MU
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MU

| Established. Jan 01, 2014

Established on Jan, 2014
Band Metal Metal

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MU's next gig: Summerfest
By Brandon Feivor | Courier Intern | Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 10:53 am
Rush, Nirvana, Dethklok, Dream Theater and The Beatles. What do all of these bands have in common? In terms of sound, not much, but they have all served as inspirational sources for the band MU.
MU (pronounced moo) is a four-man outfit that was founded in 2011 consisting of Justin Sundlin, Korgan Steinke and Jacob Moore of Milton and Ryan Thomas of Janesville. MU is a term from Zen Buddhism describing emptiness or nothingness.
The band has found success recently through Launchpad Wisconsin. It’s a statewide music competition for high school students. The best bands win equipment, recording time in a studio and even the chance to perform live. As the runner-up in this year’s competition, MU will perform at Summerfest in Milwaukee and the Vans Warped Tour.
MU performed at both of those events last year, as well as at local venues like the Back Bar in Janesville, and has even played a set at the Rave in Milwaukee.
Thomas said he always hoped he would have a future in music, but never thought he’d be doing it in his 20s. Steinke said the experience seems unreal at times.
“When we are at a show, it’s like we are just practicing,” Steinke said. “It doesn’t seem different until you get a chance to sit down and really think about what just happened.”
Steinke and Sundlin are two of the original founding members, while Moore and Thomas are recent additions. While looking for a new drummer, they actually found Thomas using Craigslist.
MU’s style is firmly entrenched in metal, but the band’s roots extend to other genres. MU was originally a grunge style band in the vein of Nirvana and its sound has shifted over time. The band said the keys to success have been its obsession with music and its knowledge of musical theory.
“We actually have broader demographics than most people think,” Moore said. “Our music has elements metal heads will enjoy, but we have things other people can appreciate as well.”
Sundlin said the lack of a metal scene in the Milton/Janesville area allows the band to stand out. The band as a whole has a growing fan base on social media and the members said they have even been recognized in public several times at places like Milton Family Restaurant.
For these guys, the music is the priority. They need to juggle school and work, but still practice several hours per day. MU does not have a manager and scheduling and planning are done by its members, but Moore said it has not been too difficult since they live relatively close to one another.
There have been a few potholes on the road to stardom, however. MU has a brand of music that is not appreciated by mainstream music listeners and its members are all under 21, and these factors have limited the venues that will allow MU to play, and by extension the people who actually hear the music.
Practicing and recording are done in Thomas’ basement, which Sundlin describes as “rough” sounding. For that reason, he said when sharing their music with others they typically use live sound bites.
Devoting so much time to the band has also pushed other friends away, but has made room for new ones and for fans. They agreed it has all been worth it so far.
“I’m honored to be with such talented musicians and this has been a wonderful experience,” Moore said.
Following the shows MU has lined up in the next few weeks, the band hopes to begin recording its EP (extended play), in order to attract attention for larger gigs, using the studio time it won through Launchpad. An EP is a sample of music that is much longer than a single, but shorter than a full-length album.
The band hopes to expand into the Madison or Chicago areas. Currently, it uses fliers to promote locally, but has found success using sites like Facebook and Twitter. Songs have also been uploaded for people to hear on Youtube and on ReverbNation.com.
- Milton Courier


Launchpad Wisconsin 2013 finals put talented young bands in the spotlight

Dozens of young musicians and their friends, fans and families flocked to the UW Union South Sett on June 8 for the Launchpad Wisconsin finals, a battle of the bands for high school students. Thirteen groups participated, and each brought a unique playing style to the stage.

Here are some highlights from the event.

The vocals and guitar-work of MU's Korgan Steinke

I've always had a special place in my heart for metal and hardcore music, which tend to be underappreciated. My affinity for these genres makes me critical of formulaic songwriting. Luckily, MU, a metal-loving band from Milton and Janesville, brings lots of originality to the stage.

The distorted lines that cascaded out of lead guitarist Korgan Steinke's amp were glorious. Whether pulling off meticulous sweeps, seamlessly shifting between picked and finger-tapped lines, or just holding the band together, his performance was nearly flawless.

