My First Band Podcast

Milwaukee Record

Each Friday, My First Band features a long-form interview with a different notable musician about all of the projects that preceded what you know them for. We discuss their musical origins, and we trace a few of their embarrassing high school bands and other associated bands that happened before they broke out. This show digs deeper than any Wikipedia page or band bio would ever dare to go. And, sometimes, the guests will even share some of their old songs. You can expect to hear a lot of interesting, informative and hopefully entertaining anecdotes about all of the bands along the way.

My First Band is sponsored by Boulevard Brewing. It is hosted by Tyler Maas, of Milwaukee Record, and edited by Jared Blohm.

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All Episodes

You'd be hard-pressed to find a musician as prolific and enigmatic as Steve Gunn. The New-York-based singer, songwriter and guitarist has managed more than 20 releases in the past 15 years, including collaborations with Kurt Vile, Hiss Golden Messenger, Ryley Walker and more. Each new album, EP and split finds Gunn venturing into new and unfamiliar territory and demonstrating his continued growth and evolution as an artist. His latest, Other You — which came out on Matador Records this past summer — is no exception, with an uncharacteristically bright sound and an aura of optimism that's present in the album's 11 tracks. Before setting out on a co-headlining tour with Jeff Parker (which includes a Dec. 4 stop at Cactus Club in Milwaukee), Gunn spent some time telling My First Band host Tyler Maas about the process of making Other You, his excitement to be back on the road and playing solo shows, and what's in store for him next year. Along the way, Gunn spoke about growing up a few miles outside of Philadelphia, the role nearby college radio stations and independent record stores had on his musical taste, and spending his teens and 20s exploring New York and other East Coast hubs in search of new and unfamiliar live music experiences. Before episode's end, Gunn also talked about taking guitar lessons, playing in a project called GHQ and briefly being part of Vile's backing band, The Violators. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Steve Gunn ("Fulton").

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Dec 3

1 hr 2 min

If you don't know the name Emily Wolfe yet, you will soon. The Austin-based singer, songwriter and guitarist is a few months removed from the release of Outlier, her excellent sophomore album that's earned acclaim from listeners and critics alike. Epiphone now produces a signature model guitar that bears her name, and she's about to take that guitar on the road again when she embarks on a Midwestern tour next month before what's sure to be a busy and bountiful 2022. Long before Wolfe was collaborating with Queens of the Stone Age members and sharing the stage with the likes of Joan Jett and Heart, she was playing acoustic brunch sets at restaurants and trying to make a name for herself in the Texas capital. Prior to hitting the road again (including a Dec. 9 headlining show at Cactus Club in Milwaukee), Wolfe spoke with My First Band host Tyler Maas about what it's been like getting back on the road again, the process of recording the new album with Michael Shuman and highlights from her already impressive and still-blossoming career. Over the course of the conversation, Wolfe talked about being drawn to guitar at the age of 5, immersing herself in songwriting in her teens, diving headfirst into Austin's music scene during her college years and some of the formative experiences and opportunities that — combined with her years of hard work and natural talent — helped her become the artist she is today. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Emily Wolfe ("Damage Control").

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Nov 26

55 min 42 sec

These days, Ashley Smith stays busy as the owner and operator of Alive and Fine — a vintage shop in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood — and as one of the founders/organizers responsible for the annual Hover Craft maker fair (which is set to return to The Pritzlaff Building on Dec. 5). She also runs the recurring One Trick Pony pop up flea market and, oh yeah, is a mother of two as well. Though she's developed quite an impressive reputation in the Midwestern vintage, maker, arts and craft realms, Smith is also one hell of a lead singer. Recently, My First Band host Tyler Maas stopped by Alive and Fine and asked Smith about her business, Hover Craft's return and her on-stage alter ego as the frontwoman of renowned Milwaukee acts like Red Knife Lottery and Whips. Over the course of the conversation, Smith spoke about singing harmonies on her mother's church compositions as a kid, finding and quickly immersing herself in the basement show and legion hall scene as a teenager, recording with John Congleton and playing with Paramore during the Red Knife days, memorable moments from her Whips tenure, and much more. Along the way, Smith also talked about co-founding Girls Rock Milwaukee camp and teased an upcoming song she's working on. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Whips ("Nobody's Fool").

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Nov 19

1 hr 26 min

This week's guest is Silversun Pickups singer, guitarist and founding member Brian Aubert. Since starting the project with then-roommate Nikki Monninger more than 20 years ago, Aubert and his band have released five acclaimed albums, including the Gold-selling 2006 debut, Carnavas. Along the way, Silversun Pickups saw 10 of its songs land in the top 20 of the Billboard charts, they've played shows to adoring fans throughout the world and they've shared the stage with some of music's biggest names. Aubert has come quite a long way since he was a kid performing to his stuffed animals in his "fake Duran Duran lip-sync band." A few hours before last weekend's Silversun Pickups concert at The Rave, Aubert spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about what it's like being back on the road, the experience of stopping an early 2020 tour on account of the pandemic, the band's unassuming start and unexpected rise to worldwide notoriety, and all the projects that came before. Over the course of the conversation, Aubert talked about taking guitar class in first grade, briefly playing bass in a post-punk project and once opening for Elliott Smith. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering, Lakefront Brewery, and Music Go Round Greenfield. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers").

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Nov 12

41 min 3 sec

Joe Pera isn't someone with a musical background, but he plays one on TV. The incomparable actor and comedian is the star and namesake of Joe Pera Talks With You, an acclaimed Adult Swim series that focuses on the life and lessons of a soft-spoken and cordial middle school choir teacher in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Though the show's topics — that touch on everything from bean arches to lighthouses to breakfast foods and everything in between — vary from episode to episode, music actually plays a surprisingly significant part in the series. On top of the main character's occupation itself, songs have been specifically written for Joe Pera Talks With You, and one unforgettable episode even focuses entirely on a song by The Who. Recently, during his press blitz leading up to the show's Season 3 premiere on Nov. 7, Pera spoke with My First Band host Tyler Maas about some of Joe Pera Talks With You's musical moments, what to expect from the new season, the experience of filming in Milwaukee and the U.P., and the work composer Ryan Dann and other crew members have done to add to the emotion and the absurdity of on-screen moments. Over the course of the conversation, Pera talked about bands he's listening to now, recent concerts he's attended and the inspiration for the "Baba O'Riley" episode. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Advance Base ("Your Dog").

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Nov 5

56 min 18 sec

Amanda Huff likes to stay busy. The Milwaukee-based singer and songwriter is fresh off FIVE Summerfest performances, a bunch of other shows as half of You Win !!! and the release of a standout EP with Vincent Van Great. In the coming months, she will also have her outstanding voice featured on releases she can't even talk about yet. And that's not even factoring in her solo project and her work with Strangelander. Long before she was part of an eclectic and impressive collection of creative endeavors, Huff was a kid in Illinois developing her vocal talents and waiting for the right time to dive headfirst into the world of music. Following an especially active artistic run, Huff recently found time to meet up with My First Band host Tyler Maas at Milwaukee Record headquarters. Over the course of the discussion, Huff talked about growing up in Aurora, moving to Milwaukee to attend art school, winding up in a few Riverwest and East Side bands, playing solo, and eventually becoming part of the aforementioned projects that she's still part of today. Along the way, Huff shouts out Eiffel 65 and Maas makes some regrettable puns. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Vincent Van Great and Amanda Huff ("Treats").

