The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Trampled By Turtles to perform in Eau Claire

The bluegrass twang of Trampled By Turtles will soon be making its way to downtown Eau Claire, a homecoming for the band’s fiddler and bass player, past UW-Eau Claire students Ryan Young and Tim Saxhaug.

On Feb. 7, Trampled By Turtles will be making their State Theater debut with the show starting at 8 p.m.

Back in the day, Young met now-bandmate Saxhaug at UW-Eau Claire as an acquaintance but didn’t form a friendship with Saxhaug until they met again in Duluth, where Trampled By Turtles was formed in 2003. Young said guitar player Dave Simonett and mandolin player Erik Berry started playing together, and along with Saxhaug and banjo player Dave Carroll they formed
the band.

Although Trampled By Turtles has been making headlines lately with their current tour, making it mainstream is not the definition of success for the band. For fiddle player Ryan Young, simply playing in a band, touring a few venues and making a bit of money to help pay the bills is enough success for him.

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“Everything that happened on top of that, as far as touring and playing on TV and meeting all these great people — everything is just icing on the cake,” Young said.

Modest about their success, Young said he is just like any audience member, he just happens to be the one on stage. Even with their rise in success — performances on “Conan,” “David Letterman” and their song “Wait So Long” becoming a YouTube hit — the band isn’t losing focus of what is important.

“Just feeling everybody’s excitement and enthusiasm and trying to put on a good show for them to listen to, that is what’s good,” Young said. “We try to put on a little bit of a show — not KISS style — but we try to make it somewhat interesting.”

After starting by playing in coffee shops and moving up to a crowd of nearly 60,000 at Lollapalooza in 2012, Young is excited by the band’s growth but sees the understated path as the better route for the band.

“I wouldn’t ever want us to have a huge hit and a year or two later, break up. Even though I’m sure they are enjoying the hell out of their place right now, I wouldn’t want to be in Mumford and Son’s place,” Young said. “Unless you are super lucky, the only direction after that is down.”

Right now, Trampled By Turtles is still on their way up. Senior Tara Nichols said she was introduced to the band by her brother about a year and a half ago and was hooked right away.

“They are very individual,” Nichols said. “It’s something I can listen to and like and my parents can listen to and like. Everyone can appreciate good music like this.”

Young said he has been in bands where only certain types of people show up for the performances and Trampled By Turtles is not that kind of band.

“We have a wide variety of fans,” Young said. “Young kids all the way up to really old grandmas and grandpas. We don’t have just one certain demographic that we shoot for. Everybody goes and everybody potentially could like it.”

Nichols said that Mumford and Sons and the Avett Brothers are some of her favorite bands but Trampled By Turtles’ more local feel makes them relatable.

Jamie Kane, marketing and special events coordinator said the lobby opens an hour before the show. Tickets cost $25 and Kane doesn’t yet know if it will be a sold out show or not.

“It depends on how strong the walk up that night is, too, but we are getting pretty close to being sold out,” Kane said.

Young said the band doesn’t mind being compared to other Bluegrass bands so if the banjo, fiddle, folk scene is your thing, stop by the State Theatre on Feb. 7 to check them out!

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Trampled By Turtles to perform in Eau Claire