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Alumni Create Fanbase Through Music

Imagine if a grunge band from the late ’90s started listening to more metal, tht’s how I like to describe our sound.

— Krow Fates

Local music has become a permanent fixture in countless communities, inviting numerous patrons and locals to participate in appreciating this form of art. One such fixture of the local music scene is the band Bitter Route, started by alumni; this band consistently performs a number of shows per year in and around Alabama. 

The band is composed of lead singer Ricky Hall, guitarist DJ (known by his stage name Krow Fates), drummer Ember Grace, and bassist Jamie Holsombeck. The band has a number of influences, namely ‘90s grunge bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam, though they do include many others as significant to their musical style. According to them, they just combined the styles of the different bands they each listened to.

“I grew up listening to the big ‘90s bands that came out of Seattle, such as Alice in Chains and Soundgarden,” Hall said. “I kind of have the singing style of them, but I have several other influences, mostly ‘90s bands, like Creed, Rage Against the Machine, and Tool.”

The band themselves has a rather distinct sound, combining several different genres of music from around the turn of the millennium. Using harsh vocals and guitar melodies, their music explodes off the stage into listeners’ ears. While off putting to some, this has garnered them fame all throughout local alternative music circles. 

“Imagine if a grunge band from the late ‘90s started listening to more metal, that’s how I like to describe our sound.” Krow said.

The music the band performs is also a method to portray various different emotions, from anger to sadness. The distinct sounds in each song can sway listeners to scream, yell, and even cry. 

“I wanna use music to convey certain emotions. I want people to listen to our music and not just hear good music, but also feel a certain way,” Grace said. “The emotion we try to give off changes based on the song.”

Aside from the music they play, the band has an extremely marked stage presence. They try to add to the music through their performances, enhancing the experience for listeners and viewers. 

“I want people to take one word away from our shows: energy. I don’t think there’s a single moment during our sets where we’re not trying to be as energetic as possible,” Krow said. “The one simple way to entertain people is to look like you’re having fun.”

The members themselves each have their own view of what values they want their music to portray. Each of them finds that they have an important role to play in the music world. 

“I want to portray music that brings people together,” Hall said. “I want to have a large demographic of people that listen to our music.”

The different members of the band record music entirely differently, from improvising parts to perfecting riffs through recording countless times, the different members each have their own unique process. 

“I write music by humming a melody over a riff without actually saying words,” Hall said. “Afterwards, I listen to it and decide what words can go where.”

Excited readers can look forward to new projects the band is releasing, namely a single they are currently in the process of releasing with producer Jeremy Stevens at the prestigious 10 Ton Records. Readers can continue to be excited for their live shows, with the band playing several major festivals in Huntsville, including 4/20 fest in Big Spring Park on April 20 and Porch Fest on May 6. 

“I think all of it [being in the band] is fun. The whole [experience] is one big memory,” Hall said. “I can’t do it without everyone else in the band.”

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