“Hydrogyn is going to be big, very big…” – Michael Wagener, Producer (Ozzy Osbourne, Skid Row, Alice Cooper)
IN THE BEGINNING…
In September 2003, West Virginia guitarists Jeff Boggs and Jeff Westlake began work on a new experiment – a compelling modern heavy rock tour de force like no other on the scene – an outfit designed to destroy musical and industry barriers.
Jeff Westlake on the blueprints behind HYDROGYN, “We wanted something a broad audience could love but also be something special. Something that stood out."
Fortified with cutting edge riffs, intelligent lyrics and massive hooks delivered by Julie (just “Julie”), a stunning front lady with a multi-octave range, the result is a formula set to conquer everything from Alternative Rock to Modern Hard Rock to Timeless Metal without sacrificing credibility.
HYDROGYN is built to explode.
By the time the band’s self-produced debut hit the scene, the industry was already putting their ears to the ground, picking up on the rumble that is HYDROGYN. Best Served With Volume found the band in favor with soft drink giant Pepsi, who not only sponsored the fledgling outfit but hoisted them in front of tens of thousands strong at NASCAR (Chevy Rocking 400 May 2005). The audience response was nothing short of inspiring. It was clear, even without prior exposure to the band, onlookers fell into the hands of the fivesome’s massive, genre leaping sound and mesmerizing front lady, making the case that Jeff Boggs, Jeff Westlake, Julie, bassist Jason Fields and drummer Jerry Lawson were onto something.
The audience affect was verified when HYDROGYN began packing clubs in the Midwest and New England areas, selling out venues that seated up to 1500 people. Smaller venues had them booked for multiple nights. HYDROGYN was rapidly becoming a live band to be reckoned with.
“In 7 years of editing a major hard rock webzine, I have never seen an indie act with such a complete package – broad appeal, great musicianship, a dynamic front lady and most important, they are smart AND determined. They understand the big picture and are quickly becoming part of it. “ – Brian Coles, Editor - Electricbasement.com
Hot off the heals of Volume’s release, HYDROGYN issued a professional video clip for the single “The Sand,” which was featured at the world renowned Electricbasement.com. The response to the bombastic music and sensual video was immediate, yielding the band radio guest spots across the country including www.Dailynoise.com and several Clear Channel stations including WAMX 106.3. Dark Vission TV jumped to put it in rotation, providing the band with massive exposure in Mexico and Latin America. Traffic to the band’s website soared, with visits eclipsing 25,000 per month, an astounding total for a new, unsigned band.
Top-level affiliations began to pour in. Sponsorships with Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Off The Rim, Eagle Distributing, Pearl Drums, Vic Firth Sticks and Loud City.net followed in rapid succession. More recent sponsorships include Randall Amps and Modules, Eden Bass and Custom Gemstones.
But it did not stop there. NOW Comics featured a HYDROGYN track, “Vesper’s Song”, as a CD single included with their acclaimed graphic novel release VESPERS® by veteran author/illustrator Tony Caputo. The novel and band are currently nominated for an IPPY Award, which is a top honor in the independent publishing industry. Caputo also assisted in making the band’s new, curvaceous logo, perfect for hot selling T-shirts and other merchandise. Taking advantage of this, the band signed a licensing deal with Crave Trendware, with custom HYDROGYN watches to see store shelves in early 2006.
Julie’s visual and vocal appeal helped her gain notoriety with her very own column at Electricbasement.com called Julie’s Jolts, where visitors voted on which pics to include in her forthcoming calendar. The idea was a no-brainer after the brisk internet sales of Volume as well as a Julie poster that sold out a mere weeks after being posted in the band’s online store. The band’s ability to sell merchandise was another strong asset.
In the Spring of 2005 the band received yet another jaw dropping accolade. Legendary producer Michael Wagener (Ozzy Osbourne, Skid Row, Alice Cooper) heard the band and was impressed to say the least, deeming them the best band he has heard in years. He also understood something else – the band could go over not just in North America, but also in Asia, Europe and South America. Once again, an indicator for the bands potential to cross borders, not just in genre, but geographical as well. So optimistic about their prospects, he agreed to produce the band’s next record.
(Wagener discography can be viewed here: http://www.michaelwagener.com/html/discography.html)
In June bassist Dave Moody replaced Fields. Moody’s talents and experience are huge contributions to the band going forward.
The buzz was not in effect, having landed the band in MIX Magazine (print), Metal Maniacs Online (net), This Is Rock (Spain, print), Blabbermouth.net (net), Prosound News (print), Blistering.com (net), Bravewords.com (net), New Herald Dispatch (print, net) and the nationally syndicated Tour Bus Radio Show official site (net) among others.
After leaving the studio In August, the band headlined the second stage at the popular Xfest in West Virginia, put on by Clear Channel station WAMX. Other bands on the bill include the Gold selling Seether. Regional Clear Channel General Manager Judy Jennings has backed the band by putting them in rotation on WAMX (106.3) and WKEE (100.5). Jennings is notable for helping to discover Billy Ray Cyrus and recent major label sign American Minor.
The fall also saw the band finalize another piece of the puzzle, with legendary photographer JOHN SCARPATI (Rolling Stones, Dixie Chicks), handling their photo shoot and album cover.
As of this writing, HYDROGYN’s first major CD, Bombshell, made its official release on October 31st of 2006 through the bands own DA RECORDS. The CD hit Billboard charts in 3 different areas in November of 2006. Right on the heels of that Success the band scheduled a 28 date tour to take them through the UK and France. In July due to fan demand the band released Strip’em Blind Live again on their DA Label. Again it was off to France, Belgium and Italy for yet another tour in Europe in November of 2007.
During the European Tour in November the band was contacted and signed by Indie Label out of the UK Demolition. In January of 2008 Hydrogyn entered the studio to record DEADLY PASSIONS. This is the first of a three CD deal with Demolition that is due to hit the streets In June 2008.
2008 is the year of the explosion.
2010- lots of changes going on. Julie and Jeff brought in Jeff Young formerly of megadeth into the band. They had got to know him thru Michael Wagener . They were also without a drummer or a bass player at the time. After Young was in with his connections they brought in James LoMenzo for bass duties and Joe Migz on drums for what was to become 2010 Judgement release. Just before the release Jeff young was let go for differences in musical vision for the band. With a release date set the band went back into the studio taking 3 tracks off the release that were penned or co penned with Young and added new material. With Jeff Boggs help the cd was done and out on time. Again the band hit the billboard charts at number 16 in the heatseeker charts…. 3 to be exact. Again Jeff Westlake at the helm.
Front woman Julie Westlake came down with serious health issues that cancelled all touring
2011- the band finally got a clearance from Julie's doctors to get back to normal. The band brought in Patrick Liotatd and Anthony Dura along with mike Jublin from France to produce and co write along with Jeff and Julie .
2012- Private Sessions came out in may to high critical review and praise. The band did a few dates but nothing major.