MINNESOTA HOMEGROWN MUSIC SUBMISSIONS
Rockin' 101 is looking for new material
from bands for Minnesota Homegrown. You can also email Tim Ryan the
location of your CD quality mp3 file to
email@example.com. Submit you
ROCKIN' 101 MINNESOTA HOMEGROWN
Attn: Tim Ryan
PO Box 366
1010 2nd Street North
Sauk Rapids, MN 56379
Minnesota has a TON of very talented bands. Every month Minnesota
Homegrown will highlight one of those local favorites. As music fans
who support the local music scene, simply vote for one of the five choices
in the right hand column. You can vote ONCE PER DAY.
The band who has the most votes during the month will kick off Minnesota
Homegrown for every show of that month. We'll also highlight the
band right here at Rockin101 - dot - com.
Top non-winning band will carry though to the next month's voting.
NOTE: Bands can only carry over one month.
Qualified band should have enough material for a month of airplay on
OCTOBER 2014 BAND OF THE MONTH
Wally Joseph - Lead Vox / Guitars
Richard Zasada - Drums / Vox
Steve B. McClurg - Bass
Brian Adams - Guitars
Michael Lannier - Keys / Vox / Percussion
Bio: Born in 1997, dead in 2004 with a
slight name alteration and a major line-up shake up. Created by Lead
Vocalist/Guitarist Wally Joseph, Bassist Steven B. McClurg and Drummer
Richard Zasada, the world was introduced to the band initially as a 3
piece with various female vocalists to fill both lead and back-up duties.
Initially moniker-ed Raindance, the band changed it's name to SKYWIND
sighting copyright and trademark issues as just a quick fix before a real
name could be decided upon. However, the impact and quick momentum of the
band's first several months of shows made it nearly impossible for the
group to change it. In turn, the hope and dream of someday being picked up
by a label and having the label change the name with the proper promotion
behind it allowed the band to be mentally sound with the name, atleast for
SKYWIND released its first demo "Under Cloud 9" in 1997 with former
Nashville session guitar player Jake McKeague. The record combined a
modern electro pop rock sound with groove oriented acoustics. Even with a
lack of production, UC9 ignited a fire creating a Minnesota fan base that
sent both club owners and fellow musicians a buzz within the Minneapolis
scene. This would be Jake McKeague's only recorded work with the group.
In 1999, the band journeyed to Triad Soundstage in Seattle, WA with new
guitar player and longtime friend, Brian Adams and back-up vocalist Becky
Bjerke, to create a live record in front of a studio audience brought in
by friends, family members, and some of Seattle's best local music talent.
In the end, SKYWIND brought home "Rain Songs Live". Once again, greatly
under-produced, the song quality drastically improved as did a live show
that now included the Keyboard / Percussion duties of Michael Lannier. The
band continues to grow...
The summer of 2000 brought the band on a self financed, self booked, self
promoted and nearly suicidal west coast tour. Taking what SKYWIND had
created in their home state, the band set up shop in Seattle and made it's
ups and downs from northern Washington to Southern California giving the
band it's first real taste of life on the road. At moments, the group
seemed likely to self destruct. Inner conflicts between the group members
and band's management grew as the pressure was on to attain some sort of
success on a nearly failed run. If anything was gained from the band's
west coast experience, a new identity and sound had been created.
Winter of 2001, Minneapolis is booming with new rock talent. American
Headcharge has become the talk of the town and has locked a deal with Rick
Rubin (Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Slayer, System of a Down) and American
Recordings. Other bands such as Sunset Black and Sound & Fury among others
have inked deals with major label subsidiaries. At this time, the SKYWIND
inbox and management cel phone is blowing up off the hook with interest
from Atlantic Records, Elektra Records, Warner Brothers, J Records,
Hollywood Records, American Records and many more. Things are out of
control. With a four song demo tracked by Karl Michael Demer in
Minneapolis, featuring tracks "O2", "Circles In The Ground", "Deep Blu"
and "New Year Evolution", the band's popularity has soared through the
roof and the demand for a new record is outstanding. That spring, the band
enters the studio at Atomic K Studios to begin what would eventually
By late spring, the band is being heavily courted by American Recordings
and LAVA/Atlantic Records. The band is flown to Hollywood to spend a
weekend with industry personnel and perform a private showcase for Rick
Rubin and Tom Carolyn (Stone Temple Pilots) at SIR Studios. A solid
showcase is performed but personal and artistic differences between the
band and drummer Rich Zasada send massive waves through the record deal
process. Labels insist the band needs to fire Zasada but the band stands
its ground and pushes on. American Recordings passes and a development
deal by Atlantic Records is sent. The band refuses the Atlantic deal with
advice from their lawyer and presses on.
SKYWIND continues to move and shake in Minneapolis now stretching it's
boundaries throughout the Midwest from the Dakotas down to Nebraska and
east out to Indianapolis, Chicago and up through Milwaukee and Madison. An
independence is growing as the band begins to develop ideas to remain
successful without the backing of a major label.
