Hell Or Highwater Back On The Scene


HELL OR HIGHWATER play The Constellation Room Apr. 14; promo photo

Orange County is well-known for being the birthplace for all manner of loud, high octane rock groups sporting attitude. One of these is Hell or High Water: a group that has recently come out of hiatus to once more create music both live and on record. The group’s next of many planned appearances occurs Apr. 14 at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana.

Initially known as the Black Cloud Collective, Hell or High Water is the loud-volume brainchild of Brandon Kyle Saller: a long-time lead drummer and vocalist for the Metalcore band Atreyu. Saller says the group’s formation began through his desire to engage in a solo career.

“I was about to go on hiatus with my other band Atreyu and I was wanting to do projects,” Saller recalled. “So I started up what was just going to be a solo thing and it kind of gradually turned into Hell or High Water over the years. It had some member changes, released a couple of albums, an EP, a couple of tours and that says where we’re at today.”

The group began its active participation in music in 2011, during this early period, the group focused a great deal on developing themselves. Saller owes his collobations with other notable music groups as invaluable in helping Hell or High Water grow during its infancy.

“The band was fully independent, self-funded and we did everything ourselves,” Saller explained. “We were able to get out and do a really great number of tours with a lot of cool bands like Avenged Sevenfold, The Darkness, Stone Sour, The Used among others.”

Saller also owes a great deal of Hell or Highwater’s success to Orange County. The area, besides being the group’s birthplace, has been a vital part of his and his other band members success due to how its vibrant musical scene that’s rubbed off on them.

“I’ve grown up here,” Saller said. “Every band that I’ve ever been in has come out of Orange County. The majority of us are actually from a little bit south of the district in San Diego. So we kind of have the best of both worlds where we get a little bit of that scene and a little bit of the Orange County scene.”

Saller even says that Orange County is the birthplace of their latest album Vista. The album is set for a release May 19 thanks to a collaboration between two musical labels: Spinefarm Records and Search & Destroy Records.

The album has been delayed from being released sooner, primarily because Saller is still an active performer with Atreyu. However he’s thankful for this as it enabled a much longer, focused session of music creation for the group.

“Due to Atreyu’s plans it got kind of pushed back a bit, “Saller reveals. ”But we felt that gave us some much needed insight and some much needed vision of where we wanted the band to go. I think most of the best songs on the album didn’t get written ‘til the last portion of the writing process.”

The album’s recent completion coincides with the ending a nearly two year hiatus that hasn’t seen the group play live. That made their return earlier this month at the Musink Music and Tattoo Festival in Costa Mesa the ideal comeback the group sought.

“It was amazing being able to kind of come back into the scene with music,” relates Saller. “It’s such a big show. We played first and I didn’t know what to expect. There were so many more people than I expected watching us. The room was full and it was awesome. To have that opportunity to have such a big opening was really awesome.”

The group aims to make their next appearance at The Constellation Room to be just as excellent. Saller says the performance shall include a mix of songs both old and new with the latter being an early showcasing of songs from Vista.

“I think a lot of our fans have been patiently waiting and they’re going to want to hear a lot of the new stuff,” Saller mused. “We’re definitely going to be pulling out some songs from the older record as well. You know, just really mixing it up and just trying to make something fun and interesting.”

Hell or High Water’s brand of energized music is produced through a traditional band setup: two guitars, bass, drums and vocals. But the most unique aspect of the band Saller says is that all band members pitch in to lend their voices to their music.

“Everyone in the band actually has some form of singing position,”Saller said. “So it’s kind of nice everyone in the band does harmonies and group vocals. Joey [Bradford] actually, our lead guitar player, has a pretty big part in singing as well.”
Each member can look forward to lending more than just energy to their voices for the foreseeable future. Saller reveals that Hell or Highwater shall be making up for lost time keeping the group very busy this year and next. But he is confident they’re up to the task.

“It’s time for Hell or High Water to have our turn and get out and do a bunch of touring and releasing albums. It’s been a long time coming so it’s definitely time.”