Q&A: American Grizzly

American Grizzly bassist Marty Funk and guitarists Jack Doyle and Dennis Wilson rumble about their Pilsen rehearsal space with their friend and photographer Tim Nagle. With only a few weeks until the release of their third EP, a self-titled folk-rock compilation out on February 14, the Chicago-based rock band works to finish their album photo shoot.

They’ve hung a tapestry along one of the ways directly over a wooden piano. To the left are two amplifiers. To the right, a white electric guitar. The scene feels vintage; a perfect old southern rock setting, but what really sets the vibe is what’s front and center: a lamp with a cowboy boot base. The look is laid back and in a way may seem out of character for American Grizzly, but Funk, Doyle and Wilson explain, the music found on their new EP American Grizzly is as genuine as the rock-infused tunes fans are used to.

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Q&A: Capital Soirèe

Three best friends start a band, record some tunes and play shows around their city until they make something of themselves. It’s a story told time and time again, but no matter how many bands the boys of Capital Soirèe find themselves among, the Chicago-based trio continues to strive, most recently with their new 3-song EP Waves of Change.

The new release exhibits a different side of Capital Soirèe. The band has taken on a new approach to writing and recording, maturing their sound as they explore different vibes, tones and instrumentation. Multi-instrumentalists James Kourafas, Max Romero and Steven Rejdukowski gather in their recording basement to discuss their latest music and other upcoming projects.

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Q&A: Dead Harvest

For a band built on drive, things come together quickly. Proof lies with the Chicago-based rock trio Dead Harvest; a band that has not only successfully self-recorded a 4-song EP but has also built a notable following and an online presence in only a few months. Vocalist and bassist Jonathan Wilson, drummer Drew Garnaut and guitarist Gerard Rapp are continuing on the fast track with a number of new songs, recording plans and a list of shows scheduled for 2018.

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Q&A: Zoofunkyou

The new year has only just begun, but Zoofunkyou has already entered 2018 in full swing. On January 19th, the Chicago-based jam band will be embarking on their first extended tour starting with a hometown show at Chop Shop. The tour covers most of the Midwest and a number of funk-infused cities across the south and follows their first 2018 release; a live album recorded during their October 27th show at Bottom Lounge.

Vocalist and guitarist Derek Dare, guitarist Bryan Scheinkopf, bass guitarist Matthew Coglianese & the band’s manager Andy Boyd gathered in their practice space at Kildare Studios to share their tour details and to discuss the rest of their plans for 2018.

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Q&A: Temporary Pharaohs

Bands come and go, and in the case of Chicago’s retro psychedelic pop rock band Temporary Pharaohs, sometimes they come back for a second round. After taking a few years off from their original start in 2012, Cody Carpenter, Chris Kulwin, Nick Tumminello, AJ Hitmar and Elliot Gitter came together late this summer to record two new singles and reintroduce themselves to the Chicago music scene.

So far, the new beginning is running slow as the band approaches what will be only their second live show on Saturday, December 26 at Lincoln Hall. But it’s not for lack of material the boys assure as they gather at The Nook in Chicago’s Edison Park to discuss the collection of new songs they’ve been working on as well as plans for new merchandise, touring and a South by Southwest showcase.

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Q&A: Matthäus

Forming an 8-person band with members in two states whose music blends pop, folk and contemporary concert music may not sound like the most logical road to successful, but so far, the nontraditional approach has been working in favor for Matthäus. The band, with members in both Chicago and St.Paul, started as a small project from composer Ben Montalbano, adding bold horn sections, piano lines and other intricate instrumentations to a variety of folk-rock tunes. The group has since grown into a collaborative chamber collective made up of Ben Montalbano, Joe Meland, Justin Peters, Lars-Erik Larson, Samuel Peters, Alex Blomarz, Hugo Seda and Chris Shuttleworth.

With a new music in the works and a December 14 show at Schubas just days away, Montalbano, Peters and Meland gathered in a cozy window seat at Wicker Park’s Wormhole to discuss the band’s plans for the rest of the winter and the new year.

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Q&A: Honey & the 45s

It’s not easy to make a name in a music scene as large as Chicago’s. With so many talented bands, solid music and a strong lineup simply aren’t enough to push through the noise. On top of delivering unique works, a band needs dedicated members who are constantly pushing boundaries, an important quality that members of Honey & the 45s know all too well.

Five years and three albums later, drummer Dave Brandwein, lead vocalist Kristina Cottone, guitarist Jon Gould, keyboardist Sonya Major and bassist Sean Tatum are continuing to find success in their blend of R&B, soul and rock with their latest EP Speak, a collection of four empowering songs exploring connection and authentic relationships.

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