VCT: It is great to finally sit down and talk with you now after all these years of following your career and listening to your music. I am so excited that you now have a complete band and think your new stuff is amazing. Can you tell me a little bit about how this all came together?
Thank you for the support over the last few years. The idea of a creating a band really started with a dream I had back in 2010 when I was living in Hollywood and signed to Darkchild Records as a solo artist. I dreamt I was back home in Colorado performing on stage with
5 other musicians; a DJ, a guitarist, a drummer, a bass player, and a female vocalist. We had a huge Colorado flag on stage and after the show I was doing an interview saying how we were all from there. Then I woke up. Initially I was kind of disappointed in the dream because it seemed so real while I was asleep so after waking up I felt like I had only begun my journey as a musician. A year later I decided to move back home and start the steps to bringing the dream I had into fruition.
VCT: Your new band has really done some amazing work in a short amount of time, was there instant chemistry between all of you when you got together or something else that allowed you to create such great tracks from the start?
I would say a combination of faith, chemistry and having Eddie Fisher(One Republic) as our mentor/producer is what got us going and elevated our sound, show, and message.
We worked really hard and trusted each other which I believe shows in our music.
VCT: What is your greatest accomplishment to date that you would like to share with your fans?
I’ve been blessed to have quite a few accomplishments in my career but I have to say that my band and our debut project “The Elevation EP” is the greatest! It literally is a dream come true to be able to rock out with my friends and represent our home town of Denver CO.
VCT: When you create music now what is the process that you take?
The process varies but often it starts with DJ Five8 creating a simple beat with drums and synths/pads. Then I’ll write lyrics to it. Yasi and I then record the lyrics. Then we jam the demo at rehearsals with Scott (guitar), Shawn (bass) and Joe (drums) until we find a proper arrangement and all instruments vibe together. Lastly we take it to the studio with Eddie and he adds his touch by pushing us and the song to an ideal space. It’s a lot of building and then tearing apart. It’s a ton of work but so much fun!
VCT: I know you are no stranger to live audiences but I want to know do you prefer laying down tracks or performing them live?
Each phase (songwriting, production, recording, and performing) gives me a different high. Performing Live is easily my favorite though. The stage is the only place I feel completely free. Also seeing all the faces in the crowd and knowing that they love our music makes me feel like a super
hero. I just believe performing is my God given purpose and I’m so thankful to him for it.
VCT: What is the one thing you want to let up and coming artists know that will help them avoid some pitfalls in the music industry?
Be yourself. Don’t get caught up in chasing “hit records” or whatever is cool at the moment.
Focus on finding who you are as a person and what you represent, then your music will be a reflection of that. It took me 9 years, 3 record deals, hundreds of shows, and thousands of songs to realize that just being myself is enough. All 6 of us in the band is a reflection of each other and our individual paths and that is what makes us special.
VCT: Is there a favorite club or venue that you like to play?
That’s easy. Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado. Coolest venue in the states for sure, possibly the world. If you haven’t been there I highly recommend it.
8) When recording and producing tracks what is your favorite aspect?
Actually recording and producing take a back seat to arrangement. I love having the lyrics and music ready and then moving everything around like a puzzle into the perfect format.
VCT: What are your plans for 2015 and beyond with HWood?
Our plan for 2015 and beyond is to spread hope, faith, and inspiration to every corner of the earth. To kill the spirits of fear, self doubt, and depression off every person who hears or sees us, even if it’s just for the length of the song or show. That is our one and only mission.
VCT: Is there anything you want to let your fans know about the coming few months down the road?
Coming up next month we are Headlining the Bluebird Theater in Denver, CO on 4/18 and looking forward to a sold out show. Followed by a return to my second home and showcase in Hollywood, CA. Then a summer of music video shoots, playing more shows, and finishing our debut Album “The Elevation LP” We’re planning to kick off the fall with the album and a west coast and southern states college tour.