Under Surveillance brings seasoned, original rock
By DEREK HALSEY For The Herald-Dispatch Jan 28, 2016
HUNTINGTON – Original rock ‘n’ roll is not an easy thing to pull off. Either the original songs don’t hold up, or a group goes the route of becoming a cover band.
Under Surveillance is an outfit from Charleston fronted by a Marshall staff member which is poised to release an album of all-original songs called “Savannah Moon.” The recording is full of guitars and layered arrangements for an almost 1980s rock arena band sound.
Under Surveillance, which makes its V Club debut Friday, Jan 29, is made up of Phil Hatfield on guitar and vocals; Phil “X” Crace on bass and vocals; Randy Brown on drums and vocals; and Eve Marcum Atkinson on lead vocals.
Under Surveillance will open a full night of music at the V Club, 741 6th Ave., Huntington, including Of The Dell and The Dead Frets. The 18-and-over show starts at 10 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door.
Hatfield, Crace and Brown have been playing rock ‘n’ roll music together for years. More than a year ago, the group found themselves in need of a lead singer. Enter Atkinson, who came across an ad on a social media site posted by the members of the band.
“It was January of last year when I saw a post in one of the Facebook music groups that said Under Surveillance was looking for a new vocalist,” Atkinson said. “I said, ‘Hey, I don’t suppose you would be looking for a female vocalist, would you?’… I went through the process of uploading some songs to my website and then I sent them some direct links. Then, after they heard the songs, they wanted to come and interview me and have me audition so they sent me a bunch of their music. I had to learn all of their first album in a week. … I worked real hard to learn all of their stuff in a week, and they liked how I sounded. I saw it pop up one day, I sent them a message, and it worked.”
Atkinson works in the Marshall University Sustainability Department when not singing rock ‘n’ roll. While she sang earlier in her life, the last several years have been crucial in her evolution as a vocalist.
“It has been within the last five years that I really decided to further develop my skills and connect with musicians and make a go of it,” Atkinson said. “I’ve been in a few bands, and Under Surveillance has been wonderful to work with. Everybody there is very talented, and they listen to me, and we work well together.”
“I got very lucky when I was able to connect with a group of guys that have been working together since the 1980s,” she said. “… Although sometimes they do argue like brothers, like brothers they care about one another, and they care about the music, and that makes it good to work with them.”
As the new album “Savannah Moon” is on the verge of being released, the band is proud of producing what will hopefully be perceived as a quality rock ‘n’ roll project meant to be turned up loud.
“All of the new album is original,” Atkinson said. “Phil Hatfield does the majority of the songwriting, and then we all get together and develop the sonic end of it as a band and then we record it.”
She said the band has been influenced by groups like Rush, Jimi Hendrix, Cheap Trick and even the Pretenders and Joan Jett.
“As for my influences, I love U2 as a band and also some classic acts like Led Zeppelin and Heart. They kind of laid down the foundation of what I want to do as a vocalist,” she said. “But, I have grown quite a bit over the last few years in what I enjoy singing and performing. I love the band Halestorm. If I could only do what Lzzy Hale does – because she is amazing. I love her. If we could ever open for them, it would be awesome.”
If you go
WHO: Under Surveillance with Of the Dell and The Dead Frets.
WHEN: 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29. Doors at 8 p.m.
WHERE: The V Club, 741 6th Ave., Huntington.
TICKETS: $5 at the door.
MORE INFO: http://www.vclublive.com ; https://www.facebook.com/wvundersurveillance/ .