"We're not trying to be Nickelback," Compton added.
Compton and Bowe, The Black Cross Brotherhood's guitarists, said they had wanted to play together in a musical outfit for a while but really hadn't had much of a chance to do anything since Black Sky Rite, a few years back.
Bowe and Lawrence have been part of War Creek Mafia for years, while Compton, one of the Charleston scene's most prolific players, plays in several musical outfits in town and hosts an open mic.
"We'd always talked about bringing Johnny in to War Creek, but I guess it was just a perfect storm," Bowe said. "We've gone through several bassists over the past couple of years. The last one had to move on. It wasn't like there was a big fight, but there was a life situation. He got a job and had to move on."
"We talked about getting another bassist and maybe just keeping on with War Creek Mafia," Lawrence said, "but we really had to decide what it was we really wanted to do."
What it turned out they wanted to do was work with Compton and come out with something completely different.
"So what we have is a very guitar-driven rock band," Compton said. "You've got Chris and me playing hard as hell and throwing things at each other all night long."
The band promised old-school metal that's somewhere between Metallica and Pantera with some overtones of Black Sabbath and Alice In Chains.
"Loud, heavy, but with good melodies," Compton said.
"It's music to get a speeding ticket to," Bowe said.
The band came together after Pace was brought in on bass.
Pace said he'd been away from playing music for a couple of years and had instead been focusing on family and his job, but he had been itching to get back in.
"I told my old lady that I felt like starting something up," he said.
It was just sort of luck that Compton, Bowe and Lawrence happened to be looking for a bass player.
"We were working with another guy before, but I don't think he felt really comfortable," Bowe said. "It just wasn't for him."
Pace didn't have much to say, just shrugged and said he is glad to be part of the Black Cross Brotherhood.
"I think we can be the best band in town," he said, "but we'll leave that up for people to decide."
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.