Frontier Sons
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Frontier Sons

Columbia, South Carolina, United States | SELF

Columbia, South Carolina, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Rock

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Usually, the phrase “frontier sons” conjures up images of a dustier, rough-hewn and simpler time. A time when rugged men with thick mustaches and weather-worn boots spent their days relentlessly riding in the sizzling heat or settling disputes with the sling of a gun.

But now, four South Carolina natives are hoping to make Frontier Sons a household name, slinging out their own style of indie alternative rock tinged with a distinct southern flavor.

The story of how Frontier Sons transformed from a group of friends jamming together at home to a full-fledged rock outfit touring several stops up and down the East Coast seems to match the typical timeline emerging bands often follow.

The majority of the band’s members, hailing from Columbia, met during their high school years. After making a few attempts at the average “schooling” experience, the eventual Frontier Sons members decided to take a brief hiatus from their music careers, and vocalist Andrew Wackerhagen said it was this break that really brought things full circle for their second try.

“We’d all played in a bunch of bands all throughout high school, just kind of jamming around,” Wackerhagen said. “Then we all tried the school thing, but it just wasn’t for us and we were itching to get back into the music scene. When our guitar player Rob [Royson] moved back to town, things just really felt right and the rest is history from there.”

The next move for the up-and-coming act came soon after, with the Frontier Sons — Wackerhagen, Royson, bassist Garrett Eanes and drummer Daniel Maddox — making the 1,000-mile haul to the Fort Worth Sound recording studio in Fort Worth, Texas, where Wackerhagen’s father arranged for the band to cut their first EP.

The members quickly became accustomed to working in a big recording facility in a way that could really put a “story” behind their music. It was also on this trek that the band (which had previously been unnamed) finally gave a title to their new project, drawing upon the idea of the new adventure they were getting ready to embark upon.

“On the way to Texas, we didn’t even have a name for the band, but we were looking at things as an adventure because we didn’t really have a lot to start with,” Wackerhagen said. “We didn’t have any money or anything like that, and we were looking at it like we’ll just reap the fruits of whatever comes out of this.”

And when Frontier Sons finally hit the studio, Wackerhagen said it was the first time they experienced a natural flow, where the music came easy and every member seemed to add their own personal touch to music.

Whereas previous songwriting had seen only one or two members contribute material, each Frontier Son had their hand in the new recordings, whether it was kick-starting a drum pattern or tossing in a few guitar chords. But no matter the path of creation, there were a few key elements the band always stayed true to: their South Carolina roots and great rock ‘n’ roll.

“No matter what, we always try to let our roots show, and we have a lot of southern influences along with some jazz,” Wackerhagen said. “We want to create music that people can hear as being marketable but still distinct. And rock ‘n’ roll is always going to be timeless, with this ‘let your hair down, kick your feet up, grab a beer and go have fun’ style. Frontier Sons’ music is really honest, and people can catch that kind of honesty live.”

Now that Frontier Sons is finishing up the last leg of their tour, Wackerhagen said the band has enjoyed the experience of meeting new fans and playing smaller venues, even though it can often be difficult to put the band’s faith in people of other cities.

And although they enjoy the intimate crowd smaller venues offer, Frontier Sons still hope to one day sell out arenas much like the artists they idolize, including ‘70s rock powerhouses Lynyrd Skynyrd and Thin Lizzy, or more modern alternative classics like The Strokes and Coldplay.

As for the fan base, Wackerhagen said Frontier Sons’ music draws in ages anywhere from the upper teens to more middle-aged fans, and that suits the band just fine, as long as they can keep making a full-time career out of doing what they love most.

“This is our life and this is our job now,” Wackerhagen said. “We don’t want to just stick to the formula and not progress, because that’s when a lot of bands really start to dwindle out. We always want to keep pushing the envelope, and the day we can’t push it any further, that’s the day we shouldn’t be a band anymore.”
- Mary Cathryn Armstrong - The Daily Gamecock




Usually, the phrase “frontier sons” conjures up images of a dustier, rough-hewn and simpler time. A time when rugged men with thick mustaches and weather-worn boots spent their days relentlessly riding in the sizzling heat or settling disputes with the sling of a gun.