Summer of 2002, the mega-produced "O2" is released after the band inks a
deal with an independent label, Atomic K Records, founded by the band's
current producer/engineer, Karl Michael Demer. The band develops a
relationship with TVT recording artist Sevendust after performing at
Minneapolis radio festival X-Fest. Sevendust Drummer, Morgan Rose
expresses interest in producing the band and asks SKYWIND to embark on
select dates on their Animosity tour.
The band returns home and hires Mainstreet Marketing (Disturbed, A Perfect
Circle, Shania Twain) to promote the first single, "Lamhaj" to mainstream
radio. The single garners above average Midwest success and is eventually
Following more touring, additional showcasing in both New York and
Hollywood, and more disappointment from record labels, the band returns to
their rehearsal space to begin writing for their follow-up release. It is
during this time that inner band morale is at a new low as tensions worsen
between the band and Drummer Rich Zasada. The band enters the studio to
record 3 tracks, "Between the Lines", "Kansas" and "Big Brother". Soon
after, the band terminates it's relationship with BBM&E management and
Zasada is asked to leave the band on a short term basis to resolve
personal demons. The band brings in then drum tech and current Black Flood
Diesel drummer, Derek Abrams to fill in for upcoming dates and continue
the writing process. Time passes and the band eventually comes to the
decision that parting ways with Zasada is in the best interest of the
group. The band re-enters the studio to record a new 3 song demo featuring
tracks "Escape Plan", "Sugarcoat (which eventually was re-titled "Sunny
Day Believer")" and "California (initially titled "Over My Head")". A new,
more raw and edgy sound is created.
The writing process for the "Escape Plan" record went relatively fast.
Everyone in the group was comfortable with what they do and was going the
extra mile to increase an already rigorous rehearsal schedule in order to
create the perfect "live" machine. Maintaining their independence from any
major label, the band continued to tour meanwhile creating a 12 song demo
for the next release.
By this time, SKYWIND had become a very powerful brand name in the
Midwest. Despite the name's power to the fans and people close to the
band, the group was dealing with the issue of mispronunciation and mis-marketing
of their independent product. A name change was inevitable. Realizing that
a complete make-over of the name could be potentially damaging in the long
run, newly hired ARB management along with the suggestion of the band's
lawyer Owen Sloane and keyboard player, Michael Lannier presented the idea
of making the "I" a "Y" in hopes the band would get a "SKY-WHINEd" versus
a "SKY-WIND" Not everyone in the band bought into this but as the
democracy of a band/business rolls, the majority won and the name from
there on became SKYWYND.
While embarking on some regional touring, Brian Adams took a brief hiatus
from the group for the birth of his son, Dallon. Needing an immediate fill
in, the group turned to former Papa Roach / American Headcharge guitarist,
Wayne Kile. Upon Brian's return, the band fell in love with the idea of
adding a 6th member and brought Wayne into the writing process for the new
record including additional touring. The only mark left by Kile would be
that of co-writing "Arm's Length Away" with the band. Kile would
eventually leave the group for another opportunity to return to Hollywood.
Still enjoying the idea of another guitar player to leave Wally Joseph to
strictly vocals and acoustics, the band brought in long-time friend, Ross
Spannbauer. Spannbauer would finish the "Escape Plan" writing process with
the band and be featured on an acoustic/alter-ego record known as "6
Beautiful Songs and 3 Ugly Ones". On "6 Beautiful..." the band took songs,
both old and new and gave them a completely different feel using jazz,
blues, and funk elements with all acoustic instruments. Only a thousand
copies were pressed and are a rarity to find anywhere. Even though the
record was poorly produced and done within the confines of the SKYWYND
rehearsal space, the reviews were still to this date, the best of any
SKYWIND, SKYWYND or Crash Anthem release.
Walking into 2005, the band hired local grammy nominated producer
Christopher Langer to take the helm of tracking and producing the "Escape
Plan" record. The record was tracked at, the now defunked, A440 Studios in
Minneapolis. However, halfway through the mixing process, the band came to
the conclusion that the sound of the group had not been captured properly
and removed Langer replacing him with Brian Jacoby(Soul Asylum) to
re-track and re-produce. The end result was a collection of good songs
that never reached their fullest potential. The release of "Escape Plan"
also sighted the end of Ross Spannbauer's tenure with the band and the
entrance of Ryan "Rabbit" Irey(Phixt, QuietDrive) to assume guitar and
back-up vocal responsibilities.
4 months after "Escape Plan's" release, both Michael Lannier and Derek
Abrams parted ways with the group. Enter Wade Hagblum (Grade 8) on drums
and moving Ryan Irey over to keyboard duties. The band would remain a 5
piece from here on out.
