your debut record, Begin Again, on Chicago’s Pavement Music. How do you fell about the songs on the record, and how is everything going with the new label?
B- We are so proud of this record. As a debut, we feel that it had the strength of a 2nd or 3rd album. We definitely have a bond in writing. Pavement had been really great so far. They believe in the band as much as we do.
G- Can you tell us about the recording process for the album? Where did you record it, who was behind the boards this time around?
B- Fred Archambault produced and mixed the album. I recorded 8 of the songs on my own before I found the band. We wrote the remaining songs and recorded the rest together. Most of the record was made in Valencia and was finished at the Spot Studio in Vista, Ca.
G- Do you have a favorite song you have ever written? If you were to give one song to someone who’d never heard of Hell or Highwater before, what track would you give them and why?
B- I think “Gimme Love” is a favorite of mine. I think it captures the energy of the band perfectly. It really gives the listener a little piece of what we do.
G- Now, going on tour with The Darkness must’ve been one heck of a good time! Are you guys a party band, or generally pretty mellow before/during/after your performance? Are there any particular beers or booze that you want people bringing up to you onstage?
B- The Darkness have been really great! Such great guys… Really hospitable. They are mostly sober, so we have been respectfully keeping the party internal. I’m a rum guy myself… Bacardi and Diet Coke, or bourbon.
G- During your tenure as a touring musician, what would you say is the most difficult thing about being in a band and/or on the road? What do you tell yourself when you are in doubt about your music/band mates/future as a performer?
B- Just staying focused. It’s easy to get jaded. You just have to stay honest and stay hungry. Someone will always be waiting in line to take your spot.
G- What should your fans, both old and new, expect of the performances when you guys hit the road? What should some of the first time listeners expect to see when you take the stage?
B- A raging fiery ball of energy. We like to party.
G- Taking any and all of your projects into account, what would you say is the craziest or most memorable show that you have played to date? Where was it and what was it like?
B- I feel that the craziest memories are still to come.
G- Lastly, for all the kids out here who love Atreyu and Hell or Highwater, what advice can you give some of the young, up and coming bands everywhere who want to make it in music, on the road, and as a professional musician?
B- Do something different. Be abnormal