Sept. 18--Kane Place Record Club has amassed a sizable fan club in Milwaukee over the past two years, but for all the local gigs, the band didn't have any music to sell at shows.
That is, until late last month, when it packed Linneman's Riverwest Inn for a release party for its self-titled, full-length debut album, which also is available to stream, download and order from the Kane Place Bandcamp page.
"We've hand-spray-painted all the covers, too," said guitarist Nick Tovarek.
There's more music where that came from, possibly quite soon. Even though the band is fresh off the new album, it has two days of studio time booked in Chicago in early October.
"We have two new songs we've been working on that we're expecting to be on the next album, and we wanted to lay them down when they're fresh on our minds," Tovarek said. "They're a little more on the pop side of things."
Who's who: Chad Alsteen, 24 (violin, tenor sax); Eris Campbell, 22 (bass); Maurice Liddell, 27 (drums); Jon Scott, 23 (lead vocals, keyboard); Francis Sullivan III, 24 (guitarist, keyboard). Tovarek, 26, spoke for the band.
Day jobs: Alsteen teaches music and works on the sales floor at Brass Bell Music. Campbell is an oyster shucker at St. Paul Fish Company at the Milwaukee Public Market, and leads Segway tours in the summer. Liddell is a service technician for Grube's Towing in Mequon. Scott works at a copy shop. Sullivan works at Colectivo Coffee and at Rare Earth Farm in Belgium. Tovarek does social media marketing and works at the Exclusive Company.
When formed: About two years ago. Jon and Francis, those two were roommates, and I met them through a mutual friend. We had two guitars and a keyboard, and we'd jam around. We started trying to bring in new people. We've had several bass players and tried out a bunch of different drummers until we found Eris about a year and a half ago, and Chad stepped in as well to play violin. Maurice joined the band about a year ago. The same guy who recommended Eris recommended Maurice.
Band name back story: I used to live on Kane Place on the east side, and we would have this record night once a week where we'd get our friends together and listen to albums and talk about music and share music.
Describe your sound: It's definitely a mix of older rock and soul influences with some new indie-rock stuff in there, too. Maurice has been playing drums for his church for a long time, so he has a lot of tasty gospel drum fills.
Working on the album: A lot of these songs we had with our first lineup, and they started to transform about a year and a half ago, and we mixed those with songs we'd been writing over the past four months. Most of the songs came together really fast. One of us will come to the band with an idea, something simple like a guitar riff or a little piano part, and we'll all work around that, and there's tweaking and tweaking and tweaking until it sounds right.
We recorded at a studio in Crystal Lake, Ill., called Chrome Attic. Some bands we knew recorded there and recommended it. The engineer, Jonathan Alvin, is laid back and easy to work with, and (it's) this converted old farm. It was such a great experience to get out of Milwaukee and lock ourselves in a barn for a week. We'd wake up at 8 in the morning, drink coffee and eat breakfast, and work on tunes until 11 at night.
Favorite song on the album: "10,000 Timpani" (one of two songs the band performed in the Tap Milwaukee studios for an exclusive video). It's our most experimental. There's a lot of tempo changes and frantic drum beats mixed with really fast bass parts and weird noises that come in and out. It's a weird pop song.
First show: It was actually at this party, in this loft on North Ave., across from Atomic Tattoo. It was a huge party and a ton of people were there, and it was nerve-racking at first, but people got into it, and it was a good first show experience.
Best show: Summer Soulstice (on the east side) this summer was probably the best. It's the most people we've ever played in front of, and everybody was really receptive to it.
Hardest show: There was one show at Frank's Power Plant. Eris wasn't 21 at the time, so they wouldn't let him play, so Jon had to play all the bass parts on keys. But afterward they were like, "You guys are awesome, we want you to come back."
Strangest show experience: We played this Polish festival and had some 65-year-old Polish ladies dancing to our tunes.
Best driver: Maurice. He's owned 40 cars in his life and is a tow truck guy now.
Worst driver: Eris and Jon. Eris doesn't pay attention to anything, and he's constantly distracted. Jon never honks when he's supposed to, like when a car cuts him off. He just honks at girls.
Food for the road: We're all so different. Francis is vegan and Eris eats enough junk food to kill a man.
Unofficial band beverage: Jon likes Clamato juice. It's Budweiser and clam juice. I don't recommend it.
Music for the road: There's no iPod adapter, so we listen to old rock radio and hip-hop. Sometimes we torture each other with terrible pop music.
Band people would be surprised to know you love: Hall & Oates. They're so funky fresh.
Dream commercial placement: Huggies would be pretty cool, I'm not going to lie. Actually, we are the kings of writing jingles. It's what we do best. We've made jingles for Coca-Cola, Hanes, Huggies. We've made up a lot of our own brands.
Dream place to play:Red Rocks (Amphitheatre, in Morrison, Colo.) would be really sweet, and we all want to travel to Europe. Some girl at a show in Madison came up to us and was like, "I want you to play a Russian festival." She never got back to us. Broke my heart a little bit.
Next gig: 8 p.m. Sept. 29, opening for San Fermin at the Pabst Theater Pub, 144 E. Wells St. $8.89 at the box office, (414) 286-3663 and pabsttheater.org.
Tune in to local music
See Tap Milwaukee videos of Kane Place Record Club atjsonline.com/soundcheck.
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