Hagblum's stint on drums lasted throughout a portion of winter 2005. A
change in the business direction of the band resulted in the releasing of
Hagblum and the entrance of Ron Fearing (Style Monkeez). Immediately the
band began the writing process for the next SKYWYND record and seemed to
have brushed off all member changes as bumps in the road. The band
returned to Atomic K Studios to demo 4 songs: "Favorite Things", "Life
Story", "Wrecking Ball" and "Lonely Open Season". Eventually, 3 of the 4
would make the next record. After several months of touring and writing,
the band felt that once again a change was needed in drumming department
and Derek Abrams was re-introduced to the band. Upon Derek's arrival, the
band immediately hit the studio with Kevin Martin(Candlebox, The Gracious
Few Lead Vocalist) at the producing helm and Karl Michael Demer as the
chief engineer. The result would be a modern rock sounding effort
tentatively titled "The Kill." As soon as the band had finished in the
studio, they ventured out on the road supporting national acts Cinder
(Rock Ridge/Warner Bros.) and Revery (Universal) for a short run then
eventually joined up on a month and a half stint with Candlebox and a few
off dates with SocialBurn(Elektra).
After the summer touring of 2006, the band realized that they were still
faced with the same demon of SKY-WIND mispronunciation. From dj's to club
owners to new fans, the name was hitting a brick wall. It was time for a
change. Or was it? The band eventually came to the table with a slew of
new ideas for names. Upon getting reaction from fans, friends and industry
folk, the one name that made the most impact was CRASH ANTHEM. It had
meaning and it had imagery to the new sound of what the band was going to
be exposing to the masses.
From there on, a plan was in place to release the new record as Crash
Anthem. The biggest issue the group now faced was in trying to raise
awareness to the fans of the now deceased SKYWYND in letting them know
about a new regime being created. At the end of the day, all was handled
poorly and mistakes were made. "Inside A Red Room" was released with
little promotion other than that of a small marketing company in Chicago,
Platform 1 and never really made a statement on radio or anywhere on the
national scene. By this time, major labels had began their collapse and
interest in the band became minimal. Back to the independant drawing
board. Exit Ryan Irey. Enter Jon Storm (Tried For Fine, Nothing Static) on
Along with the partnership of Platform 1, the band made a jump onto the
ARM Entertainment roster. ARM is a booking agency consisting of nostalgic
80's -90's throwback bands and a minimal modern rock roster that happens
to be based within St.Paul, Minnesota. The first year with ARM was met
successfully as the band began to pick up steam performing Sturgis, and
several other major festivals and touring along side reality t.v. star
Brett Michaels, Seven Mary Three, Crossfade and others not to mention
one-off shows with LIVE, Candlebox, Seether, Theory of a Deadman, Alice In
Chains and much more.
The independent machine was rolling. Then, once again, Derek Abrams
decided to leave the band, this time taking Brian Adams with him. Enter
Dave Sellner (Tried For Fine, Nothing Static) on drums and Matthew Walberg
The band performed several local outings and a few regional shows with
this line-up before attempting to write for the next record. During this
time, Wally Joseph had rekindled a friendship with former drummer Rich
Zasada only to bring him back into the mix for the writing process of what
will be the new CrashAnthem record. Exit Dave Sellner and Jon Storm, enter
Rich Zasada on drums and Darren LaPage on keyboards.
As the band solidified this line-up and writing/recording took precedence,
things seemed to become shaky between the group and ARM Entertainment.
Neither side seemed to be getting what either needed from each other.
After a frustrating nation-wide turned mini-Midwest tour with Universal
Recording artists Papercut Massacre, the band left ARM's roster and took a
year long hiatus. During this time, Rich expressed disinterest in the
project and Darren LaPage was let go leaving the band in flux with
founding members Wally Joseph and Steve B. McClurg remaining aboard ship
with Matthew Walberg on guitars.
Crash Anthem would eventually lay dormant with a completed record waiting
in the wings for an undisclosed release date.
During the summer of 2011, Charlotte Juniper Niemiec, newborn daughter of
Wally J. would be hospitalized and face life threatening major surgery for
a duplication cyst. A benefit concert was planned by Wally J's brother,
Darrell Niemiec, in hopes to provide support for Wally's family during
Charlotte's stint at Mayo Clinic. All "origional" SKYWIND members would
re-unite to perform, possibly for one last time just outside of their
hometown, in Maplewood, MN. The show was a great success and the doors
have been left open to future possibilities…
2014. Skywind is back in the studio. Game on…
"Sleeping Giants" is now available at
October 12, 2014
Skywind "Sticks And Stones"
Dillinger Four "Fuzzy Pink Handcuffs"
FLIPP "I Wish I Was A Planet"
Kat Perkins "Fearless"
( Break )
Windowvine "Zero Line"
3 Years Hollow "For Life" (
National Feature - Quad Cities, IA )
Harakiri "C'est La Vie"
Soviettes "Middle Of The Night"
Motion City Soundtrack "Son Of A Gun"
( Break )
Bonrud "We Collide"