Midwest Skies
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Midwest Skies

Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
Band Pop Punk




"Radio Play on 101.3 THE FOX"

"The Glory Days" EP and "Ghosts of 46th" EP continuous rotation, all songs. - Clear Channel Media

"Radio Play on 97.5 NOW FM"

"Summer Love" played on-air, as well as an interview. - Cumulus Media

"Radio Play on 105.3 HOT FM"

"Summer Love" played on 105.3 HOT FM, along with an on-air interview. - Cumulus Media

"The Class of 2011: A Cast of Local Bands and Artists you NEED to Pay Attention to in 2011"

In order to win the NOISE! Readers' Choice Peoples' Champion Award, you have to have a boatload of folks that really believe in what you're doing. That, or you have lots of friends that thoroughly enjoy the internet and take orders well. We like to think the first instance is more accurate for these Grand Rapids pop rockers as they have already done some impressive things in 2010, like appearing with The Ataris.

Midwest Skies will be toting its new single "Easier This Time Around" into the new year, which will be a part of the forthcoming debut EP the guys will be recording with Chris Andrus.

With its members graduating from good college, they'll do what any parent dreams of and tuck that diploma aside and pursue making a name for themselves in the world of music. With their efforts zeroed in, this could be Midwest Skies' year. - West Michigan Noise! Magazine

"With GVSU degrees soon-to-be in tow, Midwest Skies puts music career first"

GRAND RAPIDS -- Midwest Skies is serious about its rock music.

So serious, in fact, that while all three members of the Grand Rapids pop-punk band are getting close to snagging degrees from Grand Valley State University, they're not about to give up their musical ambitions.

"We pretty much decided that as long as we have money to pay the bills, this (band) is going to be our main focus," said guitarist James Johnson, 22, who has just a semester left before graduation.

Added drummer Josh Jones, 21, who's entering his senior year at GVSU: "We're career-driven. Our parents placed their trust in us to get our degrees. But at the same time, music is what we're really all about. Our degrees are the back-up. We're planning on pursuing this and taking it as far as we can."

To that end, Midwest Skies -- which last winter recorded a three-song EP at Chicago's Mattress Factory Studios -- recently finished building its own recording studio in an Allendale farmhouse the band is renting. It plans to record a six-song EP there later this year.
The trio, which has played regularly at MXTP (formerly MixTape Cafe) in Grand Rapids and will perform as part of Saturday's GeekAid Music & Art Festival at Riverside Park, also plans a regional tour this winter with other bands it's gotten to know.

"Our goal for the next year is to definitely build up a pretty good fan base around West Michigan," said Johnson, a U.S. Army brat who lived in Germany and Kentucky before coming to West Michigan to study film and video production at GVSU.

After meeting Jones, an advertising/public relations major from Farmington Hills, and bassist Ryan Ykimoff, 20, a criminal justice major from Jackson, Johnson said he discovered they "really had similar tastes in music," though each also brought "something different to the table," ranging from heavy metal to indie rock.

"We had a common interest in pop-punk," recalled Johnson, who first started taking piano lessons at age 3 and picked up the guitar in eighth grade (quitting football in the process).

The band started by playing cover songs "as a fun thing to do at parties," but eventually morphed into a full-blown endeavor focusing on original music.

Its melodic, hook-filled tunes are the product of a collaborative songwriting approach. "Our first goal is always to impress each other" with new songs, Johnson said.

The group, which has rehearsal space in a garage next to its farmhouse, also has "gotten more comfortable" playing live shows over the past year.

"We focus more on bringing a really fun live show and getting the crowd involved," Johnson said. "Myself and Ryan have a wireless guitar system so we can walk around out in the crowd." - The Grand Rapids Press

"Quote from the Producer"

"These songs are hook city! I’m not f****** kidding, this stuff gets stuck in your head and I love it!" - Martin Atkins


Still working on that hot first release.



The members of Midwest Skies met in 2007 at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. Midwest Skies! officially came together in the summer of 2009, opening for a tour package that consisted of The Secret Handshake/The Bigger Lights/The Dangerous Summer. In January of 2010, Midwest Skies! received the opportunity to record their first demos at Mattress Factory Studios in Chicago, Illinois with producer Martin Atkins (American Bandstand, Nine Inch Nails, Public Image LTD.) and engineer Steve Moore. Their debut EP, THE GLORY DAYS, was released in Spring of 2011, recorded at Mackinaw Harvest Studios in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and so began their first tour in support of the EP. Following that, they recorded GHOSTS OF 46th at The Foxboro Studios in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2012. After touring in support of that album extensively, performing huge shows such as the 105.3 HOT NEW YEARS EVE PARTY for 30,000 people, they spent some time recording their most recent EP, WISH YOU WERE HERE, due out in September of 2013, at Always Be Genius Studios in Crown Point, Indiana. Since then, Midwest Skies! has had the opportunity to tour extensively across the US and parts of Canada, perform at many popular music festivals (Envol et Macadam, NXNE, WO-STOCK, BLED FEST), and share the stage with today's biggest acts. They have reached a level of success not seen by many Grand Rapids-based bands, and continue to astonish new fans and venue owners with their electric live performances, fueled by hooks and heavy crowd participation..

Band Members