Hellbranch Run releases alternative rock debut
Any creative endeavor takes time and energy. This is something four Westside residents are familiar with after five years of playing Ohio concert venues and nearly a year in a recording studio.
Hellbranch Run’s debut album, “Against the World,” was performed live at the Newport Music Hall earlier this year.
Named after the Darby Creek tributary, Hellbranch Run is an alternative rock band whose music features melodic verses and a strong driving chorus, according to the band’s MySpace profile.
Band member Aaron Whitlock said they chose the name because it represents where they come from.
Whitlock and fellow band members Zach Russell, Brandon Tuggle and Chad Russell graduated from South-Western City Schools. The four friends have known each other all their lives.
Tuggle started his musical career playing bass guitar, but later picked up the acoustic and electric guitar.
“I have always loved music and everything about music,” Tuggle said.
Whitlock plays guitar and is lead vocalist. His dad is a professional musician, so Whitlock has been around music all his life. He was born while his dad was on the road in Lake Tahoe, Calif.
“My dad was playing the casino circuit,” Whitlock said. “He has a lot of valuable experience we can learn from. He warned us about the music industry.”
Before they formed Hellbranch Run four years ago, music was only a hobby for Whitlock, he said. He focused on athletics during high school and college, but once the band played together, he realized they had skills.
Zach got his first drum set when he was 2 years old. His dad plays the guitar and his mom plays the piano.
Chad moved to Marietta two years ago for a job. He said there were always guitars around his house.
Because they have known each other so long, the group said they click on stage.
They have also dealt with challenges, like when Chad lived in Marietta. When they recorded their album they would e-mail clips of music to him to work on.
The group’s music has been featured on local radio rock stations, like 99.7 FM The Blitz.
“We are lucky they play us on a regular basis,” Whitlock said.
Zach said they were hosts on the radio program the week before their album was released.
Tuggle said his friends love the music and his parents come to their shows whenever possible, although they especially like their acoustic music.
He said his sister has always been supportive of the music.
“She is a really great singer,” Tuggle said. “For our next album we would like to get her to sing.”
The members have written five songs for their next album.
“We want to be ready if we have an opportunity to do another album,” Whitlock said. “We want to keep coming up with better music.”
“We have a positive message,” Whitlock said. “We play good, catchy songs (about) our struggle as people. It’s us against the world. In the end, it’s us we have to trust.”
Hellbranch Run’s 11-song album can be found digitally on Amazon and iTunes. Their next show is July 13 at 8 p.m. at Bernies, 1896 N. High St., where the band will also film their upcoming music video.