What: Strange Rover opening for Black Magic Flower Power, with The Roof Rabbits

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Volcanic Theatre Pub, 70 SW Century Drive, Bend

Cost: $10 plus fees in advance, $12 at the door

Contact: volcanictheatre.com or 541-323-1881

Strange Rover is a strange band when it comes to the metal scene.

Although there’s no mistaking the Bend four-piece’s monstrous riffs, grinding grooves and thundering rhythms for anything other than stoner rock, the group prides itself on being more approachable than most heavy rock outfits. This, in turn, has allowed it to play lots of shows that aren’t your typical metal ragers. The band has opened for indie rockers such as North by North and can be found on bills with decidedly less heavy local outfits such as Cosmonautical or The Roof Rabbits. Its next shows, including an opening slot for Portland funk-rockers Black Magic Flower Power at Volcanic Theatre Pub on Friday and a gig with Fortune’s Folly at the same venue April 27, continue the pattern.

Its audiences aren’t necessarily the typical leather-and-spikes crowd, either.

“I tell people, ‘Yeah, it’s stoner rock; it’s rock ’n’ roll; it’s a little bit heavier,’” vocalist Haley Jordan said while hanging out with her bandmates at M&J Tavern, a former favorite venue for Strange Rover. (The bar shut down live music late last year due to a lawsuit from Broadcast Music Inc., or BMI). “But I also feel like we bring an approachable sound. We get a lot of people (at our shows) who don’t listen to a lot of rock who are like, ‘Well, I like you guys, though.’”

The other members of the band hear that a lot, too.

“Almost every single show, someone comes up to me and says, ‘I don’t normally listen to this — whatever this is — I don’t normally listen to this, but you guys are rad,’” drummer Paterson Colson said.

“If you want to come to the show and bring your kids — kids love us,” guitarist Mac Perillo added.

In a little less than five years, Strange Rover has become a go-to opening band for rock groups touring Central Oregon, including recent shows with Black Mountain and Rob Zombie guitarist John 5. The band is looking to expand its reach with touring — the day after sitting down with GO! Magazine, the group played its first show in Ashland, with more to come.

Perillo, who studied blues guitar as a teenager, and Colson, a veteran of many local groups, formed Strange Rover in 2014 and spent the better part of a year woodshedding riffs and song ideas.

“We started as just like, hey, I know you; you play drums. Hey, I know you; you play guitar,” Perillo said. “… We actually didn’t play live for a while, and honestly for me, it wasn’t even a plan to play live. I was just like, yeah, we’ll just hang out, we’ll jam (and) that’ll be cool. I’ve done that for years.”

Colson met Jordan while the two worked together at Laughing Planet. “She was always singing Disney songs in the dish pit,” he said.

One day, Colson overheard Jordan singing along to a Dead Weather song on the radio and learned she was a fan of hard rock. (She cites musicians such as The Runaways and Grace Slick as vocal influences). A few months later, she met the rest of the band during the annual Fourth of July Freedom Ride in 2015.

“We all met in the middle of a field … and Paterson just goes, ‘Sing something for him (Perillo),’” Jordan said. “And so, I just started singing.”

“You sang for maybe not even five or 10 seconds,” Perillo added, “and I was like, yep, let’s do it.”

Jordan, who studied musical theater in college and has opera training, brought hooks and a powerhouse voice to Strange Rover’s heavy riffs. This helped further set the band apart from other metal acts in Bend and beyond, the group’s members agreed.

“Originally, Mac and I wrote lyrics to a couple (of) songs, and in my head, I straight-up heard — I was gonna be looking for a screamer,” Colson said. “I was gonna be looking for — I heard Randy Blythe, (singer for) Lamb of God, was what I anticipated. And then, all of a sudden, she went from ‘Pocahontas’ to Dead Weather. I was like, wait a minute, that’s so much better than what I was planning on.”

Bassist Mackenzie Hatfield came on board about one year ago, just in time to play the band’s opening set for guitarist John 5 at the Tower Theatre. Since, the group has focused on writing new material. But before that music sees the light of day, the quartet will drop a long-promised EP — featuring older songs and recorded at The Firing Room with Dayne Wood — later in the year.

“I think in general as a band, we like to have fun and we like people to have fun when they come to our shows,” Jordan said. “And I think that’s my favorite thing about being a part of this band, is because the energy is so constant, and it’s just a driving force. I feel like we try to maintain that, and I feel like we’re just coming into that more.”

22945069