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Oct 29

1 hr 21 min

This week's guest is Belvedere singer, guitarist and founding member Steve Rawles. Since staring in 1995, the Calgary, Alberta-based band has shared the stage with many of punk rock's biggest names, released a number of great EPs and albums, and played more than 1,500 shows in more than 40 countries. After spending more than a quarter century traveling the world with Belvedere, This Is a Standoff and as a solo performer, Rawles has quite a collection of entertaining stories and important lessons he's learned along the way. Recently, Rawles spent part of his two-day break between legs of Belvedere's ongoing Canadian tour speaking to My First Band host Tyler Maas about the band's new album (Hindsight Is the Sixth Sense), getting back on the road after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the perpetually touring outfit to stay home and plans he has for 2022 (and beyond). Of course, the interview also touched on Rawles musical start, including taking piano and trumpet lessons as a kid, beginning a label as a teenager, starting Belvedere with little-to-no expectations in college, and some of the best — and weirdest — moments from his decades on stage. Along the way, also talked about his Merit-Based Booking agency, some of his favorite places to perform and things he still hopes to do before his career as a touring musician is all said and done. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Belvedere ("Happily Never After").

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Oct 22

1 hr 9 min

As the singer of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Spike Slawson has toured the world, shared the stage and studio with some of punk rock's most legendary names, and helped to breathe new and unexpected life into some of pop music's greatest hits. Long before he was fronting one of the world's most accomplished cover acts and playing originals in bands like Swingin' Utters and Re-Volts, Slawson was a regular at early'80s punk and hardcore shows in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Earlier this week, Slawson found some time during his tour with Violent Femmes and Flogging Molly to speak with My First Band host Tyler Maas about getting to hit the road with the Gimmes again, his recent work with Los Nuevos Bajos and Uke Hunt, and some of the formative musical experiences from his past. Over the course of the conversation, Slawson talked about some of the first concerts he attended, moving to a small California city called Davis at 16, winding up in San Francisco after high school, working in the shipping department at Fat Wreck Chords, and some of his favorite moments from his many years in Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and Swingin' Utters. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering, Lakefront Brewery and Music Go Round Greenfield. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Los Nuevos Bajos ("Gema").

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Oct 15

1 hr 19 min

As the singer and guitarist of The Record Company, Chris Vos has released chart-topping songs that have garnered regular radio play, had placement in television and on commercials, and even earned the band a Grammy nomination. During the group's decade-long run, they've toured all around North America and Europe, shared the stage with legends like Robert Plant and John Mayer, played some of the country's most iconic venues, performed on network television, and enjoyed a number of other experiences that extend far beyond their wildest dreams. With the blues-rock band about to hit the road in support of their third album (Play Loud, out today!), there's no better time to look back on their front man's musical past. Prior to that tour, which kicks off at Milwaukee's Turner Hall Ballroom this Sunday, Vos spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about the process of recording the new album, his excitement to start touring again and the unexpected set of circumstances that turned The Record Company from a living room project into an accomplished band with fans all around the world. Of course, the conversation also focused on his musical start. During the extensive and uplifting interview, Vos talked about growing up on a rural Wisconsin dairy farm, starting a high school band, immersing himself in music after moving to Milwaukee, following his wife to Los Angeles and the classified ad that helped forge The Record Company and change his life forever. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and The Record Company ("Gotta Be Movin'").

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Oct 8

1 hr 56 min

Last year, Milwaukee-based musician, producer, actor and videographer Wes Tank went viral by rapping Dr. Seuss books over beats made by Dr. Dre. Those early pandemic videos garnered millions of YouTube views, earned oodles of press from renowned publications, led to Tank being interviewed on TV programs all around the world and eventually found the experienced rapper co-creating and hosting a Kidoodle.TV series called StoryRaps. Now less than two years removed from those first viral videos, Tank has found success as a children's entertainer and has even been able to perform his youth-oriented material in front of live audiences. Shortly after his recent sets at Summerfest and a homecoming show in his native Dodgeville, Wisconsin, Tank spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about the unexpected artistic pivot his music took in early 2020, the amazing response to his videos, and everything that came before last year's breakout. Over the course of the conversation, the pair revisited past collaborations as office neighbors before Tank talked about discovering rap in a small Wisconsin town, formative projects he'd put on display in Milwaukee basements while in college, making music videos with Busdriver and Serengeti, recording and touring as WC Tank, the enduring creativity of Stumblesome, and much more. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Stumblesome ("Adultified").

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Oct 1

1 hr 28 min

Over the course of band's more than 20-year existence, La Armada has frequently toured throughout North America and Europe, shared the stage with legendary groups like Propagandhi and Sick of It All, built a passionate fan base composed of listeners from all around the world, released some powerful and altogether awesome material, and helped shine a light on some of the social injustices many people face. Even more impressive than what the veteran band has accomplished is what they gave up in order to make its two-decade run possible. Before earning a reputation as one of Chicago's (and the Midwest's) premier hardcore outfits, La Armada's members were living in the Dominican Republic, where they were setting up punk shows (in a nation enamored by merengue music) and preparing to move to the U.S. in order to take their artistic ambitions to the next level. Recently, My First Band host Tyler Maas spoke to La Armada guitarist and founding member Paúl Rivera about his band's lengthy tenure, their new EP that's preceding what looks to be a busy 2022, highlights from his life on stage, and what he still hopes to do before his days as a musician are through. Of course, the conversation also turned to Rivera's musical origin story, which found him growing up in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo, discovering punk rock as a kid, buying "a shitty guitar" and forming a band in his teens, and booking some of his favorite bands (Belvedere, Death By Stereo and Strung Out) to play in "The D.R." Rivera also talked about the band immigrating to the U.S. and struggling to settle into their new county before eventually finding their footing in the Chicago music scene. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and La Armada ("Death On Replay").

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Sep 24

1 hr 2 min

This week's guest is Alex Stoitsiadis from Dogleg. The Detroit-based band has earned oodles of listener attention and critical acclaim with the release of Melee, their debut album that had the unfortunate distinction of coming out the same day the world essentially shut down. After 18-plus months of pandemic-related inaction, Dogleg is finally ready to get out there to play in belated support of that outstanding record. A few days after turning heads at the Pitchfork Music Festival and a few days prior to setting out on a lengthy U.S. fall tour (including a Sept. 24 stop at X-Ray Arcade!), Stoitsiadis spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about the long road to the breakout record's release, the surprising response the album received and some exciting things that are on the horizon for Dogleg now that they can actually play live again. Of course, the conversation also turned to Stoitsiadis' musical past, including the role video games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero had on his musical exposure, meeting his future bandmates at a School of Rock camp, drumming in a duo called Sleeping Pilots in high school, and his decision to start a solo endeavor the world now knows as Dogleg. Along the way, Stoitsiadis and Maas also talked about their shared love of the band Bear vs. Shark. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Dogleg ("Modern Language").

