heidiboxer
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heidiboxer

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May
17
heidiboxer @ West High School

Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA

Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA

May
11
heidiboxer @ Kingsize SoundLabs

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

May
09
heidiboxer @ Kingsize SoundLabs

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Music

Press


Published Jan. 5, 2007 at 5:21 a.m.

Milwaukee quartet Heidiboxer started out as an acoustic duo with Will Buege and Dave Kenyon. But when drummer Dan Vierck and bassist Steve Buege were added, the band's rock and roll sound remained informed by Heidiboxer's acoustic roots.

For proof of that, check out the band's new self-titled debut long-player, which follows on the heels of a successful four-song EP that sold more than 4,000 copies locally.

With influences that range from The Shins to Wilco to the Beatles, it's little surprise that the group tapped Chicago's King Size Studio and engineer Mike Hagler to record the disc. After all, that combination spelled success for Wilco, My Morning Jacket and The New Pornographers in the past.

We recently caught up with Will Buege and Kenyon to learn more about the history of the band and the recording of the 13-song "Heidiboxer."

OMC: Tell us a bit about the history of the band. It started as an acoustic duo didn't it?

Will Buege: Yeah, I heard Dave first play at this open-mic style show in high school. We began practicing together and right away it was evident that our musical styles complimented each other very well, so shortly thereafter we began performing as an acoustic act.

My brother Steve was fronting the Madison-based punk band called "Inept" at the time. In 2002, the sound guy at one of our shows expressed interest in us, and he just happened to be a drummer. At this time, Inept wasn't really playing many shows, so Steve jumped on board as bassist, and Heidiboxer was formed. It was just a few months and we found ourselves recording a four-song demo, but that lead to our first roadblock. Shortly after leaving the studio, Steve got terribly ill and couldn't perform, so we canceled shows, our drummer took off on his Harley, and we went on a bit of a hiatus.

Then in the spring of 2005, with a healthy Steve and a renewed vigor to conquer the world, we began looking for a new drummer. We found him in Dan Vierck, who was a high school classmate of Dave and I. We really haven't looked back since, as we spent the better half of 2006 recording our self titled debut album.

OMC: Did that beginning have a big effect on how the band sounds now?

WB: I think so. Not only were these songs first created to be played live acoustically, but the writing relationship that Dave and I developed early on has contributed to how we function in our creative process when writing now. Although our sound has evolved dramatically from two acoustic guitars, the philosophy is still in tact, and I think it's to the benefit of the listener.

Dave Kenyon: A lot of the songs on the album are songs that Will and I had been playing for years as an acoustic duo. It was our hope that the songs would eventually evolve into what they have today, but it wasn't until Steve joined on bass and Dan on drums that we developed a sound of our own.

OMC: What's in a name?

WB: The name "heidiboxer" is a term that comes from my family, from my sister in particular. You see, one year she got my brother and I boxers for Christmas. Then I got them for my birthday, and seemingly every other gifting opportunity that presented itself was met by a new pair of boxers from my sister, whose name happens to be "Heidi." This gifting trick quickly grew infamous within our family and garnered its own nickname, "heidiboxers."

OMC: Did the success of the EP put some pressure on the band when it came time to record the full-length disc?

WB: I don't think we felt too much pressure. We were just excited to get back into the studio and make our best album to date. We knew we had grown as a band and were eager to record that growth, but at the same time we were very patient and cautious not to rush the project until we were all collectively satisfied with the tracks. It was a very comfortable process working with the talents of Engineer Mike Hagler and Producer Joe Sauer.

DK: Definitely. As an acoustic act, Will and I strove to write complimentary parts and melodies to fill out the songs. It's the same thing now: During writing, we all take the time to help each other write their parts so everything works together.

OMC: Can you tell us a bit about Joe Sauer and the experience of working with him on the disc?

WB: Joe is an amazing guy. As a musician, I think most of us tend to have doubts from time to time about our music, but Joe provided just the right amount of encouragement to get us through the project, and to always be getting the sound we wanted. He let us keep artistic control throughout, but also contributed … in a manner that gained our trust.

DK: Joe has been such a driving force behind the band. Our random meeting was the turning point for Heidiboxer. In the months leading up to the studio, Joe was at every practice helping us refine the songs so that we'd be ready to record. It's in those months that we really found our sound. In the studio, Joe could always put in - OnMilwaukee.com


Milwaukee's Heidiboxer plays mesmerizing indie-pop that nods toward Wilco's more subdued moments, mixing in choruses and harmonies that suggest the additional influence of more mainstram modern-rock bands. - AV Club Milwaukee


Discography

2003 - 4 Song EP Recorded and Released
9.26.2006 - Heidiboxer debut full-length album released

Photos

Bio

Every once in awhile a band comes along that sounds both compelling, relevant, and instantly nostalgic, embodying an artistic quality and work ethic well beyond its years. Though the members of Heidiboxer may only be in their early twenties, the Milwaukee based players are already songwriting veterans and touring titans who've continuously developed a rabid fan base while consistently evolving since its early 2000s inception. "David and I started playing together as two guys with acoustic guitars around town, but come the summer of 2001, we started officially putting songs together and fleshing it out with a full band," says co-front man Will Buege. "We put together a four song demo, hit the road and started selling it at shows to a really strong reaction."
Thus far, that EP demo has sold 4,000 copies and counting as the guys packed into their van to hit a slew of packed clubs, pubs and festivals. Significant buzz was built through a series of performances at legendary Milwaukee venue The Lodge, which put the group in touch with burgeoning producer/music industry mogul Joseph Sauer. The Chicagoan is best known for fronting power pop indie icons The Tide, a steady touring force with two CDs under its belt that scored support from the likes of WXRT, the International Pop Overthrow Festival and Chicago Tribune.
The ensuing studio sessions spawned Heidiboxer's official full-length, self-titled debut, which featured Sauer in the production helm at Chicago's King Size Studios. Behind the engineering was legendary Mike Hagler, known for his work with My Morning Jacket, The New Pornographers and Wilco for its classic Summer Teeth collection.
Consider the group to be at the crossroads of a music lover's collection that includes The Shins, Jump Little Children and Iron & Wine, with the occasional nod to other influences. From acoustic rhythms to electric explosions to abundant yet tasteful hooks and just the right amount of harmonies, the tunes connect with cohesion and chemistry.
Heidiboxer's album work will likely earn this band a home on the charts, though that is not the main motivator for the group. The group has already earned the respect of fans who pack out clubs wherever Heidiboxer makes an appearance. "Our goal is to get out there in front of as many people as possible, adding exponentially to the number that's already gotten on board," summarizes David. "Once the single hits, that will be our first step and we'll be hitting the road from there. We're keeping our feet on the ground, but at the same time, pretty soon it will be impossible for people not to hear this new disc because it's going to be everywhere."

biography written by Andy Argyrakis