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cal music scene lo e th in it ng ki ma to e the everyband’s guid her or not I bet you’re already fantasizing it. Whet musiother with ng playi even or cian, you are a musi d Behin VH1: that cians, you’ve entertained the idea. It’s in back ed slunk one the e you’r the Music special and t. Maybe you’ll your chair with the shades and disinteres alous songscand s, go on about tour bus indecencie St. Dracula Rick that tain main and writing activities, introspective the e you’r e mayb Or . name given your is of. Or the acrocker, over-analytical and dreamy – sort to heinous tion atten r’s viewe inter the cting tivist, distra

crimes made against my own rights. Or maybe you don’t give interviews at all. Nice. Or maybe the distance between your musical endeavors and the heights it can take you to may not be your aim. But whatever goal you have for yourself, pursuing it requires dedication and a network of people who can help you in your path. Welcome, then, to Volume One’s first guide to growing and networking a musical group in the Chippewa Valley. We’re not going to tell you where to buy a Fender

Stratocaster in the area, teach you music theory, or how to get your singer to come to practice on time. However, we will shed light on things like where to get your own practice space around here, where to find recording studios are in the area, and which local businesses will put your CD on their shelves. We’ve also got a lot of contacts to help you get on the air, in publications, and stuff like that. So, make use of the following pages and help shape our music scene. We’re looking forward to what you have in store for us. – Tyler Griggs

r, Karline Koehler, Tyler Griggs Editor: Tyler Griggs / Writers: Ian Jacoby, Kyle Shaffe Photographer: Hanna Agar / Designer: BMoen

What do you call a drummer without a girlfriend?


August 14, 2008


finding like-minded members for your new supergroup If you’re a musician, it’s inevitable e that you know other musicians. Mayb r guita blues delta plays mate your room a and your coworker’s the drummer in hardcore rock group. And you – you want that sweet spot between alternative rock ds and indie pop. Playing with your frien la formu the be may nces and acquainta you need to scour the region’s bars and clubs, but if not, you’re going to need some exterior help. Although you could hit every corkboard in the Chippewa Valley, the Internet is where musicians are finding each other now. About a year ago, Eau Claire got its own page, providing ty free forums and classifieds for a varie Comthe visit of marketplaces. If you munity section, you will find there are

classifieds for musicians. It caters to all musician-searching needs, from a band looking for a musician to a musician looking for a band. Craigslist is by far the recommended site for finding musicians. And though is a strong contender, it does not have sufficient search preferences.,, and (for those willing to rock in Minneapolis/St. Paul) also host musician-finding services and forums, but due to their lack of popularity or inadequate profiling/searching capacities, they may not be as successful. Volume One also has its New Avenues page, a free classifieds section in the very back of the magazine for all your creative endeavors. If you want to advertise, visit and look for the New Avenues link. – Tyler Griggs

“Starting out is rough, but dedicate your days off to writing music and searching for honesty in what you say.” – Elizabeth Christianson (of QuinnElizabeth)

“ finding a practice space to contain your noise

Practice spaces can be the bane of a band’s existence. Yeah, they’re dirty, they sometimes have pizza boxes all over them, but if you can’t even get one, there isn’t much point to having a band. We had a heckuva time tracking some of these places down, but with a little luck

and some natural charm you guys should have no problem finding one. Banbury Place – Banbury used to be a sanctuary for bands. It’s giant, it’s industrial, and it’s pretty much perfect for any sort of band who would want to use it. Up until a few years ago, it was always

Why is the singer standing at the door looking confused?

August 14, 2008

a sure thing that you could get a spot there, but with recent noise regulations being enforced more strictly, they’ve been forced to get soundproof paneling and the like. They hope to reopen their doors to bands this fall, so a phone call couldn’t hurt. You can call 836-6828 or


email for details. I, Torrent – The guys from I, Torrent have been using a practice space that’s been an Eau Claire staple for years now. The space, which is conveniently located half a block from the Court-n-House, was first rented for rehearsals by Mount Vernon way back when and has housed such local power groups as Amateur Love, Mel Gibson and the Pants, and even Regret. The space is also closed for renovation s right now, but a well-placed MySpace message to I, Torrent might be just the thing that gets you in the lap of luxury. Your own house – For real, guys, this might be the best option. You get to pick when you play, when you stop, and the only thing you have to worry about is “uncool” neighbors. Sure, you might not be able to start a noise band that practices at a bazillion decibels if you live on the East Hill, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked home from work , heard a band practicing at a reasonable volume, and seen people actually enjoy it. Yeah, weird! Anyway, check with your neighbors ahead of time, and it also doesn’t hurt to grease the wheels by offering a gift certificate to a movie theat er or an awesome local restaurant. Come to think of it, a liner note wouldn’t hurt either. – Ian Jacoby

