On 9/8/17 Brittani Walker interviewed Blake , who works at Bulls Eye Record store in Milwaukee Wisconsin.
Brittani: How would you describe the music scene in Milwaukee?
Blake: I would say it is different from other area. The music scene has all different kind of genres so no one can put an identity to it. I have lived here my whole life and I am still experiencing new music. This town most certainly has a taste for music for anyone at any age.
Brittani: That was a wonderful response, on to the next question. How long have you worked here at Bulls Eye Records? Also have you met any local bands/musicians.
Blake. I have worked here for 10 months and I have ran into a couple local bands who were promoting their next event but nothing to big. I love my job and the people whom I come across.
Brittani: Next question. For my music production class, I had to choose a band that is local from Milwaukee, have you ever heard of Rebel Grace?
Blake: I have heard of them before. I've personally never met them or seen them perform but a bunch of my friends say that they are amazing. I've also been told that where ever they decide to perform it is always packed. I need to go see them perform to confirm that. Do you have anymore questions?
Brittani: No, these are all the questions I have for you today. I would like to repeat how much I thank you for this and being able to take time out of your busy schedule for this interview.
Blake: It was no problem, I am glad to help you out with your school work. I am just glad to have the honor of being able to speak for the city of Milwaukee, to say it has a unique taste of music. I hope you come to an event here one day to see it for yourself.
Brittani: I just might! Have a great day Blake and thanks again for this.
Blake: You have a great day too and you're welcome!
Nicole Thompson conducted this interview with Roxanna Steele on September 9, 2017. Roxanne is a midday radio host living in Detroit, Michigan for 99.5 WYCD.
Roxanne Steele career began her career as a afternoon host for Fresh 105.9 in Chicago in 2009. Since then she has held radio host jobs at several large radio stations. Her career with CBS Radio began at 98.7 Amp Radio Detroit. At 98.7 Roxanne was a midday host and also worked on program duties such as daily blogs, social media, live events, and charity events. Currently Roxanne is a midday radio host for CBS Radio Detroit working for two legendary stations, 99.5 WYCD and 104.3 WOMC. Roxanne states “This is my first time working country and the greatest hits format, I’m looking forward to taking my experience as a top 40 DJ and having some fun with a brand new audience!”
NT: If you could describe Detroit’s music scene in a few sentences, what would you say?
RS: I would say that the music scene is gritty and authentic, hungry and raw.
NT: What genres would you say are most popular in Detroit?
RS: I feel like Detroit has a wide variety honestly, and it depends on what side of town you are on. There is a huge underground dance/edm scene, blues and rock, country and rap.
NT: What are some popular music festivals in your area?
RS: Movement is a very popular music festival in Detroit, EDM music artist perform at this festival. Faster Horses is another popular festival in Detroit, this is a country music festival. There is also the “Detroit Jazz Fest” which is very popular in Detroit.
NT: What would you say your audiences is for your radio station?
RS: At 99.5 WYCD we play the top country hits as well as country throwbacks. Country has a WIDE audience. This genres audience might include, females and males from teens to older adults. With country music you can always find a wide range of fans. Concert attendees may be anywhere from a family with toddlers, teenagers, or grandparents at a concert together enjoying the show.
NT: What genres tend to play most on your radio?
RS: I listen to everything! I love throwbacks, hip hop, EDM, country, pop.
NT: What local artists are most popular now?
RS: In country specifically some of the most popular artist would be Matt Austin, Audrey Ray, Kat Beal, to name a few.
NT: Are there any artist who are up and coming currently?
RS: Certainly in the gospel genre, artists like Isabel Davis and Bryan Popin; In the R&B and Hip Hop genre that would be Migos, Sam Smith and maybe Childish Gambino.
NT: Who would you say your favorite artist is currently?
RS: In country I LOVE Maren Morris and Carly Pearce is hot on the rise! There is honestly to many to choose from. Country music is the truth. Every artist pours their heart and soul into their music. There’s not a bad song or album out their right now.
NT: Does your station have a list of top most played hits?
RS: Yes, we have a countdown show every Saturday morning. Dustin Lynch ‘Small Town Boy” is our most played song this week on 99.5 WYCD.
NT: What are some popular venues in Detroit that artist play at?
