He awoke to the screech of the RV being torn apart, the recollection of which still makes his eyes widen many months later.
Ryan Patrick, guitarist for Vegas hard rockers Otherwise, was asleep in a back bunk of the band’s tour vehicle when they departed a gas station for a long night on the road.
Drummer Corky Gainsford, who was behind the wheel at the time, punched the gas only to have the band’s trailer full of gear pull off the back wall of the RV.
In a matter of seconds, the band members’ personal effects were scattered across the road.
They were just glad it was their pillows and cellphone chargers instead of themselves.
They didn’t freak out, this wasn’t a bump in the road — for Otherwise, at that time, the bumps were the road, and this was just another thing to deal with en route to the next show.
“To give you an example of how much stuff had happened before that point, the reaction was like, ‘All right, get the tools,’ ” Gainsford recalls.
“It was literally like, ‘Where’s the drill at? Where’s the hammer?’ ” Patrick adds.
It was a moment that encapsulated the 19 months Otherwise spent on the road in support of their last record, “True Love Never Dies,” their first album as a signed band, where they played more than 350 shows while crisscrossing the country six times.
Along the way, they went through three vehicles, had a trailer break in half, struggled not to go broke with little to no tour support and yet still found a way to always get to the next gig.
“We’d sell merch and it would get us to the next city,” Gainsford says. “We just kept going along, doing what we needed to do to keep ourselves out on the road. Sometimes it got damn close to not making it.”
But they did make it, and here they are today, Gainsford, Patrick and guitarist Andrew Pugh reclining on couches in the lounge at Vegas View Recording.
Here, on the campus of the International Academy of Design &Technology in Henderson, the band is tracking their new record, “Peace at All Costs,” with renowned producer David Bottrill, who’s worked with big names such as Rush, Tool, Muse and many others.
In the studio down the hall, Otherwise singer Adrian Patrick is tracking vocals, his voice distilling all the frustration and anger that’s built up inside this bunch during the past two years.
He’s a commanding presence, with tattooed arms shooting out from a sleeveless T-shirt and an approachable, yet intense air about him.
As a frontman, he’s helped lead Otherwise to the verge of something bigger.
“True Love Never Dies” spawned a pair of top 20 singles on the active rock chart, “Soldiers” and “I Don’t Apologize (1000 Pictures),” and their near-constant touring opening for the likes of Stone Sour, Papa Roach and Three Days Grace enabled the band to slowly and steadily build their audience.
Now, they’re armed with a bigger recording budget and a producer with a discography loaded with critical and commercial hits.
“They’re poised to really do something special,” says Bottrill, sitting at the mammoth recording board in the Vegas View control room. “When I heard their demos, it was like, ‘OK, this is really something more exciting than they’ve done’ — not that they were doing bad work, they were doing great stuff, but they’ve really matured.”
A few minutes later, Bottrill queues up a rough mix of a new song, “Demon,” a bulldozer of a tune with a domineering guitar riff and an intense, cathartic vocal performance from Adrian Patrick who delivers his words as if they were doubling for his fists.
“He’s got a huge voice,” Bottrill says, beaming.
Now, it’s about harnessing that voice into more tightly honed tunes.
“We’re trying to be more focused,” Adrian says, noting the impact of Bottrill, who spent a week with the band in their rehearsal space during pre-production, literally going through every song note by note. “He’s digging into our core and making us find things that we haven’t necessarily done in the past.”
The band worked with assorted co-writers on this record, bouncing ideas off former Atreyu frontman Brandon Saller and Julien Jorgensen and Matt McCloskey of Rev Theory during informal jam sessions.
“It was essentially writing around a campfire, but without the campfire,” Gainsford says.
They ended up with 28 songs in total, presenting 16 to Bottrill, who will help determine what makes the album.
The band will soon finish tracking the record, eyeing a late summer release.
“It has been a hard mountain to climb, but they’re almost at the summit now,” Bottrill says.
It’s a bit past 6 p.m. on a Wednesday evening, and Bottrill and the band will be here late into the night.
So much of the talk up to this point has been about struggle, but Adrian seems to be content in the moment.
“Look at the view here,” he marvels, gazing out through the window in the main recording suite, which looks out across the 215 Beltway to a picturesque view of The Strip.
From this vantage point, the band’s hometown is in full glory.
And so they get back to work, in pursuit of the same.
Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0476. Follow on Twitter @JasonBracelin.