Comprised of siblings Caleb, Hannah, Cody and Jacob, sibling quartet VOTH made quite the introduction with their debut single “I Choose Us.” The song was discovered by and featured on Wide Open Country, and has earned well over 100,000 streams since its release.
While “I Choose Us” featured an acoustic sound that builds throughout, their next two singles, “American Rebels” and “Boot Stomp” were more electric and energy driven, which showcased the group’s artistic versatility.
In January, the siblings dialed things back with their new self-titled EP. Comprised of six songs that showcase the group’s harmonies over songs that run the gamut of emotions, their new EP is easy to listen to and even easier to fall in love with. From the opening guitar lick of “Pyro” to the final chord of “Show Myself to the Door,” the group kept us engaged and thoroughly impressed with what they had put together.
Read along as Caleb and Hannah discuss the wide array of influences the band draws on, the dynamic in the band, the success of “I Choose Us,” the stories behind many of the songs on the EP, what they hope listeners take away from it and more!
Pro Country: Who are some of the collective influences you draw on as a band that have helped shape your sound?
Caleb: Honestly, our influences feel like a 90’s mixtape. You can easily find John Mayer, John Denver or John Michael Montgomery on the CD. I think it has really shaped the diversity of our sound. People that don’t listen to country come up to us and say, “Hey, I don’t like country, but I like you.” We strive to bridge the gap between audiences by hopefully just putting out good music. Someone should not have to say, “For country music, that’s pretty good.” We want them to listen and say, “That is good music.”
PC: Can you talk about making the decision to form Voth? Given your relationship with each other, what is the dynamic within the band?
Hannah: We are VOTH. It’s literally our DNA. Singing together is something we’ve always done. We have obviously grown up together, but in our current adult years, we have truly grown stronger because of the music.
Caleb: The family dynamic allows us to be brutally honest, which makes for quick solutions. I feel in life or bands, they break up years later because of bottled up issues that weren’t addressed early on. If something bothers someone, we say it outright and sort it out then and there. Literally one time me, Hannah and Cody were in a restaurant discussing music stuff and Cody and I could not agree on something. Hannah was trying to mediate and I just stood up, yelled at Cody and walked out. Hannah wouldn’t let us walk out, so she pretty much pulled us back together and hashed it out until we agreed. It maybe wasn’t the right time or place, but we solved it [laughs].
PC: Your debut single “I Choose Us” has become one of the signature songs in your catalog, sitting among your most streamed songs and captured the attention of Wide Open Countrywho wrote a favorable review of the song. Is there a certain level of validation that comes with having that success on your debut single?
Caleb: Most definitely. When I wrote “I Choose Us,” I remember pressing record on my phone and when I finished the song, I was in tears. I actually called Jacob, and I was like, “Why am I crying? I have never been married before, but what I just wrote feels more real than anything.” When Wide Open Country literally found this song; it was so validating because I recall listening to songs that made me feel things I’ve never experienced before, and I have always wanted to write like that. To hear that praise from such a respected outlet, it felt really good.
Hannah: Seeing that others listened to it and loved it proved the depth of the song. Honestly, it wasn’t surprising to me. Being married and understanding the weight and commitment of marriage, this song was extremely personal to me. Those types of songs are the ones that resonate the most.
PC: While your second two singles “American Rebels” and “Boot Stomp” feature a more electric-driven sound, your new, self-titled EP features a mostly acoustic sound and puts more emphasis on your harmonies. Can you talk a bit about that sonic shift and what inspired it ahead of your new release?
Caleb: We really wanted to show the range and scope of our musical sound. “American Rebels” is a stadium anthem with loud guitars, and then you fast forward to “Show Myself To The Door,” which is an extremely intimate song with acoustic vibes, violins and absolutely no electric drive.
Hannah: I think that’s what makes us unique; the shift between the two sounds. We know how to put our boots on and get country, yet we also love stripping it down a bit and being raw.
PC: What went in to the decision to release “Sweetest Regret” as the first new single from your self-titled EP?
