The scene: Guitarist and vocalist Zach Watson hammers away at the strings, voice straining and veins popping as he sings lyrics familiar only to him, the bassist, and the drummer. Beside him stands the mellow bassist, Sevawn Guenther, head bobbing and fingers smoothly sliding along his earthy brown colored instrument as he sets the foundation for the wild, yet coherent song. Set in front of them both sits Henry Chapman dreadlocks hanging low behind his drums as he rhythmically matches the guitar and adds even more flavor to an ensemble that can be described somewhere between grunge and hard rock.
This homebrew, teen-spirit-esque band Viaduct began as many things do: online and over a video game.
“One night Sevawn and I were playing Minecraft and I said to him ‘Sevawn, we should make a band,’” said RAHS junior Zach Watson “I said,‘dude, you know what, I can play guitar,’ and he [Guenther] said ‘you know what? I’ve always wanted to play bass.”
Thus started an epic journey of grunge, soul searching, good times. After training for some 5 years on their instruments, Viaduct is now feeling confident enough to perform publicly.
I think that from playing for a bit and practicing, I think that we have a nice sound,” said Watson. “It’s like we have a cohesion where we can play, and we don’t really necessarily need to know what we’re doing, but it will still sound like something, and people will go ‘oh yeah, this is pretty good.’”
In the future, Viaduct hopes to be able to perform in paid gigs.
“The ideal is [to start] play[ing] in March,” said Watson. “We want to start playing shows then.”
Chapman had even more ambitious goals.
“I want to be playing sooner than that, I want to be playing in two or three weeks,” said Chapman. “We can just go to an open mic and say ‘hey we’ve got instruments, we have a few songs, can we just play a few?’ We could also get together some CDs and a tip jar and start earning some money.”
Their musical vision has evolved and changed throughout the years, but recently they have found their unique style, falling into a sort-of grunge genre.
“I’m definitely a little hasty to label ourselves, I’ve noticed as of late. I used to think that back in the day that we were grunge, and it was all about grunge, and I certainly still have that attraction to grunge,” said Watson. “But at the same time we’re not Nirvana and we’re not Soundgarden and we’ll never be them. We’re just making music and that’s all that matters, it doesn’t matter if you label yourself or if you’re successful.”
“We are Viaduct, without the the, and that’s our genre,” said Chapman.
Becoming Viaduct has called for some major commitments from its members, and often times, being a part of the band has opened their eyes to a new perspective.
“When Zach asked me to start a band with him, I thought I hated music,” said Guenther. “But the whole sort of starting a band thing completely veered my life in a separate direction from where I thought it was going, but a very good direction.”
With their musical talents supporting them, the band hopes to realize their dream of turning their music into more than just a hobby.
“The goal really is to be self-sustaining by doing the things that we love,” said Chapman, “and we love music so we’re hoping that we can make a living by pursuing music and if we can do that, then I’m going to be happy.”