Tech Vets, The New Loud


photo courtesy of the band

photo courtesy of the band

Words by Erin Wolf

Despite their name, The New Loud isn’t really all that new. Milwaukee dance-rock, three-piece vets have run the whole scene gamut of starting out when bands like The Danger, Temper Temper and Since By Man were still kicking it, to now, where keyboardists are as essential as percussionists. Shane Olivo, of the New Loud, recently gave Fan-belt the story on band mate recruitment, D.I.Y. -style and the pleasant crunch of technology.

  ”My Hot New Moves”, The New Loud

You’re pretty much Milwaukee music veterans at this point: when did you all meet up and start playing?

The whole project catalyzed at Shane Olivo‘s (guitar/vox) recording studio – Bobby Peru Recording. Shane met Radish Beet (drums/vox) when he came down for a session as part of another band. At first, The New Loud just started out as a recording project, but eventually grew into a full, live band.

Radish and Shane came across Jessi Nakles (keys/vox) at a basement show The New Loud was playing. It was deemed ‘Fan Appreciation Day’ by the purveyor of said basement, so, we decided to let the crowd shout out what songs we were to play.

Jessi, with whom we had only a very cursory acquaintance (read: we sold her a shirt once) was standing in front at the show. She pretty much took control of the situation and shouted out the whole setlist. After we finished playing, we got to talking with her more. It came up that she was always interested in music, but had never really pursued it.

As the band went through some line-up changes, we came back to the idea of having a keyboardist in the band – Jessi was the first person we called. We didn’t really have tryouts or anything – we basically said ‘Are you into trying this or what!?’.  She joined that day never having been in a band before. She didn’t even have her own keyboard.

When did things really start to pick up? Was it in any way related to outside-of-Milwaukee publicity (The Planetary Group picking you up and the Abercrombie  & Fitch/Hollister promo publicity)?

We’ve been a band for several years – over which the change in our sound has been a steady evolution – evolution in the truest sense of the word, in that factors out of our control would spark mutations to the band. As we started out, we were more of a two-guitar power pop band. We were compared often to a more aggressive Weezer (probably because we shouted some and threw our instruments and selves all over the stage or at the audience).

The summer Jessi joined the band, we had two members quit, including a second guitar player and long time drummer, Bloodsoaker. Radish, who was our bassist at the time, moved to drums. Between Radish’s drumming style and focusing more on keyboard due to Jessi’s timely arrival with the second guitar vacancy – our music was pulled in a more new wave direction.

We self-released ME(secrets)YOU and this is where things started to pick up. ME(secrets)YOU was pushed by the Planetary Group who eventually got our song ‘Secrets’ into the Abercrombie/Hollister stores. Our Myspace plays jumped about 40,000 in less than twelve months and we started doing more and more out of town shows.

The last major step of our evolution occurred when our bassist quit in 2007. We held several tryouts for a bass player, but none of them could commit to doing any type of touring which we aspired towards. After three months without a bassist we decided ‘Screw it! We’ll just sequence all the bass’.

This opened up the second major evolution of the band – toward a more electro/electronic-tinged sound. Right after the switch to the sequenced bass, we played shows all over including a couple shows in NYC and a West Coast Tour. By the time 2008 ended, we were playing nearly as many shows in Chicago as Milwaukee.

So far, your main release has been the ME(secrets)YOU EP, but you’re planning to release a full length this year: did you record and produce the upcoming release, yourselves?

After going out to the West Coast we came back and decided to write some new songs. The electro elements were more innate with the new songs which created a definite disparity between songs written pre/post sequencing. We’ve spent the last year re-fashioning the older songs to sound as if they were cut from the same cloth. All our production is done by Shane at Bobby Peru Recording. Over the last year we’ve amassed quite a few songs; between old and new, which we plan on splitting into two separate releases including a full-length as well as a second EP

Working with the electro/sequencing elements is great and definitely different when compared to doing only acoustic or electric guitar music. It gives us way more options in terms of sonic palette. What kick sound do we want? What type of bass sound should we have? There is all this technology out there to create/play music. Its nice to use it to bring in electronic elements into The New Loud which has its roots more deeply in post punk than any electro music.     

Your music often gets compared to 80’s New Wave: who is the band from the 80’s you’d most want to be compared to? Does any current band seem more appropriate?

On the EP  (ME(secrets)YOU) our sound was definitely more new wave-y. Since adding the sequences, we’ve also added more grit and edge to both the songs and performance. From the 80’s, we’ve always really liked groups like Prince and The Clash – not because we sound similar, but because of how they started out as one thing and gradually borrowed more and more elements to create something totally different. Prince started out as an r&b act eventually borrowing more and more from new wave, pop and even a little of the hair metal that was happening at the time. The Clash started out as a straight punk band and gradually incorporated elements of reggae, ska, early hip hop, etc. It seems like those bands were always listening to what was happening. They weren’t going out and trying recreate something – they were borrowing – a little piece here, a little there from all different styles to make their own sound. This is the type of mindset we have  – to listen to what we like and glean as much as we can from a bunch of different sources to make a greater whole.

What are the details on your show at the Cactus Club?

Saturday March 28th, 2009
at The Cactus Club 21+

Doors at 8:30pm – Show at 9:00pm

1. Hammerhead – Chicago >> 9pm – 10pm

2. Fulbright Scholar – Milwaukee >> 10pm – 11pm

3. The Code Kids – Chicago >>11pm – 12am

4. The New Loud >>>>> 12am – 1am


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