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Interviews: Voltagehawk

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Hard Rock band Voltagehawk, from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

JARRAD JAMES: I actually came up with this before starting the band, which was meant to just be a place for all my buddies in other bands to come jam and work on different genred fun things, then ended up being the main project. It started as an homage to some of my favorites that had the “something cool, something animal” name motif: Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Wolfmother. I also wanted our records in the same bin with Van Halen. I also wanted to pay homage to the main musical influence, which is the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4 soundtrack, which plays AC/DC in the opening, High Voltage Rock and Roll. Tony Hawk. Voltagehawk. Those games, and the music in them, changed a lot of dudes' lives and musical journeys.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

DAN FENTON: What genre? I guess we just write and it doesn't matter to us what genre people call it. We all grew up influenced by punk, metal, hard core, hip hop, jazz, gospel, funk, country etc. When we write Voltagehawk is what comes out.

CHASE AROCHA: I think we play with aggression and distortion so we are looked at as just a hard rock band, but we really try our best to show all the things in music we love. I went to school for jazz and my favorite band is Mr. Bungle. I think we don’t try to stick to any genre to be honest.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

DAN FENTON: Not really. Jarrad and I were in other bands, both that were great bands but neither the band we wanted to be in. So we started jamming and that was that. Jarrad had met Tyler Wildman Boone and he (Tyler) was best homies with Chase so we just made it happen. Now you would think we all grew up on the same block, but Jarrad’s from Ohio, I’m from NY, Chase is from Florida and Tyler is from a swamp in Mississippi. Nashville brought us together, than the idea that we could all be oursleves, support eachother and create whatever the fuck we wanted, seald the deal.

CHASE AROCHA: Tyler and I have been best friends playing in a bunch of different bands together for years, since I moved to Nashville. But I met the other two when I wasn’t in the band yet, they had a show at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville and Tyler couldn’t make it. So I covered for him on bass and then a few days after the show when Tyler saw Dan and Jarrad he mentioned that I’m a guitar player who was just filling in on bass and they asked me to join the band.  

4. Each band member favourite band?

DAN FENTON: Tom Waits is my favorite writer, Hans Zimmer is my favorite composer, Bands, Idols, Eagles Of Death Metal, and of course all the classics.

CHASE AROCHA:  I said it earlier but Mr. Bungle, really anything Mike Patton does is my favorite. I really do love everything, snarky puppy, Charles Mingus, John 5, Static-X, Coheed and Cambria, Guthrie Govan just to name some of my tops!   JARRAD JAMES Basically it’s a 3 way tie between Def Leppard, Everytime I Die and anything that involves Phil Collins. 

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

DAN FENTON: I believe in a cosmic river of inspiration that flows far beyond our conscious mind. Much like the Damon or Genious in mythology. A connection formed with artistic energy that we all have some access to. There are times we bath in this river and we write 30 songs in a year and there are times when the river is closed to us because we are not open to it. Everything drives me to inspiration. Lately it’s film scores and socio political issues. 

CHASE AROCHA: I think anything can inspire but really it’s when I see others creating and especially playing live really makes me always want to write or learn some new technique to apply creatively to our music.

6. Where was your last gig?

DAN FENTON:  The Springwater in Nashville TN. Nasty amazing little dive bar.

CHASE AROCHA: At Tin Roof in Downtown Nashville. I play with Voltagehawk but for my “day” job, I perform in the honky tonks on Broadway at night.  

7. Where would you like to act?

DAN FENTON: I want to play everywhere man, The Moon, Saturn….

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

DAN FENTON: Killer Mike from Run the Jewels

CHASE AROCHA: I’ve always wanted to do a song with Reggie Watts and Tyler the Creator at the same time.

9. Whom not?

DAN FENTON: I’m down for whatever, bring it all on. I don’t discriminate if someone is trying to create.   

CHASE AROCHA: I don’t like hating on other musicians, we all are trying to do this for a living. There are definitely disingenuous artists out there but I don’t know them so I don’t care

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

DAN FENTON: Yes and still some times, not crippling stage fright, but shaky sweaty hands and forgetful thoughts (could be the other thing) Just realize people came to see you. They paid money to hear something you created. Just commune with them.

CHASE AROCHA: I throw up before almost every show and have suffered from panic attacks for years. If you aren’t nervous, you don’t care enough. It’s ok to be scared but that’s one of the greatest things about life is doing some scary shit knowing there is risk of failing or embarrassment or whatever it may be. It builds character, I’ve played so many bad shows growing up that you’re not going to embarrass me. I’m of course always nervous and you don’t want that feeling again but the second I step on that stage, I breathe and I know I’m gonna fucking kill it, because I’ve practiced,I’ve given my life to it. Confidence is preparation...practice everyday.  

11. What bands have inspired you the most? 

DAN FENTON:  Misfits, Fugazi, Tom Waits, Wilco, Mastodon, Idols, Krs-one, WU-Tang, deftones, the list is long, Kamasi Washington, John Coletrane...

CHASE AROCHA: MR. BUNGLE BRO! And so many others. Zakk Wylde, John 5, Andy Timmons, Pat Metheny, Snarky Puppy, Dillinger Escape Plan, Thelonious Monk, George Benson.   JARRAD JAMES Any of the bands found on the Tony Hawk Pro Skater soundtracks. Specifically THPS4. That soundtrack is the reason this band exists.   

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for? 

DAN FENTON: To spit in her mouth after I apologized for spitting in their mouth well singing on stage. I obliged them.  

13. What do you think of your fans?

DAN FENTON: I think they're smart, kind, open minded, stoney ,amazing humans. I talk to them online and after shows all the time. I don’t like that separation. I feel like we are part of a community and a movement. None of it is as good without the other.  

CHASE AROCHA:  They’re Great! I just think they are people who aren’t into tribal thinking and like taking chances on art. I’m so happy to have anyone who enjoys what we do.  

14. What do you think of our site?

DAN FENTON: Fantastic! 

CHASE AROCHA: Awesome, of course!

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