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Sep 17

1 hr 15 min

This week's guest is Adam Fletcher from The Copyrights. In the nearly 20 years he's been the singer and bassist of the Carbondale, Illinois-based band, Fletcher has toured all over the U.S. and Europe, shared the stage with some of punk rock's biggest names, and put out six albums (in addition to a number of other EPs and splits). Following a seven-year gap between records, The Copyrights will release their long-awaited new album, Alone in a Dome, on Fat Wreck Chords in October. With an outstanding new full-length on the way and the band going back on the road soon, Fletcher has a lot to discuss in terms of new developments. Recently, he did just that when he chatted with My First Band host Tyler Maas. Along the way, Fletcher also talked about his musical start in bands like Moloko Plus and The Last Laugh, formative experiences in the basement show and house show scene, notable moments from his present project's impressive two-decade run, and some things he'd like to do with The Copyrights before it's all over. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and The Copyrights ("Halos").

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Sep 10

1 hr 10 min

When we say Lillie Mae has been playing music for most of her life, we mean it! The singer, multi-instrumentalist and all-around musical force has been performing since she was just 3 years old. Since traveling the country as a child to play concerts pretty much anywhere she could with her family band, Lillie has cracked the charts with a group she was in with her siblings, shared the stage with the likes of Jack White and Robert Plant, and wowed listeners all over the world with music she releases under her own name. Recently, Lillie Mae was kind enough to chat with My First Band host Tyler Maas backstage before her set at Blue Ox Music Festival. There, she talked about getting back on the road, her appreciation for her unconventional arts-based upbringing, getting a crash course in the ins and outs of the music industry at an early age, and how session work helped open doors to the next stage of her career. Along the way, she also spoke about initially turning down an opportunity to record her first album with Third Man Records, the time Merle Haggard played her fiddle, the role her family continues to play in her music to this day, and what she's working on now. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Lillie Mae ("You've Got Other Girls For That").

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Sep 3

40 min 32 sec

Over the course of his extensive and impressive career, Steve Wynn has released more than 30 albums that are spread between his numerous projects. Along the way, he's performed to audiences of all sizes all over the world, toured with the likes of U2 and R.E.M., composed scores for television and film, and spent time on a major record label. He's seen all sides of the music industry in his decades on stage, and he wouldn't change a thing. Before he was releasing influential and timeless albums with The Dream Syndicate, having a successful solo career, and writing super-specific sports songs with The Baseball Project, Wynn was a kid — like, an actual child! — playing in short-lived adolescent outfits like The Light Bulbs and Sudden Death Overtime. With more than 50 years of musical experience to his credit, Wynn has a ton of amazing stories to tell. Thankfully, he was willing to share some of them with My First Band host Tyler Maas prior to setting out on a U.S. tour next month. During their discussion, Wynn talked about his upcoming run of intimate solo shows (including one at URSA in Milwaukee on Saturday, Sept. 11) and his excitement to perform live again after a pandemic-prompted pause. Of course, the conversation eventually turned to Wynn's Los Angeles upbringing among other young artists, his formative creative years at UC Davis, the origin and immediate rise of The Dream Syndicate, The Baseball Project's upcoming album, highlights from his lengthy career, and his appreciation for every step along the way. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and The Dream Syndicate ("Tell Me When It's Over").

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Aug 27

1 hr 16 min

These days, Kevin Tully can be heard singing and playing guitar in Telethon, a Milwaukee/Chicago "hard pop" project that just released its fifth full-length. Before he was fronting the band responsible for Swim Out Past the Breakers — one of the best punk-adjacent releases of the year to this point — Tully was a curious kid in Delavan, Wisconsin, who was listening to CDs left behind by his older siblings and teaching himself to play a guitar he found under his sister's bed. Since that formative time, Tully has toured extensively, shared the stage with some notable punk and ska projects, and released dozens upon dozen of outstanding songs with some of his best friends. Prior to today's release of Swim Out Past the Breakers and next weekend's belated release show at X-Ray Arcade, Tully talked to My First Band host Tyler Maas about the process of writing and recording the album in 2020, the story behind the record's rather familiar name, and how it feels to finally be playing shows again. Of course, his previous projects (most of which featured other current members of Telethon) came up too. Over the course of the conversation, Tully opened up about his high school folk-punk band, formative concerts in rural Wisconsin legion halls and church basements, the project he dabbled in while away at college in Minnesota, his path back to music while living in California, and the start of the band that eventually turned into Telethon. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering, Lakefront Brewery and Music Go Round Greenfield. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Telethon ("Selfstarter A.E.").

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Aug 20

1 hr 43 min

Over the course of the band's 25-year run, Big D and the Kids Table has released nine studio albums, traveled the globe and earned a place as one of the planet's premier ska-punk projects. As Big D's lead singer, one of its founders and its last remaining original member, David McWane has seen it all. In advance of the band's forthcoming record, Do Your Art (available for pre-order on Side One Dummy, out Oct. 22), McWane talked about the new album and all that came before it. During the extensive conversation, McWane discussed some of Big D and the Kids Table's most significant moments, including numerous international tours and countless shows with some especially notable bands, and some of his early projects. Along the way, McWane talked about his years as drummer in bands like Twisted Reality and Spu, the start of Big D, his unlikely path to becoming a vocalist, and the importance of continuing to make art in a culture that seems to no longer value creation. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Big D And The Kids Table ("Too Much").

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Aug 13

1 hr 36 min

John Wozniak is the singer, guitarist and primary songwriter of Marcy Playground. Odds are you know him as the voice behind "Sex And Candy," the larger-than-life hit that topped the charts for much of the late '90s and earned his band a Platinum Record and worldwide acclaim in the process. Before he was writing songs the whole world would sing, Wozniak was a kid in Minneapolis who was learning the ins and out of the guitar and playing in a church band called Angels With Flaming Swords. Recently, My First Band host Tyler Maas spoke to Wozniak about Marcy Playground's incredible 20-plus-year run, what he's working on now and everything that came beforehand. Over the course of the interview, Wozniak talked about growing up in Minnesota, the process of writing and recording his Zog Bogbean solo project, his formative and life-changing move to Olympia for college, the process of getting signed to a major label deal, and the even-more-unfathomable occurrence of having the biggest song in the world after getting dropped from that major label. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Marcy Playground ("Good Times").

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Aug 6

2 hr 6 min

This week's episode breaks format a little, as we shift the focus from music to the field of audio engineering and production with Emma Erdbrink. Though the profession is oft-overlooked, Erdbrink has quickly made a name for herself as the engineer and producer of such popular podcasts as Doughboys, High & Mighty and Marketplace. Long before she was responsible for the sound quality and many other behind-the-scenes aspects of some of your favorite podcasts, Erdbrink was growing up in New England and balancing her aspirations for vocal performance with an organic interest in recording. Recently, Erdbrink took some time away from putting together other people's podcasts to be a guest on ours. Over the course the fun and informative conversation, she told My First Band host Tyler Maas about her path to engineering, her college years and post-graduation internship, her decision to move across the country to pursue a career in audio production, and how a mixture of talent and random circumstance resulted in some amazing career opportunities. Along the way, Erdbrink also talked about the major pandemic-related adjustments her shows had to make last year, podcasting pet peeves and advice, what music she's listening to now, her plans to make a documentary about her brother, and much more. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Hannah Juanita ("Our Love Is Done").

