When the band Hell or Highwater started putting music together in 2010, people weren’t too sure if the band was truly a side project of Atreyu drummer Brandon Saller, or if the band was in it for the long haul. But the status of Atreyu still unknown, it didn’t take long for Hell or Highwater to become a full time gig. As the band wrote the material for their debut, “Begin Again”, it played off the band’s love of current metal music and a more classic rock based sound. When we spoke with Hell or Highwater guitarist Joey Bradford on the phone on their way to begin their tour opening for the Darkness, he explained how the sounds melded together.
”The drummer, Kyle and I had a band in San Diego called Thieves & Liars, a very straight forward classic rock band, but I always liked to write things more out of left field, writing for different genres, but not too different where it would surprise people”. As Bradford, Saller and the rest of the band put the finishing touches on “Begin Again”, which was released in August 2010, the band knew that it was going to need more support to make the band work. “At first, we released the album independently and sold it at shows. We did well on our own and it was relieving, but we all knew we had reached our limit for doing this on our own with killing ourselves”, says Bradford.
Enter Pavement Music, a label based out of Chicago, who was more than willing to help the band move forward as the project flourished. Says Bradford; “It’s been a re-ignition of sorts with the label, we’re really excited to have some radio play. The label saw we were really motivated to see this band take off, and they’ve been excited to work with us”. With their deal with Pavement firmly secured, the band is re-releasing “Begin Again” on February 5th. If you already haven’t checked the indie release of the album out, listeners will get a taste of the sonic landscapes from each individual members and see how seamlessly they come together.
With the album getting a second life, it kickstarts the band’s touring schedule as well. The band had already done a tour of duty on the Rockstar Uproar Festival last summer, which Bradford thought was key for more exposure: “It went insanely well. We really didn’t know what to expect; we thought maybe we’d get about 200 people at the stage. The crowds picked up as the tour progressed. Playing live is our main love and it’s what we do best”. But with the Uproar experience behind them, the band is touring with the Darkness, which should keep the band busy for at least through the end of February.
As the touring winds down, Bradford and the rest of the band hope to get back in the studio to work on the sophomore release: “We’ve been writing the past few months and there’s several songs in the works. There’s no real target date for release. We’re really proud of this first album, but this next one is easily going to top it!”.
Hell or Highwater open for The Darkness at the Majestic Theatre on Friday, January 25th. Tickets are $20 and are available at ticketweb.com. Additional tour dates and band info can be found at www.hellorhighwaterofficial.com.