The Chatarunga talks their new “Stay Bendy” tour

On March 31, indie garage band, The Chatarunga, took off on their farewell “Stay Bendy” tour.

Anna Smith

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Weve got a lot of love for each other and the music, said fourth-year student Joe Zak


“We’ve got a lot of love for each other and the music,” said fourth-year student Joe Zak

*Editor’s note: The initial publishing of this article came with a photo containing an obscene hand gesture. The photo has since been edited, and The Spectator sincerely apologizes for any discomfort this error may have caused.

The Chatarunga is an Eau Claire-based indie garage band, composed of a handful of different instruments and diverse player personalities, but they all “share the same love for the music.”

The Chatarunga features the vocals of Ethan Blaney, lead guitarists Eddie Flottemesch and Sam Bloch, rhythm guitar accompaniment by Joe Zak, Eric Holter on drums and Drew Schultz on bass.

Zak, a fourth-year marketing analytics student explained how the band eventually came to be.

“Eddie and Ethan jammed together in high school and then met me freshman year,” Zak said, “During our junior year, Eddie met Sam in a class and then eventually Eric at a Cabin concert.”

Fourth-year management and entrepreneurship student Eddie Flottemesch recognized the band needed a bass player after their bass player had stepped down for other commitments.

“We added Drew on bass this past fall and since then, we’ve been taking the band a lot more seriously, which leads to better sounds and bigger shows,” Flottemesch said.

The group has been able to book shows at local bars on Eau Claire’s Water Street, with notable bars being Brother’s and The Brat

“We’ve gotten lucky with the amount of people that come to our shows,” Flottemesch said. “We always say it doesn’t matter how many people show up because we’re doing what we love and having a blast and at the end of the day, we’re just friends with instruments.”

Zak recounted the time that “they got the Brat at capacity before the show had even started and before we had even got on stage.”

Zak said the group was “quick to realize that the crowd engagement during their setlist was huge because it was always people that just wanted to let loose and have fun.”

“Our favorite shows are the ones where everyone is having the most fun and screaming the words to ‘Gives You Hell’ at the top of their lungs,” Zak said. “It’s been cool and humbling to be received so well by all our friends and people we don’t know.”

Fast forward to spring 2022, the gang is kicking off their “Stay Bendy” tour, beginning in Madison, Wisconsin and hopping over the lake to Kalamazoo, Michigan.

“We are stoked,” Zak said. “Each audience can expect a lot of energy from the band and quality rock and roll covers.”

Fourth-year student and lead singer of the Chatarunga, Ethan Blaney, describes the tour’s title meaning for intrigued fans.

“That’s kind of our catchphrase,” Blaney said. “Since our band is named after a yoga sequence.”

According to Chaturanga’s Instagram, this is being labeled a “farewell tour,” and these bandmates have a plethora of future plans.

From moving to Tampa Bay, Austin and Minneapolis for work obligations, to owning and operating a fish hatchery or even becoming a professional ultimate frisbee player, the Chaturanga members said their “love for music runs deep.”

“We’ll stay in touch and probably jam a couple more times in this life,” Zak said. “Music has really brought us together, so much so that we might plan on doing it after our band’s inevitable demise.”

For now, the Chatarunga’s “Stay Bendy” tour is in full swing and will be making two stops in the Eau Claire area, once on April 14 and again on May 14. For other band information and tour dates outside of Eau Claire, check out their Facebook and Instagram

Smith can be reached at [email protected].