Chugging guitar parts. Rattling, precise drums. Gritty vocals.
While the St. Joseph hard rock band I The Storm’s music has all of the hallmarks of hard rock music, its message is one of love, support and positivity.
“That’s the bond that holds us together — at the end of the day, we love playing music, we love what we do,” lead singer Steve Conroy said.
When talking to the band, it’s clear that even as it’s weathering a pandemic that has hurt the size of its shows, the members didn’t want to stop playing and recording music.
“With COVID and 2020 and all that stuff, a lot of bands found it hard to kind of stay relevant with the lack of venues to play ... We were consistently making new material. I kind of feel that kind of made us stay relevant, at least on a local level,” bassist David Barnes said.
The band will show off the fruits of its labor, which include new songs like “Brotherhood,” onstage at Cafe Acoustic Concert Hall, 1918 Frederick Ave., at 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16. It will be performing with the rock band Forever Faded.
Released in December, the single “Brotherhood” sums up the attitude of the members of I The Storm, which also includes drummer Zach Wilson and guitarist John Dail. The lyrics include lines like “I will never let you down/I won’t let you hit the ground” and “All for one/And one for all.” The song’s middle section also launches into a monstrous hard rock jam.
“It’s about brotherhood. It’s about being there for each other, helping each other out,” Wilson said.
Formed in 2018, the band wears its influences like Metallica, Van Halen and Zakk Wylde proudly, while making a sound it feels is all its own.
“We kind of developed our own sound, so to speak — not totally, that’s really hard to do. But we got into the mixture of everything we do, there’s just no telling what we’re gonna play next,” Conroy said.
Barnes added: “We just kind of throw them all together and it just works for us.”
The band continues the long, storied history of original hard rock and metal bands like Full Power, Kilmaat and Fires of Eden. This brings up the question: Why does this area always bring out new hard rock bands?
“There’s so many good players in so many cool bands,” Barnes said.
Adding to what Barnes said, Conroy said the local scene is an example of iron sharpening iron.
“A lot of guys have been playing for many, many years around here. Everyone knows who you know, and if you surround yourself with greatness, you’ll be great too,” he said.
Surrounding themselves with greatness and friendship is what keeps I The Storm going, the band said.
“It’s fun getting on stage and seeing your old friends. It’s like seeing your old buddies from high school, just being amongst friends, it’s like one giant party,” Conroy said.
There is no charge for admission. The show is open to everyone 21 and older.