RS: There are so many great venues in Detroit! Downtown alone, you have the Fox Theater, Fillmore Detroit, St. Andrews Hall, Majestic Theater, Masonic Temple and the new Little Caesars Arena. Plus we have the Motor City Casino, and MGM Grand that do shows. Also DTE, Freedom Hill and Meadowbrook Amphitheater. Coyote Joes is a local country bar that puts on shows. The Palace is closing it’s doors at the end of the month but a great venue that’s hosted so many great tours through the year.
NT: Does your station hold any events to promote the music scene in Detroit?
RS: We host tons of events throughout the year. We pretty much host a concert one or two times a week. We also have our annual “Hoedown” every summer plus our Ten Man Jam in the winter. CBS Radio in Detroit just built a new broadcast studio downtown called “MusicTown Detroit” where we bring by bands and artist for interviews and private shows. It’s located inside Hockeytown Café on the second floor.
NT: Is there anything more you would like to share with me that might help me to better understand the music scene in Detroit?
RS: This city loves live music! You can check out a show in any genre of music any given night of the week. It is the one thing you can count on to do in Detroit.
NT: Lastly, I would like to ask you if I could have your permission to post this interview after I annotate it to our classroom blog. I can send you a copy of the interview before I post it on the blog?
RS: Sure! Thanks for having me.
Brittany Smith interviewed members of a Cincinnati band.
BS: Growing up, did you all always want to be musicians? Can you recall your earliest musical memories?
MA: We’ve all been playing music since our early teenage years and it’s safe to say we all wanted to make music our careers. For John (vocals/guitar) and Ben (drummer), it all started with watching live footage of Led Zeppelin in Ben’s basement, downing salt & vinegar chips and Jones soda. It was a magical time. For Matt (bass), it was first hearing the bass parts in Red Hot Chili Peppers songs while playing Guitar Hero as an adorable youngster.
BS: How did Public first come together? How did you come up with your band name?
JV: We played in the high school jazz band together. After practices, we would jam on Muse tunes and eventually started meeting up to jam on original material and things fell into place very quickly. Our band name is short and simple – we like that. By nature, it’s an inclusive word, like an invitation to hear our music without any preconceived notions.
BS:Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire you and your music? Who would you still love to work with in the future?
BL: All-time favorites include Maroon 5, The Killers, and Muse. These bands have a special place in our hearts. Lately, we are really digging DNCE – they are such a “band” and we will relate to the sound they are pumping out.
BS: At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music?
JV: Overall, we want listeners to identify with our music. We have very normal life experiences, and that’s what a lot of our music is about. Our fans know that we aren’t “too cool” and that’s often how we connect.
BS: What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
BL: They aren’t alone. We are probably going through the same stuff you are.
BS: Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
MA: Just that we are so excited to keep rolling out new music for you. We are hard at work and we can’t wait to share!
Trish Pittman interviewed Tonya on 9/16/17.
Me: Are there many music festivals in Fort Wayna?
Tonya: yeah actually, there's one I've heard of recently it's a music festival powered by Sweetwater. There's different themes for different nights, like for example they have 90’s night and electric spring. It's over the course of five days and I know you can get tickets at FortWayneMusicFestival.com
Me: Wow that sounds really fun! Any other details on that festival?
Tonya: Ummm i know there's going to be more than 30 performers!
Me: great! Umm lets see, how busy is your shop normally, like do you think locals are very interested in the music industry?
Tonya: we’re fairly busy we are a record shop so business isn't what it used to be with the new technology we have now a days.
Me: yeah that's understandable, does your shop do anything to help promote local bands around Fort Wayne?
Tonya: I mean we don't really do anything special, if someone wants to hang up a flier or something we won't be opposed to hanging it up so I guess you could say we promote local bands.
Me: nice nice, have you heard of the Freak Brothers? They are a local band from Fort Wayne I'm actually doing my project over them.
Tonya: No, this is the first time i'm hearing of them! They sound pretty interesting, are they?
Me: yeah they're an older jazz band. They have performed around Fort Wayne previously! They're cool. Okay so one more question, do you think the local people of Fort Wayne should be participating more in the support of small local bands?
Tonya: definitely I think the younger kids are too interested in the really famous music producers and the local bands don't get enough love. People should learn to love all types of music and give all music producers their turn in the spotlight.