He can’t find the key and doesn’t know when to come in.

getting out of the basement and

“When it comes to out of town gigs, AAA premium membership is your best friend.” – Brent K. (of Desolatevoid, I, Torrent, and House of Rock sound guy)

world of booking. As a new band, getting a foot in the door at local venues is your first hurdle to clear. Never underestimate the powbooking shows at venues er of the Internet in finding information. Sarah Snyder, a former booking agent for UW-Eau Claire’s venue The Most musicians become immersed Cabin, sums it up perfectly: “Booking their craft to establish a dialogue be- is no easy feat, especially not for a new tween listeners and performers. There band that’s looking to gain exposure. It’s is no more direct way to engage in this a lot of emailing, phone calls, negotiatthan through live performance. While ing, and crossed fingers.” The following this is a unique opportunity, it’s a chal- table is a list of a variety of venues and lenge for new bands. And if your bass- contacts to get you started. Depending ist’s uncle isn’t a former tour manager, on the style of your band, you can also you’ll likely have to go it alone into the try places like arts centers and bars.

After selling yourself to the venue, it is imperative you promote yourself too: Be assertive and stubborn. Make your own fliers and at least put them where fans of your music style will hang out. Create Facebook events and MySpace bulletins. Do whatever it takes to get all your friends to come. You must draw a crowd. If you can pack the venue, the venue can make more money and it will encourage them to ask you to return for more shows. Caring for this mutually beneficial relationship means more stage time, more fans, and expanding your network of consistently playable locations. – Kyle Shaffer





Acoustic Café, 505 S. Barstow St.

Blayne,, 832-9090


Acoustic, singer/songwriter, small band

Boys and Girls Club, 201 E. Lake St. (ages 12-18)

Mike McHorney, 855-0081

Clean lyrics

Rock, high school garage bands, indie rock

The Cabin, UW-Eau Claire

Sarah Snyder,, 836-4833


Solo artist, acoustic, small band

Grand Little Theatre, 102 W. Grand Ave. Ann Sessions,, 832-7529 (Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild)

Demo, MySpace

Indie rock, alternative, rock

Higherground, UW-Eau Claire

Jim Brockpahler,, 836-4805


Rock, metal, alternative

Hoffy’s Skate America, 3120 Melby Road

Jake Olson, 529-2915

Listen to the music

Metal, lighter rock

House of Rock, 422 Water St.

Joe Gunderson,, 559-5847

Demo, MySpace

21+ Rock, hard rock, alternative

Living Room Coffee House, 2006 Cameron St.

Ron and Michelle Lovelien,, 831-0245

Demo, MySpace

Acoustic, folk

The Mousetrap, 311 S. Barstow St.

Joe Gunderson,, 559-5847

Demo, MySpace

21+ Jam band, rock, alternative

Stones Throw, 304 Eau Claire St.

Andrew Pernsteiner,

Demo, MySpace

21+ Rock, alternative

Acoustic Café, 102 Main St. W, Menomonie

Ben, 235-1115


Acoustic, singer/songwriters, small band

Blind Munchies Coffeehouse, 621 Wilson Ave., Menomonie

Demo and press kit

Christian rock, Christian metal

Memorial Student Center, UW- Stout (Blue Devil Productions), Menomonie


MySpace, PureVolume Rock, alternative, hip-hop, acoustic

The Waterfront, 512 Crescent St., Menomonie

Matt,; Jason, (262) 434-0224

Demo, MySpace

Funk, jam-band, bluegrass

how to build a better press kit So you’ve found band members and figured out how to turn on your amp, and now you want to hear your music and see your face all over local newspapers/radio/TV/blogs/culture and entertainment magazines. You’re going to need an electronic press kit to tell them about yourself. Sure, you could walk into their offices with a Mead folder containing a handwritten bio and that glossy photo your mom just picked up from Walgreens, but that’s not punk, that’s just sloppy. You, on the other hand, are “with it.” Websites like will host your EPK, which should include (at least) a bio, photos, music, shows, and contact information. Bio – Read the descriptions of some moderately successful bands for inspiration. For the love of guitar strings, don’t offer a chronology starting from the moment you met in fourth grade. Focus more on the ideas behind the

