‘Rose’ bloomed on campus
Last year, Putnam Hall was filled with the new and experimental music of three residents, soon to call themselves Granite Rose.
Junior Evan Mehre, sophomore Nick Anderson and sophomore Galen Keily are three of the four members that make up the band Granite Rose.
Anderson and Keily were playing in Anderson’s room of Putnam Hall, Mehre heard the music, walked down the hall and asked if he could play with them.
That was last year; they played their first show in January 2012.
Their music, which they describe as sounding like “The Foo Fighters with a little more progressive edge to it,” is just getting started. They had originally planned a second album release date for Oct. 12, which they then realized was unrealistic. After some deliberation, they all decided they wanted to make some changes in order to make the album better.
“A bad release is bad forever, a delayed release is eventually good,” Mehre said. This was just one difficulty in their somewhat bumpy road.
After having their first drummer leave the band on good terms, they had to find another. Anderson then ran into an old high school friend, Josh Amerson. They offered him the position, and he accepted. While the other three band members are all Eau Claire students, Amerson hails from Appleton and commutes to wherever he is needed.
With shows all over Wisconsin and Minnesota, commuting is familiar to all members of the band. The guys say balancing school and being in a band is a lot of work, and a lot of driving, packing, and unpacking, but they are not complaining.
“School is better preparing us for the band, school is productive for the band,” Mehre said.
With various majors represented, the band has business talent as well as musical talent. Mehre is a music composition major, Anderson is a business administration major, and Keily is currently undecided but has skill in web design.
The guys work together to make the music. They said their new album will be much more collaborative than previous work.
“When we first started to write a lot of it was off the cuff. It was also a largely individual effort,” Mehre said.
Now, when one member has an idea they approach the entire band with it. Everybody can then add their own touches to it.
They say living together this summer was extremely helpful in writing good music.
“As we got tighter with each other, so did the music,” Anderson said.
The band said they have a “quest to make music with emotional and textual depth.” They want to create an emotion or feeling while they are performing on stage.
“A big thing for me with music is that I just want someone to feel something because of it and be a part of what we are creating on stage,” Anderson said.
The guys said they feel like they are not quite at that point yet, but they are getting there.
The guys are hard at work making their new album and making theimumusic even better. A feat they say has been aided by Joel Pace, an English professor, and his band, Irie Sol.
“Joel Pace and Irie Sol have been absolutely instrumental to getting us started,” Mehre said.
Granite Rose has opened for Irie Sol and the guys said that Pace has been nothing but encouraging of their music careers.
Granite Rose will be playing at Higherground on Oct. 12, which the band said will be a great show.
“If someone wants to see Granite Rose at their finest,” Mehre said, “This will be it.”