Each Friday, My First Band features a long-form interview with a different notable musician about all of the projects that preceded what you know them for. We discuss their musical origins, and we trace a few of their embarrassing high school bands and other associated bands that happened before they broke out. This show digs deeper than any Wikipedia page or band bio would ever dare to go. And, sometimes, the guests will even share some of their old songs. You can expect to hear a lot of interesting, informative and hopefully entertaining anecdotes about all of the bands along the way.
My First Band is sponsored by Boulevard Brewing. It is hosted by Tyler Maas, of Milwaukee Record, and edited by Jared Blohm.
Zach Blair (Rise Against, GWAR, Drakulas)
These days, Zach Blair plays lead guitar in the world-renowned punk outfit Rise Against as well as Drakulas, his excellent side project. Before he was part of those bands, the guitarist was sporting formal wear as a member of Hagfish, touring overseas with a punk supergroup called Only Crime and wearing 60 pounds of prosthetics to play the part of "Flattus Maximus" in GWAR. And prior to any of that, Blair was just a kid in Sherman, Texas, listening to his dad's record collection and learning to play guitar.
WMSE Special Announcement
This short episode is a special announcement about My First Band now being broadcast on Milwaukee's own WMSE!
Dan Wilson (Semisonic, Trip Shakespeare)
Recently, My First Band host Tyler Maas spoke with Dan Wilson about his prolific co-writing résumé, the new Semisonic EP and his "Words + Music In 6 Seconds" inspirational cards. Over the course of the hour-long discussion, the Grammy-winner opened up about family singalongs on the beaches of North Carolina, playing with his brother, nearly giving up on music, what it's like to hear "Closing Time" out in public, and what he strives to bring to his collaborations with internationally beloved musicians.
William Bush (Immortal Girlfriend, Black Challenger)
These days, listeners know William Bush for his work alongside his brother, Kevin, in Immortal Girlfriend and on his own in his new Black Challenger solo project. Years before William was making waves in electronic music circles both in Wisconsin and far beyond, he and his sibling were cutting their teeth in metro Milwaukee's once-burgeoning screamo scene. William talked about playing legion hall shows in anime-influenced bands, starting Immortal Girlfriend and the duo's unexpected rise to local notoriety.
Jon Snodgrass (Drag the River, Armchair Martian, Scorpios)
Last week, Jon Snodgrass called My First Band host Tyler Maas to talk about Tace — his new album that features accompaniment from members of Rise Against, The Lawrence Arms, Bad Cop/Bad Cop and Lagwagon — and how he's keeping active during his downtime. The conversation eventually turned to the accomplished punk troubadour's upbringing in Missouri, formative musical experiences as a teenager, his move to Fort Collins and the ups and downs from his time in seminal bands like Armchair Martian and Scorpios
Kelsey Kaufmann (Cactus Club, Cougar Den, Body Work)
Milwaukee music is incredibly lucky to have Kelsey Kaufmann. The owner of the Cactus Club has booked hundreds of shows and helped produce large-scale festivals. After managing the iconic Bay View club for a few years, Kaufmann bought the bar this February. Just over a month after officially taking over, the world turned on its head. Though times are unexpectedly tough, Kaufmann and her staff are committed to keeping the business running and continuing to give interesting artists a platform.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great host + interesting guests + really engaging podcast. Any music lover would love these and any musician could relate. Especially love the focus on Milwaukee artists and music.
Please just ask the questions
After listening to three episodes, I’m feeling super frustrated by the interviewer’s continuous inability to simply ask questions. He often spends way more time stumbling through forming and articulating his questions than the guest spends answering them. It’s incredibly frustrating for a listener who is ostensibly listening for their interest in the guest, not the interviewers obscure knowledge of Wisconsin bands. TLDR: the interviewer spends most of the interviews struggling to formulate his questions.
Such a pleasure to hear about old bands and process. Highlights the very deserving Wisconsin (mke) music scene. Tyler is a funny and thoughtful host.