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Dead Groove: An Exclusive Interview With HOLLY WEST Of DEAD GROOVE BAND

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Thursday, September 14, 2023 @ 8:52 AM

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Live Photo By Gnarlyfotos

DEAD GROOVE BAND is a Los Angeles-based hard rock trio that was formed in 2020, with a lineup of Holly West on bass and vocals, Fred Aching on drums, and Cesar Salaverry on guitar. (West is also the bassist for the all-female LED ZEPPELIN tribute band ZEPPARELLA; Aching is currently touring with BULLETBOYS and KINGS OF THRASH).

DEAD GROOVE BAND had its genesis during the stay-at-home period of the COVID-19 pandemic, when singer/bassist Holly West and drummer Fred Aching, newly acquainted, got together for a four-hour jam session. The music and ideas for songs overflowed on what West referred to as their first date: "With the pandemic happening we couldn't really do much. But we definitely wanted to get together. So it turned into a four-hour jam session and I knew he was very special."

While their backgrounds were quite different, both musically and culturally, the chemistry between them was undeniable. Soon the idea of forming a band was discussed and as West describes: "I've always been very lucky to have great drummers. So, he's a different cup of tea for like what I'm used to, but he is absolutely incredible at what he does. You know, obviously I'm in a band with him and live with him. You know I know that he takes his drumming very, very seriously. He puts many, many hours into his craft. He grew up with a father that was a very amazing percussionist, and so he has that that South American flare to it."

Each were involved in other bands with touring obligations as well as other projects, yet both were passionate about DEAD GROOVE BAND. They knew they had something good, and at that point, recognized that they needed a guitarist. Fred reached out to Cesar Salaverry, a guitarist he had played with before in the Peruvian hard rock band MAUSER. Known also for his vocal coaching for the reality TV show The Voice Peru, Salaverry was the perfect candidate to enlist. He accepted Fred's offer, and a power trio was in place-yet, two members were in one place (Los Angeles), and one member in Lima, Peru. This challenge was easily met since sharing ideas online via Zoom, Skype, Dropbox, etc. was how things were getting done during the pandemic. The three started writing and passing along ideas. An advantage out of the gate was that Fred and Cesar had a working chemistry having been bandmates in MAUSER. After a few online sessions, Holly and Fred flew to Lima, Peru, to record two initial songs with Cesar: "Maverick" and "Book of The Dead". "Maverick", a bruising song that really showcases what DGB does, is Holly's baby.

"I already had this blues riff going for that song. My favorite blues guy is R.L. Burnside. He's real percussive in his playing. For his time he was very different in his approach and I just like his upbeat style. My favorite band, CLUTCH, gets a lot of their stuff from him as well. So that's where you get a lot of that bluesy sound on those tracks and the whole record. My vocals reflect that as well."

"There's a lot of blues and plans on this record because I am from the South. The blues and that type of rock-and-roll is very, very important to me. It's like it's my standards. You know I grew up playing in bands where you know I cut my teeth in blues standard bands. That stuff is like second nature to me when I moved from California to Texas to California in 2019. So it's like they're very influenced by the same thing that I'm influenced by too."

Aside from its highly-talented players, DEAD GROOVE BAND's appeal is a sound that gives a nod to the heavyweights of classic rock and metal-such as BLACK SABBATH and DEEP PURPLE, and is peppered with progressive elements as well.

Holly says, "Our tones and grooves stem from old school rock and roll. We're not an overproduced band but we're utilizing the technology now to be able to bring out the magic of that."

"I feel like a lot of people can connect with our music because we have a variety. We don't have a lot of ballads. We're not here to slow dance, we're here to groove and rock out. We've done a good job with this trio. I think anybody can dig this record."

Dead Groove is their full-length studio album, released on March 30, 2023. Jeff Young (MEGADETH, KINGS OF THRASH) is currently filling in on guitar duties as the band plays dates across the U.S. On September 7th Dave Ellefson joined them onstage for "Peace Sells" at The Blooze Bar in Phoenix, Arizona.

Check 'em out on social media here:


You can also check out their videos for "The Book Of The Dead", "Bad Friend" and "Maverick".

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