Death Valley Driver to release debut

For a musician who has played a part of the heavy metal scene in Atlantic Canada for the past decade and then some, Dan Hodgson of Prince Edward Island-band Death Valley Driver is approaching his newest group with the same zest as any other musical project that he has been a part of.

Hodgson and his band mates in Death Valley Driver, Ray Blacquire, Ryan Gallant, Nick Doucette and Ric Rumbolt, have already supported the likes of White Cowbell Oklahoma, Moncton’s Iron Giant and Neuraxis and are set to drop what is certain to be one of the region’s finest metal albums this year with the release of their debut disc Choke The River.

Recorded on P.E.I. last year with producer David Rashed (of Haywire fame), Hodgson says that the producer played a key role helping them capture the sounds they were after.

“He has a real ear for capturing some heavy tones,” Hodgson starts. “David was awesome to work with and had a ton of great advice to offer us.”

Hodgson is no stranger to making heavy music, having been the frontman for stoner-metal band Gallactus for the past decade.

Hodgson is more heavily involved in the song writing process for Death Valley Driver than he is with Gallactus, however his limited contributions to the latter have more to do with geography than anything else.

“It is almost impossible for me to be involved in the early stages of the Gallactus songs with me being on P.E.I. and the rest of the guys being in New Brunswick.

“With Gallactus, I had full input on what we were doing vocally but the music was written before I even arrived at the practice space.

“Death Valley Driver allows me to be more closely involved in both the direction of the songs as well as the arrangements.”

Hodgson anticipates a plethora of regional shows over the coming months to promote Choke The River.

Though plans to venture much beyond the Maritimes may be tempered by full-time jobs, the band plans to shoot a video for a to-be-determined track from their new record.

Still, he admits the Maritimes aren’t a bad place to be when it comes to the heavy metal scene.

“I think the metal scene here is very healthy although I do find that we are in a sort of transition at the present time. The more veteran bands are starting to scale back on the amount of shows and recordings they are doing while you have a whole lot of younger groups working to fill that void.

“Ultimately, I feel what really separates the metal scene here in Atlantic Canada from the rest of the country is the fact that there is no specific sound that the scene is defined by. Musically, bands here are all over the map and that is something that will keep the scene healthy for many years to come.”

Article published in March 18, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript