CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Charleston’s own Byzantine is headlining this week’s Live on the Levee.
Singer and guitarist Chris Ojeda started the band.
Brian Henderson is on guitar and backing vocals, Ryan Postlethwait on bass, and Matt Bowles on drums.
Henderson and Ojeda say that Byzantine plays a type of heavy metal known as groove metal.
“Pantera kind of started it all. It’s a slower tempo, deep fried kind of southern thing. Certainly not speed metal or thrash metal. It’s a little more accessible than that sort of thing, ”said Henderson.
Ojeda makes intense screaming and screaming, so he practices proper singing techniques and tries to balance hard and soft vocals to save his vocal cords.
When asked if singing that hurt her voice, Ojeda replied, “Yeah, yeah, that’s hard (laughs). It is really difficult. They say the human voice doesn’t really mature until I’m in my 40s, so right now I’m in my prime.
The group did not perform a single show for 600 days because of the pandemic.
“The music industry has probably been hit more than anything, not just the bands… the promoters, the team, the people have lost their jobs like everywhere else and we’re happy to be starting over,” said Henderson. .
“Byzantine has been around since 2000. They were formed in Charleston, West Virginia. Ojeda is the only original member and the group has evolved over the years.
They have never performed live on the Levee and this is something the members say they are really looking forward to.
“I have a 13 year old daughter who I think has never seen me play. I’m just her father, so this weekend will be a revelation for her, ”Ojeda said.
The band themselves never performed Live on the Levee, but Henderson performed the event with a cover band years ago. He said this time will be different.
“I can’t wait for my mom and dad to come and watch, my son to come and watch and see a lot of our friends,” Henderson said.
Friday’s show will be the last of this year’s 17-stop tour.
All the guys in the band have day jobs and they don’t shoot in the winter. Ojeda and Henderson are fathers too… so family comes first.
“As long as we can keep a balance between family life, work life and group life, I think we could probably do it for a good period of time,” Ojeda said.
After Friday’s concert, the band will start working on new songs and their seventh album.
Byzantine plans to do more dates next year… in the event of a pandemic.
13 news is a proud sponsor of Friday’s Live on the Levee.