What is the music scene like in Wisconsin for an independent band?
Green Mountain Rebels
The music scene in Wisconsin has recently become under the spotlight more than usual with the breakthrough of fellow Eau Claire band Bon Iver, which is great for exposure for other bands from that area. Like in any other state, being an independent band is very challenging. Specific to Wisconsin though, its tough to get the people to leave their houses in the dead of winter to see a show.
Green Mountain Rebels is a five person group. How did you all get together?
The GMR started with Jered and myself writing music in a basement on acoustic guitars. We both realized we wanted female vocals to accompany Jered as well as lead. So we picked up a gal, which allowed the songs to develop with the female vocal pieces. Then of course we gathered a bassist and drummer to round things out.
Is there any tension between anyone ever?
Of course there is tension between us. Each person in the band, unfortunately has different goals and levels of commitment which is a cause for tension. Unless all 5 members are on the same page all the time, tension arises. It’s the normal chemistry of a group and can be the catalyst for creativity. Tension creates energy and energy, when channeled properly, can ultimately lead to creativity. So as much as it seems to be a negative thing, we welcome it.
Does everyone contribute in the songwriting?
The songwriting is handled by myself and Jered. Jered writes all the lyrics and melodies I wrote the majority of the music. And once the groundwork is laid down, the song writes the rest of itself.
Would you consider Elizabeth the lead singer? Some songs Jared is.
Elizabeth is a lead singer on some songs and Jered is the lead singer on some songs.
Has Myspace played a large part in your success or do you feel like the band promotion monster of Myspace is dead due to too many bands flooding the site?
Myspace has no doubt helped to develop contacts and promote our music more. We found it more of a vehicle for us to befriend other bands and book shows with each other. Great platform for communication.
Which do you find more profitable for the band? Selling CD's or selling downloads?
We find selling cd’s to be more profitable since they are available at our shows, and we contact many people at our shows.
Where does the band record?
The band has recorded in Minneapolis, MN and at various places inbetween such as lake cottages in the dead of winter.
Any shows coming up?
We have one show coming up on Jan. 16th at Classics in Shawano, WI.
For many independent bands doing shows means having to sell your own tickets to get a spot. many artists are against this. What is your stance on this?
It’s hard enough being in a band and having to promote yourself constantly anyway, so I don’t like the idea of having to sell your own tickets to shows.
Do you dabble in selling merchandise at your shows such as t-shirts, stickers and hats?
We are not heavy into the merchandising, we leave that up to Kiss.
How long has the band been together?
The band has been together since the spring of 2004
It is good to see a talented band with 5 members, men and women together (in your case 1 woman), are there ever creative differences between the 5 of you?
As for creative differences, most of the creativity comes from Jered and myself and we quite often get along very well. The birth of a song is by either one of us. From the very beginning of the process it is either a “Jered song” or a “Dave song”. Whoever’s song it is from the beginning is the person that directs it to completion. This has worked well for us. We are very easy going and don’t have money to come inbetween.
Is it even worth trying to shop to major label anymore or would Green Mountain Rebels make better money in the future staying independent?
A major label would be wonderful! Less work for us and more exposure.
What can we expect in the future?
Not sure what the future holds for Green Mountain Rebels. I just hope that someday our music finds the ears of somebody who believes in it as much as we do and is willing to take a chance on it. Until then we’ll just keep playing shows and writing and recording whatever songs pop into our heads. At the end of the day I am just glad to be a part of a band that is unique and passionate.
Copyright 2009 Hardcorejamz/Hardcoremix.com
We had a chance to talk to this hard working band!