Caleb: “Sweetest Regret” as a fan favorite was actually a surprise to me. I wrote it years ago after a relationship that didn’t go wrong, but it just didn’t feel right. I don’t know how to explain it. I brought it back to the table with Hannah and Cody’s input, and it really came back to life. The funny thing is I actually laid down all of my stuff (guitars and vocals) then I had to leave the country for a bit. They finished it without me and sent me the final and I was like, “Yep, that’s it.”
PC: “Pyro” has become a fan-favorite song from your EP since its release. What do you think it is about that song that has allowed it to connect with people the way it has?
Hannah: Not gonna lie, every time I hear this song, I turn it up and just “feel” it. The dynamics of our voices on the chorus plus the tempo all create a super unique sound. You can have the coolest lyrics in a song, but without the instruments doing their thing, it’s not going to catch. And in my opinion, this song showcases both, which is why it’s caught the ears of so many.
Caleb: “Pyro” is a banger. I felt it from the time I wrote it. It is packed with energy and the crowd feels it when we play it. One girl told me, “I actually kinda blush when I hear it.” That’s a huge compliment, at least it is to me.
PC: “Seventeen” has become another fan-favorite, and evoked emotion from Jacob when recording it. What connection do you have to that song and why is it so special to you?
Hannah: It connects because it’s personal. Each of us added something to this song. I personally started dating my husband at 17. I was so young, yet I grew up so much at 17.
Caleb: Hannah and I were in a cabin writing this song and it actually started out very stereotypical for a country song. We talked about football, homecoming queen, driving around at seventeen, and when we were singing it, I told her, “This is not the song I imagined.” I went home and reworked it a ton until it felt like a song I would not only listen to, but love. When we got into the studio, Jacob started tracking drums and we actually had to re-track it because he started crying and you could hear it in the overhead mics. I knew then that we would strike a chord with our listeners.
PC: “Show Myself to the Door” is one of our favorite songs on the new EP. Can you talk about the inspiration behind that song?
Caleb: This one is very personal to me. I was very interested in this girl and we were making all the right moves according to my book. I went ahead and shared my feelings for her and she said, “I’m sorry, I don’t feel the same for you.” At that point, I knew I had left it all out there, so there was no other choice but to accept her answer and walk away. This was probably the easiest song to write (timewise) but hardest song to write (emotionally).
PC: Do each of you have a favorite song on your self-titled EP? If so, why is it so special to you?
Caleb: My personal favorite is “Seventeen.” It is so much fun to play live. It has a driving beat from beginning to end and you can tell listeners feel it as well.
Hannah: Honestly I don’t have a favorite! I can truly say I love them all! We put so much thought and time into each song. Just to have them see the light of day is satisfaction in and of itself.
PC: What do you hope listeners take away from your self-titled EP after listening all the way through?
Hannah: I hope they personally connect. I hope one of our songs creates that lasting memory; that they listen at a moment and place where years later they can listen to one of our songs and it will take them back to that place and time.
Caleb: I want them to feel inspired. Honestly, if we can do it and put out music even in the midst of our busy lives, anyone can.
PC: Along with promoting your new EP, what are your plans for 2020?
Hannah: Endless and open. Excited for the opportunities we have been given. We have been in a season of prepping and doing the groundwork, which is absolutely needed, but I think I can speak for the boys that we are ready to share our music more now than ever!
Caleb: We are continuing to push the ball forward. The only thing that we can do as artists is keep creating music and putting out content that we believe in. Now more than ever, I think we have to be honest and real with our art. We will always do that.
PC: Is there anything you’d like to add?
Hannah: We are in a crazy time right now with COVID-19. I keep telling my kids, “Y’all will be telling your kids about this one day.” It kinda cramps the whole tour plans for the beginning of this year, but it won’t stop us from going after these dreams. If anything, it’s encouraging us to keep writing & keep dreaming. It’s encouraged me to listen more to other music & encourage others as well! The cool thing about this: you can’t quarantine listening to music.
*Images courtesy of Milestone Publicity and VOTH Facebook Page*