But now, four South Carolina natives are hoping to make Frontier Sons a household name, slinging out their own style of indie alternative rock tinged with a distinct southern flavor.

The story of how Frontier Sons transformed from a group of friends jamming together at home to a full-fledged rock outfit touring several stops up and down the East Coast seems to match the typical timeline emerging bands often follow.

The majority of the band’s members, hailing from Columbia, met during their high school years. After making a few attempts at the average “schooling” experience, the eventual Frontier Sons members decided to take a brief hiatus from their music careers, and vocalist Andrew Wackerhagen said it was this break that really brought things full circle for their second try.

“We’d all played in a bunch of bands all throughout high school, just kind of jamming around,” Wackerhagen said. “Then we all tried the school thing, but it just wasn’t for us and we were itching to get back into the music scene. When our guitar player Rob [Royson] moved back to town, things just really felt right and the rest is history from there.”

The next move for the up-and-coming act came soon after, with the Frontier Sons — Wackerhagen, Royson, bassist Garrett Eanes and drummer Daniel Maddox — making the 1,000-mile haul to the Fort Worth Sound recording studio in Fort Worth, Texas, where Wackerhagen’s father arranged for the band to cut their first EP.

The members quickly became accustomed to working in a big recording facility in a way that could really put a “story” behind their music. It was also on this trek that the band (which had previously been unnamed) finally gave a title to their new project, drawing upon the idea of the new adventure they were getting ready to embark upon.

“On the way to Texas, we didn’t even have a name for the band, but we were looking at things as an adventure because we didn’t really have a lot to start with,” Wackerhagen said. “We didn’t have any money or anything like that, and we were looking at it like we’ll just reap the fruits of whatever comes out of this.”

And when Frontier Sons finally hit the studio, Wackerhagen said it was the first time they experienced a natural flow, where the music came easy and every member seemed to add their own personal touch to music.

Whereas previous songwriting had seen only one or two members contribute material, each Frontier Son had their hand in the new recordings, whether it was kick-starting a drum pattern or tossing in a few guitar chords. But no matter the path of creation, there were a few key elements the band always stayed true to: their South Carolina roots and great rock ‘n’ roll.

“No matter what, we always try to let our roots show, and we have a lot of southern influences along with some jazz,” Wackerhagen said. “We want to create music that people can hear as being marketable but still distinct. And rock ‘n’ roll is always going to be timeless, with this ‘let your hair down, kick your feet up, grab a beer and go have fun’ style. Frontier Sons’ music is really honest, and people can catch that kind of honesty live.”

Now that Frontier Sons is finishing up the last leg of their tour, Wackerhagen said the band has enjoyed the experience of meeting new fans and playing smaller venues, even though it can often be difficult to put the band’s faith in people of other cities.

And although they enjoy the intimate crowd smaller venues offer, Frontier Sons still hope to one day sell out arenas much like the artists they idolize, including ‘70s rock powerhouses Lynyrd Skynyrd and Thin Lizzy, or more modern alternative classics like The Strokes and Coldplay.

As for the fan base, Wackerhagen said Frontier Sons’ music draws in ages anywhere from the upper teens to more middle-aged fans, and that suits the band just fine, as long as they can keep making a full-time career out of doing what they love most.

“This is our life and this is our job now,” Wackerhagen said. “We don’t want to just stick to the formula and not progress, because that’s when a lot of bands really start to dwindle out. We always want to keep pushing the envelope, and the day we can’t push it any further, that’s the day we shouldn’t be a band anymore.”
- Mary Cathryn Armstrong - The Daily Gamecock



THE NEW FRONTIER: For most local bands, touring outside of the state probably seems like an uncharted frontier. But Frontier Sons, a relatively new band on the scene that will release its debut EP Saturday at New Brookland Tavern, is ready for the road.

The band knows it isn’t going to happen unless it is out there.

“We’re just ready for the hard work,” singer and guitarist Andrew Wackerhagen said. “We’re ready for the grit."

