MINNESOTA HOMEGROWN

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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 tim@rockin101.com.  Submit you material to:

 

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 Minnesota Homegrown.


 OCTOBER 2014 BAND OF THE MONTH

 

 

 SKYWIND

 

Band Members:

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 a moment.
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 become "O2".
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 spun nation-wide.

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.

SKYWYND?
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.

CRASH WHO?
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 keyboards.
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 on guitar.
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.

The re-union...
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 www.pacificundergroundrecordings.com

 

 

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PLAYLIST

October 26, 2014

 

Skywind "Drug Store"

Skywind "Happiest Days/Another Brink In The Wall" ( Cover Feature - Pink Floyd )

Impaler "Island Of The Damned"

The Slain "The Vampire Bat"

Likehell "Doom"

 

( Break )

 

Fureal "My World"

Dirtee Circus "Vegas Motel"

Blue Felix "In The Mirror"

Emergent "Erode"

Gabriel And The Apocalypse "Until We Dream"

 

( Break )

 

Slip Twister "Mainstream"

The Suburbs "Turn The Radio On"