When you think of the term 'a sense of urgency,' what comes to mind? A message that just begs and needs to be heard? Purpose-driven people? A need to connect with others at all costs? If you fit the bill for all of these qualities and look for no less than that in your hard rock music, then look no further than Florida's own - The Helvetica Effect.
1 year, 9 months, and 10 days. A lot can happen in such a relatively long period of time. In the career span of a musician, it's a lifetime. But, for Florida's The Helvetica Effect, they decided to take that much time to record their first full-length effort, "Calm Amongst The Chaos."
Since their creation in 2009, The Helvetica Effect have been making the most of the time given to them. From wowing packed crowds of all likes to impressing online bloggers & industry insiders with their brand of groove-oriented melodic hard rock, The Helvetica Effect spare no amount of energy whether it be throwing down with a near-acrobatic stage show or connecting heart and soul to their devoted group of fans known as The Effectees on and off-stage. Their self-produced debut EP "These Blackest Skies" showcased a homegrown rawness & intensity not seen very much in rock music anymore. So, all of the evidence presented begs the question - "Why such the long wait for a debut record?"
"Perfection," frontman/guitarist Rob Perez states simply, "I wish we had some better excuse like 'we had major labels looking at it' or 'we all went on a massive LSD trip in the studio for 6 of those months,' but at the end of the day, we wanted it to be the perfect professional representation of us because for all we know...we may never get a chance like this again. And we believe that, at the end of the day, it will be exactly that."
In attempting to achieve said sonic perfection, The Helvetica Effect spoke with various producers and engineers before deciding on engineer and first-time producer Richard Skopnik. Aside from the amassed engineering and assisting credits by working with everyone from rockers Adelitas Way all the way to pop sensations like Florence & The Machine, Skopnik had "a real passion for the project," says bassist Will McLoone, "This was the type of music he'd been wanting to truly get his hands dirty with as far as producing. We base most things on an emotional response and you could tell that what we were doing moved him - he just really gave us that 4th voice asking constantly 'How can we make this better?'"
And so it goes that THE and Skopnik began their near 2-year journey; in doing so, it triggered a metamorphisis in the band. The shows have become more intense, the songs more passionate, the fans more devoted than ever. What does a band and their fans do with all that in nearly 2 years time? They work their asses off. They tour non-stop, clocking in an impressive tally of 200 shows in that time span with no signs of stopping. They win band battles, taking home top honors in Dothan, AL's District Battle of the Bands in 2012. They scrape and scratch to open up for bigger acts, from their comrades in Almost Kings, Surrender The Fall, The Chuck Shaffer Picture Show, Righteous Vendetta, & Cathercist to modern rock contempararies like HURT, Smile Empty Soul, (hed)PE, ADEMA, & Candlebox. They also impress the online community and judging enough to rank themselves in as representatives for the Hard Rock Cafe in Destin, FL for the Hard Rock Rising 2013 Competition. Ultimately, they strive for what all serious bands hunger for the most - the next level.
For drummer Matt Cyrus, he says "that's all we have their eyes on; the future. How can we grow this? How can this get any bigger? Really, what it comes down to is the Effectees and our communication with the fans and the help we get from them. We can only shout from rooftops so much, but they definitely have a bigger megaphone for which to amplify it."
To sum it all up, Perez says "Not to sound pretentious, but we feel like there's a sense now that the fans that are listening want a little intelligence and a lot of soul and purpose with their rock and roll nowadays. A chance to connect with it and the people behind it. And we're gonna do our damnedest to give those people what they want. Because that's what we ask out of our music every single day. That is truly The Helvetica Effect - that connection."