They're a young band with old-school influences.
The Blue Heavy, influenced by bands like Led Zepplin, The Rolling Stones and Black Sabbath, is comprised of Ben Gaines as lead vocalist, Jac Conley as lead guitarist, Bo Kitzman on drums and Mark Crider on bass. Gaines and Conley have been involved with music their whole lives, especially with singing.
"I have been singing my whole life, but really got into it around middle school," Gaines said. "I actually wanted to major in voice in college, and only started playing guitar a couple years ago. I only sing with The Blue Heavy."
Gaines describes the band's shows as lively and said attendants should expect this when they perform after the Ace Miller Memorial Boxing Tournament on Friday at The Hill.
"Our shows are really high energy," he said. "We don't play punk music, but I like to compare our shows to punk shows, crowd-wise. People get really into it, people dance, but it's also fun music to just hang in the back and dance to. We usually have people in the front throwing down, then people hanging and dancing in the back. At The Hill, we'll be playing a lot of '60s and '70s covers, as well as our original songs. It's just fun music to come out and dance to."
Conley also explained that he has been singing for quite some time.
"I have been singing my whole life, too, and I started taking lessons when I was in fifth grade," Conley said. "I play guitar in the band, but I started playing the drums when I was in the seventh grade, and then I started playing guitar when I was a sophomore in high school."
Gaines said the two were musically compatible before The Blue Heavy formed.
"It was long before The Blue Heavy. I couldn't play guitar and we met in Jackson, where we're from," Gaines said. "We were about 15 or 16, and then we started a band called 1952. Then when I transferred to UT, and we were going to the same school we started The Blue Heavy around 2010 to 2011."
Elaborating on the meaning behind their songs, Gaines said that writing is his outlet that relates back to his life.
"I write most of the lyrics, so Jac and I will get together and he'll have a guitar part and I'll either have lyrics to match or I won't," Gaines said. "Most of the songs are actually related to my life in some way or another. Then we have a few songs that aren't related to me, but just the emotion of that the song conveys to me, like when you read a
book and how it makes you feel. Jac will show me a guitar part and I'll write a song on how it makes me feel. A lot of our songs are based on social commentary as well. For example, 'Money' is about greed."
The two band members came up with the band name in quite a specific way.
"Our music is really heavy rock, and we actually were talking about names over Facebook chat. It's really heavy on the rock side and really bluesy, so why not The Blue Heavy?" Conley said.
The Blue Heavy will play at The Hill at 1105 Forest Ave. on March 2 at 9 p.m. The band is planning to release their EP within the next month.