Name: Video Dead
Latest Release/Upcoming Project:
We are nearly done with our first EP. It will include 4 songs: Mermaid, Muck and Mire, Prom Night, and Empty Love.
We haven’t released anything other than some junky demos on SoundCloud.
Jon Howland – Lead Vocals
Jay Buettner – Guitar and Backing Vocals
Joe Howland – Bass
Carl Birkholz – Drums
July 27th Landmark Lanes in Milwaukee
July 28th the Crimson Club in West Allis
September 13th Sylvies in Chicago
September 14th Circle A
September 22nd Hatrix in Kenosha
And we are working on booking a local Halloween tour for October.
Describe your sound:
New Wave and Psychodelic Rock. It’s a sound that is hard to imagine without hearing it. If Joy Division and The Doors had a kid that only sang about monsters, that would be us. We use ambient guitar and bass effects where synth would normally be.
What’s the band’s origin story?
Way back in July of 2014 Jay asked me(Jon) if I wanted to write, produce, and direct a horror movie together. I knew Jason played guitar and I could sing. At that point I told him, “I was actually going to ask you if you wanted to start a band.” Jay responded with a resounding, “Yeah!” The next few days we brainstormed: Who could we ask to be in our band? What type of music would it be? What would be our name? How far would we want to take this thing? Both of us put out feelers to coworkers and friends. We got a bass player and drummer that are unfortunately no longer with us. They’re not dead or anything! Either schedules didn’t permit or there were other obligations.
Jay and I both have an affinity for 80’s pop and new wave, but I like punk and metal and he likes alternative and shoegaze. We both bring our individuality with the common thread of new wave.
We settled on calling ourselves, “Video Dead.” Named after a horror-comedy from 1987. We wanted a name that evokes the (MTV, late night creature features, and trips to the video store) childhood we both grew up with. We had no delusions of grandeur. We just want to play local shows, maybe tour a little, and gain a little street creed in the process. We all work, some go to school, and some have kids.
We played a few open mics to cut our teeth. Then booked our first show at Circle A Cafe in Riverwest. I brought my brother Joe in to play bass. He’s a an integral part of all our bass driven music. Then Jay brought his friend Carl who just clicked with us from the get go. We’ve been playing shows and actively recording this past year.
Who are your influences?:
In no particular order: Joy Division, Queen, Roky Erickson, INXS, The Doors, The Damned, Depeche Mode, The Cure, The Stooges, Psychedelic Furs, Slow Dive, and Oasis.
Favorite Venue to Play:
Landmark Lanes – They really treat us and other bands with a lot of respect. They are always willing to give a band a shot even if it’s their first gig. They run your sound and lights for you. There is a good sized stage. Also, they have decent drink discounts. Circle A is a close 2nd.
Where did you record?/Who did you work with?/How was the experience?
We are recording DIY style in Carl’s basement. We have a friend that wants to get into recording on the side and we are his guinea pigs. It’s turning out to be a quality product. However, the downside is the length of time it takes doing it this way.
Anything else the world should know about you?
We try to have a good time, but we do take what we do very seriously. We practice once a week and try to play out at least 3 time per month. All while recording. We all like horror movies so horror themes are mainly what our songs are about. However, we try to make them ambiguous and gender neutral so anyone can put their own interpretations and life experiences on our music. We love any fans we have so the songs should be theirs as well. For example: We just wrote a killer tune about becoming a werewolf, but it could just as well be about a turbulent relationship or an inescapable destiny or whatever you want.
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