The Valiant Nomads
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The Valiant Nomads

Grand Forks, North Dakota, United States | SELF

Grand Forks, North Dakota, United States | SELF
Band Rock Acoustic


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"It's a Nordic Winter with The Valiant Nomads"

Behind all the screaming and overbearing amps in which the Red River Valley specializes in lies an up-and-coming band in the mold of Foo Fighters, Goo Goo Dolls, Switchfoot and Lifehouse. In a name, these guys carry their Midwestern heritage wherever they take on a show: The Valiant Nomads.

The Valiant Nomads are David Mau (vocals/guitar), Derek Skogen (bass), Matthew Olson (acoustic/electric guitar), Kyle Nelson (drums). If you’re into local music, you’re often going to see The Valiant Nomads playing with local hardcore/punk groups such as The Suit, The March on Versailles and Rome B.C., who recently won November’s Grand Forks Battle of the Bands. The group’s style strives for a combination of solid rock and addictive acoustic ballads.

Where does your band fit in the local music scene and its impact on it?
We aren't quite sure that we fit very well into the Grand Forks scene very well but that's ok : ) We have only been a band here for the past few months and we love the High School and College scene here. Most people probably think of us as the "soft" band...and that's ok with us because there is a lot of great harcore music here in Grand Forks, and next to that stuff we probably are "soft," whatever that means...

Apparently a high school English class recently decided that they didn't like us because we are an "indie" band. We think this is funny because every band we know is an indie band until they get signed. Apparently some people think that local music sucks...but I doubt they have been to a show in the past year. We love the music here...

Your group is hot of the heels of this month's Battle of the Bands at Empire Arts Center. Where does local music go from here, as well as your band?

Grand Forks is an exciting place to be a band! We have made such great friendships here and had great feedback in the 4 months of being a band here. People here are friendly and excited about local music and that is something that we love about the local scene. We are excited about Rome BC and their CD release and moving beyond Fargo bands that breeze through town and demand a lot of money to play here. We think this scene is finally emerging as a credible force. Grand Forks is alive with at least 7 bands that are working hard and supporting the local scene.

Favorite local and national bands.
Local: Rome BC, The Consumption, Formerly Fiona, Xavier Pastrano, and March on Versailles
National: Rocky Votolato, Red, Mutemath, Lifehouse, U2, Remedy Drive, Vedera, Foo Fighters and Keane

If your band represents a season of the year, which would it be and why?
Autumn! Our music claims that things will get worse before they get better, and that those who avoid the distractions of life and focus in on what is truly important like faith and friendship and love will make it through the darker days...We all love the fall here and are sad that it's over!

Why do you guys play music?
Clearly it's all for the girls. Actually people like Brandy and Tim Dotson, Karen, Kaitlyn, Natasha, Desmond, Sam, Olivia and Shawn and beyond. We want to make music for youth that honesly need and appreciate it. Music is our way of transcending our circumstance and focusing in on what's important and beautiful about life.

Any Additional Comments?
We are working on a Music Video that will be released in the next month as well as a full length studio recording to be released in Spring of 2011. All of us are single at the moment, which is a huge blessing and don't even think of going out with one of us because it's not allowed (band rules)! Kidding. We want to thank people for becoming interested in our music and hope that people "like" us on facebook so we can know who they are and befriend them!

There you have it, Grand Fork’s own Vikings (minus the shadow of embarrassment that seems to follow Minnesota’s everywhere they go). Although Valiant Nomads is fairly a brand new band, they have already played with some of North Dakota and Minnesota’s more well[-known acts such as Hyland, Fades Away, The Suit, If I Ran The Zoo, Aiming for Aurora. In the past, David Mau was part of an act called NoSmallWonder, which has played with incredible talents such as Children 18:3. Please check out this group if you’re one those who have been longing for a local band you can finally sing along to and yet still rock as hard as the rest of Grand Forks’ music scene. Be sure to bring your Viking horns to a ‘Nomads show. Check them at
Mike Peterson, special to After5 Magazine, is a promoter for Positive Music Network. serves as the Red River Valley’s premiere showcase for music that, in the lyrics of the group Switchfoot, reminds you that you were meant to live for so much more. Check his site and the latest concerts at WWW.CROSSHUB.NET and befriend Cross Hub at - After 5 Magazine (Grand Forks)


All on Black EP - February 2010
The Dogden House Session (6 Song live EP) - September 2010
Live at KFGO (In Studio Performance) - October 2010
Live at the Empire Theater - November 2010
"As Night Falls" (Full Album) - coming Spring 2011



After a near-fatal car accident in February of 2009, friends David Mau and Derek Skogen formed a life long bond that transcended music and mere brotherhood. The Valiant Nomads was formed from the best elements of David's former Minneapolis acoustic act nosmallwonder, and Derek's uncanny ability to ignite an audience. Upon attending a college group at UND, they overheard the drumming talent that would eventually back them up on stage in Kyle Marcus Nelson. A talented percussionist, Kyle was skilled in both the Cajon and Djembe, and hadn't played a trap set since his High School days. Within the week he was traveling with the band, learning the songs along the way. Matt Olson joined the group just two weeks later with extreme talents on both acoustic and electric guitar.

Others are beginning to take notice. The Band has over 900 "Likes" on Facebook in just 3 months on the Site, and over 29,000 video views on! KFGO Radio in Fargo, the state's largest station, asked the group to perform in studio after hearing their music online. Producers and media around the country are also expressing interest:

"I think you guys may have something with 'As Night Falls'." Dean Cramer A&R for Atlantic and Wind Up Records

"I really like the song writing..."
Derek Graham of Vertusent Music Group LLC

"These songs are good."
Aaron Manes of Word Records/Goatee Records/Early Morning Music

" up-and-coming band in the mold of Foo Fighters, Goo Goo Dolls, Switchfoot, and Lifehouse."
After 5 Magazine

With a loaded touring schedule and full album to be released in the Spring of 2011, The Valiant Nomads are aiming for a busy year, playing music festivals across the Midwest and playing colleges, youth groups, and venues in the fall. The guys remain excited and hopeful that in an industry dominated by white noise, their music speaks to actual people in meaningful ways. "Our band is as simple as connecting with that next person at a show, making a difference in small ways by inspiring youth to greatness and causes beyond themselves," says Derek Skogen. Tackling subjects such as depression, homelessness, pop culture, cutting, and self-esteem, the group believes that a simple message of hope and faith goes much further than our cultures obsession with image and celebrity.

With energy, catchy music, and friendship, this band is making a difference in the lives of High School and College Students, reaching beyond the Upper Midwest with a message of hope and healing.