I Saw the Creature
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I Saw the Creature

Madison, Wisconsin, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Madison, Wisconsin, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Rock




"I Saw the Creature: Interview With Meghan Rose"

Cover Story September 2014
by Teri Barr

One woman. Five regular music projects.

Meghan Rose may be one of the busiest artists on the Madison scene right now, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Meghan writes, sings, plays, records, edits, and teaches all styles of music; and those talents are highlighted in her various bands. I had the chance to ask her how she keeps it all going, and learned which group is getting ready to hit the road soon.

Maximum Ink: Do you remember when you started your musical journey?
Meghan Rose: My mom taught me piano when I was 4, and then I started classical lessons when I was 5. First thing I remember learning to play was “Beauty and the Beast”, of all things. My dad bought me a nylon string classical guitar from an antique shop when I was 14 and I taught myself some chords then learned the church songs for bible day camp, which was one of my summer jobs. I played piano for the early church service for years. I still love hymns and I use some of the ideas to write about God in my lyrics, though I certainly don’t write what anyone would call Christian music. But once that type of music is in you, you can’t shake it. My mom also had tapes of musicals, and Broadway is still an obsession for me. I was 8 when my parents divorced, and one of the coping methods I developed was to steal my dad’s C.D.‘s. He collected the newest “alternative” music—a lot of female-fronted 90’s stuff. Bjork, Sheryl Crow, Sleater-Kinney, Liz Phair, Fiona Apple. Fiona and Liz were really powerful to me.

MI: Your current projects are all led by women; some bands don’t like the reference to women or men in the band, but would rather just be called musicians, in a general sense. What about you?
MR: I’ve been doing a lot of research to get ready to go on tour with one of my projects and something like 1 in 15 bands has a girl in it. Right now, Madison seems to be really supportive for women on the music scene. There are so many female-fronted, or all-women bands and I think it says a lot for this area. Plus, being involved with Girls and Ladies Rock Camps, you get to start working early with some of those you hope will be the next line-ups. I love it!

MI: How do you find time to maintain, and push forward, all of your projects?
MR: I recently quit my full-time job at Epic to concentrate on my bands, my solo-project, and writing music for theater. All my paychecks went to instruments and recording equipment! My first purchase was my red Epiphone semi-hollow body electric I still play. Then came a mandolin, a dulcimer, accordions, a real piano, a Gibson acoustic, a trombone (not that I can play it), a cello (not that I can play it, either; I just use it to make scary noises for film scores), a DVD on how to play bones, and even a tambourine signed by Kenny Rogers!

MI: Cool! And the job supported your music habit…
MR: Yes, but I traveled so much for work, it left little time to really give this music thing a try. So it’s now music 24-7. I’m in three band projects: Little Red Wolf (which is alt-country; lots of harmonies), Damsel Trash (thrash/punk), and I Saw the Creature (classic rock edge, soaring vox). I’m also working on a solo album which will feature the music I don’t have room for anywhere else. I’ve convinced myself each one fulfills a different personality. And since I left my job, I’ve already put out albums with two of my bands; working with Brian Liston through Clutch Sound Studio to make it happen. Now, I also have the time needed to get organized and start treating this like a business.

MI: Treating this like a business must mean heading out on the road. Which project is going first?
MR: I Saw the Creature is starting its first tour this fall. I play bass in this group, and my band-mates include singer Hannah Ripp-Dieter, her brother and guitar player Jake Ripp-Dieter, and drummer Andrew Schroeder. We have the most traction and are probably the most able to be mobile right now. As part of this music-as-a-business idea, I’m doing all of our own booking from Wisconsin to Texas. It means a lot of research into finding the appropriate venues, bands to add on the bill, promotions, and merchandise. We’ll be starting the tour and new CD release at Funk’s Pub in Madison on October 10, then we’re off! And we can’t wait.

MI: Probably a good thing you aren’t working a regular job?
MR: I wouldn’t have time for it! The other interesting thing I’m seeing happen, is the relationships and friendships I’m developing because I’m able to get out to a lot more shows than I did before. I’m just finding this so valuable, especially knowing there are many of us here trying to make music. It’s a supportive scene here.

MI: So the Madison scene is alive and well?
MR: It’s better than that. While doing my research of other cities I was thinking I’d find far more organized, supportive scenes, and I can tell you there just aren’t. We’re all sort of at the same ground level. If you are in a band, and you want a show; you have to go out and do the work to make it happen. But here, there’s a little more personal nurturing of relationships between bands, music enthusiasts, and friends. And maybe it’s a fairly new effort that’s growing here. No matter what, it just feels really good to be a part of it.