Wackerhagen, along with his bandmates — Rob Royson (guitar and vocals), Daniel Maddox (drums and vocals) and Garrett Eanes (bass and vocals) — are taking a certain risk other bands aren’t willing to endure: they’re walking away from jobs.

“This is our first long haul,” Wackerhagen said, who is taking a leave from Galeana Kia. “We’re all jumping ship and saying, ‘Let’s do this.’ Actually, my boss is super supportive.”

Frontier Sons will spend two weeks on the road before two weeks home and then another two weeks out. In December, the band will be on the road with The Lion in Winter, another local band, for the entire month.

This could be a nerve-racking commitment.

“We’re more really excited, and the nerves are coming from getting out there finally,” Wackerhagen said. “We’re really confident in that this is what we want to do.”

You can easily hear where the confidence is coming from.

Frontier Sons’ blues-influenced rock — especially on lead guitar — also weaves in elements of indie-rock, old school country and classic rock. An easy comparison to the band is Kings of Leon, but I think the comparison doesn’t completely fit Frontier Sons because they’re not as poppy at the current Kings of Leon sound.

Frontier Sons’ songs are propelled by an impassioned immediacy. The result, in songs such as “Kerosene,” is an unfiltered energy that requires more than a bit of truth.

“I’m heartless / I’ll shake you right out them clothes / It’s pointless / Because in the morning I’ll be gone,” Wackerhagen relates in a burning half wail.

What immediately grabbed me about Frontier Sons was its willingness to let songs marinate. There’s no rush, and it’s almost as if Wackerhagen slows things down purposefully to better help the songs sink in. There also the smooth tempo shifts as heard in “Roots,” a song that, like “Kerosene,” has a stadium-sized instrumental eruption.

“Sleep Well,” a song about a relationship gone awry, begins as a slow dirge before dipping into alt-country territory. Definitely more Band of Horses than Kings of Leon. (You can hear the four-song self-titled EP at the band’s ReverbNation page.)

Frontier Sons, Wackerhagen said, formed in December. The four members, who share a house, have been playing “in and out of bands and around each other since we were 16 or 17,” Wackerhagen said. But they didn’t start writing as Frontier Sons until they moved in together.

“We started playing around and everything just clicked,” Wackerhagen continued, adding that each member contributes to writing instead of one of them bringing in a song. “That’s the first time I’ve really been around that. Everything came together really nice.”

Let’s hope the band can say the same thing about the touring exploration.


- Otis Taylor - The State Newspaper



THE NEW FRONTIER: For most local bands, touring outside of the state probably seems like an uncharted frontier. But Frontier Sons, a relatively new band on the scene that will release its debut EP Saturday at New Brookland Tavern, is ready for the road.

The band knows it isn’t going to happen unless it is out there.

“We’re just ready for the hard work,” singer and guitarist Andrew Wackerhagen said. “We’re ready for the grit."

Wackerhagen, along with his bandmates — Rob Royson (guitar and vocals), Daniel Maddox (drums and vocals) and Garrett Eanes (bass and vocals) — are taking a certain risk other bands aren’t willing to endure: they’re walking away from jobs.

“This is our first long haul,” Wackerhagen said, who is taking a leave from Galeana Kia. “We’re all jumping ship and saying, ‘Let’s do this.’ Actually, my boss is super supportive.”

Frontier Sons will spend two weeks on the road before two weeks home and then another two weeks out. In December, the band will be on the road with The Lion in Winter, another local band, for the entire month.

This could be a nerve-racking commitment.

“We’re more really excited, and the nerves are coming from getting out there finally,” Wackerhagen said. “We’re really confident in that this is what we want to do.”

You can easily hear where the confidence is coming from.

Frontier Sons’ blues-influenced rock — especially on lead guitar — also weaves in elements of indie-rock, old school country and classic rock. An easy comparison to the band is Kings of Leon, but I think the comparison doesn’t completely fit Frontier Sons because they’re not as poppy at the current Kings of Leon sound.

Frontier Sons’ songs are propelled by an impassioned immediacy. The result, in songs such as “Kerosene,” is an unfiltered energy that requires more than a bit of truth.

