Opening for the likes of Australian heavyweights COG and Wolfmother, Brisbane’s newest heavy rock quartet, RHINO, have wasted no time putting the pedal to the metal since their inception in 2019.

Comprised of local musicians all with over a decade’s experience, RHINO began as the brainchild of guitarists Geoff Newnam and James Wassenaar, who welcomed multiple band members before settling on the current line-up. They’re joined by drummer Heath Kelly and Baltimore Gun Club front man Simon Benson, who they personally head-hunted for his masterful and rugged vocal style.

Debuting their hard-hitting sound with single Afterlife, their latest release White Witch is a showstopper metal tune that instantly draws you in with its melodic-driven lead guitar and fast-paced tempo. While the track was inspired by a darker period in guitarist James’ life (which is reflected in the guitar styling), White Witch has a positive message.

“James went through a period a while ago that inspired a lot of angry, high-energy riffing, and White Witch is one tune that came out of that time. While inspired by a negative time it’s not a negative tune, more like a sonic punching bag where James used his guitar as the bag,” said fellow guitarist Geoff Newnam.

The song is really about turning a negative into a positive, and if it can connect with a person or two and affect them in a positive way, that is what it’s all about.”

A second helping of what’s yet to come on their forthcoming debut EP, Geoff says the band has worked hard to ensure there’s the right amount of variety in sound throughout the record’s five tracks, with White Witch sitting somewhere in the middle of their heavy to melodic sonic spectrum. Given the current covid-19 climate, work on their upcoming record is currently on hold, but the band are going with the flow and have just one thing on their mind – the music.

“One of the biggest challenges as an emerging artist is just getting your music out there. It takes a lot of work, time and money, so it can be hard at times.”

“For us though, making music is about enjoyment. It has to be fun and feel good, and lots of things go into that like the music we write, the gigs we play and the people we meet. But in the end if we enjoy it and some other people enjoy it too then that’s a pretty good version of ‘making it’ for us.”

Watch RHINO’s new music video for single White Witch (below), and stay up-to-date with the band by following them on Facebook.


Feature image: RHINO by Ummagummamumma – Live Music Photography