40 Watt Hype lights Lake Tahoe with Latin rock, hip-hop

40 Watt Hype 140 Watt Hype is headed up the hill to Tahoe, with its signature, salsa-infused, rock-driven, hip-hop sound in tow.

“Just a lot of heart, energy and passion,” front man Aaron Wall said about the group’s music. “We want to translate to the audience where we’re coming from and where our hearts are.”

40 Watt Hype will appear at Lake Tahoe Golf Course for the FNCTN Winter Music Series on Friday, Feb. 20, and at Sierra-At-Tahoe Resort on Saturday, Feb. 21.

Along with Wall, the group is Sean Alderette (drums), Jared Dyar (percussion), Pat Olvera (bass), Jay Rossette (guitar), and Robert Ruffner (trombone).

The band came together out of backyard jams in Fresno in the early 2000s, and solidified into its current form in 2004 and 2005, Wall said.

“Our sound really tries to encapsulate the environment that we’re from,” he said. “We have a lot of hip-hop, a lot of Latino influences. We kind of take the urban setting of Fresno and the West Coast in general and try to encapsulate that sound. We all come from different musical backgrounds in the band, but what we try do is make a cohesive song, a cohesive sound, a cohesive message.”

40 Watt Hype 2Tahoe has been a frequent destination for 40 Watt Hype recently, with the band appearing at various venues and events.

“We’ve played there for the last several years, we were at ‘Live at Lakeview’ last summer,” Wall said. “That’s a great event, beautiful venue.” VIDEO

40 Watt fans will have an opportunity to hear some new tunes at upcoming performances. The group has been at work on a new album, a follow-up to 2010’s “Push.”

“We’re trying to basically kind of do what we’ve done, but kind of adapt it and let it evolve into something new,” Wall said. “We’re trying to go into the studio without any expectations. Trying to expand on it, but not make it a formula like ‘this was our most successful song on ‘Push,’ ’ let’s make another version of it.”

With the new material, the music has shifted somewhat, Wall said.

“The sound has kind of advanced to something more musical, a little bit more diverse,” he said. “We’ve had a lot more Latin stuff the last few albums, that’s kind of one thing that we’ve focused on because people have enjoyed it.”

By way of owning its own studio space and gear, 40 Watt Hype is able to approach the recording process with a laid-back attitude.

“We have a rehearsal space that is where we record, and do a lot of production,” Wall said. “It’s a little less pressure, we go ‘hey man, what time can you come in.’ It’s a little more relaxing.”

Too much flexibility can be in issue however.

“It can be a good thing and a bad thing, the bad thing is you sometimes need that deadline,” Wall said with a chuckle.

While the band’s primary focus is on the upcoming album at present, 40 Watt Hype’s goal is always to connect with its fans and attract new ones.

We’re just looking forward to performing and having the tunes grow,” Wall said. “People can always hit us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.”

Next stop: Tahoe.

“We’re just excited to be getting back there,” Wall said. “It’s one of our favorite places to play.”

40 Watt Hype

Opener: Eli Lieberman
When: 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20
Where: FNCTN Winter Music Series, Lake Tahoe Golf Course
Tickets: $10


When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21
Where: Sierra-At-Tahoe
Tickets: Free

40 Watt Hype 2


About Josh Sweigert

Josh grew up on the California coast with a deep appreciation for bluegrass and string band music as well as the great outdoors. A guitarist and singer, he plays solo acoustic gigs in South Lake Tahoe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *