ION INDIE MAGAZINE December 2015, Volume 19 - Page 87

By DR X In original rock bands there are all different levels of success...from zero to a bazillion and everything in between. The way things are today in the music world, it just isn't talent alone that determines where a band finds itself on that scale of success. Shit, talent is everywhere...EVERYWHERE! It is the place where talent itself is created that make these bands successful: DEDICATION and HARD WORK! Just look at your local music scene. There are bands that you have never heard of and never will, because they come and go as fast as the pages on your calendar. How much devotion did those cats have? How dedicated? How hard did they work? Then there are the bands that rise to the top of their regional music scene. These bands, more times than not--many more times than not--aren't made up of the hot new talent in the area. They are made up of the veterans of the local pool of musicians; the remnants of the bands that came and went before that and fell apart for as many reasons as there are bands…Jimmy quit, Jody got married... I'm so sorry--I couldn't resist. OK, I'm not sorry. But you see, Jimmy and Jody had a limit of dedication and hard work--Brian didn't. OK, I guess that was kinda lame. But the talent and sacrifice and the suffering for the art and dedication and hard work are what make these top bands who they are. CIRCLESWITCH is one of those top-tier bands--hailing from the Midwest music hot-spot of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. CircleSwitch is Kenny James (vox), Danny Rodic (guitars), Johnny “ROCKit” Wahlen (bass) and Eddie Gunz (drums). CircleSwitch puts it this way: “A band with an artistic, melodically driven, and straightforward brand of Hard Rock. Together they found chemistry very unique to their previous endeavors and decided to pursue a sound that paid tribute to the old school, yet different enough to be on the cutting edge of something entirely new.” HELL YEAH! I mean, shit, isn't that the point? To do your thing and find your own sound? I sure as hell think it is! These guys have all been in tons of bands before the incarnation of CircleSwitch. What did we say earlier? The best bands are the ones made of musicians from other groups that came and went...out of the guys and chicks that stuck it out; the ones that probably couldn't stop if their damn lives depended on it. The crème de la crème. That is exactly what these guys are--minus the ego and drama and bullshit. Salt-of-the-earth musicians from southern Wisconsin and Chicago-land that somehow have come together and become something greater than the sum of the parts: CircleSwitch. After drooling over their new-to-me gear, as gear-heads do, we headed out to the lounge area to find out a little more about CircleSwitch. When a band gets to this level, the music is only half of the word that is most applicable: Music-BUSINESS. CircleSwitch doesn't come off as a bunch of guys with day-jobs and a nice little rock-n-roll hobby on the side. It feels to me like the jobs are there to make sure this musical addiction and need and life are fulfilled. I, for one, can relate with that on every level. The tools of the trade, AKA...PRO gear, doesn't just fall off of the UPS or FedEx truck in your driveway. But, these guys have transcended that level and have pooled their collective experience to make some killer music AND make the business end work. At this point the band generates the revenue needed to sustain itself with DVD, CD, merchandise and ticket sales. That's a pretty damn good place to be if you ask me. Hell, I make more money than I ever have at my day-job and I pour it all into my band. Not these guys. So I had to ask, “How the hell do you guys get this to work for you?” The answer was in the question...WORK. They work at it and keep as much of it in house as they can. One of the ways they achieve this