And You Think YOU Have Problems

photo of White Problems courtesy of MySpace

photo of White Problems courtesy of MySpace

Words by Erin Wolf

From the ashes of one of Milwaukee’s most vehemently loud and sonically crushing post-rock bands, Freight, a ‘Freight-less existence’ (as Fan-belt writer, Brian Whitney described it upon Freight’s disbandment), really wasn’t anything that the Milwaukee music environment was going to have to work on filling. The empty space was quickly appended with a new project of former Freight vocalist Brian Rogers: his just as  hard-hitting current project is tongue in cheek-edly called ‘White Problems‘.

Debuting at the Borg Ward almost a month ago, White Problems come back with a vengeance to hit up the Milwaukee rock scene with another wallop of noise tonight at the Cactus Club. Fan-belt gets the Cliffs Notes version on what former Freight fans can expect from their new, favorite scapegoats.

White Problems, “demo #9”

Who’s in the band?

Chuck Engel (Year of the Scavenger, Skulltime, etc.) plays drums, Brian Rogers (ex-Freight) sings, and I [Brian Whitney] play bass through a bunch o’ pedals.

Could White Problems be called ‘Freight, part 2’?

I don’t think that’s entirely true, as Freight delivered more of a slow, methodical pummeling as opposed to our swift kicks. Brian does sing, though, and sounds an awful lot like himself.

Who came up with the name?

It stemmed from a conversation about people complaining about totally insignificant things in their life that were really more annoyances than problems, and sort of evolved into a more complicated joke from there, and then a band name.

Isn’t there already a band in Massachusetts called ‘White Problems’? They sound a lot like The Strokes. Who’s going to win the name war?

Chances are, both bands aren’t going to amount to anything. So it’s pretty much a non-issue, but I think we could take them.

When/where did you record your three-song “Sudoku” demo?

We had a moderately frustrating experience involving my laptop and our practice space last weekend. We actually recorded all nine of our songs which don’t have titles yet (hence, “Sudoku”). Tracks 7, 8, and 9 came out best.

In addition to your show at Cactus this weekend, you’re playing something at the Borg Ward called “Freaks Come Out Fest” the following weekend. What’s that all about?

It’s a fest that this dude Nathan put together. The idea is to highlight some of the lesser-known, weirder bands in this area, which seems like a pretty cool idea. I don’t know a lot of the bands playing, so I’d imagine it could be an eye-opening experience, or maybe one where I get cheap ‘ritas down the street. Should be fun, either way.

White Problems play at the Cactus Club, Friday, May 1st with Absolutely, Jah Papa and DJ Fuzz. 10 p.m. 21+ Listen to a couple tracks or download the rest of “Sudoku” from White Problems *here*.


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2 Responses to “And You Think YOU Have Problems”

  1. DJ H Says:

    It seems a little unfair to Chuck and Brian W to keep harping on the Freight angle, since it’s only Brian R carrying over. But whatever gets people to their shows, i guess.

  2. Erin Says:

    Yeah, you do have a point as to it being a little unfair, although I was mainly going on what I’d heard others say of White Problems’ first show (with the band sounding similar to Freight).

    Chuck and Brian have a really good band in Year of the Scavenger. I’m not denying that at all. Seemed like it would be easier for people not familiar with White Problems to latch onto the Freight reference, is all. I’m sure their future shows will separate their sound from anything prior, soon enough.

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