Me: I agree! Thanks so much for your time this will really help me on my project.
Tonya: you're welcome! Good luck on your project! Have a nice day!
Abby Peters interview Dutch Devries on August 30, 2017.
AP: Can you start by giving me a little background on yourself?
LD: No problem at all… I’ve been in and out of bands since I was a teenager. It was the perfect place for me to fit. I’ve grown up a lot since then, but the love of music is still strong as ever… I was always the All-American underachiever. There were high expectations for me in everything, but I never lived up to the hype! Actually, I am a productive member of society with kids probably older than you, and a job most would never peg me for. I still look like the stereotype “rocker/ metalhead”, but I am smarter than I look!
AP: I have to ask, how did you get the nickname, “Dutch?”
LD: I get asked that quite a bit… My dad was in the Hell’s Henchmen MC back in the 70s, and his nickname was “Dutch”. When I’d see his friends, they would call me the “Lil Dutchboy”. As I grew older, I kept the moniker as my own, and he became the “Old Dutchman”. That’s pretty much where I’m at now because my son has taken the AKA on himself.
AP: How did you and the guys meet?
LD: I’ve known Tony Raygor (lead guitar) and Phil Johnson (bass) for about a dozen years now. My previous band was on the same bill as DMH when they were starting out. There was a quick connection, and we became friends. I’d help them out over the years when they were in between vocalists or join them on stage for a song or two, then the gig kinda fell into my lap. I’ve been part of DMH for almost three years. Plus, I went to high school with our drummer Brian P…. We didn’t know each other until DMH…
AP: When did you first start singing?
LD: Ever since I was a kid, I was always into music and performing. My earliest memories were singing and acting like Elvis when I was maybe four years old… The love of music was always there, but growing up, the talent wasn’t. I had a very shy and awkward period- very self- conscious. Knowing I wanted to sing, I had to get over it, practice, and find my own niche. No overnight sensation here!
AP: Is it harder to be a singer of a heavy metal band than a softer sounding band?
LD: For me, I don’t think so. I come from a diverse blend of influences. I always said I got my melody from the Beatles and my attitude from the Stones. I love to sing any style, it’s about making it your own. Your own voice, your own feelings/ emotion you put into it. I’m just as comfortable singing something from the Eagles as I am from Motorhead! Some people find it more difficult or are afraid to step out of their comfort zone, but I believe that’s how you mature as a vocalist.
AP: What is your favorite type of venue to perform at, and why is it your favorite?
LD: Personally, it depends on the bands we’re with. I’ve been in 2000 seat arenas, and that’s pretty cool seeing all those people and exposing your music for the first time to most of them- especially if they like it, but… I find there is always something special about playing at a little dive bar. It’s much more intimate, and it’s easier to interact with the audience. My job is to get the audience to respond, and when they’re right there, you’ll find out if you’re having a good show or not. It’s a rush when the crowd sings with you or back to you…
AP: You mentioned that you were, “A band of the people,” why did you decide that, and how do you feel that you carry that sentiment out with your actions?
LD: Hell, we are the people! By no means are we rock stars. It’s a tremendous compliment when people come to see our shows or buy our music. We’re all music fans, and we all share it together. We don’t pretend to be something we’re not. That’s when you lose connection. When I write my lyrics, I want it to mean something and have some substance. I want our songs to relate to people so when they hear it, they go “Hell yeah- I know exactly what he means!” On another note, we’re prepping a couple new songs for the studio. Our intention is to bring some of our fans in to help with backing vocals. Just keeping it real… You are more than welcome to join us and even bring some friends!
AP: How do you feel the Joliet music scene has evolved over the years that you’ve been playing there?
LD: I guess every city likes to think it stands on its own, and in some ways, they do… I remember all the hair metal that would be out here in the 80s, and that turned into grunge, nu-metal, and so on. There are a lot of talented people out there, but there are so many that just go through the motions and act pretentious and arrogant. I guess that’s the biggest change, not as much heart as there used to be. That’s what sets the good artists apart from the others the most. They’re the ones that make you feel it…
AP: How do you think you fit into the music scene in Joliet?
