Interview with Black Water Rising Lead Singer (Rob Traynor)

By Coren McLeod

Black Water Rising’s Musical Journey

Black Water Rising is a collection of soul baring, angst ridden, riff heavy material that is proudly anchored in the foundations of traditional hard rock song writing. Giant guitar driven monster riffs served up on a bed of crushing grooves with soaring melodic vocals and big hooks. Basically, NO FRILLS RIFF ROCK! Lyrically the message is socially and politically driven by the dark times we live in. With darkness seemingly growing by the day, Black Water Rising (BWR) is a name that fits this band like a glove. The philosophy of BWR is simple, they are not looking to reinvent the wheel, they just want to give it a much needed alignment in these musically stale times.

Black Water Rising was formed from the ashes of various national touring acts. After releasing two self produced albums nationwide with a band called Dust To Dust, singer songwriter Rob Traynor locked himself away in his Brooklyn, New York recording studio, later emerging with a collection of songs that would become the seeds of Black Water Rising’s debut album which they would unleash in 2010. The album would achieve the #1 slot on’s Hard Rock Chart upon release.

Black Water Rising received heavy airplay on Sirius Satellite Radio’s Octane channel for the singles “Brother Go On” and “No Halos.” The album reached the #6 slot on the Top 20 airplay chart for the channel and “Brother Go On” also cracked the top 40 on the Media Base Active Rock Radio Chart.

Black Water Rising

Black Water Rising

BWR has played shows and toured with Hellyeah, Kill Devil Hill, King’s X, Monster Magnet, Ace Frehley & others. Their tour schedule also brought them to the 2010 South By Southwest Festival in Austin, TX performing at High Times Magazine’s Doobie Awards show where BWR won the 2010 High Times Doobie Award for “Best Rock/Alternative Artist,” beating out such tough and respected competition as Staind, Eagles of Death Metal, The Mars Volta and Danko Jones.

BWR followed up the critically acclaimed self-titled debut with their sophomore effort, Pissed And Driven released in 2013. It represents what many would describe as another honest, barebones rock album. It received rave reviews and was included on numerous top album lists. The first offering from Pissed and Driven, “Show No Mercy” was #5 most added on the CMJ Loud Rock Chart, top 10 at many college radio stations and in heavy rotation at Nationally Syndicated Cable channel Music Choice reaching #1 on their Metal Chart. The band’s video for “Dance With The Devil” spent 15 weeks on Noisecreep’s Battle Royale Top 10 Video Countdown.

Invigorated and eager to capitalize on the success of their first two albums, the band’s new material promises to be more riff heavy song writing with hooks and catchy choruses to pull you in all while retaining a musical identity of their own.

  • Rob Traynor-Vocals/Guitar
  • Mike Meselsohn-Drums
  • Oddie Mclaughlin-Bass
  • Dennis Kimak-Guitar

What to hear them check out BWR AUDIO PLAYER

Origins: Black Water Rising

Coren:  Wow!!!  Love your music.  Explain the origins of your band?  How did you come together?

Rob Traynor: Thank you I’m glad you like what you hear! Around 2005 I sat down and wrote a bunch of songs that would later become the BWR debut album. I had turned Mike my drummer on to the songs demos, he liked what he heard and we headed into the recording studio to rerecord the songs with real drums. The original demos were recorded with a drum machine and sounded like shit. After we completed about 5 songs we were introduced to our original guitarist Johnny as we were looking for another guitarist. Johnny introduced Oddie who filled out the band on bass. The chemistry was there, we jelled as a band and the rest is history.

Unrated:   Big music with big lyrics.  How do you come together to write?

Rob: I write some riffs and wait for a “snowball effect of inspiration.” If I come up with a riff that grabs me it will inspire me to move forward with a verse a chorus and melodies… hopefully! If not it may sit around for months or years until it reignites or fades out. The lyrics usually come last and are written about what is on my mind and where the music leads me.

The New Album

Unrated:  Your new album just dropped.  What can fans expect?

Rob: More RANTS and RIFFS! No frills riff rock. I write what I feel and I guess I haven’t changed much so I personally feel ELECTRIFIED is just a continuation of the other 2 albums. Production sonics do tend to change with each album, but I still go for the same thing and hope for desired results! I make a point not to over produce and keep things a raw as possible. With all the digital toys around today it’s easy to over do things and strip the soul out of a rock recording.

On Tour

Unrated:  Any plans on touring?

Rob: We are always planning on a tour but pickin’s are slim and fee’s are high. We are a band of modest means. In order to survive nowadays you have to be very smart about where you invest your pennies. A tour is big money and we have to make sure we make the right decisions when it comes to picking one. With that said we are entertaining offers and keeping our fingers crossed.

Unrated:  Explain the band name?

Rob: I originally heard the phrase “Black Water Rising” in a Clutch song and thought it would make a cool band name. The rising tide of darkness that seems to plague this world and the daily fight to keep your head above water. I feel BWR music reflects that struggle and fits the band quite well.

Unrated: Anything else we should know?

Rob: We just finished up an awesome new video for the song Payback and we are very excited about it. It was directed by Noah Shulman, who directed ‘Brother Go On’ and ‘No Halos.’ The video features Juliya C. Denning, AKA Mistress Juliya & Jose Hernandez Jr. who also tarred in 2 other videos of ours. It came out awesome! Visit us at and keep it CRANKED!

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | iTunes