More on Meghan’s various projects, and upcoming shows, via these links:
I Saw the Creature: http://www.isawthecreature.com/
New CD Release of “You Are Singer” and Tour Kickoff at Funk’s Pub, October 10 with Gabe Burdulis, Modern Mod, and Retro Bus
Damsel Trash: http://damseltrash.bandcamp.com
September 6 at Crystal Corner with Red Tape Diaries and German Art Students
September 12 as part of “Bubble Fest” at The Wisco
Little Red Wolf: http://littleredwolf.bandcamp.com/
September 11 as part of “Bubble Fest” at The Frequency - Maximum Ink

"Album Review: 'You Are Singer'"

Words by Alexandria Ross | Photos courtesy of I Saw the Creature

With autumn tends to come feelings of coziness, warmth, complacency, and a desire to stay inside with your loved ones. This fall, you have two options: You can embrace these feelings and continue fighting for pumpkin spice deodorant (or whatever people are into these days), or you can do yourself the favor of catching Madison’s own I Saw the Creature on one of their upcoming tour dates. Consisting of members Meghan Rose (bass, backing vocals), Andrew Schroeder (drums), and brother and sister Jake Ripp-Dieter (guitar) and Hannah Ripp-Dieter (lead vocals), I Saw the Creature (ISTC) will undoubtedly slay your ears, heart, and loins with their stage presence and high-quality musicianship.
One of my favorite tracks from ISTC (and the first song off their EP, You Are Singer, available on Spotify) is “Tear It Down,” a dynamic, high-energy piece that I had the pleasure of seeing ISTC perform at The Inferno last April. Despite a mishap that caused Schroeder to play with only one drum stick for the first verse of the song, he joined in with both sticks right as the chorus exploded. What I’m trying to say here is that he displays some kick-ass percussive chops and will make you feel like a new person.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing things about ISTC’s sound is the vocals, specifically when the lead (H. Ripp-Dieter) and backing (Rose) combine. While separately, Rose’s and H. Ripp-Dieter’s voices are clearly identifiable and uniquely their own, they join forces in “Nobody” and “Education” in such a beautiful, seamless way and there has to be some kind of witchcraft involved.
Ripp-Dieter’s guitar part in “You Told Me” can really only be described as tantalizing. It adds the perfect balance of metallic and blues and I just wish it was longer, to be honest. All of the songs on the EP are worth more than a few listens, but lyrically, “Education” is a track that anyone can relate to.

ISTC manages to encapsulate the confusing grey area of a relationship and wanting to make someone feel as shitty as he/she made you feel. With the help of a heavy bass/guitar/percussion break, somber feelings quickly turn into anger and release, and such is the way of goddamn human emotion.
Here is I Saw the Creature’s upcoming tour schedule. Be there or hate yourself forever!
Friday, October 10th at Funk’s Pub in Fitchburg, WI with Modern Mod, Gabe Burdulis, and RetroBus
Saturday, October 11th at Club Garibaldi’s in Milwaukee, WI with Tigernite and Stud Spiders
Tuesday, October 14th at Quenchers in Chicago, IL with Gnar Wave Rangers and Kinda Good
Wednesday, October 15th at Blank Space in St. Louis, MO with Ramona Flowers and Man Eating Tiger
Thursday, October 16th at Blackthorn Pub in Joplin, MO with Thumper
Friday, October 17th at Trailer Space Records in Austin, TX with Alien Knife Fight and Fouled Out
Saturday, October 18th at Frank’s North Star Tavern in Lawrence, KS with OKO TYGRA
You Are Singer is available for streaming on Spotify, BeatsMusic, and is available for digital download via CDBaby and iTunes. ISTC is also selling physical copies at their shows. Be sure to also Like them on Facebook to get all their updates! - Project Famous

"Overture's 'Rising Stars' looks for talent next door"

A Grammy and Tony award winning producer, a Broadway performer and the Circus World executive director all packed into a room at Full Compass in Madison this morning. They were judging a Dane County talent contest put on by the Overture Center.

"Check 1,2" was a from each band member that tried out today. It was the first tryout held in the for "Rising Stars," an "America's Got Talent" -esk competition for the county.

"I Saw the Creature" was one of many bands auditioning. They are no strangers to the music world.

"W formed because we grew up in an incredibly musical family," said Hannah Ripp-Dieter "I Saw the Creature" vocalist.

The band is made up of brother, sister -- Jake and Hannah --and their cousin, Andrew Schroeder. Their bass player, Meghan Rose worked with Jake Ripp-Dieter for a musical she wrote. The band says they've long awaited a bassist like her.

"There's a longer history -- about six years longer -- where we couldn't keep a bass player down. I think we'd been through literally seven bass players," said Jake Ripp-Dieter, "I Saw the Creature" Guitarist.

They've had Rose on board for 2 years now, and "I Saw The Creature" finally has their perfect harmony, but they aren't the only ones.

Bands performed all day today, for a spot in the "Rising Stars" competition. Results for today's tryouts will be posted in a week.

