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Interview~ Lets Get To Know ‘VOLTAGEHAWK’ and See What They Are Up To!!!


Hell-bent on pushing the sonic envelope, East Nashville rockers Voltagehawk quickly set a ground rule that “NO” was not welcome in the creative space.

We threw the guys a few questions to ask and they gave us some freakin’ doozies…check them out below.

1. Tell us a little bit about the band and how long you have been together for some of our readers that may not know about the band?

 JARRAD JAMES

This project actually started as a jam session. I was new to the Nashville rock scene and didn’t have a project, but I had tons of friends that seemed pretty disenchanted with all of the bands they were in. So, it started almost as a therapy session, a place where you could come and get away with stuff, play things out of your genre, break all the rules with no judgements, and no bullshit band infighting. It led to gathering a pretty stellar dudes on the same page, and we started just doing what came natural, jamming genres together and writing bangers. 


I actually came up with the name before starting the band. It started as an homage to some of my favorites that had the “something cool, something animal” name motif: Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Wolfmother. I also wanted our records in the same bin with Van Halen. I also wanted to pay homage to the main musical influence, which is the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4 soundtrack, which plays AC/DC in the opening credits…so, High Voltage Rock and Roll. Tony Hawk. Voltagehawk. Those games, and the music in them, changed a lot of dudes’ lives and musical journeys.

DAN FENTON

Voltagehawk began in 1801 in a bar in South Bend Perino, France. Once members of different houses, Jarrad James and Daniel Fenton sealed their cosmic alliance with a flatliner ceremony where Fenton was dead for 9 minutes, then returned but never the same. Hearing of this newly formed duo, Wildman Boone sought to bring his illustrious low end to the party along with his life mate, companion and slayer of all shred gods Chase Arocha. Thus forth, Voltagehawk was born.

2. What got you into music and what keeps you going night after night playing?

 CHASE AROCHA 

Ever since I was about 5 or so I’ve always been interested in music and would mess around on my older brother’s piano. He was a great player but didn’t have any interest to make anything of it. My mom made us play an instrument as kids so I played cello. But it wasn’t until I was 13 and saw a band of fellow 13-14 year old girls playing in a riot girl punk band at the YMCA, screaming their heads off that I knew I wanted to do that!

DAN FENTON

Pinball Wizard, All along the WatchTower, Bobby Bland, Tom Morello, Lead Belly, Motorhead, the Misfits, Rancid, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. I’ve been singing and writing songs since I can remember, started my first punk band at 12 years old in NY and never looked back.

3. So, what is new with the band?..New Album out? New Videos? 

 CHASE AROCHA 

We have a single called “Modern Gasoline” from our first album and we have just finished recording and most of the production on our second album. Hoping to release more music and videos very very soon!

 DAN FENTON

We just finished a 13 song space odyssey with our producer Geoff Pillar at Electric Thunder Studios in the Berry Hill district of Nashville TN. We spent a lot of time cultivating ideas, themes, sounds, images and finding texture and tone. A lot of influence came from film scores, particularly Hans Zimmer and Vangelis work on the Blade Runner films. Something about that darkness juxtaposed to slivers of light in their approach really moves me. The record should be out later this year or early next year if we all survive this pandemic. 


4. If you didn’t become a musician, what would you  be doing right now?

 CHASE AROCHA 

I first went to College for history and switched my major to music but I wanted to be a history teacher, so maybe that, or just back to grinding in a kitchen! 

DAN FENTON

Gypsy Space Pirate. 

JARRAD JAMES

I’d go back to driving zamboni. 

5. What is the weirdest or funniest question you have ever been asked?

 CHASE AROCHA 

One interview asked: How many angry 4 year olds would it take to kick your ass?

DAN FENTON

I once had a fan’s mom tell me that God had spoken to her and I was to marry her daughter. I did not oblige. 

6. If you can have your fans remember you for one thing, what would that be?

CHASE AROCHA

 I’m not sure, I really just hope that I can inspire some 13 year old to pick up the guitar and just try to see what this whole music thing is all about. It’s a feeling unlike anything else when you are really hitting everything perfect and for even a second playing what you hear in your head. Having it come out through your fingers is a high I’m always chasing and want others to share in.