LD: I guess the guys in Deadman’s Hand and I are the elder statesmen these days! I have some younger friends, and a story got back to me from one that I work with about one of our shows. Naturally, we were the oldest guys in the place, and we knew a few people. My co-worker’s friend said he saw a bunch of old dudes that looked like bikers, but when they got on stage, they kicked some serious ass and stole the show! My bud suggested it was us, and bingo, it was. We bring it old school and have lots of fun. It feels great to know that a younger crowd can dig what we dish out….
AP: Thank you for answering my questions, is there anything else you would like us to know?
LD: We are always looking for new opportunities to grow as musicians and as people. We look forward to meeting new bands and audiences to have a good time and crank it loud and proud!
Interview with Cameron by Curtis Lyon.
For years I’d been friends with an artist who grew up in Aurora, Illinois. His name’s
Cameron. I’d met him through a creative writing forum back in high school but we’ve been able
to meet in person a few times. As one of the main inspirations for me to start creating my own
music, I was excited to be able to talk with him about his own musical journey.
CL: Who are you, what do you do, and why?
C: I am Cameron, I'm a musician in the loosest sense of the word and a producer, and I do
it because it's fun.
CL: Why is it fun?
C: Ultimately, I’ve spent a lot of time being way too serious about my art and my ambitions
with it, and eventually I just realized that it serves its purpose to me the most when I’m enjoying
it. It’s pretty fun to cut loose and not take yourself seriously and just make noises. And that’s
what I’m doing here.
CL: What's it like going to shows in Aurora. Have you had any particularly good or bad
C: Going to shows in aurora 4 or 5 years ago, and even earlier than that was really special.
Not to sound like a Hard Times headline but it was like akron in the 80s, but nowhere near as
innovative. [It was] just a very fun tight knit group of people. Almost every show you'd go to, the
crowd was the same, so you knew people. It was a real strong and very diverse scene back
then and almost every single band shared a member with another, like there were nights my
friend Harry and I's band would play on an 8 band billing, and we'd end up playing in 3 other
bands that night. Lots of cross pollination. The crowds in aurora were always real cool, they
didn't get bad or weird until you went east enough to be in naperville. Very white and very
snotty. I'm not sure if you can publish that but let the record show.
CL: I think I could publish that, but there's probably a more professional way to put it.
The big problem is that the core group of people who made up so many of the local
bands across all genres all moved away, and as of 2015-ish the scene is kinda dead in the
What kind of musical background/environment did you have when you started
playing music, and what was your first big inspiration?
C: My musical background and environment was pretty much entirely just middle school
band classes. I learned enough about the actual practice of musicianship, the technical stuff,
that I wanted to start applying that to Pop music, in the broadest definition. And my first and
probably biggest inspiration is and was The Replacements.
CL: What has the Aurora music scene done for you, and what have you been a part of?
C: The biggest thing the Aurora music scene has done for me was definitely the whole
togetherness aspect of it all. None of the bands that were around were really playing the kind of
stuff I necessarily wanted to be playing, my own band included, but being a part of such a
concentrated scene taught me a lot about being a person, lessons that I've built on to become a
decent person today after years of being not so decent.
From a musical standpoint the biggest thing the scene did for me was put in me in close
proximity to people who were much more talented than I was, people who I could learn more
about music making from just by being around.
In that scene I did just about everything - played in bands, produced other bands’ demos
(moonlighting as a real producer is perhaps my favorite thing to do musically outside of
avantgarde junk), and booking events. The biggest thing I think I ever did was put together a
massive charity show at an old church hall, right before the scene started to disintegrate. It was
kind of a huge sendoff at the time to everything we all stood for. We had about 15 bands in
about 13 genres, and collected 450 cans of food for the homeless.
CL: Anything you’d like to say to aspiring musicians? Anything you’d like to express to
anyone reading this?
C: I want to firstly say thank you - and secondly, just, to anyone reading this who doesn’t
have a scene, you can make one. Go out there and bang things together and scream if you
want, just do something. Anyone and anything can be and make music. Create. Learn. Grow, et
Joelle Meyer conducted this interview with Kevin Ardito, a Milwaukee native who was involved in the local punk rock music scene for several years.
Kevin Ardito was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During his early childhood, he took guitar lessons from his neighbor. At the age of sixteen, Kevin started a punk rock band with his three best friends, called Fear No Evil. After playing together for three years in the local punk rock scene, Fear No Evil split up and Kevin shortly joined the band Wax Astro.
