High Side Driver - 06.04.13

Interviewed by
High Side Driver - 06.04.13The following is a mini interview of generic questions that we posed to all bands that wanted to answer:

High Side Driver

Rod - drummer


1. How did you get your band name?

Our guitarist works for the Holden Motor Company, as an electrical technician. A 'high side driver' is a small electrical engine component. He suggested it during one of our jams, and it stuck straight away.

2. How did this band get started?

Me and the guitarist Matt hooked up on a Melbourne musician's networking website back in early 2010. We hit it off straight away, personally and musically, so we started writing songs and building a lineup. It's taken til early 2013 to get the current lineup, and we have recently released our debut, self titled EP, playing heaps of excellent shows around Melbourne (at this stage) and it's full steam ahead.

3. What bands are you influenced by?

A vast combination of bands and eras. We are all in love with the Australian alternative/progressive rock scene, bands like Karnivool, Cog, The Butterfly Effect, Dead Letter Circus, Twelve Foot Ninja, Jericco, Engine, Bellusira. Then we all like 90s alternative, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, STP. I love my progressive rock and metal. Bassist Lewis loves his metal, Lamb of God, Soilwork, In Flames. Then there are some more commercial influences in there as well.

4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?

For me there are 2 standouts: Rush and Devin Townsend. On the Australia scene, all the bands I mentioned above and more!

5. Best food to eat on tour?

Well I'm a crazy vegetarian, so anything without meat!

6. Why should people listen to your band?

I believe we hit a nice balance. Our stuff is musically interesting, but not so technical that your average rock fan won't appreciate it. Our songs are dark and powerful, but anthemic and catchy as well, with lots of dynamics and light and shade. Our songs can go from massive walls of blistering rock to quiet, mellow and reflective in the blink of an eye.

7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with?

The athletes I would pick would all be Australian Rules Footballers, so you may not have heard of them. Luke Hodge and Lance 'Buddy' Franklin would be mine. They are the greatest all round athletes on the planet. Super fit, super tough, they take intense body contact while running for 120 minutes straight and controlling an oval shaped ball like it was on a string.

8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?

I would thank anyone and everyone who has helped and supported this band in any way, shape or form over the last 3 years, from our partners/wives, to our families, to our producers, to the bands we've played with, to the fans/friends who show up to shows and so on and so forth.

9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?

I would take plastic, crappy, production line pop and rap/RnB music off the radio and TV and replace it with anything that has soul, power, strong musicianship, skilled songwriting, intelligence, substance etc. I would abolish ALL TV 'talent' shows, they are an abomination and bad for the music industry. I would work to ensure that all musicians putting quality product out into the world would actually be PAID for their work and creativity, just like plumbers, doctors, truck drivers etc get paid for their work.

10. Memorable tour experience?

This band hasn't actually toured yet! I'm sure we'll make some memories soon.

11. What does AP.net mean to you?

It's fantastic that you give independent bands from all over the world the chance to have their music exposed to the world in these ways. Outlets like these are absolutely priceless to the aspiring band.

12. What is your favorite song to play?

The B-side of our second single 'Voices (I Hear)' is just a ripper. Kinda typifies our sound. BIG rock, massive guitars, pounding drums, anthemic choruses, but lots of twists and turns and dynamics as well. Goes off live too.

13. What is your vacation spot of choice?

Actually it's The States and Canada. Have been there three times now, and had an absolute ball every time. Have seen New York, LA, Vancouver, Toronto, The Rockies, ran up the Rocky steps in Philly, seen Rush four times in four different cities, seen Iron Maiden and Dream Theater and so much more.

14. What music reminds you of your childhood?

70s and 80s rock and metal. More my formative teen years, when my musical tastes and need to play developed so strongly. Maiden, Rush (of course), Priest, Dio, Motorhead, Queensryche, Sabbath, Gunners, Purple, Zeppelin and all the rest. Not Poison or Warrant though.

15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?

I would be able to fly, how awesome would that be!

16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals?

I just warm up thoroughly, stretch, jog on the spot, warm up my wrists with sticks on the pad. Warming up is so important, alot of musicians tend to neglect it.

17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?

I played Australian football for 10 years, but ultimately sustained injuries so bad that it literally almost killed me. And I have the scars to prove it. So I took up the relatively safe option of playing the drums in loud rock and metal bands!

18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish?

Traditional radio is dead to me, apart from a few shows here and there. I believe internet radio is the future. Radio stations that aren't afraid to push boundaries and play stuff from the abundant independent music scene across the globe. So much awesome stuff gets ignored/neglected on traditional radio, in favour of the mindless generic crap. So much so that I have started my own internet radio show in the last six months. It's called 'The Aussie Alternative', and it promotes the rich and diverse Australian alternative and progressive rock scene. It goes to air every Sunday evening on True Rock Radio in Australia and Neueregelradio.com in the States. Links:
That's not to say if commercial radio picked us up I would be complaining, no way!

19. What do you like to do in your spare time?

Music, first and foremost. I am constantly hungry for new sounds, new bands. I write, both for my living and for fun. I do music writing, interviewing, live and album reviews, features etc, for multiple different publications/websites, and I plan to write a book or two one day. I follow my football team, the Hawthorn Hawks, very passionately and have been a member of the club for 12 years. I love travel, movies, animals (am a practising vegetarian), reading, eating out, fitness, wine, beer, the internet.

20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?

I reckon I could write screenplays for movies one day.
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