Localized: The Celebrated Workingman

Photo by Mike Krol
The Celebrated Workingman is one of Milwaukee’s pop bands most poised on the edge of recognition not solely confined to its Milwaukee origins. Since their beginnings in late 2006, Chris Vos, Justin Krol, Gavin Rice, Nathan McNichols, Charlie Hosale and Mark Waldoch (along with sometimes pianist, Dustin Dobernig) have gained respect for their creative blend of pop as well as their heartfelt lyricism and stage performances, which are never-ever dull thanks to the heart of the operation, guitarist and vocalist, Mark Waldoch.

The Celebrated Workingman will share the stage with Cameron McGill and Margot & The Nuclear So & So’s this Saturday, May 10th. This is their first official show in their hometown since December, as Waldoch has just spent the past few months living in Brooklyn. Fan-belt catches up with the epicenter of The Celebrated Workingman as he shares what’s been going on since his travels and what lies ahead…

Fan-belt Erin: So, The Celebrated Workingman has been on a bit of a hiatus with your move to Brooklyn last fall, but now that you’re back, do you plan to take up again, full-speed?

Mark: That is the goal. Regrettably, our ‘full-speed’ is markedly slower than most bands due to each individual member’s outside-of-band responsibilities. If we made money doing this, we’d be going faster, too, I suppose. We have a record that has been finished since last year that is due out this summer on The Bus Stop Label, which we are very proud of…it’s titled “Herald the Dickens”. A music guru, indie label proprietor, friend, and all-around kick-ass dude, Brian Kirk, has agreed to release our record on his Bus Stop Label.

Fan-belt Erin: Are you going to approach everything differently now that you’ve had a bit of time and space to let the band breathe? Are you going to play out less or more? Are you going to be writing more new material? Scouting for any more instrumentalists?

Mark: Well I guess we are most assuredly going to play out more since we haven’t played for anyone since last December. We are already writing new stuff. So far, just epic jazz and cock rock, though.

Fan-belt Erin: What does it feel like to be away for so long from your band, then to return to take up playing music with band mates that have stayed here in Milwaukee?

Mark: I wasn’t really gone that long, but it sure feels great to be playing with a whole band again. The plan was always to keep doing the band no matter where any of us lived. It’s a lot easier to do of course when you’re in a band that’s making money, but we’re not allowed to gripe about that because we’re supposed to only do it for the art of it. But fuck that! I’m tired of opening shows for other bands, having 80 percent of the money coming through the door be because of us and then only getting four percent of it. Whaa, whaa.

I really just love singing. I wish I didn’t want to make other people love me for it. It’s this or therapy, I guess.

Fan-belt Erin: What did you experience in terms of playing music and seeing music in New York as opposed to Milwaukee? Are your experiences going to change the way you play music here?

Mark: I tell you one thing is for fucking certain. Milwaukee has one giant, walloping, shit-ton more talented and unique bands per capita than New York. More people does not mean more talent. It does mean more money and more shitty, passionless, kitsch-y, gimmick-y and artlessly pretentious music. There are many great bands there, of course, but if you took a sampling, percentage-wise, and compared it to Milwaukee we’d certainly have more, way more bands who are just trying to make great music with no other goal as equally important. Probably because we can’t get paid. There. I said it.

Fan-belt Erin: There’s such a heartfelt emotionalism tied to your music — do you see this as dying quality in music today?

Mark: YES. It might be a dying quality in a lot of aspects in American society. So many of the people who used to be the kind of people who’d fight against the American ‘culture of obedience’, now do everything and anything that is convenient and sheep-ish. Everyone is a little guilty of this. But apathy is loveless, and I sound like a hippie.

Catch The Celebrated Workingman as the open up for Cameron McGill and Margot & The Nuclear So & So’s at Mad Planet, 533 East Center Street. Show starts at 9 p.m.

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