How does a lead guitarist change a light bulb?

band, what you’ve got going on right now, and any concrete proof that you rock. Photos – Buy a case of beer for your photographer friend, or hire one if you must, and get some decent band shots taken. When you send them out to the press, make them high resolution or don’t bother (in V1’s case, 300dpi at 6 inches wide ought to do it). Oh, and resist the temptation to ridiculously photoshop them. Music – If you’ve put out a CD, mail it. Always have a few tracks available for listening online. Shows – Newspeople like to hinge stories on something timely, like an upcoming local show. So list them. And speaking of timeliness, the earlier you send out the goods, the better chance you’ll have of getting covered. Contact info – Provide an e-mail address and a phone number. And be available when you do get contacted. – Karline Koehler 32 VOLUME ONE

August 14, 2008

He holds it and the world revolves around him.

making gear for your adoring fans Swag is perhaps the coolest part about being in a band. T-shirts, buttons, and posters can all be sold for más money, and at the very least worn when all other clean laundry has been exhausted. There is always the DIY route here, meaning you can make your own T-shirts with stencils and spray paint and buttons from a button maker. Let me just say this, your results will be mixed. After a few hours of inhaling spray paint fumes, all T-shirts start to look pretty good (if you catch my meaning). A local business can be the best way to go if you don’t

recording and duplicating your band’s album band Mel Gibson and the Pants, as well as a number of his own projects. His setup is completely mobile (consisting of a few totally awesome mics, a laptop, and wherever your band can record), and to top it all off he is maybe the nicest guy in the history of the world. His rates are relatively cheap ($100 per day), and he can rock with the best of them. 379-4943. Eric Rykal – Eric is a recording wunderkind who graduated from the McNally Smith College of Music. He ran a studio in Hudson for awhile, and while there picked up a taste for awesome tunes and expensive microphones. He’s recorded most of the records on Chippewa Valley label Amble Down Records. He recently moved back to Eau Claire, and has set up shop in his house. It is dominated by giant mixers, crazy looking microphones,

and an Xbox 360. Call him at 226-0528. Mike O’Neil (Giant Gumball) – No, Mike O’Neil isn’t a giant talking gumball. He’s a producer, and recorder of folk records. He’s recorded Mike Quick, Matt Wahl, and numerous other guys who are stalwarts of the Eau Claire scene. With Giant Gumball Studios you get the benefit of having a veteran of the Eau Claire music scene, a giant studio, and let’s be honest, a little name recognition. Of course, this might not be the best fit if you’re a crust punk, or you wear giant leather boots, but for those in the folky-rock genre, Mike can make some magic. 497-0183. Jackson CD Duplication – Chris Jackson runs one of the only CD printing businesses in Eau Claire. They re-

selling your album in bricks-and-mortar stores the reviews call Now that your first CD (or as finished, you is it, your “freshman effort”) . If you play fans of ds han the have to get it in girlfriends, your get , sake t’s Feis for shows, d member -ban non e boyfriends, or otherwis r swag at othe your and them friends to sell p money chea a the venues you play at. Get

box, find that corner by the pinball machine and the Frank Zappa illustration, and set up shop. But if you are thinking about getting outside the rock ’n’ roll venue, the following table hosts a list of local retailers who put local bands on their shelves. – Tyler Griggs

cently worked with the UW-Eau Claire arts magazine NOTA on some really cool multimedia stuff. With Jackson you know what you’re getting: quality recording, production, and duplication with smallcity prices. They have an über professional website to check out at, or you can call them directly at 835-7924. Yourself – Sometimes the best way to record is the punk method. DIY. Sure, you might not have the technical knowhow, but at least it gives you the option to experiment and noodle. There are a couple of free recording options to download out there, and plenty of tutorials on the internet. OK, you might not sell a billion records by recording your lonely voice alone, at night in your cabin up north, but stranger things have happened. Try not to get maple syrup on your keyboard. – Ian Jacoby

