For more than 15 years, Brandon Saller has put his blood, sweat, and tears into the Southern California metalcore outfit ATREYU. The seasoned drummer/vocalist has hammered out five studio LPs with four of his best friends, while traveling the globe and performing for legions of exuberant fans. Saller has lived the dream of every musician: to bring the rock ‘n’ roll to the hungry, fervent masses. And with HELL OR HIGHWATER, formerly known as THE BLACK CLOUD COLLECTIVE, Saller emerges from behind the drum kit, with the same unbridled passion, to ignite the next rock ‘n’ roll firestorm. The five-piece band will self-release “Begin Again” on August 9. To support the release, the band will take the stage touring on the Uproar festival kicking off in August.
HELL OR HIGHWATER has been brewing for a little over a year and a half, as Saller‘s songwriting drew inspiration from classic rock, doo-wop, punk and pop. Once armed with a solid collection of tunes, he unleashed his newfound vigor in a slew of gigs prior to the New Year, and it felt totally natural. When ATREYU announced their hiatus in January, Saller felt the timing was spot on to bring HELL OR HIGHWATER to the forefront.
“THE BLACK CLOUD COLLECTIVE was just a name. We felt that it didn’t speak to, or represent the five of us. HELL OR HIGHWATER spoke to who we are as a band. HELL OR HIGHWATER is who we are,” says Saller.
HELL OR HIGHWATER lineup came together through word of mouth and via good old-fashioned tryouts. Each member had crossed paths throughout their respective careers, but once guitarist Matt Pauling (THE CONFESSION), guitarist Neal Tiemann (MWK, DAVID COOK), bassist Joey Bradford (THIEVES AND LIARS), and drummer Kyle Peek (MWK, DAVID COOK) synced up with Saller, things just clicked.
“I was lucky enough to find, in my opinion, some of the greatest musicians I could have ever found,” Saller says. “The music has energized all of us to the point where we’re foaming at the mouth. This music makes me want to body slam someone and run a mile, while waving an American flag!”
In addition to the upcoming release of “Begin Again” and the Uproar festival tour, Saller recorded a cover of “Night Life” with Billy Martin of GOOD CHARLOTTE for the soundtrack of the upcoming “The Muppets” movie. Due on August 23 at Starbucks worldwide, the soundtrack also features industry heavyweights like OK GO, THE FRAY, ANDREW BIRD, WEEZER, HAYLEY WILLIAMS, MY MORNING JACKET, ALKALINE TRIO and more.