Metal duo Vulturepeak chooses to roost in Northeastern Pennsylvania scene
In 2005, Rob Holodick moved from Southwestern Pennsylvania to Sweet Valley to start a new life. He said he was in a “bad scene” in Waynesburg, a small college town about an hour south of Pittsburgh. His change of scenery must have done him good, because his friend Jeff Hartley followed him to the opposite end of the state less than a year later. Hartley wanted to find a better scene, but he also had a secondary motivation: he wanted to make music again.
“We’ve been playing together over 10 years,” Holodick said.
They had good timing; the local music scene was picking up momentum then, gestating acts that would go on to national notoriety. The Southwestern Pennsylvania pair hoped to take advantage of that, as well as the area’s proximity to major metropolitan areas.
They came together, Holodick on guitar and Hartley on drums, as Vulturepeak. According to Holodick, they’re able to achieve a full-band sound thanks to their playing style.
“I think the way Jeff plays is very big; it’s very bombastic and very full, there isn’t much space left,” Holodick said. “I kind of try to get in there in the way I play guitar. I kind of try to play like I’m playing drums; more rhythmically, so that it fills out a little bit more.”
Their sound is reminiscent of technical metal acts like Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge, but Hartley said he “tries not to draw too much from other music,” rather, he likes to use the things he enjoys in life as inspiration for his musical composition. Vulturepeak isn’t all sunshine and rainbows though — Holodick said the duo’s lyrical subject matter is grounded in harsh reality.
“Working a nine-to-five, being in a relationship, being out of a relationship, drugs to loss and family, a lot of things,” Holodick said. “We play pretty aggressive music, so it’s a lot of the darker side of what we each go through in life. This is kind of our outlet for it.”
Holodick called it catharsis, and Hartley said the best way to experience that therapy with Vulturepeak is in a live setting.
“If somebody hasn’t seen us I’d say it’s the best way to be introduced to our music,” Hartley said. “It’s something I feel could be pretty powerful if you’re in the right mindset to take it in.”
Holodick, 34, and Hartley, 31, said they have two releases: an 8-song self-titled release that was written and recorded quickly so they had something to pass out at shows, and a three-song EP called “Filament.” They currently have 10 new songs written that they say feel like “a good mix between those two releases and a step forward.”
“I know it sounds kind of cliche, but that’s where we’re going,” Holodick said.
To see where Vulturepeak goes next, like them at Facebook.com/Vulturepeak
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @GeneAxtonTL