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Jul 30

1 hr 57 min

As both the bandleader and namesake of The Color Fred, singer-guitarist Fred Mascherino has released some great music and found a following with his well-received YouTube page. Though he is working on another The Color Fred album and aspires to release a new single every month of 2021, Mascherino is thankfully also willing and able to look back fondly at his previous projects. That extensive and impressive musical past includes a lengthy tenure in Brody, a handful of years fronting accomplished emo outfit Breaking Pangaea and an unforgettable stint with Taking Back Sunday. Recently, Mascherino spoke with My First Band host Tyler Maas about The Color Fred's modern-day plans and his years in each of those aforementioned outfits. Over the course of the conversation, Mascherino talked about growing up in a small Pennsylvania town, immersing himself in learning the guitar and playing bar shows all around the East Coast in high school as a member of Stickman. He also talked about his time with Brody and Breaking Pangaea, the process of joining and subsequently writing songs with Taking Back Sunday, his decision to leave TBS, his solo turn and experiences playing with Terrible Things and The Lemonheads. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and The Color Fred ("Attention").

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Jul 23

1 hr 20 min

Robert Finley says he's gone from the cotton field to the Beverly Hills. At the age of 67, the veteran musician is finally earning some long-overdue attention on account of Sharecropper's Son, his new record that beautifully chronicles his childhood in the fields of rural Louisiana, the semi-recent loss of his eyesight, his unflappable faith and various other aspects of his incredible life. The autobiographical album, which was produced by Dan Auerbach, of the Black Keys, has received oodles of critical acclaim en route to landing Finley on the cover of Spin and on stage at Red Rocks Amphitheatre alongside Blues Traveler earlier this month. Though he's in a great place at the moment, it wasn't always easy for him. Not even close. Recently, Finley spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about his newfound success and the long, arduous and unlikely road that brought him to this prominent point. Over the course of about an hour, the singer spoke about growing up as the actual son of a sharecropper, his years as a builder, his path back to music when life threw him some curveballs and the opportunities that were born out of especially challenging circumstances. Finley did most of the talking in this one, but we wouldn't want it any other way. Get ready for some amazing stories about Finley's adolescence in the 1950s and '60s, the memorable walk to buy his first guitar, being discovered and appearing on America's Got Talent, and the process of making an album that both entertains listeners and serves as an insight into his personal history. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Robert Finley ("Sharecropper's Son").

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Jul 16

1 hr 4 min

If you're a fan of the power-pop genre, you're almost certainly also a fan of Kurt Baker. Over the past dozen years, the singer and songwriter has released a bunch of great records under his own name (and using the "Kurt Baker Combo" and "Kurt Baker Band" project names as well). He has also toured regularly, earned a spot on Steven Van Zandt's Wicked Cool Records label and relocated from Portland, Maine, to Madrid, Spain. As impressive as his solo career has been, it's only the tip of the iceberg. Recently, Baker spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about living in Spain for the past eight years, the process of making his latest album (After Party — out now!) and his performance plans after an isolated year-plus. Of course, the conversation also turned to Baker's musical past, including his early bands in Maine, playing and promoting shows at a formative local all-ages venue called The Well, and really going for it in his teens and early 20s with his band The Leftovers. Along the way, the power-popper talked about his first European tour, playing with The Queers and Tommy Stinson, and the time his band blew three amps just minutes before opening for The Offspring. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Kurt Baker ("I Like Her A Lot").

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Jul 9

1 hr 27 min

As the singer and guitarist of Dig Deep, Alex Dalnodar has played hundreds of shows in all corners of the Midwest (and beyond) and has seen his blistering bluegrass band become a Central Wisconsin music mainstay. Following an uncharacteristically quiet 2020, Dig Deep is hitting the road hard this year with dozens of performances booked all over the Badger State. With a busy year ahead, Dalnodar had a lot to say about his band's plans when he spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas recently. Over the course of the discussion, Dalnodar talked about Dig Deep's active summer — with oodles of bar shows and appearances at festivals like Two Rivers Snowfest and Blue Ox — and some of his favorite parts of the band's seven years (and counting) together. The interview also focused on Dalnodar's previous projects, including a lengthy stint in a metal band called Wrath of the Girth and a few years playing "Gutter Grass" with The Ditchrunners. Along the way, Dalnodar talked about the formative role seeing .357 String Band had in changing his musical trajectory and the value he sees in playing concerts in small towns. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering, Lakefront Brewery and Blue Ox Music Festival. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Dig Deep ("Heavy Heart").

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Jul 2

1 hr 4 min

As the singer, guitarist and founding member of Teenage Bottlerocket, Ray Carlisle has performed all over the world, shared the stage with some of punk's most legendary acts and been an ever-present part of his own band becoming a modern punk rock mainstay over the course of its two-decade run. After more than a year away, Teenage Bottlerocket is back on the road again, and they're making national news in the process. The band is headlining a show in Florida this weekend that has a "No-Vax Tax" cover charge of $999 for people not vaccinated against COVID-19. Prior to that show, Carlisle spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about the stir the unconventional concert has caused, the process of writing and recording Teenage Bottlerocket's forthcoming album (Sick Sesh!, out on Fat Wreck Chords on Aug. 27), and memorable moments from the band's 20-plus years of existence. Of course, Carlisle also spoke about his pre-Bottlerocket projects, including an elementary school group called Carlisle Crew, a short-lived metal band called Vehicular Homicide and an accomplished high-school-age punk project called Homeless Wonders. Along the way, Carlisle also talked about some of the goals he hopes to achieve before he's done playing music. The ball is in your court, Green Day! My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Teenage Bottlerocket ("Ghost Story").

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Jun 25

1 hr

If you're a fan of country or bluegrass music, there's a chance you've seen John R. Miller perform without even realizing it. The singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has spent most of his adult life as a touring musician, both in his own bands and as the touring bassist or guitarist in other projects. After years spent supporting the artistic efforts of others as a hired hand, Miller is ready to make a name for himself. On July 16, Miller was release Depreciated, his wonderful full-length debut on Rounder Records that's already earning high praise from respected music resources. Prior to the record's release and his return to the road, Miller spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about making Depreciated, staying productive and positive in a year without touring, and all the projects that preceded his solo turn. Over the course of the conversation, Miller talked about his punk past in a small West Virginia town, his brief-yet-artistically significant stint in college, busking all around the East Coast during his 20s, his time in bands like The Fox Hunt and Prison Book Club, and the ups and downs of spending years on the road. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and John R. Miller ("Coming Down").