“Designate one or two members to take care of the business side of things, as it will become very important as the band grows and becomes more well-known. It’s good to have knowledge of how the business works and to be prepared for whatever may come around the corner – whether it be signing a record contract with a small or large label or getting paid properly for a gig.” – Kyle Frenette (of Amble Down Records)

A really good album can totally make or break your band. Unfortunately for us, it isn’t as simple as say, ordering a Hot and Ready from a certain totally awesome pizza chain. It can take work, it can take hours of toiling in front of a mixing board, it can take (gasp) actual money to produce and mix! With hurdles like that, no wonder bands have a tough time figuring out how to make their own Sgt. Pepper’s. Luckily for you guys, we’ve compiled a list to make your search for the perfect album as easy as opening up a case of Mountain Dew and poring over the new Volume One. No, don’t pour your Dew on the magazine. Jaime Hansen – Jaime’s work has become something of an Eau Claire legend. He recorded super-pop band Amateur Love and experimental hip-hop

want to worry about permane nt brain damage. There are a ton of local businesses that do T-shirts, but som e of the better include Melting Pot Prin ts, (215 N. Barstow St., 833-1181), Post er Girl Art (, and Fleet Feet (402 Water St., 835-5897). Mel ting Pot is especially cool because of thei r ability to screen print T-shirts and posters for a really arty effect. If you’re just looking for your standard band poster, a DigiCopy or Kinko’s photocopy can always be made to work in a jam. – Ian Jacoby






Benny HaHa, 204 S. Barstow St.

Suggests a donated copy for the store. No genre limitations. Their upcoming web shop will also sell local music.

May refuse offensive music.

Operates on consignment: 35% of selling price.

Benny Haas, 833-9950,

Borders, 4030 Commonwealth Ave.

Consistent touring and outside promotion is critical to get on their shelves. CDs must come with their own UPC code. No genre limitations. And maybe plug Borders at your shows.

Seems open-minded.

Purchases without consignment. Price is negotiated when met with the operations manger.

Gordon Mills, 832-2852.

Racy D’Lene’s Coffee Lounge, Focus is indie rock, but open-minded to other genres. 404 Riverside Ave.

Not interested in angry or offensive music.

Bands get every penny of their selling price. Racy’s wants no cut.

Jeremy Kachmar, 834-0000,

Truckers Union, 413 Water St.

Let ’em listen to it.

Purchases without consignment, around $6 per CD, but negotiable.

Just walk in. 834-6885.

Will accept a maximum of five CDs per band. Retail support depends on the band. Finite shelf space also determines availability.

How do you get a drummer off your front porch?

August 14, 2008


Pay him for the pizza.

who to contact to score some ink

Peer Validated – comes first because frankly, I write for it, and it’s totally awesome. Peer Validated is a music review website whose signal originates from somewhere inside the Chippewa Valley. We do concert reviews, band features, and a myriad of other things. Our only stipulation is that you must be totally awesome. That isn’t entirely true, but it can’t hurt to contact us if you’re a cool new band looking for some free publicity. Check out the website at for contact info. Call us at 829-6024. Volume One – Volume One is the arts and entertainment magazine that you are holding in your hand this very instant. There have been numerous success stories that started right here between these hot little pages. You know when you see a cool band picture in here with an interview and a blurb about their next concert and you say, “Hey, that could be me?” You’re right, it totally could be you. Volume One can be reached at 552-0457 or email They’ll probably get some yahoo to write it (like me) but at least it will be fact-based and

totally awesome. The Leader-Telegram – The LeaderTelegram has an entertainment section that has recently become quite adept at finding local talent. Recent interviews with Bon Iver and Cranes and Crows have found “The ’Gram” in position to be on the cutting edge of culture in the Chippewa Valley. They have a giant readership, competent writing, and cool graphics on occasion. Entertainment editor Troy Espe can be reached at 8339206 or The Spectator – The Spectator is a student-run newspaper at UW-Eau Claire. Yes, they do more than put out the police blotter and win state awards for excellence in journalism. The Spectator has (on some very recent occasions) featured some very cool local bands. Recently, they’ve tried to reach out further into the community by highlighting some local venues like The Acoustic Café and The Nucleus. The Spectator also has a built-in crowd of college kids who read it on a regular basis. I’m not saying that all college kids do is drink and listen to music, but I’m not NOT saying it either. Catch my drift? Great, email them at or call 836-4416. The Chippewa Herald – The Herald has its pulse on all things Chippewa Falls. On first glance it might not seem like a teeming cultural metropolis, but let’s think about this. Amble Down Records? Based out of Chippewa Falls. Recording studio whiz Eric Rykal? Also

