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"Hell or Highwater, to me, is a dream. It’s the music that comes most natural and it’s me at my most comfortable."
WHEELS 2.0 BECOMES ECLECTIC
In This Week’s Edition, Jesse Zeroes In on an
Up-and-Coming R&B/Pop Producer, a British
Alt-Rock Band and a New Group Formed by
a Veteran Artist

Wheels is jam-packed with incredible talent this week. Beyond that, be sure to check out my interview with Brandon Saller, formerly the drummer/vocalist of Atreyu, now the frontman for Hell or Highwater. Keep feedin’ the inbox: [email protected]

 

SPOTLIGHT
Ruwanga Samanth
(www.thebirdcall.com ) is quickly becoming one of Hollywood's hottest go-to producers. His work can currently be heard in Universal's Eddie Murphy/Ben Stiller comedy Tower Heist. He’s also nominated for a Hollywood Music in Media Award in the Best Song for Film category for producing the end title song for the #1 action movie of the year, Fast & Furious 5, featuring Vin Diesel, in collaboration with Busta Rhymes and Don Omar, grossing over $250 million worldwide. The HMMAs will take place Nov. 17 at the Highlands in the famous Kodak Theatre complex in Hollywood. Samath founded The Bird Call Productions in 2003 at the age of 18. Since then, he’s completed production for major artists such as Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Kelly Rowland, Flo Rida, Ke$ha, Norah Jones, The Virgins and more. The Bird Call Productions has worked with legendary musicians including Busta Rhymes and OutKast's Big Boi (with co-producers Matt & Kim on "Camera Buggin'," the end title song for The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.) In 2007, Samath won the prestigious L.A. Music Award for his work on the Saw 4 movie soundtrack, (Collinz Room's "Just Another Day"). His previous works include a mash up for Morgan Spurlock's documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, scripting the theme for the History Channel's highest-rated premiere, Mounted in Alaska, and providing the song "Break the Law" for TLC's Unleashed: K9 Broward County. An avid gamer, Ruwanga ventured into the videogame world with placements on The Agency (Sony), which was nominated for a 2009 Hollywood Music Award. He also sat on SESAC's "Get Your Game On" panel for an in-depth discussion on the future of the videogame world. The remainder of 2011 will see such releases as Mind the Gap’s debut album The Good Fight, music for the new Deal or No Deal workout video and the Eric Roberts-Omar Gooding Christmas film Christmas in Compton.

BUZZIN’
Kasabian
(http://www.kasabian.co.uk/gb/home) will be headlining back-to-back nights at the O2 Arena in London in December. The album spent three weeks at #1 in the U.K. They’ll be doing a special YouTube stream for one of their shows in the U.K., which will be broadcast worldwide. Already on Alt Nation, WFNX, WWCD, WEQX, KKDO, KRXP, WARQ, WMRQ and KXNA. Starting in March, the band is coming over for a full U.S. tour, along with hitting all the major festivals—SXSW, Coachella, etc. They had huge support from MTV2 on the new video, which you can see here. Huge press coverage in Q, NME, Mojo and Music Week.

 

EMAIL Q&A WITH BRANDON SALLER
Brandon, talk about the amazing run you had with Atreyu.

Atreyu toured all over the world for about 11 years. We helped shape a genre of music. We released five albums that collectively sold over a million copies. We had great radio success. We did a lot of great things and met a lot of great people. After 11 years, we decided that it was time for a break. We decided, in January 2011, to go on an open-ended hiatus to live out the other ends of our lives whether that meant family, other music, other endeavors.


Tell everyone a little bit about your new project Hell or Highwater, which you are fronting.
Hell or Highwater is a band that i have been dreaming up for quite a while. I had written and recorded the majority of the album with producer Fred Archambault. When it came time to get a band together, I found the gang and we finished writing and recording the album as a whole. Hell or Highwater, to me, is a dream. It’s the music that comes most natural and it’s me at my most comfortable. We all love the music and love the experience of playing in this band together.

I see you guys have been hitting the road hard this year, dong the Uproar Festival, touring with 10 Years and now getting ready to go out with MeTalkPretty on the Wake Up Tour. What’s the most rewarding part for you about being on the road?
For this band, we were starting over. It’s all about making new fans and building a family as a band. We having everything to prove and we love getting out and showing the world what were made of.

Tell me about the merch company you’re involved with.
 The company is called Rock World Merchandise (www.rockworldmerch.com). It’s led by Atreyu guitar player Dan Jacobs and his brother. I work with him as well. We’re a full-service merchandise company. Rock World was started with the mentality of the band or company in mind. Most companies, quite frankly, rip you off. We want to offer quality products at fair and competitive pricing.

The fifth and final question, if you could be any superhero, who would it be, and why?
Superman...flight...done.

A HOLLY, JOLLY
HITS LIST
A December to remember (12/6a)
REVENUE CHART:
MALONE IS MONEY
Yet another post about Post (12/6a)
TAYLOR LIGHTS HER "CHRISTMAS TREE"
With lots of shiny tinsel (12/6a)
THE HAPPY WARRIOR OF THE RECORD BUSINESS
What a great guy (12/6a)
GRAMMY CHEW: WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE, ANYWAY?
Those who fail to learn from the past are destined to repeat it. (12/6a)
EGGNOG!
Ours is mostly bourbon.
MISTLETOE!
Delicious in salads.
CHESTNUTS!
Ours are roasting, but it could be these slim-fit jeans.
WEED!
An entire Christmas tree made of it. Is what we want for Christmas.
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