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Jun 18

1 hr 19 min

As a vocalist and guitarist in Barbaro, Kyle Shelstad has toured all over the country, played some massive festivals, shared the stage with lots of notable bands and had his music heard by millions upon millions of listeners all over the world. Long before he started the up-and-coming Minneapolis bluegrass outfit, Shelstad was growing up in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, and learning the ins and outs of songwriting. Recently, while spending some time in Milwaukee between tours, Shelstad spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about Barbaro getting back on the road after more than a year away, the band's forthcoming Under The Covers EP and upcoming appearances at Bonfire Music and Arts Festival and Blue Ox Music Festival. Of course, the conversation also focused on Shelstad's musical past, including the early interest he took in bluegrass while living in the sleepy Milwaukee-area town, high school cover projects, moving to Montana for college and joining Kitchen Dwellers, and moving to Minneapolis and throwing himself into Barbaro after a brief experience with the soul-crushing 9-to-5 grind. Along the way, they talked about Shelstad's favorite experiences from his years on stage, Cher, horse racing and Cedarburg's famed quilting museum. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering, Lakefront Brewery and Blue Ox Music Festival. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Barbaro ("Barbaro").

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Jun 11

1 hr 8 min

These days, Caley Conway is fresh off the release of her excellent new EP (Bliss Or Bust), is gearing up to play out again and is also contributing her talents to other accomplished projects like Field Report and OQ. Long before she was putting her stamp on Milwaukee music and hitting her stride as singer-songwriter, Conway was performing at regional and national Irish dance competitions, starting a fake band called The Angels and earning the best money of her career (so far) by singing on a Cool Whip radio commercial. Conway recently dropped by Milwaukee Record headquarters to speak with My First Band host Tyler Maas about how the pandemic changed her creative approach, her June 4 show as part of Dandy's "Somewhat Unplugged" series and her early artistic attempts. Along the way, she opened up about getting serious about music during her abbreviated time in college, getting a creative nudge while farming in Maui, her stints in Myles Coyne's "Rusty Nickel" band and Cairns, the decision to release music under her own name, and goals she has in the near future and in the long-term. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Caley Conway ("I Love You So Much I Don’t Want To See You").

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Jun 4

1 hr 47 min

These days, listeners probably know Shane Hochstetler as the owner, operator and recording engineer at Howl Street Recordings. In addition to recording hundreds of projects from all corners of the Midwest (and beyond!) at his long-running and highly respected studio, Hochstetler is also one of Milwaukee's favorite percussionists. Through the years, he's drummed in renowned bands like Call Me Lightning, Hero of a Hundred Fights, Managra, Zebras, Haymarket Riot, Bad Grades and more. Before that, however, he was a kid living in Rhinelander who was performing at northern Wisconsin bars with his uncle's country band. Recently, Hochstetler invited My First Band host Tyler Maas to Howl Street Recordings to talk about his lengthy tenure behind a drum kit, his turn to recording and where his career in music all started. Over the course of the conversation, Shane talked about challenges the COVID-19 crisis brought to the recording industry, being on tour with Child Bite when the pandemic made its presence known in the U.S., his country cover band origins and all the memorable moments from his various projects over the course of his 30-year musical run. Along the way, Hochstetler also discussed standout shows (both good and bad), each of Call Me Lightning's outstanding albums, and a new band he's working on called Shit's Fucked. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering, Lakefront Brewery, and Music Go Round Greenfield. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Bad Grades ("Whatja Doo").

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May 28

1 hr 49 min

As a longtime member of Pert Near Sandstone, Nate Sipe has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe, shared the stage with some well-known acts, watched the project become one of the Midwest's most celebrated bluegrass bands, and — along with his bandmates — been instrumental in the growth and curation of Blue Ox Music Festival. Long before he was a vocalist/multi-instrumentalist for the established Minneapolis outfit and thoroughly involved in the development of a massive fest, Sipe was playing grunge in suburban basements, taking a liking to folk and learning to play a mandolin as he searched for people who shared his musical interests. As he prepares for Pert Near Sandstone's Road to Blue Ox Tour, Sipe found some time to speak to My First Band host Tyler Maas about the upcoming run of shows, what to expect at this year's Blue Ox installment (Aug. 19 to 21 in Eau Claire!) and how his band got connected to the festival. Along the way, Sipe also talked about his own musical history that includes taking guitar lessons, a so-called "revelation" he had in the form of a folk anthology he bought from Best Buy, playing music with strangers while he hitchhiked and hopped trains in his 20s, and some of his favorite experiences he's had with Pert Near Sandstone through the years. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering, Lakefront Brewery, and Blue Ox Music Festival. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Pert Near Sandstone ("Peace Of Mind").

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May 21

1 hr 41 min

Frank Portman is better-known to listeners as "Dr. Frank," the musical moniker the singer, guitarist and founding member of The Mr. T Experience has used for close to four decades. Over the course of the seminal Berkeley punk project's long and accomplished run, the band has managed more than a dozen releases, performed all over the U.S. and Europe, and shared the stage with some legendary acts. Even though there have been lengthy breaks and lineup changes through the years, The Mr. T Experience and its ever-present leader are still releasing music, playing shows to packed rooms (in pre-pandemic times, at least) and influencing new generations of musicians along the way. Recently, My First Band host Tyler Maas had an opportunity to speak with Dr. Frank about The Mr. T Experience's impressive over-35-year run, some of the ups and downs the project has experienced through the years, and all his pre-MTX musical endeavors. Over the course of the conversation, Portman talked about the process of collecting "disparate" and hard-to-find Mr. T Experience songs for the third/final volume of its Shards series of releases (pre-order from Sounds Rad now!), the role college radio played in developing his musical taste as a kid, his stint in The Bent Nails in high school, and MTX's opportunity to open for Green Day on a European arena tour (during which audience members threw sandwiches at him). Before the interview's end, Dr. Frank also talked about his career as a novelist, where he feels The Mr. T Experience fits in the punk rock pantheon and much more. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and The Mr. T Experience ("You Alone").

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May 14

1 hr 52 min

As a member of Dead Horses, Dan Wolff has performed relentlessly, opened for legendary bands like The Who, toured all over the country with renowned bands like Trampled By Turtles and Mandolin Orange, played at legendary venues like Red Rocks Amphitheater and Alpine Valley, and (along with longtime bandmate Sarah Vos) has earned a reputation as one of Wisconsin's — if not the Midwest's — most accomplished Americana acts. Before he was making a living exclusively as a musician, Wolff was getting in trouble for playing Bloodhound Gang and NOFX covers in high school and killing time in his college years with decidedly less ambitious musical endeavors like Cocktooter. Recently, Wolff joined host Tyler Maas at Milwaukee Record headquarters (thanks, vaccines!) for the first in-person My First Band recording in more than a year. After the requisite conversation about how weird it was to be in the same room and how excited they both are for the safe return of live music in some capacity, Wolff talked about abruptly ending a tour last March, spending the past year-plus learning how to record, the mixed returns from the handful of socially distant shows Dead Horses tried last summer and reforming an old band (Offend Your Friends) over Zoom. Of course, the discussion also turned to Wolff's musical past, including invaluable music lessons in the small Wisconsin town of Berlin, bawdy bands in his teens, the musical opportunities Oshkosh afforded him, the start of Dead Horses, the band's eventual move to Milwaukee and some of his most memorable on-stage and in-studio moments in the years since. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers"), Dead Horses ("All I Ever Wanted") and NINETEEN90S ("Zombie Apology").

