Tried and true: Angola Road ready to rock ToledoWritten by Mike Bauman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Given the erratic nature of supergroups in music, one might be leery as to how a band comprised of members from local rock staples like Mobile Deathcamp, Fetish Doll, Damien, Stohl-n, Keys 2 Eden and Brothers Grimm would fare when they came together to form one of Toledo’s newest groups in Angola Road.
According to lead singer Scott Miller, however, egos aren’t a problem in veteran-laden Angola Road.
“There were really no bumps in the road,” Miller said of forming Angola Road. “I think everybody was ready for this. Like I said, a couple of guys have been in bands that they were just playing the notes. They weren’t really writing. Other people had suffered through the usual cliché with the bands they were in—drugs and drinking, the whole nine yards.
“They were spinning their wheels, so when we finally just came together it just clicked. And that’s the whole thing about music: you can have the greatest musicians in the world, but if there’s no chemistry you’re not going to go anywhere.”
Comprised of Miller, Brian LaForge (bass), Parker Harroun (guitar/backing vocals), Harold Champnoise (guitar/backing vocals) and Wade Paul (drums/backing vocals), Angola Road will hold a CD release show for its debut record “Script Nation” at The Zodiac on Jan. 28. Formed last summer, the band’s chemistry was apparent from the start.
“From there, we just got together and we immediately started writing, and the writing came real easy,” Miller said. “We got into the studio right after that. Everything went real smooth real fast. When you have seasoned musicians that have been through the ringer, things go a lot faster. You get a lot more done.”
Miller has been playing in bands since the 90s, spending approximately four years apiece with Damien and Christian rock outfit Keys 2 Eden in addition to his time in Brothers Grimm. But despite experiencing some success, he was ready for something new.
“The Christian rock scene, I kind of thought it would be different than what it ended up being,” Miller said. “Musicians are musicians. Whether they say they’re Christians or not, you still run into the same problems.”
After Champnoise brought the idea of starting a new band to Miller’s attention, Angola Road came together rather quickly. Harroun, whom Miller said didn’t play for years after Fetish Doll because “he had such a bitter taste in mouth,” got in touch with Champnoise, heard about the band and wanted in.
LaForge and Paul soon followed, and the collective experience between all the members combined for a no frills attitude when it came to making music together.
“Emotionally, there’s not a lot of pretense as far as how we write,” Miller said. “I have nothing against people that write sappy love songs or anything like that, but we tend to come at it from a different angle. Some of the stuff can be political; a lot of it’s a little bit of social commentary about what’s going on.”
With a sound that Miller said can be classified as hard rock but not pigeonholed into one of the many subgenres with elements of metal, ballads and blues in its music, he thinks that Angola Road can deliver something Toledoans want to hear with its debut effort in “Script Nation.”
“It’s just us,” Miller said. “This is cliché, but I hate to categorize what we do. We’re just Angola Road—lots of big guitars, and big vocals and good writing.”
For Angola Road, the challenge locally will be carving out its niche in a music scene that has changed a lot since its members first started playing gigs.
“The truth is if you can’t draw they don’t want you, and you’re not going to make any money and you can’t expect to get paid if you’re not out there working to get fans,” Miller said.
With the band’s musical experience, though, Miller is excited about the future of Angola Road.
“You don’t have to be 19 to make it in this business,” Miller said. “It’s kind of funny in this business. It’s about the only business maybe besides being an athlete where [it’s not] the younger you are, the more success you can have [like] most businesses that you go into. The older you are, the more successful you are. You make more money after you’ve gotten more experience.”
On Jan. 28, Angola Road, The Deadbeat Moms and CrashDollz will perform for Angola Road’s CD release show at The Zodiac, located at 135 S. Byrne Rd. in Toledo. Doors are at 8 p.m. and tickets are $5-7 the day of the show. All ages are welcome. For more information, call 419-536-2583.