While this may not mean too much now, it could mean a lot in the future. That depends on whether the quintet – Dan Hoke on vocals, Mike Hoke on guitar, Eric Hugg on guitar, Mark Belcher on bass and Evan Fahning on drums – successfully takes its music to the masses.
Eastern Rift did play the Sandusky State Theatre recently when it shot its debut video “Green Lights.”
“It was pretty cool,” said Dan Hoke, a 2005 Clyde High School graduate. “I work at the theater as a technical assistant so I got access to the stage. We shot it in four hours. We just rocked out on stage and got footage of us walking downtown. For what it was, it’s pretty cool.”
Check out the “Green Lights” music video right here:
Pretty cool is a familiar feeling enjoyed by the Eastern Rift band mates, who first got together last summer after Hoke needed a backing group to play his solo material. It turned out all of the members clicked, so Hoke ditched the John Mayer, one-man band style and instead started exploring more of an alternative and rock sound.
This led to the outfit’s recently released debut EP, “Left of the Mark.” The four-track effort, recorded at Cleveland’s Lava Room, includes the lead single “Green Light,” which is currently getting airplay on Mix 102.7, and the poppy “Breaking Loose.” The EP also includes a cover of Bush’s “Little Things.”
“People tell me I sound like Gavin Rossdale a lot,” Hoke said. “So I told the guys if they wanted to do a cover let’s do that one.”
The notion of playing cover music is nothing new to Hoke, who along with brother Mike spent time in local band Mudflower. That original act played its fair share of other people’s tunes and even got to open for the likes of Foreigner, Blind Melon and Tantric, but in the end it was nothing more than a learning experience for Hoke.
Hoke explained that that act didn’t have the drive to see just how far they could go. He stressed this time feels different with Eastern Rift.
Ultimately, Hoke understands the reality of being in a local band with national aspirations. This explains the palpable urgency that surrounds the group to, well, get out of Sandusky sooner rather than later.
Otherwise, before he knows it, Hoke will wake up one day and realize Eastern Rift has booked yet another summer’s worth of shows playing Foo Fighter covers at some vacation venue and thus somewhere along the way traded in the dream of stardom for an easy gig and regular paycheck.
“No, man, that’s a nightmare to me,” Hoke said. “We really have a good feeling about what we’re doing right now. We really think next year is going to make it or break it. And we really feel it’s going to make it. This EP, we put a lot of time and money into it. It’s the best sound quality recording I’ve ever had, it’s the best songs I ever had and we have a lot of confidence we’re going to make it. We’re sending out the EP to numerous record labels. Hopefully, we’ll get a bite.”
Eastern Rift is currently planning more dates for early 2013. You can keep up with the group online at their Facebook page HERE.