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May 7

1 hr 52 min

Whether you know William Goldsmith as a founding member of Sunny Day Real Estate, as the original drummer of Foo Fighters or from his time in the short-lived-but-outstanding band The Fire Theft, you're absolutely aware of his work. Following his tenures in those world-renowned projects, the accomplished percussionist — citing "musical PTSD" (and actual PTSD) — recently ended his decade-long hiatus from playing music to get back behind the kit with Assertion. A few weeks removed from the release of his new band's debut album on Spartan Records, Goldsmith spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about his decision to return to drumming, the response the new record has been getting and his renewed musical motivation. Of course, the conversation also turned to his past work. Over the course of the conversation, Goldsmith talked about growing up in Seattle and quickly taking to the drums, early on-stage experiences in middle school and high school bands, meeting Jeremy Enigk and playing together in a hardcore band called Reason For Hate, the project that eventually turned into Sunny Day, being invited to jam with Dave Grohl, memorable anecdotes from his time in Foo Fighters, and much more. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Assertion ("Set Fire").

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Apr 30

1 hr 36 min

As the guitarist of Against Me!, James Bowman has spent the last 20 years performing all over the planet, sharing stages with some of music's most iconic acts and releasing albums that have earned both critical acclaim and commercial success. Before he was an integral part of one of modern punk rock's most celebrated bands, Bowman was a teenager playing in punk and hardcore bands in St. Petersburg, Florida, and working as a tire technician with no idea he'd eventually be performing in arenas and soccer stadiums. Recently, Bowman spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about his two decades worth of experiences in Against Me! and everything that came before. Over the course of the conversation, the guitarist spoke about striking up a friendship with Laura Jane Grace in high school, moving to St. Pete as a teenager and quickly latching onto the city's music scene, his stints in bands like Shot Heard Round the World and The $cam$, the unexpected circumstances that found him joining Grace in Against Me!, the band fibbing its way into a Fat Wreck Chords deal, and being signed (then unceremoniously dropped) by a major label. Along the way, Bowman talked about his love of the Tampa Bay Rays, opened up about throwing the first pitch before a game and discussed his new Bowman Audio Endeavors guitar pedal company. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Against Me! ("Delicate, Petite & Other Things I'll Never Be").

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Apr 23

1 hr 28 min

Over the last 12 years and counting, Bryan Atchison and Neil Olstad have entertained audiences of all ages with the goofy, wholesome and undeniably fun music they make as Koo Koo Kanga Roo. Since its unassuming start as a project initially intended for a college talent show, the duo has performed at venues of all sizes and scope all around the world, spent a summer on the Warped Tour, shared the stage with acts like Frank Turner and The Aquabats, and made videos that have been viewed millions upon millions of times. Before they were a favorite among educators, children and anyone looking for catchy anthems about anything from pizza to fanny packs to Panera Bread, Atchison and Olstad were in a music fraternity and playing together in a folk-rock band. Recently, the Koo Koo Kanga Roo guys spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about the project's origin, its unexpected rise in popularity and the importance of maintaining an independent approach to releasing their music. Over the course of the upbeat hour-long discussion, Atchison and Olstad talked about working with Lazerbeak on their forthcoming album (Slow Clap, out May 21!), the ways remote learning has changed how they reach people, the process of releasing a record with Mike Park on Asian Man Records, and many of the notable experiences they've had along the way. Of course, the conversation also touched on Neil's punk rock past in Hometown Zeros, Bryan's sordid show choir history, their years as college roommates and much more. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Koo Koo Kanga Roo ("Ice Cold Lemonade").

Apr 16

1 hr 17 min

Over the course of his nearly half-century career, Paul Collins has experienced some dizzying highs, crushing lows and almost everything in between. The "King Of Power Pop" was chewed up and spit out by the music industry in the '80s, only to resurface in the early 2000s with a newfound DIY approach, renewed energy and new listeners who were eager to hear material that never really had an audience the first time around. With his Julliard training, a major label past and thousands upon thousands of shows under his belt from his decades on stage, you can be sure Collins has no shortage of amazing stories to share. Recently, Collins spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about his extensive and altogether impressive history as an artist, his musical origin in a New York basement, his time in The Nerves and The Breakaways, The Beat's unexpected rise to notoriety, his "fallow" years away from music, the path back to performing, and the appreciation he has for his ongoing second act. Along the way, Collins read an excerpt from his new book, talked about his strong connection to the Milwaukee/Wisconsin music scene, discussed his appearance in the music video for a song Midnight Reruns wrote about him and much more. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Paul Collins ("Another World").

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Apr 9

1 hr 31 min

Mikey Erg has been in A LOT of bands. Frankly, it might be easier to list projects he hasn't been involved with, but listeners likely know the hardworking drummer, guitarist and vocalist from his stints in iconic punk bands like The Ergs!, Worriers, Star Fucking Hipsters, The Dopamines, Dirt Bike Annie and from his extensive and impressive body of work as a solo artist. A few weeks removed from the release of his outstanding self-titled solo record, Mikey spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about each of those artistic endeavors and numerous other bands he was part of over the course of his roughly three decades of on-stage experience. Over the course of the lengthy discussion, the accomplished punk purveyor talked about growing up in a small New Jersey town, formative all-ages shows and independent record stores that fostered his taste in music, high school projects, and the start of The Ergs! (and the band's unexpected rise to pop-punk prominence). Along the way, Erg talked about his solo turn, joining up with bands like Worriers and Off With Their Heads, and some amazing behind-the-scenes experience he had as a member of The LLC — the backing band for The Chris Gethard Show — during the public access program-turned-basic cable darling's memorable run. And, of course, Erg and Maas talked about their mutual love of Norm Macdonald's classic 1998 film Dirty Work. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Mikey Erg ("Can't Be Too Careless").

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Apr 2

1 hr 42 min

Hailey Whitters isn't just an accomplished songwriter who has crafted songs that were recorded by country stars like Alan Jackson ("The Older I Get"), Martina McBride ("The Real Thing") and Little Big Town ("Happy People"), she's also one heck of a musician in her own right. The up-and-coming artist turned heads last year with The Dream, her acclaimed album that struck a chord with audiences and critics alike. She followed it up last month with, Living the Dream, a deluxe album that features collaborations with Trisha Yearwood, Jordan Davis and Little Big Town. Before she was releasing excellent albums and writing songs that landed on the charts, Whitters was living in the small Iowa town of Shueyville and performing at sports bars, a Chinese restaurant and anywhere else she was allowed to play. Recently, My First Band host Tyler Maas spoke to Whitters about her breakout album, this year's deluxe release, the ins and outs of professional songwriting and significant moments from her accomplished career. Over the course of the conversation, Whitters talked about a life-changing trip to Nashville as a teen, early struggles and successes, and how she came dangerously close to moving back to Iowa before putting everything she had into recording The Dream. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Hailey Whitters ("The Ride").

