The Violet Rise: Throwback Twin Cities rockers mix Plant, Page

Violet Rise

Violet Rise Erin Druva

Who knows exactly where Sasha Druva became a musician.

He was born in Melborne, Australia, but his family moved as many as 16 times when he was a kid. Among the places he’s called home: Ohio, Colorado, Florida, Seattle, and Minneapolis. But at 15, he watched footage of Led Zeppelin performing “The Song Remains the Same” and something clicked.

“That was kind of when it all started happening. I picked up the guitar and became obsessed,” Druva says. He had a few lessons early on, but most of his skills came courtesy of relentless practicing.

Druva’s first band experience was around age 18, in the Stone Pages, a classic rock act fronted by former Mile One lead singer Patrick Schmid. Druva played guitar and acted as producer for that group, which released a self-titled album in 2008 and split a few years later.

In 2012, Druva moved to Nashville to immerse himself in a different kind of music scene.

“There’s something in the water down there,” he says of the South. “Obviously the country thing is what everybody thinks of, but there’s also definitely a rock n’ roll scene down there.”

Family brought Druva back to Minnesota, where he was eventually introduced to bassist Jacob Finney and drummer Kevin Weinreis. Together, they formed psychedelic blues trio the Violet Rise.

“The great thing about the three of us is we’re definitely a really nice, good feeling unit,” Druva says. “We’re all friends and we goof off together and have a drink here and there. Jake’s kind of the solid foundation; he’s always there when you need him. Kevin is an amazing drummer.”

Druva describes the band’s creative process as “different weird experiments.” The running joke among the threesome is, “Who knows what Sasha wants us to do?” Somehow, they’ve figured it out, as the band is celebrating the release of their eponymous debut album at the Turf Club on Thursday.

But the process hasn’t been quick or easy.

“Some of these songs I’ve been working on for 15 years,” Druva says. “There is a song on there that literally took me six months of back and forth trying to mix. I’m pretty obsessed.”

Several tracks were recorded at Underwood Studios in Uptown, with drums added at MMI (Minneapolis Media Institute). Most of the overdubs and vocals were done at Druva’s home, also known as Down Under Studios.

“It’s more of like a full experience,” he says of the Violet Rise’s LP. “The whole goal is to have it more of a front-to-back album, not just some singles. It’s just really getting back to the '70s, late '60s.”

One of the guiding lyrics on the album is “Can you live without love?," a question that’s been plaguing Druva lately.

“This world is kind of scary, especially currently,” he says. “There’s social commentary on some of the songs, kind of about the turmoil that the world is kind of going through at this point.”

Other tracks on the album tell stories or are blues-based love songs inspired by the 28-year-old’s relationship with his wife.

The band members work day jobs in retail to financially stay afloat. Druva also teaches guitar. His hope for the band’s first album is “to be an experience. I don’t want it to be something that you throw on and disregard later on.”

As for the future? The Violet Rise is looking for representation. Then, potentially, a tour.

“The ultimate goal,” Druva says, “is to be a mix between Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.”

The Violet Rise
With: Dred I Dread and the Lone Crows
When: 7:30 p.m. Thu., Dec. 15
When: Turf Club
Tickets: $5; more info here