Sounds of Eau Claire


Eau Claire has become famous for its music scene (oh, hey Bon Iver), but stay even closer to home and check out these Blugold artists


S***s and Gigs

It was after an evening of beer and bowling when, Ryan Young, of Wayzata, Minn. and Denny Elmergreen of Wausau, Wisc., discovered each other’s shared interest in playing guitar.
After their brief conversation of ‘Hey you play guitar?’ ‘I do too!’ the two immediately joined their solo gigs into a duet and began playing at open-mic night at Stones Throw, located in downtown Eau Claire.
“So we started doing it for like, s—s and giggles … we kept going every Thursday and we got more and more of a following and just kept playing together,” Young said.
Both Young and Elmergreen grew up with music in their blood. Young’s mother played in a ‘80s rock band called Starburst that toured the Midwest and continues to play in jazz bands.
The duo plays two acoustic guitars most of the time and both sing vocals to their covers, in which they blend multiple songs into one to give them a unique sound.However, Young said they are beginning to perfect their own singles in order to not fall into the generic genre of a cover band.
“You can only do covers for so long,” Young said. “I don’t want to be a cover band, I want to bring my own sound.”

Granite Rose

Granite Rose was named by accident and formed by accident. Nick Anderson, vocals and guitar player, bumped into Galen Keily, guitar and backup vocals, on the UW-Eau Claire campus. The two had attended guitar camp together years earlier and decided to start a band together.

Evan Mehre, bass player, said the duo discovered him after hearing Mehre playing bass on a halfstack in the dorms. Recently, the band added a new member, Ian McAlister,
on drums.

Mehre said the band is releasing their second EP at the end of the month, but the group likes to focus on their live shows.

“The main thing for us is it’s great to make music in the studio but the main focus has always been the live show,” Mehre said.

Mehre said they never script their shows and never play the same
show twice.

The EPs are not available online, yet but they will be in the near future.

Mehre said the band was named on accident when they were forced to pick one for a show.

“The (previous) drummer said ‘I think Granite Slide sounds pretty cool’ and I was like ‘No man, you have to juxtapose it with something soft like a pillow or a rose,” Mehre said.  “And he was like ‘Granite Rose. I like that. Can we use that?’”

From there the name was established. For more information on Granite Rose check out their website, or Facebook page,


Hounds Before Lions

Hounds Before Lions is an indie alternative rock band that formed in
September 2012.
Members of the band include Rick Haneman, who plays drums and percussion and is from Lake Geneva; Andrew Bocher, who plays keyboard, accordion and does harmonies and is from the Madison area; and Sam Clark, who does vocals and guitar and is from
Stevens Point.
The three joined when they signed a lease together last year, though Clark began writing songs a year prior and met Haneman and  Bocher when they were
both freshmen.
He had been working with each of them on separate projects, but when they moved in, everything blended together and took off   from there.
“We sound really good because we know each other really well and are able to play off each other,”
Clark said.
On the meaning behind the band name, Clark said it comes from a passage in the novel “The Iliad” by Homer.  Clark said he can’t remember the rest of the passage, but those were the last three words of a sentence and they really stuck out to him. So much so that they later became the name of
the band.
They have one EP entitled “Hudson Street”, and it can be found for free at their website Their next  album will be released
in November.

Konstant Movement

Konstant Movement, a  hip-hop group consisting of rapper Stephen Sutherland and producer William Schneider, is releasing their first album, “Clearing My Mind,” after  nearly four years of work.
Sutherland, a junior at UW-Eau Claire, said he met Schneider his freshman year and the two immediately bonded over music.
The music they produce is not hip-hop with “Top 40 beat sounds,” Sutherland said. Instead it is hand-picked, hand-crafted and listener friendly, even for people who aren’t extensively educated in the genre.
“It’s a little more positive, not the money, degrade women type sounds. It’s very relatable.”
Sutherland said he may be the frontman for Konstant Movement but Schneider, who goes by Illiam D, gives Sutherland the beats to let his creativity flow.
“I pride myself on being a bit frenetic with my lyrics and the way I rap,” Sutherland said. “I’m constantly going. There is very limited breaks in the music. The idea is keeping this movement, keeping this hip-hip movement going. Everyone just being a part of   something positive.”
The album, which is influenced by jazz, is expected to be released in late October.
“It’s a huge chapter of my life,” Sutherland said. “Everything is coming together.”


Nathan EJ

“I call myself a hip-hop artist, I call myself a rapper. But I feel like that always gets some kind of stigma, or something attached to it. Hip-hop is poetry, that’s what rap is, rhythm and poetry.”
Nathan Ejuwa, a senior public relations major from Eagan, Minn., is an artist who ranges from writing his own music, performing with friends and has even started his own company called EJ Films, through which he makes music videos.
Though he considers himself a hip-hop artist, he isn’t picky about what he sings.
“Pretty much whatever you want to hear, except for country,” Ejuwa said.
When balancing music and school, Ejuwa said for him it isn’t too difficult to find time for both.
“The biggest challenge between balancing school and music is the mind-state,” he said.
His favorite song to perform is called “Wobble” off his new tape “Spells on the Master,” which he and his good friend Skotty Benz perform together.
“My ultimate goal is to clear the stigma of hip-hop from being something that you can’t listen to around your kids, or around your grandma,” Ejuwa said.
He hopes to perform at Varsity Night Live, a student talent show that takes place every homecoming, on Oct. 7 with a group of his friends.