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Mar 26

59 min 47 sec

If you're a fan of punk, ska or any sub-genre in between, you probably know Devon Kay as a member of Direct Hit! and/or the namesake of Devon Kay & The Solutions. Over the past 10 years, the motivated musician's two bands have released a steady diet of impressive albums, toured the world and shared the stage with the likes of NOFX, Blink-182 and Anti-Flag. Long before he was fronting a ska-punk outfit and playing guitar in a band on the Fat Wreck Chords roster, Kay was a kid in West Chester, Pennsylvania, who was performing at coffee shops and church basements as a member of a group called The Mighty Clams. Recently, Kay spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about his productive past few months, during which The Solutions released a full-length on A-F Records and remotely recorded enough material for another album (which he's planning to release in single-song increments every month of 2021). Of course, the conversation also turned to Kay's musical history, including his life-changing discovery of Less Than Jake, early experiences with The Mighty Clams, starting bands like Kay's Place and an emo project that shall not be named after his move to Illinois in high school, the formation of The Solutions, the unorthodox way he wound up in Direct Hit!, and some of the amazing experiences and opportunities music has afforded him. Along the way, Kay also talked about his Twitch channel, collaborating with Chris DeMakes on a LTJ cover and being a Packers fan in Chicago. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Devon Kay & The Solutions ("Parchment & Petroleum").

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Mar 19

1 hr 45 min

This week's episode finds us crossing the pond — over video chat, at least — to speak with Dave Arcari. Over the course of his roughly 20-year solo career, the Scottish "alt-blues" singer and slide guitarist has released six full-length albums and a slew of EPs, frequently toured throughout Europe and all across the United States, helped bring the resonator's sound to exciting new territory, started a record label and even had a National Reso-Phonic signature model guitar made in his honor. Long before he was winning fans all over the world and helping to expose a new generation of listeners to the resonator, the accomplished musician was busking on the streets of Glosgow and developing his distinct sound while splitting time with blues bands. Recently, Acari talked to My First Band host Tyler Maas about how he's been keeping busy and staying solvent during an uncharacteristically quiet point in time for him. In addition to discussing his livestream concerts and 2020 EP, the singer-songwriter talked about Scotland's rich musical background, some of his favorite spots to play in the States and how his rare opportunity with Reso-Phonic came to be. Of course, the conversation also turned to his musical start, which includes performances outside markets, covers of Bob Dylan and David Bowie, and memorable stints with groups like Summerfield Blues and Radiotones. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Dave Arcari ("Stick To Your Guns").

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Mar 12

1 hr 20 min

As the singer and guitarist of Kali Masi, Sam Porter has performed all around the United States, toured Europe, played Riot Fest and other festivals of note, shared the stage with the likes of The Lawrence Arms and Titus Andronicus, and released one doozy of a debut album (2017's Wind Instrument). Years before he was fronting the accomplished Chicago punk quartet, Porter was a kid in McHenry, Illinois, who was honing his musical taste by listening to records he got from the library, oft-misidentified songs he pirated from LimeWire and the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater soundtrack. Back in January, Porter spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about Kali Masi's excellent forthcoming album — [laughs], out March 26 via Take This to Heart Records — and the thorough recording process with engineer Jay Maas (no relation!) that helped bring the record into being. Following the now-requisite discussion about the pandemic and plans for the future when the world safely opens up again, Porter talked about making up a fake band in middle school called Last In Line, joining the real band known as The Blue Waves in high school and winning a contest to record at Gravity Studios in Chicago. Over the course of the hour-plus conversation, he also mentioned taking the train a total of seven hours every Sunday in order to practice with the Blue Waves after he moved to a new city, eventually starting a band called The Howl and the process of The Howl turning into Kali Masi. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Kali Masi ("Guilt Like A Gun").

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Mar 5

1 hr 13 min

This week's guest is Tom May, who you might know as a guitarist and vocalist from The Menzingers. Since the band's start in Scranton, Pennsylvania, more than 15 years ago, the punk-rock powerhouse has released a flurry of well-received EPs and studio albums (including last year's self-recorded From Exile), shared the stage with some massive acts, earned a spot on the Epitaph roster and performed to passionate fans all around the world. Before May was a founding member of The Menzingers, he was honing his skills as a member of lesser-known Scranton bands like Decadence Decay and Bob and The Sagets. Recently, May spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about his early artistic efforts, formative shows from adolescence, the circumstances behind the start of The Menzingers and why he feels the band has remained intact for close to two decades. Over the course of the hour-plus discussion, May also talked about canceling The Menzingers' Australian tour last March to return to the U.S., the process of recording last year's deconstructed complement to 2019's Hello Exile, his Future Friday podcast, unforgettable opportunities music has given him and things he'd still like to accomplish before his playing days are through. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and The Menzingers ("Strawberry Mansion").

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Feb 26

1 hr 27 min

This week's guest is Davey von Bohlen, who you might know from influential Midwest emo acts like The Promise Ring and Cap'n Jazz or from his work in Maritime. Long before he was helping to usher in a genre's second wave and putting Milwaukee music back on the map with some timeless records, von Bohlen was learning how to play guitar and emptying basement shows out as a member of Ten Boy Summer. Recently, the legendary frontman spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about his early musical attempts, what he's up to now and pretty much everything that happened in between. Over the course of the TWO-HOUR conversation, Davey opened up about joining Cap'n Jazz, reluctantly coming on as The Promise Ring's singer, that band's unexpected popularity, the path to starting Maritime (and where he feels the band is at this point in time), and jamming in a project called Vermont. Along the way, von Bohlen talked about his basketball coaching aspirations, performing on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, earning a Platinum record for singing on a Jimmy Eat World album and all the ups and downs from his 30-plus years on stage. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering, Lakefront Brewery and Music Go Round Greenfield. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Maritime ("Roaming Empire").

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Feb 19

2 hr 28 min

Duncan Sheik is probably best-known for "Barely Breathing," the hit single from his self-titled 1996 debut album that went Gold, spent more than a year on the charts and earned the singer-songwriter a Grammy nomination. Beyond writing one of the most recognizable songs of the 20th century, Sheik has subsequently released a wealth of tremendous albums with a continually changing and ever-evolving sound. Along the way, he expanded his artistic scope to a career in composing — winning a Grammy and two Tony Awards for his work on Broadway. But long before he was writing world-renowned songs and entertaining audiences in two different musical mediums, Sheik was a kid in South Carolina playing hair metal covers in a talent show. Recently, Sheik spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about what he's working on now, his recently released Live at the Cafe Carlyle album and some especially notable moments from his long and accomplished career in music. Over the course of the hour-long discussion, Sheik opened up about his adolescent rock band, formative years writing and recording himself while attending boarding school, playing in the Brown University orchestra pit (and later playing in a band) with Lisa Loeb, the ups and downs that came with sudden mainstream notoriety, defying industry expectations, his unlikely path to musical theater and much more. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Duncan Sheik ("Memento").