JM: Hey Kevin, thanks for talking with me. I was curious to find out a little bit more about the Wisconsin music scene, especially Milwaukee. You have spent a great deal of time in Milwaukee so I was wondering what it is like. I have been to Summerfest but otherwise, I don't really know much about the music scene.
KA: It's been years since I personally toured the local area but I can tell you the local music scene is thriving. There are still a lot of house shows, bar shows, and local venues. There’s even a practice space above my apartment that is always jamming.
JM: Very nice, can you tell me a little more about the vibe that comes from these local venues? What kind of bands do they usually book?
KA: With the music scene growing nicely in the last decade along with gaining more exposure outside of WI, there's a lot of great places to see local bands, most are 21+, but not all, so you'll have a few options. The A.V. Club has a good calendar listing lots of upcoming shows, album and show reviews, videos and news stories, as well as links to stream albums by local bands.
The Rave and the Pabst consistently pull national bands and The Rave often has opening spots available for local bands. There's also a lot of small venues as well as bars which host bands. The DIY house show circuit, however, is definitely where you’ll see the local bands. Bands from all over the country tour through the Midwest often and play at several established venues. Usually, these venues book local bands as openers.
JM: The DIY house circuit? What is that?
KA: Basically when a band works completely on their own, with no record label. This what I did with my first band. We did all of our own writing, recording, promoting, booking. We did almost all of our shows in basements, occasionally performing in the basement of a local church even though we were heavy metal/punk rock band. This is still a widely popular part of the music scene in Milwaukee.
JM: Interesting. From what you have experienced, where would you say the “scene” is.
KA: Where the "scene" probably depends on the music you listen to/intend to play. For example, I've attended a lot of shows at the BBC, and a lot of the shows have been very different from each other but in a similar genre. There is a lot of hardcore, metal, experimental noise, and so on. But there is also pop, pop punk, even a lot of country bands in the area.
JM: Speaking of country bands, have you ever heard of Rebel Grace?
KA: Can’t say I have.
JM: That’s okay, I am focusing on them for my MMP100 class. Anyway, is there any advice you could give to a band trying to make in the Milwaukee scene?
KA: I've always thought Milwaukee had a cool music scene. I think Milwaukee excels in variety and talent, but bands don't seem to support other bands the way other scenes do. My advice for bands would go see shows. Yes, there are many great bands, but the problem is getting people to the shows. You can’t expect fans if you aren’t a fan.
JM: Very true. Thank you very much Kevin.
Whitney Kendall conducted this interview with Amileigha Blue on September 10, 2017. Amileigha is the lead singer of Rebel Grace, a country cover band from Milwaukee, WI.
Amileigha moved to Milwaukee in 2005, the same year the band was formed. This interview is about Amileigha’s opinion of the music scene in Milwaukee.
WK: How would you describe the music scene in Milwaukee to someone who has never been?
AB: Okay, so, what I would say is, it is a very collective group of people. We go all the way from people who play only original music, that are more the artist side of things, then it goes all the way up to people who do, kind of, what my band does. We play cover music, but we add kind of our own little twist to it, and we focus more on putting on a show than we do, necessarily, the writing of our own music and stuff like that. So we make sure we learn the songs as close to the album as they are, and then that kind of progresses as they end up morphing into our own version of songs. But then, it’s just a huge group of a lot of different personalities, but all in all, everyone is just one big community, really.
WK: So if you had just three words to describe the music scene, what would they be?
AB: Wow, that’s hard. Um, I would say it’s very busy; it’s thriving, for sure; and I’d say it’s very unique, because not every city has the music scene like Milwaukee does.
WK: What is the most popular genre, or genres, of music found in Milwaukee?
AB: I can’t say that there really is a most popular one. There’s something out there for everyone. We play Top 40 Countries, but there are bands out there that have been playing in the area for more than twenty years that play classic rock, or current rock. There’s pop bands. Honestly, I don’t know that I can tell you what the most popular genre is because there are so many option out there.
WK: So you would say the city is encouraging to up-and-coming bands?
