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View from the Road | Interview with Rev of Underride

by Alex Barbieri
Staff Writer –

Underride is a modern sounding hard rock band from Seattle with a decidedly anarchic ‘80s-style attitude and outlook. Rev, Underride’s lead singer and ringleader, recently spoke to Hardrock Haven about the band’s new album, Distorted Nation, their current tour of the Midwest, and a lot more. Hardrock Haven readers, meet Rev.

HRH: Rev, thanks for talking to Hardrock Haven. For those not yet familiar with Underride, tell us a bit about the band’s sound, style, attitude and overall philosophy.

REV: It’s straight up hard rock! We call it “Camaro Rock.” People like to tell us that it goes best when driven down the highway at a high rate of speed. Fans party to the songs, or work out to it because it’s high energy rock that charges them up! It’s like drinking an eight-ball of Starbucks espresso!

HRH: Underride’s new album, Distorted Nation, sounds heavy yet melodic with a crystal-clear production. Where did you record it, and who was behind the boards? Any interesting stories from the writing and recording sessions?

REV: Ha! I recorded and mixed the whole damn thing myself on an old PC and Pro Tools LE in our crappy little rat-infested rehearsal space. I have a Mackie 1604 board, which is an entry level mixer for garage bands. A few Shure 57 microphones, and away we go!

I really do appreciate the kind words and we’re happy with the production too, but I can’t take all the credit. It’s really the band. These are top-notch musicians, and these guys know how to play their instruments. Good players and good songs really make it much easier on the engineering side.

HRH: Underride is currently on a winter tour of the Midwest. Who booked the tour and are you guys freezing to death out there? Seriously, how are the shows going? Tell us about the Midwest fans and gigs so far.

REV: It’s fucking freezing out here, Mr. Bigglesworth! Shut the front door … we just left Fargo, ND and it was -19 degrees! Now we’re in Iowa in an ice storm watching cars and trucks spin off the freeway into each other.

The shows are great man! We have a brand new tee-shirt that has our album inside it. It’s called a Downloadble Album Tee (DAT). You buy the shirt and the record for $20 and it streams the record on your phone instantly. Fans are freaking out for this! We are selling 10 times the amount of swag then we usually do. That’s what I said … 10 times! Our fans support us because we have the coolest tees on the whole planet. Check ‘em out at www.R-EVOLUTIONTEES.com.

HRH: Underride has opened for a number of national acts? Who in particular have been some of your favorites and why?

REV: Man Made Machine out of Arizona was killah. Those boys brought it every night! We also did Duff McKagen’s Loaded and CAVO—both really good bands and cool people.

HRH: What would be your dream tour and bill? Playing with what bands?

REV: I would wanna be middle slot with Motorhead and Lady Gaga. Probably across the pond in Europe.

HRH: As a singer, you have a great sense of melody, harmony and vibrato. Who are some of your biggest vocal influences?

REV: Joe Cocker, Al Green, Lou Gramm, Chris Cornell, Sammy Hagar, Jim Morrison, Billie Holiday, Robert Plant, Bono … man I could go on, but that should give you an idea of what turns me on. Again, thanks for the kind words. Singing doesn’t come easy to me. I practice a lot and I’m still learning every day.

HRH: Did you grow up in Seattle, and how do you think that influenced your style and attitude, if at all?

REV: The Seattle music scene did influence part of it. Seattle-based rock is honest and in your face. Like Gruntruck, for example … no gimmicks, just good songs with great sounding guitars and pounding drums. We played with them too, and I was over-the-top-stoked.

HRH: Back in 2008, you described yourself as a “loud-mouthed party mother fucker, running at 100 mph all the time.” Are you still that way, or have you mellowed at all over the past four years? And if so, why?

REV: Mellowed out? Are you kidding me? I’m only getting started. Our show has expanded with full motion lights and hard-driving rock songs that drive people crazy. The shows are better than ever and the energy is enough to get you high!

HRH: What bands and albums are you currently listening to? Any pick hits we should know about?

REV: The new Man Made Machine record, Become, gets played in the van pretty much every day, along with Burn Halo’s Up From The Ashes. Check out the songs “Bad Motherfucker” by Man Made Machine and “Tear It Down” from Burn Halo. I’m an old 18 Visions fan too, so I gotta throw that one in there.

HRH: Is there anything else you want to say to your fans and the Hardrock Haven readers around the world?

REV: Me and the boys really appreciate our families, crew and fans for supporting us around the world. If we haven’t been to your town yet, we will be there soon. Thanks to all the peeps who come to hang with us at shows and please support indie artists like UNDERRIDE by purchasing our music from an authorized UNDERRIDE distributer like iTunes and the like. Visit us online and tell us what YOU think of our songs. See you all at The Rock Show!

HRH: Rev, thanks again for hanging with Hardrock Haven and all the best to you and Underride in 2012.

Visit the official Underride website:
http://www.underride.net/

Watch Underride’s new video for “Paparrazzi”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VbrNsYNS9E

Friend Underride on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/pages/underride/71205831473?sk=app_2405167945

Order Distorted Nation on cdbaby
http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/Underride1

Rev photography by Travis Lawton

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