“I’m heartless / I’ll shake you right out them clothes / It’s pointless / Because in the morning I’ll be gone,” Wackerhagen relates in a burning half wail.

What immediately grabbed me about Frontier Sons was its willingness to let songs marinate. There’s no rush, and it’s almost as if Wackerhagen slows things down purposefully to better help the songs sink in. There also the smooth tempo shifts as heard in “Roots,” a song that, like “Kerosene,” has a stadium-sized instrumental eruption.

“Sleep Well,” a song about a relationship gone awry, begins as a slow dirge before dipping into alt-country territory. Definitely more Band of Horses than Kings of Leon. (You can hear the four-song self-titled EP at the band’s ReverbNation page.)

Frontier Sons, Wackerhagen said, formed in December. The four members, who share a house, have been playing “in and out of bands and around each other since we were 16 or 17,” Wackerhagen said. But they didn’t start writing as Frontier Sons until they moved in together.

“We started playing around and everything just clicked,” Wackerhagen continued, adding that each member contributes to writing instead of one of them bringing in a song. “That’s the first time I’ve really been around that. Everything came together really nice.”

Let’s hope the band can say the same thing about the touring exploration.


- Otis Taylor - The State Newspaper


Columbia quartet Frontier Sons swings for the fences, its self-titled debut EP armed with meteoric guitar riffs and sway-inducing, lighter-hoisting choruses. These are bold, anthemic songs that aim for the stratospheric heights of Joshua Tree-era U2 and of post-2007 Kings of Leon, flaunting a set of ringing guitars and AAA-radio-ready melodies. When Frontier Sons really hit the mark — the slow-burning “Kerosene,” the explosive “Last Call” — they knock it out of the park; even when they’re off the mark, these are still solid singles up the middle, tunes that show promise and potential. - Patrick Wall - Free Times


Columbia quartet Frontier Sons swings for the fences, its self-titled debut EP armed with meteoric guitar riffs and sway-inducing, lighter-hoisting choruses. These are bold, anthemic songs that aim for the stratospheric heights of Joshua Tree-era U2 and of post-2007 Kings of Leon, flaunting a set of ringing guitars and AAA-radio-ready melodies. When Frontier Sons really hit the mark — the slow-burning “Kerosene,” the explosive “Last Call” — they knock it out of the park; even when they’re off the mark, these are still solid singles up the middle, tunes that show promise and potential. - Patrick Wall - Free Times


Frontier Sons’ bluesy alt-rock is punctuated by howling vocals and melodies, and enough dynamics to fill space on the arena-rock level of band like, say, Kings of Leon. One of our new favorites, to be sure. After Miranda Lambert’s fiery, star-making turn with a song titled “Kerosene,” it’s a wonder why another band would use the same title. But Frontier Sons combust wonderfully on their “Kerosene.” - The State Newspaper


Discography

Frontier Sons EP - 2011
(EP release August 18th)
Kerosene featured on 99.3 WXRY Columbia

Photos

Bio

The members of Frontier Sons are no strangers to the music scene throughout the southeast. Having played and toured in a few bands in their adolescent years, Andrew Wackerhagen, Daniel Maddox, Rob Royson, and Garrett Eanes came together after almost a year hiatus from music all together. Being friends for years, they were tired of going through the motions with outside musicians and decided to get a house with one another to just start writing music together. They wanted to make a statement with honest straight forward rock n' roll that seems to be lost in the mass of artists now a days. Something seemed to click between the band, and writing just came more natural than ever before. Having gathered a few songs ready to record, Frontier Sons embarked on a massive road trip to record at Fort Worth Sound in Fort Worth, Texas. Returning to South Carolina with a 4 song EP and an ambition to spread their catchy sound. Frontier Sons is looking to spread their brand of southern indie rock n' roll to whoever is caring to hear, through tour, promoting, internet, and everything in between. It's this drive that shows the huge potential these 4 friends have in their music, just take a listen and you'll know, Frontier Sons will make a name for themselves within the music industry.