Equally impressive were his vocals. It's not every day you come across someone with this much vocal power. His singing has the perfect timbre for fronting a metal or hardcore band. To me, he was the most impressive performer in the competition because all of his skills meshed together so well.

The stage presence of the Daze's Gabe Burdulis

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from local band the Daze, who were dressed sharply enough for the prom. But their slick garb certainly matched their a tight and well-thought-out set.

This suave and professional performance was orchestrated by singer Gabe Burdulis. His ability to rouse the audience and connect with them was unparalleled by anyone else in the contest. And he was all over the stage, playing trumpet at one point and even singing into a megaphone. This is not to discount the other three members of the Daze. Their solid playing contributed to a stellar show.

The songwriting of the Viewing Party

One of the most difficult aspects of writing music is creating something that doesn't sound just like its influences. Visiting from Platteville, the Viewing Party may have done the best job of thinking -- and writing -- outside the box.

The group used a pair of laptops to incorporate sound samples, which added texture to their music. With slower tempos and parts that bordered on the territory ambient music typically explores, they weren't a stereotypical battle-of-the-bands entry. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing. They had fresh ideas, and that deserves praise.

Each of the 13 Launchpad finalists gets a 45-minute showcase at this year's Summerfest in Milwaukee. The winning band, Middleton's funky Autumn Underground, also receives free recording time at Madison's Blast House Studios and a $5,000 Yamaha music package for their school's music program. - Isthmus thedailypage.com


MU, a band made up of students at Milton and Janesville Parker high schools, has been named as a finalist in a statewide alternative music competition for high school students.

According to a press release about the event, Launchpad, now in its eighth year, is one of the fastest growing new Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) programs offered to high school students.

"It encourages students to creatively put into practice lessons learned in music classes by applying, in their own way, the skills learned," said Tim Wurgler, WSMA program director.

At least one person from each band must be in a school music program and all members must be currently enrolled in a Wisconsin high school and/or WSMA member school to qualify.

MU, along with Loose Promise, which is made up of Milton High School students, were among 15 area garage bands selected to take the stage March 23 at Sun Prairie High School. The competing bands were selected from more than 75 statewide entries.

MU and others who are the top three bands in each of the four statewide regional competitions and a wildcard band will advance to the state finals in June. The wildcard band will be selected from all of the Launchpad entries through a worldwide voting system of listeners on Broadjam.com.

MU band members include MHS sophomore Justin Sundlin, guitar and vocals; MHS junior Korgan Steinke, guitar and vocals; MHS sophomore Trenton Leffel, bass guitar and vocals; and Parker sophomore Ryan Thomas, drums and vocals.

Posted in Community on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 12:00 am. - Milton Courier


Two area bands were among a final 13 performing recently (June 8) at the Launchpad statewide competition in Madison. Metal band , MU, with members from Janesville Parker and Milton high schools, and Relatively Blue, blues band, with members from Delavan-Darien and Elkhorn Area high schools, took the stage in the UW-Madison Student Union South, where both the crowd and the amplifiers were pumped. At evening’s end, the winner of the competition was Autumn Underground, a rock band from Middleton High School. For more information about the winning band, Launchpad, and regional and statewide winners’ Summerfest performance schedule visit the website here. Videos of the performances given by MU and Relatively Blue follow:



MU band members include: Justin Sundlin, Korgan Steinke, Jacob Moore and Ryan Thomas. The band played three selections: Come, Sweet Death; Within the Beast; and Ripping Through the Flesh. MU was one of three bands selected as semifinalists from the Madison Regional Competition held April 12 at Sun Prairie High School.