DAN FENTON

Being authentic, hopefully being real. I hope that people can feel the sincerity in the words I write, because I mean them. Writing is my heart. I love everything about music, from the beginning all the way to the current call. I just want people to remember me as a good human, who loved people and shared his dreams.

7. On a scale of one to 2593, How good is your new single compared to your last single? (my attempt at humor, but please still answer)

CHASE AROCHA 

Everything I create or am a part of I always go through these Love/Hate cycles. Always feeling like it could be done better or differently, but at the end of the day I’m truly proud and happy with all of our music. So every single is a 3000 because we wouldn’t ever want to half ass it and write some bullshit song to maybe be more attractive to radio play.

DAN FENTON

Modern Gasoline is the first single so I would say its fucking up there. The new record that is coming is like nothing you have ever heard so I will not compare.

8. What do you feel is the best song your have release to date and why?

 CHASE AROCHA 

As I said before I love all of our songs, but I guess if I had to pick one I would say Almighty Dollar on our self titled album. It’s just fun as hell to listen to as well as play, high energy, and some psychedelic vibes even!

DAN FENTON

I think that the best is yet to come always. That said, live capitol hill is always fun because its easy for fans to sing along with the “take my heart, take my money” chorus. I think the intro guitar hook in Modern Gasoline brings a lot to the table as well.

9. Do you think you can get any better as a musician/singer? And if so, How would you achieve that?

 CHASE AROCHA 

Music is not a competition and if you are competing it should only be with yourself to try and become a better You everyday. There are no shortcuts to this process. Like an old music theory teacher told me all you need to do is practice. If you aren’t eating, you should be practicing. If you aren’t sleeping, you should be practicing. And dammit if you aren’t practicing, then you should be fucking practicing.

DAN FENTON

Yes, always. Growth is essential if you want to stay interested in your craft. I’ve know tons of lazy musicians in my life and have been guilty of not practicing enough myself at points. That said, I read this amazing book by Steven Pressfield that came out in 2002 called “The War of Art”. This book changed a lot for me perspective wise in music and in life as a creative human. Pressfield talks about this invisible force he calls the resistance, which can be anything good or bad that keeps you from showing up for your art on a daily basis no matter how you feel. Now I show up, even if its to pen a few words, sometimes it’s 6 songs sometimes none. But I believe that change is inevitable and growth is essential, no matter how good you may be.

10. If you could give your fans one random fact about you that you think they should (or should “not” know) about you what would that be?

CHASE AROCHA 

I have an obsession with the philosophy of Bob Ross. Talent is not an inherent ability, it is the time that you put into something. Along with not having expectations because every plan changes and the world is unpredictable, you just have to keep being you throughout it all. Also I can wiggle my ears.

DAN FENTON

I won’t say why, but I have been dead 3 times and revived 3 times in my life. I was a very rough and tumble kid, but I also made some crazy choices in my life. I’m just glad to be here. If anyone wants the whole story they can find me on instagram and send me a message.

11. You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

 CHASE AROCHA 

Turquoise and Black burst. Because that sounds sick and isn’t a crayon in the box that’s overpowering with flash, just a fun color!

DAN FENTON

Neon Hot Pink.

12. Who are you inspired by? 

 CHASE AROCHA 

Life, my lady and daughter, my family and friends. Really anything in this world inspires creativity, like the atrocities of our government or the mental stranglehold people place on the world, masking themselves as religious leaders. If you aren’t inspired by this world to write everyday with how much is going on, then this life isn’t for you.

DAN FENTON

Lots of films, scifi, fantasy, dystopian 70’s and 80’s shit. Classical music, Hanz Zimmer, currently a band from the UK called IDLES. Tom Waits. Mars Volta, RATM, Pink Floyd.

13. What’s an average day like for you?

 CHASE AROCHA  

Wake up, take the Daughter to school, eat, practice and write and make video content for socials, eat with my ladies, then head to work at night playing the crazy honky tonks on Broadway in Nashville.

DAN FENTON

Wake and bake. Coffee and an American Spirit yellow. Check the news on my phone, start texting Jarrad, start sorting band business. Carve out time to record work tapes in my home studio. Social media and all that. Work in my garden, hang with my family and listen to a lot of music. A lot of NYC Jazz or some classical like Edvard Grieg. Smoke some more and work some more till its time to have rehearsal or play shows again. The band communicates every fucking day without fail. We care a lot for each other and it’s more than just work or some kind of job to us.

14. Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans

 CHASE AROCHA 

Whether it be social media or at a show or just on the street I’m always amazed, and so thankful if anyone likes what we do creatively. So I listen and answer whatever a fan wants to know for sure!

DAN FENTON

We hang with our fans, we bounce ideas and theories about the cosmos and social issues with them. We are in the audience when the next act plays or out on the porch talking about inspiration or gear or whatever with our fans. We love them very much and we want to commune with them as homies.

15. Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?

 CHASE AROCHA 

I have had years of suffering from panic attacks and have generalized anxiety disorder. I deal with it all the time, but the key is to know that it’s always there for everyone if you really care about your music and doing it justice in front of an audience. “If you aren’t nervous you don’t care” is what Ozzy said and I believe that. I also highly recommend meditation and breathing exercises, Wim Hof look him up for breathing. It’s everything! But really I focus on breathing and we do yoga before everything and that has completely changed my life.

DAN FENTON

For sure. It comes and goes. I’ve been on stage most of my life but I still care, so I still get nervous. If it becomes just a job than what the fuck is the point.

16. Tell me about your favorite performance venues

 CHASE AROCHA 

Man there are so many!! But the Basement East in Nashville is definitely one of my favorite spots. It’s been so hard to see it destroyed  by the recent tornados. Catalina Jazz Club in LA means a lot to me too, a lot of legends played there and I got a chance to around the end of college, a memory I’ll have forever. 

DAN FENTON

I love the Exit/In in Nashville. It’s full of history, everyone has played there. Now some fucking shit heel developers are trying to buy up the property and tear it down for a Holiday Inn Express! Look up the “Save The Rock Block” movement on socials. This shit happens to so many old venues, just like book stores and small chef owned spots. These rich bastards come in and clear cut all the history and culture so some crusty 1% jerk can sit in their tower where once stood a venue that held performances by Tom Waits, Shooter Jennings, The Talking Heads, They Might Be Giants, Clutch, The Ramones, Jerry Reed, Modest Mouse and so many more. I like a lot of venues, but Exit/In is special.

17. What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

 CHASE AROCHA

 No one is going to help you get any chances or get any better. So don’t rely on some magic story of someone seeing you play in a bar and now you play stadiums. It’s years of grinding and hard work and barely making money. I’ve done a lot of recording sessions and played in Pit bands for musicals and played for singers, different work for hire jobs in music and one thing I noticed was, every different level of player is there. You can have the person just out of school with not much experience on a gig with a guy who toured with Madonna for 15 years, if you can play you get hired. It’s very humbling and shows that the grind is never over, you have to love this to make it a job, you have to be obsessed. It’s the only way mentally you can deal with the constant rejection and financial craziness that is being a musician. That being said have you every been on stage and the whole band is perfectly in sync, you’re hitting every note you want, and the crowd is really responsive to everything you give them and giving it right back? There is no better feeling!

DAN FENTON

Show up everyday for your art. Read a lot, educate yourself on sound and be willing and ready for the muse when it hits because it will move on if you are not. Just know thyself and your art and give yourself to sound. HARD FUCKING WORK!!

While recording at Electric Thunder Studios with Geoff Piller, Mastering by Brian Lucey at Magic Garden Mastering (Black KeysGhostArctic MonkeysDr JohnMarilyn Manson) the band put together an energetic, fast paced, melodic opener set and quickly found themselves supporting national touring acts including loud rockers Beasto Blanco (Chuck Garric of Alice Cooper) [Rat Fink], as well as pop punkers The Pink Spiders [Geffen], bluesy rockers Goodbye June [EaracheInterscope] and stoner powerhouses Duel and Toke.

Continuing on it’s mission to fuse melodic Nashville songwriting sensibilities with raw Rock and Roll power, Voltagehawk recently released their eponymous debut on Poison Tree Records.

About Bryan Joe Corder (3921 Articles)
Concert Photographer at heart, Love listening to music and going to shows to try to capture the magic on the stage with my imagery.I also review albums and live concerts.

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