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Feb 12

1 hr 15 min

We're breaking our usual Friday release format this week to give you an extra special BONUS episode with Brooklyn-based singer and songwriter Elijah Wolf. The up-and-coming purveyor of "psychedelic folk" is set to release Brighter Lighting — his sophomore album and studio debut under his own name — on Feb. 26. Weeks before its release, the album has already received well-deserved attention from some respected sources. Though it seems like there are big things in store for Wolf, the 27-year-old musician has actually amassed quite an impressive list of artistic accomplishments already. Recently, Wolf spoke with My First Band host Tyler Maas about recording his forthcoming album with Sam Cohen, along with accompanying players who have direct ties to Wilco, Angel Olsen and Fleet Foxes. Of course, the conversation eventually turned to Wolf's musical past, which includes a memorable stint in a high school hardcore band that opened for The Misfits, an internship at the famed Dreamland Recording Studios in Woodstock, as well as a college folk project that earned him an opening slot on a nationwide theater tour and found his music being featured on a Subaru commercial. Before episode's end, Wolf also talked about playing shows in Europe, taking time to find his place in New York's music scene and his hopes for both this album and his career when he's able to tour again. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Elijah Wolf ("Brighter Lighting").

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Feb 8

1 hr 5 min

This week's guest is Jen Razavi. You might know her better as "Jen Pop," one of the singers, guitarists and founding members of The Bombpops. The Los Angeles-based band has earned notoriety in the punk rock realm and last year's sophomore album, Death In Venice Beach, has only bolstered their reputation. Before she was touring relentlessly and sharing the stage with some of punk’s premier projects, Razavi was a high school kid playing Pennywise covers in a band called Split Nation. Recently, My First Band host Tyler Maas got in touch with Razavi to talk about the latest Bombpops album, the record release show and nationwide tour the band had to cancel on account of the COVID-19 crisis, ways she's staying busy and creative in quarantine, and some of the amazing opportunities her band has given her through the years. Of course, they also discussed her musical origin story, including her years playing acoustic guitar as a kid, meaningful concerts in her adolescence, meeting her longtime friend and bandmate Poli van Dam and playing together in The Vodka Dolls, and the process of signing with Fat Wreck Chords. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and The Bombpops ("Notre Dame").

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Feb 5

1 hr 12 min

My First Band has reached the century mark! We're celebrating the 100-episode milestone in grand fashion with the incomparable Adam Weiner, who you might know better as the singer, pianist and driving force behind Low Cut Connie. Over the course of the project's decade-long existence, Low Cut Connie has released six acclaimed albums, toured the world, earned high praise from legendary musicians like Elton John and Bruce Springsteen, and has become a favorite of two United States Presidents. Weiner has been especially busy since last March, performing more than 70 "Tough Cookies" livestream shows to millions of viewers all over the world and releasing the latest Low Cut Connie album. The day before he performed an official virtual event for the Biden-Harris inauguration, Weiner spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about the rare honor he had to represent the new President's home state on the historic day, the band's recently released Private Lives and how a pandemic reinforced his belief in the powers of performance and the artist-audience connection. Of course, the hour-long interview also touched on Weiner's musical past, including his upbringing in New Jersey, attending art school in New York, memorable early shows and tumultuous tours during his days playing under the "Ladyfingers" moniker, and unforgettable experiences from the more than 10-year run (and counting) of Low Cut Connie. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Low Cut Connie ("Stay As Long As You Like").

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Jan 29

57 min 33 sec

This week's guest is Scott H. Biram, but you might know him as "The Dirty Old One Man Band." Since releasing his solo debut in the year 2000, the tireless troubadour has played thousands upon thousands of shows at venues of all sizes and scope in North America, toured Europe more than 20 times, had songs featured on popular TV shows and Oscar-nominated films, and put out 11 albums. A couple months after he released Fever Dreams — his latest album, which came out on Bloodshot Records last November — Biram took some time out of his uncharacteristically quiet schedule to talk to My First Band host Tyler Maas about his 20-plus-year solo run and everything that came beforehand. Over the course of an hour-long discussion, Biram talked about how he's keeping busy and staying productive during a pandemic, his upbringing in a fairly small Texas town, the inspiration artists like Doc Watson and Townes Van Zandt had on him early on, and his stints in adolescent and early adulthood outfits like The Happy Trees and The Thangs. Along the way, the accomplished singer-songwriter opened up about his decision to branch out on his own, what the "H" stands for (hint: it's not his middle name), getting signed to Bloodshot, the ups and downs of more than two decades spent on the road, performing on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, punching "The Devil" in the stomach in Atlanta, and much more. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Scott H. Biram ("Hobo Jungle").

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Jan 22

1 hr 10 min

John Sparrow is living every Milwaukee musician's dream. The percussionist has toured all around the world, performed at legendary venues like the Sydney Opera House and Red Rocks Amphitheater, shared the stage with some of music's biggest names, and has earned a spot as the drummer of the Violent Femmes. Long before he was keeping the beat for Wisconsin's most renowned rock band, Sparrow was cutting his teeth in polka combos, dabbling in jazz and drumming along to Violent Femmes records in his basement. Recently, Sparrow spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about many of the amazing experiences he's had as a member of the Femmes, the unexpected circumstances that led to him landing a spot in the band and all the projects that came beforehand. Over the course of the discussion, Sparrow talked about his years in The Danglers, unknowingly auditioning to become Violent Femmes' cajón player, his eventual move to becoming the band's drummer, using a grill during his performance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and playing the first musical notes in Fiserv Forum history. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and Violent Femmes ("Not OK").

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Jan 15

1 hr 6 min

Even though Lydia Luce first came to consciousness in folk and Americana circles with her excellent 2018 debut, Azelea, the Nashville-based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has been working hard to hone her craft for decades. The up-and-coming artist was immersed in music since infancy. Her professional conductor mother put a violin in her hands at an early age, and she spent much of her childhood playing in a string quartet with her brother. As Luce prepares to release her long-awaited sophomore record, Dark River, on Feb. 26, the lifelong musician talked to My First Band host Tyler Maas about the process of writing and recording the highly-anticipated album. Over the course of the hour-long discussion, Luce also spoke about getting through the pandemic, a tornado hitting her home in March, her extensive and rigorous musical education, early tours with projects that preceded her solo work, and the pride she takes in her Lockeland Strings community arts organization. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and Lydia Luce ("Dark River").

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Jan 8

59 min 4 sec

My First Band kicks off 2021 with Charlie Berens. The affable actor, writer, comedian and Emmy-winning host has made a name for himself throughout Wisconsin (and far beyond) with his "Manitowoc Minute" segments and other hilarious videos that are rooted in Midwest-themed humor. In addition to making content that has garnered millions of views, touring throughout Wisconsin and its neighboring states, starting a great new podcast called The CripesCast, and adapting his web-based material into a sidesplitting long-form theater show, Berens recently joined forces with Adam Greuel, of Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, to release an album full of Wisconsin-centric bluegrass songs. A few weeks after the release of Berens & Greuel's debut album, Unthawed, Berens spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about the album and its unique blend of local love, earnest bluegrass and well-crafted comedy. Over the course of the discussion, Berens also talked about his early musical attempts in the small Wisconsin town of Elm Grove, the development of Manitowoc Minute, the careful balance of humor and social commentary he tries to strike in his material, the process of writing and recording Unthawed, and spending a week in the top spot on the Billboard bluegrass charts (unseating Sturgill Simpson in the process). Before episode's end, Berens also dipped into Manitowoc Minute mode long enough to give some bold predictions for this weekend's Packers-Bears game. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth ("The Junction Street Eight Tigers") and Berens & Greuel ("Supper Club Shuffle").

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Jan 1

1 hr 3 min