AB: I think that for the most part it is. There’s always people out there that don’t want to see other people succeed because they don’t want to be overshadowed by them, but I think ninety percent of the Milwaukee scene, everyone there is willing to help new up-and-coming people kind of get their feet wet and help them learn how the industry works in the area.
WK: I saw that Milwaukee has Summerfest. What has been your experience with the Summerfest, both playing there and just being a visitor?
AB: So, as a visitor for Summerfest, it’s something that you can’t really find anywhere but Milwaukee. There are tons of stages and there’s live music going on from open to close every day for eleven days. It’s somewhere that you can go and hear pretty much any genre of music that you want, with a ten minute walk between each stage. As a spectator, it a very unique experience, and as a music lover it’s a place that you can just really lose yourself in getting to watch all the different artists that you like.
WK: So would you say the Summerfest is great for families, or is it more for adults?
AB: I would say it depends on the time of day. During the day I’d say it’s a place that you can take your family, but in the evening I would not say it would be a place to take you family, just because of the scale of the festival. It’s such a huge place, and it’s very loud, so it would be very easy to lose a small person in the big crowd.
WK: Final question—What is your absolute favorite thing about Milwaukee, pertaining to the music scene?
AB: I would say that it’s the people in Milwaukee, it’s their love for music. It’s the fact that no matter what’s going on with the economy or anything like that, people always find the time and the money to come out and support live and local music. So without the people in the community supporting music, nobody would be able to do what we do in the music industry, so I think that’s the most impressive part for me.
Connor Johnson did this interview with SeeJay
Q: When did you start making music
A: I started making music in 8th grade as a joke really.
Q: Is music your only passion?
A: No, sports was my first love, I always thought I was gonna be a baseball player actually. I'd like to think I'm passionate about everything I do honestly, whether it's school, music, or simply playing a pickup game of basketball, I'm competitive and I always like to come out on top.
Q: What kind of artists do you listen to in your genre?
A: I'm all over the place with this one, I'm not even stuck to one genre either. To me, everyone has their season and if someone drops a project that I feel is cohesive and worthy of praise I'll listen to it. From 21 Savage to Chance the Rapper I have no preferences, I thoroughly enjoy all rap.
Q: What is your goal you'd like to obtain with music?
A: To be famous and respected all around the globe, I want people to remember my name, I want to be on the cover of XXL, I want Grammy's, I want classic albums. I always said if you got dreams, they better be big.
Q: Why did you come to school at Ball State if you can't major in "Rap"?
A: It's an awesome network, and I can learn everything around the technical aspect of the genre, there's so much here for me that's progressed my music it's crazy.
Q: What's something you'd like the average listener to know about you?
A: That there's not anyone around here that's working harder than I am to get to where I want to be, I can guarantee it.
Martin Dyrcz held this interview with Chris Bathgate on September 11, 2017. Chris Bathgate is a musician living in Ann Arbor, MI who is prevalent in the Indie & Folk musical scene.
MD: Your last album release was over five years ago. Was there any consideration on your part to stop writing music?
CB: Not really. My music is based on nature and life stories of those I meet. It was time for me to regenerate and meet new people. I spent almost four years travelling coast to coast, camping, hiking, touring, and teaching.
MD: Did Michigan no longer provide the model of nature for your songwriting, is that another reason you extensively travelled?
CB: Michigan is the baseline for my view on nature. The state offers unparalleled beauty. But not everyone outside of the Midwest can relate to Midwest values and the diversity of its nature. Plus, touring in the northwest was a chance to view the power and tranquility of the Cascade mountains. Both Michigan and NW USA share life activities centered around water and forests.
MD: I see you have tour stops in Los Angeles and Portland, was this an outcome of your trek to the west?
CB: Yes. My style of music is more accepted in the NW in areas like Seattle and Portland than LA. Yet LA represents a diverse market, more receptive to Folk/Indie than expected.
MD: What about your poetry outside of music?
CB: Most of my poetry is used in my lyrics. Or I take a passage of literature and intertwine its’ point of thought into my music.
MD: Do you ever play the guitar for music other than Folk? I hear strains of Rock and Roll in your interludes.
CB: (Laughs). After all I was on the University of Michigan music scene and grew up playing local rock bands as a teen. So yes, I can move into the rock zone.
MD: Drop in again after your return from Oregon and will continue this conversation.