Coming to The Vogue Friday, January 22, is the rejuvenated Ratt (officially the Bobby Blotzer Ratt experience), and who better to be the show opener than Decibel. The local band from Avon, Indiana, are no strangers to The Vogue’s stage as they have poured sweat and loud riffage numerous times at the club, including their Hairbanger’s Ball series. One half cover band and one half rock and roll composers, the band wears multiple hats that all point towards a rejuvenated look at a classic sound. From AC/DC to Ted Nugent to Zeppelin and everything in between, Decibel has given these classic rock songs a new life and audiences a chance to feel what it is like to experience, possibly for the first time, the passion and drive that comes from these essential tracks.
This is the launching point to what plans to be a very busy year for the band, having this opening slot for a band who helped define hair metal is not just a treat but will probably be flattering for the band, but also the biggest show they have performed at yet.
So who is Decibel and how did these group of guys get to love classic rock so much to devote their musical career to it. I talked to lead guitarist and vocalist Caleb White about the band and how they became one of rock’s glowing stars in the Indiana landscape.
How did you three meet and what led to Decibel being formed?
Caleb White and Will Curry met each other as neighbors, and still are to this day. Will was only 9 and I was 12 when we first met. We were really just two kids who wanted to rock out. We jammed for a long time just the two of us. It wasn’t til middle school that I met Lucas Krier. We all shared the same aspirations and musical influences so it just made sense. We fooled around with some other names in the very early days, but we eventually came to Decibel.
How did you get into classic rock and how did the band become passionate about performing these songs?
I didn’t know anything about classic rock until I was about 10 years old when my then guitar teacher let me borrow the album Back In Black by AC/DC. That was it for me. Will’s parents raised him on classic rock. He actually knew the words to Motley Crue’s “Wild Side,” as a toddler. Luke started out with a much more metal background. He listened to bands such as Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax.
What are your favorite covers to play live? What songs would you like to cover and have not yet. And how does the band go about working on learning a cover song?
Some of our favorites to do live are “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath, “Stranglehold” by Ted Nugent, AC/DC’s “Let There Be Rock,” and “Do You Feel Like We Do” by Peter Frampton. There are always cover songs that we toss around. We’d like to do “Heavy Metal” by Sammy Hagar. That one is a real killer. When we decide on a cover or list of covers, we all go home and learn our parts individually and get it as best we can without the band. Then we’ll take it to rehearsal and just hash it out. Generally it doesn’t take too long for that to happen.
Many people know the group for your work with Hairbanger’s Ball. There seems to be an increasing trend for cover band shows. How has that helped the group and how has that led to the perception the band has received?
When people go to see Hairbanger’s Ball, they expect to see classic rock. We fit in perfectly with them because we deliver the classic rock as well. Playing with them has been so great because we were able to get in at The Vogue, and also play in front of so many people who would have never seen us otherwise.
The band hit the studio back in 2014. When are we going to see the band return to the studio? What do you hope to accomplish?
We are actually in the final processes of putting our own home studio together. It’s almost finished. That will open so many doors for us because we can record at our own pace and do exactly what we want to do. We hope to knuckle down and record a great Rock n’ Roll record.
How did you get selected to open up for Ratt? What other major acts have you opened for in the past and what does this gig mean for the band? (I probably will not include this but wouldn’t it be funny if you guys came out and did Ratt covers better than the band themselves?)
From what we understand, there were quite a few bands in the running for the opening slot. We were very fortunate to have been selected for it. It’s a fantastic opportunity and we are very much looking forward to it. We have opened up for a handful of national touring bands such as Affiance, Onward To Olympus, and John Corabi. We have also played with tribute bands such as Zoso, Appetite For Destruction, One, and Slippery When Wet. This gig means a lot for the band. This show is going to be huge, our biggest yet, and it will be a great opportunity to play in front of a big crowd of people who have never seen us before.
How do you feel like you have helped strengthen rock and roll in this city by doing what you do? What do younger people feel about your dedication to classic rock?`
You know, there aren’t really a lot of bands doing what we do today. We just wanna keep the torch of Rock n’ Roll burning!
They love it. The younger audiences that we have played to have always given us positive feedback. It’s funny because the younger audiences don’t expect three young guys to be playing classic rock. They always end up digging it.
The band is also known for having magnificent rock hair. How do you all manage to keep those manes healthy?
Simple. We wake up, run a comb through it, and call it a day.
Does having such a large collection of covers hamper your ability to promote original music?
Yes and No. At shows like with Hairbanger’s Ball, people want to hear their favorite covers. They don’t necessarily want to hear your latest original. So that can be tough sometimes because we have original songs that we’d like to play, but we have to play to the crowd that is there. We’ll usually try to sneak one or two in there.
What is next for the band in 2016?
This year is shaping up to be our biggest year yet. We’d really like to get busy recording our latest songs and get those out there as soon as we can. We plan to keep playing bigger and better shows and continue to make new fans.