At NUVO, we write, talk and think about Indianapolis every day. It's our home, after all. What about the hometowns of musicians that tour through Indianapolis? When did they fall in love with their own local scene? We'll ask the same questions of each musician that participates in this feature. This time, we're featuring Chicago's Sunjacket, who will stop the White Rabbit tomorrow to play with Bonesetters, No Coast and Faux Paw.
NUVO: Where did you grow up?
BRYAN KVETON: Grayslake, Illinois — a small northern suburb of Chicago just south of the Wisconsin border.
CARL HAUCK: I also grew up in Grayslake. Bryan and I met in high school.
TRICIA SCULLY: I grew up in the next town over, Mundelein, Illinois, but I didn't meet these guys until college, ironically.
GARRET BODETTE: I grew up in a really small town 30 miles west of Toledo, Ohio called Delta.
ROSS TASCH: Fox River Grove, Illinois, a small town about 30 miles northwest of Chicago.
NUVO: What was the music scene there like?
BK: At the time (2002 - 2006) there were lots of metal/hardcore bands. My band was pretty poppy and probably didn't fit in super well, but we did our best.
CH: I agree with Bryan about the abundance of metal and hardcore bands in Lake County. But there were a couple venues that offered some pretty diverse lineups. One of them was a small public DIY space at the center of a residential neighborhood called Venetian Village Hall, and they had a great mix of local and touring bands on weekends. Everything from post rock, to folk, to electronic, to psychedelic prog rock.
TS: Same scene as Grayslake, and I was in a bunch of punk bands. That movie Josie and the Pussycats came out when I was in high school, so girl-fronted pop-punk was totally in.
GB: Delta itself didn't have much of a music scene, but Toledo had a fairly diverse offering overall if you knew where to look. Bad hard rock as well as metalcore and hardcore (some good, some not so good) were the dominant genres at the time.
RT: There wasn't much of a scene in my town. Most of the local bands from my high school played either jam band music or pop punk kind of stuff.
NUVO: What's the first local band that you were in?
BK: I was in a band called What Four, which renamed itself to Butterfly Assassins later on. We were together for around eight years.
CH: A pop punk band with the unfortunate moniker Morning After.
TS: I can't even remember the name of my first band — it was something playing off of the Deftones or something. I was in middle school, and we played a Limp Bizkit cover of their cover of "Faith" by George Michael... that's all I remember... and that's probably for the best.
GB: My first real band that actually played shows was a post-hardcore band called youandwhatarmy. We started playing together sometime about halfway through high school and bands like Thrice and Thursday were our biggest influences at the time.
RT: An emo outfit called Small Town Empire.
NUVO: What was the first local band that you really feel in love with?
BK: I remember being really starry-eyed over a post-hardcore band called The Elvi. They were really loud, wore suits, and went nuts on stage — guitars flying, splits, acrobatics. They just seemed like they had it together and their stage show was really energetic.
CH: There were quite a few. I actually really liked Bryan's band What Four. I also dug a folk rock band from our high school called The Story of Everest, and this band called The Softest Sound that was somewhat experimental but mostly just beautiful and epic.
TS: There was a local band called Surreal that I really loved for a while in high school, then Braille, which had to change their name to Thin Cities. Then I was a pretty loyal Dr. Manhattan follower for a few years.
GB: The first local band that I genuinely loved was a post-rock band called The Juniper Wait. I didn't discover them until early in college because so many of the young local bands I had exposure to in high school were all just doing the same trite metalcore stuff. Whose breakdowns were the chuggiest, ya know?
RT: I took guitar lessons in high school from a family friend, and his son's band, Big Step, had a pretty big influence on stuff I got into around that time.
NUVO: What's the all-ages scene like there?
BK: It was great. Most venues — whether they were VFW halls, community centers, or restaurants — were offering all-ages shows. Once you proved you could play, it was easy to get shows and play to new audiences. Definitely a great place to get a start and learn the ins and outs of booking and playing shows.
CH: I remember a pretty shady place called the Round Lake Men's Social Club that put on all ages shows on weekends. The bands played on the floor right in front of the crowd, which just added to the intensity. At hardcore and punk shows, you'd usually see at least a couple people leaving with bloody noses. I'm not sure what happened there when they didn't have bands playing, though. A place for men to congregate, I suppose. Maybe they ripped up the tile and converted it into a bathhouse.
TS: I remember coffee shops, churches, and school auditoriums as the top all-ages spots for the most part. The VFW halls and random moldy basements were definitely part of the scene as well, with a pretty weird hookah bar thrown in the mix, but I hung around coffee shops for the most part.
GB: It was pretty solid as far as the ability to go to shows was concerned. The quality of the shows varied, but there were always tons of shows at small coffee shops as well as VFW halls, Masonic Temples, and other community centers. The bar venues also had a lot of all-ages shows, especially when touring acts that appealed to my age group came through town.
NUVO: When did you move (if you did move)? Why?
BK: I moved away in 2006 for college, then moved straight to Chicago in 2010.
CH: I moved in 2005 to go off to college, but I've been teaching at the high school Bryan and I went to ever since graduating college in 2009.
TS: I moved to 2005 for college as well.
GB: I went to college pretty close to home, then moved to Chicago in thefFall of 2009 for a graphic design internship and still live and work here.
RT: I moved away for college in 2006 and moved back to Chicago in 2010.
NUVO: Have you toured through Indy before? What are your memories of that tour stop?
BK: I have with Butterfly Assassins. We came through the Broad Ripple area, as well as Oranje Indy in 2008. I remember Broad Ripple being a really energetic area, and Oranje being a really cool mix of art and music. Not sure if it's still this way, but it was in a huge parking garage and I remember wandering around with our gear yelling "echo" as loud as we could. Everyone was really welcoming — they even hooked us up with a hotel room.
CH: Tricia and I went on a solo tour together back in 2010, and we played the Melody Inn with the Bonesetters. I thought the Melody Inn was a super cool place, but Tricia and I both played quiet, intimate music, so it was kind of funny for us to be playing in what seemed like a dive-y punk rock bar. Everyone was incredibly welcoming, though, and Dan Snodgrass from the Bonesetters put us up for the night. I don't think I've met many people more passionate about music than Dan. The three of us talked and he showed us new music until the birds started chirping, and even though Tricia and I were each tired and ready to catch some shut-eye, Dan probably could've kept going for a while longer.
TS: Carl covered it for us - the Melody Inn was great, and the frozen pizza was fantastic. I remember a lot of discussion on the subject of Kurt Vonnegut, I think we were there right around the time he passed away. We had a really good time, and I'm looking forward to heading back.
GB: I've never been to Indy as far as I can remember. Looking forward to it!
RT: I've also never been to Indy to play. Looking forward to it as well!