Health & Rifle Club hopes to expand Amped’s fanbase | Online Features


NOTortheast Mesa alt-rockers The Health & Rifle Club are thrilled to debut Amped Coffee Co. on Friday, February 25.

The band is looking to expand its audience and with the help of fellow rocker Austin Walashek of Wild Giants. After meeting the son of the owners of Amped, the Health & Rifle Club realized that this would be an ideal space to captivate a new wave of fans.

“We never played Amped but we shared a lot of projects with Austin,” said drummer and keyboardist Palmer Saylor.

“We just want to release commodities.”

Playing in a more intimate venue also provides the Health & Rifle Club with the bandwidth to project its soothing sonic sounds to an engaged audience.

“Because we all have an equal voice in the songs, it comes out,” Saylor said. “It feels like it’s an equal investment, making it easy for us to put our heart and soul into the live show.”

The band hopes Amped Coffee Co. will provide this scene based on rave reviews from other bands.

“The cool thing about Amped Coffee Co. is that we’ve heard a lot of good things about it and have formed a good friendship with Wild Giants,” said guitarist Andrew Saks.

“It seemed really cool. It also allows us to branch out outside of our central Phoenix area.

Amped’s main selling point is its excellent sound system.

“The sound from the location or the PA system is the factor that scares us the most, but from what we’ve heard, it allayed our concerns,” Saks said. “We expect to go out there and shake things up.”

Although Saks is a new addition to the Health & Rifle Club, he admitted that he was a fan of music before joining. He is always under the spell every time he goes on stage with his new comrades.

“For me – with new ears – every time I go in and dive deeper into the songs, I love it more and more,” Saks said. “Personally, I’ve always loved performing. There’s an element of performing in front of people that takes a song and gives it new life.

However, the songs “Gold in the Throes of Summer” and “If You Need This” remain his best tracks to perform live.

In addition to playing in a cozy room for rockers, the band will be surrounded by like-sounding artists the night they take the stage at Amped Coffee Co.

“We cling to similar-sounding bands, which surprises us because the music scene has had its ups and downs, love and hate over the past 20 years,” Saylor said. “We found groups that are very complementary with our sound. We quickly made friends with many of these people with whom we split the bills.

Saylor said he hoped to show off the band’s originality.

“We hope people find us original,” Saylor said.

“Just like many new bands in Phoenix, we are striving and ultimately navigating through today’s new music scene. We hope our listeners will hear some unique music, ultimately helping us emerge as some of the new sounds in Phoenix.

The cafes, Saks said, are some of the best scenes in the Valley for first-time bands.

“We’re always trying to find an audience,” Saks said. “So we look for places that make sense and we can reach people. Sometimes, as a group, you are always looking for opportunities. You can play in the most famous place in town for four people, while you can play in a cafe for 30-40 people.

After the show, the band plans to hibernate in the studio until their next wave of shows to record another EP.

“Our battle plan is to release a series of EPs just to release as many as possible,” Saks said. “As we mature as a band, especially with the new lineup, the sound will evolve to some extent to be more representative of what we have right now.”

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