A new local band is gearing up for its first public performance a little later this year. The band is called Hyperdrive, and the band members' goal with their music is to take their listeners on a journey while inspiring young people to pursue their passions and representing Colorado at the same time.
As its name suggests, Hyperdrive consists of new wave music that knows when to be chill and when to become a headbanger. The band is inspired by futuristic themes and taking one's fate into their own hands.
Manley Presser, Matthew Archer and Luke Schmelzer are the three band mates of Hyperdrive. The band aims to mix the alternative and rock genres with electronic sounds to create a refreshing, unique sound that speaks to listeners.
Presser is a lyricist and songwriter who plays the keyboard, which he uses to produce synthesized tunes. Archer mans the drums and doubles as a lyricist, and Schmelzer thumbs away as Hyperdrive's bass guitarist.
Hyperdrive started four years ago in 2016, although back then Presser and Archer were working together under a different band name. They have studio space in the Calvary Church in La Junta where they experiment with sounds, rehearse songs and occasionally clash over creative direction.
"Drum sticks get thrown at each other's heads from time to time. It wouldn't be a band if there wasn't," Archer said with a laugh. "We like that dispute between us on how things should sound and work. I think it's really good for the band because you get the best of both worlds and we're both really creative when it comes to the ideas."
Archer and Presser like that each bandmate has their own "thing" to bring to the studio. Presser has practiced piano since early childhood, he said. He was born in the Philipines, but moved to Las Animas when he was just two years old, and that's where he grew up. He combined his technical music skill with his affection to rock and electronic to create what he hopes is a unique synthesized sound.
Archer has a background in playing drums, which Presser appreciates because, as he noted, a lot of electronic music utilizes synthesized drums these days, and they want a healthy mix of synth and classic acoustic drums. He played drums for a Pueblo band called TKO in Pueblo after moving to Colorado from West Virginia roughly seven years ago. When his bandmates went their separate ways he started looking for other bands to work with. Finally, Archer came across Manly.
Hyperdrive currently has eight original songs on its resume, three of which are new pieces that haven't been released to the public yet. Five of the tracks will appear on the band's upcoming EP, and they're looking to preview the songs live at an April performance at Otero Junior College.
"Hopefully when we release this five song EP it kind of hooks our consumers, they really enjoy the lyrics that are being said, the movement that we're trying to create," said Archer.
There are also three songs released under Hyperdrive's previous band name, Nova in Motion, one of which Presser talked about. It's called "Partners in Crime" and Presser said he was a little surprised to learn that some locals have already heard the tune.
"They say that's their favorite, so far," said Presser. "We got the radio station here to approve it and play it. They want to play it either two or one month before the show, and the show's going to be in April. That one's going to be taking place on April 10, 2020. They'll be playing it in February and/or March. I can't wait until they do that."
Presser and Archer want their music to inspire people to get active, whether on the dance floor or in their minds as the music conjures up feelings they associate with the music.
"We're going to have the energy that people are looking for in a band," Presser added.
Another way of describing the music and vibes Hyperdrive aims for is, in Presser's words, "universal music."
Another original song by them called "Are You Sleeping" is a song about a daydream, said Presser, about being a better version of one's self - the version one sees capable of "getting the lady at the end of the day," or whatever goal one might hope to achieve for themselves.
That theme appears in some of the band's other works, too. One track titled "Who's Hell Am I At?" proposes a line of questions to the listener: Are you living in the head spaces of others? Are you being tied down by others? Or are you making excuses to hold yourself back?
"It's basically, you're the person entitled to your future," said Archer.
"We hope (our music is) inspiring for young people in this area and a lot of rural areas and places as well where kids are raised," Presser said. "You can actually do the impossible, and I feel like this band is very inspiring for that: Chase the impossible."
Hyperdrive is scheduled to play at Otero Junior College on April 10. Some of their tracks, including "Partners in Crime," are slated to play over local radio broadcasting as April approaches. Some of the band's tracks are available for listening on their YouTube channel of the same name.