Hell or Highwater, the Orange County rock band founded by Atreyu’s Brandon Saller, is the project that keeps Saller stimulated and creative. They tore apart the UPROAR Festival this past summer, and this year they continue building on that momentum, as they tour alongside The Darkness. RockRevolt Magazine was fortunate to squeeze in a quick interview with Brandon while he pushes forward on the last leg of this tour.
Rob/RockRevolt™ Magazine: With you guys playing shows since last August, is it finally good to get this record out to the world? What’s the feeling around Hell or Highwater camp?
Brandon Saller/Hell or Highwater: We’re really psyched. The original soft release of the record didn’t do it justice. We’re glad to finally shed proper light on it with radio, distribution, and press.
Brandon Saller/HoH: The Black Cloud Collective was me. Once “me” turned into “us” it just needed to change.
Rob/RR: Wikipedia states that your voice and sound is similar to bands such as Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace? What are your thoughts on this? Are you readily inspired by these bands or is this purely coincidental?
Brandon Saller/HoH: I kinda think that’s way off. Not as a diss, because those are talented bands, but I wouldn’t say we sound like them. We sound like Hell or Highwater.
Rob/RR: Since those aforementioned bands are not inspirations to you, who do you feel has mentored you along the way in your musical endeavors?
Rob/RR: You just released a video for “Gimme Love.” Did you have a hand in the decision making process for this video?
Brandon Saller/HoH: Absolutely. I just wanted an energetic performance to give people a look into our live show.
Rob/RR: Why did you choose “Gimme Love” for a video?
Brandon Saller/HoH: We always wanted it to be a single. It just felt right.
Rob/RR: Your song “Go Alone” features M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold. Tell us what it was like working with him and what you feel he “brought to the table” for this song.
Brandon Saller/HoH: It was a blast. I love being able to write with friends. Aside from his voice, he’s really great with melody and also great at the “story-teller” type lyric. We meshed really well on this song.
Rob/RR: What’s it been like touring with those crazy English lads The Darkness?
Brandon Saller/HoH: They are some of the most hospitable people we’ve toured with. Funny as hell too!
Rob/RR: Do you get up to any shenanigans after the shows or is it a pretty humble affair?
Brandon Saller/HoH: We like to have some beverages and have a good time. You gotta be a part of the shenanigans to know.
Rob/RR: What’s the reception like at live shows before a record has been released? Is there that uneasy feeling of “Oh, everyone is judging this” or are the crowds as receptive as they would be having the heard the record?
Brandon Saller/HoH: Crowds have been nuts. People are showing the love for sure. It feels really rewarding.
Rob/RR: Hell or Highwater sounds like a different beast to Atreyu, was it a different process recording this album?
Brandon Saller/HoH: It was very natural and inspiring. A lot of heart and soul went into this record.
Rob/RR: When playing live with Hell or Highwater, does it feel different than playing live as Black Cloud Collective or Atreyu?
Brandon Saller/HoH: Atreyu yes. Just because it’s 109% different. The Black Cloud Collective had the same members. So on stage it’s the same, but just more comfortable now.
Rob/RR: Any plans to bring Hell or Highwater to Australia? If so I am in a kickass band we could support you? (laughs) My apologies, I am being cheeky. Thank you so much for a moment of your time. Have a great tour and I will definitely come check you out if/when you make it to the land down under.
Brandon Saller/HoH: Australia is one of my favorite places on earth. We can’t wait to make it down. As soon as we get asked, we’ll be coming!
Rob/RR: And we will get in on those shenanigans!
Remaining Tour dates – GET OUT THERE AND CHECK THEM OUT:
01/29/13 First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN
01/30/13 Beaumont Club – Kansas City, MO
02/01/13 The Summit – Denver, CO
02/02/13 Belly Up – Aspen, CO