Life without live music has been devastating for music-lovers, musicians and venues alike; for band Huxley, though, it has been a blessing in disguise.
Based in New Jersey, the hard-rock band is picking up national attention, getting airtime on radio stations all over the country, and even charting; from Missouri to New York, and on the Billboard Top 40, Huxley is making a name for themselves as part of the mainstream rock scene.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the band was forced to step back from live performance. It was during this time that they decided to take their sound from metal-core to hard-rock, a decision that has already paid off. “What Have I Done?” is the band’s first release since changing up their sound, falling somewhere between the Foo Fighters and Avenged Sevenfold. The combination of lead singer Doug Goldspiel’s classic “rocker” voice and lead guitarist Mike Lamplugh’s intricate solos, the song is a gritty hard-rock masterpiece.
Following the song’s success, Huxley released a music video to accompany the song; outlining the dangers of domestic violence, the band calls awareness to a prevalent issue. Directed by Trevor Jennings, the video follows the narrative of a couple in an abusive relationship – the video is a hard-hitting look at the reality of domestic violence, which has risen during COVID-19 related lockdowns.
Huxley has used their platform in a positive manner to increase awareness around the issue, calling for public support of one of New Jersey’s largest social services, The Center for Family Services. We recently got to chat with the band about “What Have I Done,” the music video, and more.
First of all, how does it feel to be on the Billboard charts? (Congrats!)
Thank you! Honestly, it is amazing! It is a surreal experience seeing the music you have spent so much time on to chart next to bands that inspired you to make music in the first place. Billboard has always been a staple in music charting, so it really is great to be a part of it.
Tell us a bit more about Huxley. How did the band come together, and how has the music evolved since?
We were a metal core band for a while, then after a few members had to leave we decided to start again and reinvent ourselves. We had always loved modern radio rock, and we wanted to create music that was more broadly enjoyable. Metal core is a great genre, but not everyone’s cup of tea. Huxley is about bringing more people into the Huxley family.
How does the songwriting process work within the band?
A lot of our writing is a collaborative effort. Mike, our guitarist, is usually the creator of the songs and the rest of us add on and adjust as the song grows. We work with an awesome producer, Chris Kelly, who takes our collaboration and helps adjust it into our final product as we get into the studio. From top to bottom we all have the same goal, to make great music.
So you recently dropped a music video for your new single, “What Have I Done?” The message is clearly meant to raise awareness of domestic violence, but what inspired you to tackle such a tough subject?
Unfortunately, domestic violence is not a new issue in our world. What really drove us to write this song is because of the COVID pandemic. Since people were stuck at home there was a large jump in domestic violence cases. It was an unforeseen danger in the midst of a pandemic, but it was not something we thought anyone should look past. Whether you are a man or woman, you deserve a safe, happy, healthy relationship, and if you feel like that is not the case, you need to know that there is help out there
and people/places that are here to help. You are not alone.
What do you hope listeners take away from both the song and the music video?
If you are just listening, not watching the music video, I have always been a huge supporter of finding your own message through a song. Music is so amazing in allowing you to develop your own feelings and stories regardless of the intended message, so I hope when listening to it you just enjoy what it means to you. When watching the video, there is a direct message. You are not alone. This goes along with our fight against domestic abuse. The message, I hope, is very clear and very serious.
What other difficult yet important subjects do you write about/plan to write about?
“We Are,” off of our self-titled EP that we released last year is about LGBTQ rights and acceptance. Having family members who are LGBTQ, it was crucial for us to send a message of acceptance in our music. Outside of that, our goal is never to go out and tackle an issue with each song; most of the time it is brought on by what is happening in the world. The plan is just to keep making music we believe in – whether it’s personal or tackling a bigger issue. We want to always be authentic and true to us.
Is “What Have I Done?” a standalone single, or can fans expect to see it on an album or EP in the near future?
We plan on releasing more music. We want to make sure each new song comes with as much as we can possibly give our fans. That being said, we plan on releasing singles. We recently got back from Vegas after doing a co-write with Kane Churko and we are super excited to share that with everyone. At the end of the day, singles are our game plan. If the singles get collected into an EP later on, we will see.
Speaking of the near future, I’m sure you’re very excited to get back to playing shows. What’s on the docket for the band in terms of live performances?
We are planning on holding off a little longer on shows. We have so much material we stock piled during COVID that we want to make sure we can get that out to all of our fans before shows. Since our first and only show was only two months before the lock down, it has caused us to, for a lack of better words, start over as a band. That takes a little time, but we’ll be back out there in no time. I miss being on stage and spending time with our awesome Huxley family.
What does a dream gig or dream tour look like for Huxley?
I think getting a chance to play with anyone in the active rock world would be a dream come true. Tours with Shinedown and Breaking Benjamin come to mind immediately, being that they are some of our biggest influences. It would absolutely be an honor getting to share a stage with them. If it was me personally, I would love to play a show with Coheed and Cambria, but who knows…crazier things have happened!