"We're finding the star next door," said Robert Chappell of the Overture Center.

"Madison and Dane County have an unusually active and vibrant arts community and performance scene, and we know they're here. We just want to get them out and get them on our stage," said Chappell.

They're looking for talent this summer with six auditions across the county. The winner will perform on the Capitol Theater stage at the Overture Center this fall.

"To play on the overture stage too. If it's culminated to that -- we would love to do that," said Meghan Rose, "I Saw the Creature" bassist.

For their band, the competition is also an opportunity for them to become better with each note.

"Our triumphs have a lot to do with, every time we play out people say, 'wow! you guys are even tighter than before. you're even better than before. you're always improving,' which is amazing to hear," said Hannah Ripp-Dieter.

There are still audition slots open throughout Dane County. If you think you'd like to compete in "Rising Stars". They're open to singers, dancers, bands, magicians -- any kind of talent! If you would like to register, visit Overture's Rising Stars website. - NBC15

"Winners Announced for Madison Band Swap 2014"

Since the announcement that Madison would participate in the 2014 BandSwap program sponsored by SpokesBuzz in Ft. Collins, some thirty-plus bands and performers submitted for consideration. Seven cities were chosen to participate in BandSwap along with host city Ft. Collins who send a representative musical artist to each of seven cities for an educational and performance event. In return, each host city chooses a representative band who will travel to Ft. Collins for their annual BandSwap festival.

Last year Madison participated in BandSwap for the first time, sending popular alt-rock group Sexy Ester to the Rockies. The really big news about this year’s BandSwap participation is twofold: The event has been expanded to include five bands who will perform and earn lots of goodies and the city of Madison has generously funded the entire event with $10,000. The latter point is particularly encouraging as the city seemingly is finally putting its money where its mouth is in supporting music outside the traditional avenues it’s supported in the past. The city has given a much larger sum – $50,000 – to fund Make Music Madison in its first two years. That event is community driven, however, and does not address issues facing working musicians in the city. The support for BandSwap is a hopeful indicator of things to come as Madison is poised for significant developmental and artistic growth.

After reviewing the applicants, the Madison Arts Commission recommended the following acts be chosen to represent Madison:

Lords of the Trident was chosen as the Bandswap winner. They will perform at the Frequency on September 20th with the Ft. Collins band Stella Luce who play a quirky blend of indie-rock, ethnic string music, and electronic experimentation that incorporates cello with jazzy break-beats. Lords of the Trident are fast becoming one of Madison’s most popular acts. They play Judas-Priest-inspired metal extremely well but they add in humor and audience participation, resulting in one of the most entertaining local-act experiences you can have. Sexy Ester will open the show as last year’s representative. Lords of the Trident will also travel to Ft. Collins to participate in the BandSwap festival as the Madison representative. Each band member receives a travel stipend to do so.

Four other artists will perform in a joint CD-release party earlier in the day in the cul-de-sac on Mifflin Street between the library and the Capitol Square. Prior to that there will be an educational presentation which will be open to the public. The four performers are:

The Wells Division

Sam Lyons

Mojo Radio

I Saw the Creature

Madison Media Institute and the Madison Area Music Association are also heavily involved. MMI will provide each of the five bands with 1,000 CD pressings and will coordinate a video production for each band. The first 25 registrants received a free 2015 MAMA membership with Broadjam and one of the five bands chosen will receive a performance slot at the MAMA Awards next summer. The daytime performance event on September 20, which starts at 1 pm, will also serve as the kickoff to registration for the 2015 MAMA Awards. Musicians of all kinds will be encouraged to sign up while partaking in the Bandswap festivities. - Local Sounds


Still working on that hot first release.



I Saw the Creature consists of singer Hannah Ripp-Dieter, guitarist Jake Ripp-Dieter, bassist Meghan Rose, and drummer Andrew Schroeder.  

They have an eclectic combined background spanning several forms of music, including classical, blues, soul, and musical theatre, but are drawn together by their mutual love of rock. Hannah started singing at the age of babyhood. She has won some awards and singing competitions. Jake studied music with a super famous Jazz musician, Richard Davis, who is most famous in Japan. Andrew is in like 8 different bands and has been playing drums also since babyhood. He can lay down a beat much better than you can (probably).  

Hannah, Jake and Andrew had been together for some time, steadily gaining and subsequently losing four bass players per year. Then, Jake met Meghan when he was hired to play guitar in a musical she had written. He did an OK job so she asked him about his band, partly out of politeness. "We're pretty good but we don't have a bass player" he famously replied.  Originally a pianist, Meg went and learned bass like it wasn't a big deal and joined the group.  With the final piece of the puzzle in place they became a Real Band and began to play out.

They have since formed a unique sound the likes of which you have never heard before 9pm.

Band Members