“Hey hey, my my, rock ‘n’ roll will never die.”
Those simple words from Neil Young, circa 1979, still ring true even when “rock ‘n’ roll” sometimes feels like it has long since expired. In the midst of the mainstream avalanche of country music, electronica and myriad urban hybrids, it’s refreshing to know some young artists still just want to rock.
Case in point: local band Driven Astray (formerly Driven Under) will release a four-song self-tiled EP of hard rock originals at the House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach June 13, performing a one hour-plus set of its material, as only a power trio can.
“We don’t play to click tracks, no backing tracks, no samples, no egos, we just like to rock out,” said Wes DeLoach, 22, the lead vocalist and guitarist for Driven Astray. Band mates Seth Greeson (drums), and new bassist, Chris Canada (replacing Chris Younes), round out the trio. Veteran local rockers, The IZM, along with Ocean’s Orange, will open Saturday’s show. Doors at 7:30 p.m.
The band’s evolution
“I played in a metal band, Brink of Sanity, and Seth played in Creepshow,” said DeLoach. “We happened to play a gig together in Charleston, and we became close friends. When the bands we were in fell apart, we talked about doing something together. We started jamming in late 2012. We’d been through a few guitarists, and we have a new bassist – this will be Chris’ first show with us.”
Canada owns Jam City Studios, a recording studio in Myrtle Beach that offers relatively inexpensive recording options ($20 - $30 per hour) for area bands. The studio also employs DeLoach as an audio engineer. DeLoach is recently certified as an audio tech from Midlands Audio Institute in Columbia.
“I have this little man cave of a studio,” Canada confirmed, “and Darryl Cherry and Wes kind of book it and produce. I’m enrolled in Berklee music school online and went to Full Sail (audio school) before that. [The studio] is kind of how we all met.”
The big show
“We’d been talking with the House of Blues for a while and really wanted to do our CD release show there,” said DeLoach. “We always have great crowds there, and we’re really excited to have Ocean’s Orange and The IZM with us.”
What to expect? Hear samples of the band at www.drivenastray.com, including the single, “Not Alone.” The song exemplifies the band’s melodic approach to hard rock, preferring singing over screaming, actual melodies and old school guitar, drum and bass riffs.
Myrtle Beach-based radio station WRXZ, Rock 107, has shown interest in the band and its single through a pre-show band interview and spin of “Not Alone” last Wednesday.
The project was more than a year in the making, taking DeLoach and Greeson back and forth to Columbia to record. “I’m really glad to see this EP done,” said Greeson. “It was a long time coming, but we couldn’t be happier with it.” The House of Blues show is one of just a handful of local performances planned for 2015.
“We don’t want to be one of those bands that plays too much in Myrtle Beach,” said DeLoach. “We like to play out of town whenever we can. We just played a show in Charleston, and we’ll be in Columbia this summer.”
To score a free ticket to the all-ages show, hunt down any band member from any of the three bands scheduled to perform. Andy Owings Music, FYE, and Hot Topic at the Coastal Grand mall also have free tickets available. If you can’t manage that, a $5 ticket is available at the door.
“I’ve always loved three-piece bands,” said DeLoach. “Our drummer is a metal head, and our bassist played all different styles, but it all comes together to be Driven Astray. I’ve always believed this band has [commercial] potential, but we’ve all accepted how hard it is to make it these days, so we’re living in the moment, making the best music we can.”
Silber Records recording artist, music archivist, and performer Michael Wood, also of local music biz infamy, will host his self-titled indie project “M is We” CD release party at The Tavrne in Myrtle Beach, 9 p.m. June 12. The four-band bill also includes Drew Bear (Drew Jacobs), Harvest, and The Farm Upstate.
“M is We is a revolving cast of characters,” said Wood, but this go-‘round I’ll have Drew Jacobs, Brian McKenzie and Claudia Gregory (Feel No Other) with me. It will be a great night.”
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