from “The Chip.” Chippewa is an upand-coming player in the cool-kid band market. They also do the service of (sometimes) featuring some really cool local music. The Herald can be emailed at or called at 723-5515. The Dunn County News – The News has a regular local arts section that may or may not do a feature on your band. It’s definitely worth a shot to call, write, or pop off an email in their general direction. It’s usually the most persistent band that gets the worm, not that you’re going to want to eat worms or whatever. Call 235-3411 or email The Stoutonia – The Stoutonia wins the award for coolest publication name on this list. It’s a weekly publication put

press kit. The following stations and programs can help you meet that end.

getting airtime on local stations Just so you can have that elated feeling of being butted up between the traffic report and a band doing a lot better than you are, we have a list of radio contacts to get you on the air. Radio play isn’t as critical to your fame as it was in the past (thank the Internet, globalization, and MySpace music pages), but the fact that you’ve been spun makes for good recognition and buffs your

How do you make a guitarist play quieter?

89.3 The Current: Although not located in the Chippewa Valley, the Twin Cities’ Minnesota Public Radio station plays a wealth of regional music and, relative to the other stations on this list, has a listenership the size of Axl Rose’s ego. And yes, they’ve even played Chippewa Valley bands from time to time. Mail your recordings, group name, and contact information to: The Current, c/o Melanie Walker, 480 Cedar Ave., St. Paul, MN 55101. Local Independence: UW-Eau Claire student and faculty-produced programming aimed to play local music of all types (Sundays during the school year, 7-8pm on WUEC, 89.7). Talk to Scott Morfitt, Spectrum West: Radio program exploring the music, arts and humanities in western Wisconsin (56pm Thursdays, 88.3 WHWC). Talk to Kathy Stahl at, 839-2940. WHYS 96.3: Eau Claire’s progressive community radio station hosts many programs that play local music. Though you may contact each program’s host to get on the radio, you should first talk to the station’s program director, Keevin Peuse (831-9497, globalbeatnik@yahoo. com). He’ll send your music to the right programs and may put you in unscheduled timeslots as well. There are at least half dozen WHYS programs that boast local music in different ways – here’s a list of a few of them and who to talk to. • Peer Validated: Eau Claire-based indie rock blog and radio program (9-10pm Thursdays). Submit music to Kyle Flater to the address on their site at


August 14, 2008

out by the students at Stout, which covers everything from local politics to, you guessed it, culture. Stout’s other claim to fame, Blue Devil Productions, gets some of the coolest bands in the area on a regular basis, and by proxy the Stoutonia covers them as well. Trust me, it’s worth the email: For the old folks, call 232-2272. The Pulse – The Pulse is just that, the pulse of what is happening in the Chippewa Valley. They cover all kinds of bar-based and nightlife stuff, from music to massive river floats. They have a more rural readership and a good attitude about covering the rock. They can be contacted at editorial@pulseofthevalley. com. – Ian Jacoby

• Increase the Pressure: WHYS’ punk, metal, and hard rock show plays all things brutal, local and beyond (10pm-midnight Fridays). Talk to Nate Dungeon at • Positive Frequency: Local music and live band interviews (3-5pm Saturdays). Talk to Niki Miller at – Tyler Griggs

“If a band plays Eau Claire every weekend, or even twice a month, you run the risk of saturating the scene with yourself. People start to catch on that you’re playing all the time. They think, ‘F%@$ it, I’ll catch them next weekend. They play all the time.’ Then you’ve got a case of diluted and sporadic attendance on your hands. If you space out your local shows, people will come because they haven’t seen you in a while.” – Nate “Bones” Knoeck (of Flags Will Cover the Coffins)

Getting your band press can be the hardest part about starting up a group. Yes, you know how to rock, but can you write a concise bio? Are your blurbs witty enough? Why couldn’t it be like the old days when getting drunk and playing old blues solos were the only thing you had to worry about? These publications will help you get things off on the right foot.

Put a sheet of music in front of him.

Volume One's Guide to Starting a Band  

The everyband's guide to making it in the Chippewa Valley music scene.