Relatively Blue band members include: Jason Jeffrey, Christine Bain, Ben Mahon, Ben Meine and Anthony Welch. The band’s three selections included: How Blue Can You Get, Hideaway, and an original piece: Straight Shooter. Relatively Blue was one of three bands selected as semifinalists from the Milwaukee Regional Competition held May 10 at Wauwatosa East High School. Regional competitions were also held in Green Bay and Eau Claire. - The Wisconsin Happy Farm


Two area bands were among a final 13 performing recently (June 8) at the Launchpad statewide competition in Madison. Metal band , MU, with members from Janesville Parker and Milton high schools, and Relatively Blue, blues band, with members from Delavan-Darien and Elkhorn Area high schools, took the stage in the UW-Madison Student Union South, where both the crowd and the amplifiers were pumped. At evening’s end, the winner of the competition was Autumn Underground, a rock band from Middleton High School. For more information about the winning band, Launchpad, and regional and statewide winners’ Summerfest performance schedule visit the website here. Videos of the performances given by MU and Relatively Blue follow:



MU band members include: Justin Sundlin, Korgan Steinke, Jacob Moore and Ryan Thomas. The band played three selections: Come, Sweet Death; Within the Beast; and Ripping Through the Flesh. MU was one of three bands selected as semifinalists from the Madison Regional Competition held April 12 at Sun Prairie High School.



Relatively Blue band members include: Jason Jeffrey, Christine Bain, Ben Mahon, Ben Meine and Anthony Welch. The band’s three selections included: How Blue Can You Get, Hideaway, and an original piece: Straight Shooter. Relatively Blue was one of three bands selected as semifinalists from the Milwaukee Regional Competition held May 10 at Wauwatosa East High School. Regional competitions were also held in Green Bay and Eau Claire. - The Wisconsin Happy Farm


“You guys own the stage. If Iron Maiden and Slayer had a baby, you would not be it…. but when she grew up, she would pray that you would ask her to the prom. And you would.” - Launchpad Judge, Madison Regional 2013

“You guys have rocked me totally into submission. I am powerless to provide any critique: what you do, you do perfectly.” - Launchpad Judge, Madison Regional 2013

“You guys Rock! Yes!” - Launchpad Judge, Madison Regional 2013

”The fact that you guys got so many people out of their seats and stage front for a less popular genre is a great testament to your accomplishments."
"You guys owned it!” - Launchpad Judge, Madison Regional 2013 - Madison Regional Launchpad 2013


MU, a band made up of students at Milton and Janesville Parker high schools, has been named as a finalist in a statewide alternative music competition for high school students.

According to a press release about the event, Launchpad, now in its eighth year, is one of the fastest growing new Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) programs offered to high school students.

"It encourages students to creatively put into practice lessons learned in music classes by applying, in their own way, the skills learned," said Tim Wurgler, WSMA program director.

At least one person from each band must be in a school music program and all members must be currently enrolled in a Wisconsin high school and/or WSMA member school to qualify.

MU, along with Loose Promise, which is made up of Milton High School students, were among 15 area garage bands selected to take the stage March 23 at Sun Prairie High School. The competing bands were selected from more than 75 statewide entries.

MU and others who are the top three bands in each of the four statewide regional competitions and a wildcard band will advance to the state finals in June. The wildcard band will be selected from all of the Launchpad entries through a worldwide voting system of listeners on Broadjam.com.

MU band members include MHS sophomore Justin Sundlin, guitar and vocals; MHS junior Korgan Steinke, guitar and vocals; MHS sophomore Trenton Leffel, bass guitar and vocals; and Parker sophomore Ryan Thomas, drums and vocals. - Milton Courier


Discography

Waiting for the Moon

Conquering a Tyrant: The Rise of Reason

Photos

Bio

In 2011, four high school students incidentally founded the metal band, MU, for a local talent show. They were such a success, that they decided to stay together and have been stunning audiences throughout South Eastern Wisconsin with their original compositions, charismatic performances and dedication to musical excellence ever since. With early inspirations like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Black Sabbath, and later influences like Death, Opeth, and Athiest, they have developed their own aggressive and guttural sound, paired with exotic rhythms and extreme, contrasting dynamics. Despite choosing to work almost exclusively within the metal genre, their unique style, infectious energy and novel compositions have enabled the band to win great accolades from both the audiences and the judges at the Launchpad 2012 Competition as well as the Madison Regional Launchpad Competition and State Competion in 2013. Since their first Launchpad success in 2012, MU has performed on the Van’s Warped Tour, Summer Fest, The Rave, The Millennium Center, and the Rock Around the Block.

Band Members