Music News & Reviews

Myrtle Beach rock trio nervous but driven to open for Hoobastank

At 28-years-old, drummer Seth Greeson says with a laugh that he’s the “old guy in the band.” Driven Under, an original rock act from Myrtle Beach for which Greeson mans the drum kit, also features 20-something singer/guitarist Wes Deloach and 20-year-old bassist Chris Younes. Together the three form a “mainstream rock band,” according to Greeson’s description, investing in its own future by recording original material, and scraping up gigs wherever they might find them, including an upcoming first-time opener for a national act.

Roughly a year old, Driven Under will open for national headliner Hoobastank on Tuesday at the House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach. Greeson hopes the show and ongoing recording of his band’s unreleased debut album will lead to bigger and better things. “Our long term plan?” he asks, “is to get out of here.”

With few performance options for original rock bands in town, Driven Under competes for slots on Myrtle Beach Rocks! events hosted at the House of Blues, and rare multi-band shows that occasionally pop up at area venues open to booking original hard rock.

“We’re doing a show with (local metal act) Prowler in Florence later in July,” said Greeson, when asked about additional upcoming performances, but all focus is on the upcoming House of Blues opener. He scored the band’s Hoobastank slot by persistence; e-mailing the local booking talent buyer with suggestions of what headliners with whom he thought the band would fit. HOB, already familiar with the band through its Myrtle Beach Rocks! shows, offered the Hoobastank slot.

The band has been traveling to Columbia to record and has released one single, “Not Alone,” available for sampling on Facebook and Spotify, and for purchase through ReverbNation. “We’re about to record two more songs pretty soon,” said Greeson, “which will bring us to five, but we want to have 12 before we release a whole album.”

If “Not Alone” is indicative of the rest of the band’s material, then Driven Under should appeal to fans of harder edged melodic rock, ala Candlebox, Shinedown, and Seether. Deloach’s strong lead vocals help separate the band from other hard rock start-ups; substandard vocals being usually the weakest link in the rock ‘n’ roll chain. But powerful, pitch-perfect, and emotive, Deloach stands out as way better than average, and blends nicely with accurate, studio-recorded harmonies. Can they pull it off live? We may only know by seeing the band on the big stage, pumped through a big P.A. in an all-important first big gig.

These big openers for headliners are important to young bands itching to perform and who find few places in which to do so. “Klockers (Tavern near the Backgate) is open to having us play,” said Greeson. “This will be our fifth time playing House of Blues, but there’s hardly anywhere to play locally, so we’re going out to Wilmington (N.C.) and Charlotte (N.C.), probably once a month.”

Since every original band needs original recordings, the members of Driven Under work their day jobs, save money and record when they’re able. “We recorded “Not Alone” in March, mixed, mastered and released in April. It will be on our debut album, whenever it comes out. Wes writes the songs, brings us the rough draft, and then we tweak it until we’ve got a tune.”

The band will perform a short set of these originals and try them out in a test run in front of crowd that may not be too familiar with the band or its material on Tuesday - fans that have probably come to hear Hoobastank’s hits “The Reason” (which hit No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 a decade ago), “Running Away” and “Crawling in the Dark.”

“I’m a little worried opening for a big band,” confessed Greeson. “This will be our first time.”