Y ilnaoWII OWA STATE U. SENIOR CHAD CALEK IS A DREAMER. HE'S ALSO A MOTLEY CRUE FAN.
r hl So when his college band was asked to open for the Feel-Good Doctors of '80s hair metal last
fall, it was a dream come true - one of many since Calek joined 35" Mudder two years ago.
m 11011'S 011101. 35" Mudder, a hardcore/hip-hop outfit, has sold more than 3,000 copies of its independently
I haf ior awa released sophomore CD, Stained. The group is also one of thousands of college bands across the
W10 OME SWEET HOME"
country with a dream that echoes three words: Make it big.
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My only dream is to make enough money to not have to have another job," says Christian
Cummings, a senior at San Diego State U. and drummer for the band d.frost, a trio that blends
hip-hop, roots and blues.
Playing in a college band has traditionally meant free beer at frat parties and enough cash
to buy guitar strings and drum heads. But things changed in the early '90s when Hootie and the
Blowfish and the Dave Matthews Band made beaucoup bucks on college campuses for the
And now it's getting even easier for college bands to make a name for themselves. That's
thanks to new technology that has made recording a CD as simple as microwaving popcorn and
the Internet, which has put national promotion at a band's fingertips.
35" Mudder stole the classic Iowa advice - "if you build it, they will come" - from the ball-
park and took it to the moshpit. As soon as the group started selling out central Iowa clubs, radio
stations and record labels took notice. Since then, the band has opened for several national acts,
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they've had songs added to a Des Moines rock station and
they're just waiting for a killer record deal to come along.
But bands aren't always holding their breath waiting for
a record deal. Just ask senior Dorian Ham, a rapper for the
Ohio State U.-based B.A.S.S. Nation. "Even if we don't get
a contract, it doesn't matter, because we're still doing what
we want to do," Ham says.
Th e leems Faclto10r
"To me, it seems a lot easier for a college band to get
a following and a record deal than it is for just some band
in some city," Calek says. "Your target audience is so cen-
tralized. If you can get your school behind you, that's a huge
But being a college band also has some drawbacks, like
band members graduating at different times. "You never
know who's going to be here next semester," Ham says.
"So you have to be able to adapt quickly to new musicians."
Four of the five members of Mudder have had to take
semesters off from school to devote more time to the group.
FRM C0OL LEE BARS
Bands who made it big and the
colleges where they got their start.
Hoot!e nd the Blowfish
U. of South Carolina
Da e Matth w- Ban
U. of Virginia
U. of Massachusetts
Dinosaur Jr. Sehadeh
U. of Massachusetts
Beddee School of Music
U. of Georgia
"College becomes a real issue," Calek says. "I would assume most college bands are managing
themselves, and that really cuts into your day."
d.frost spends up to four hours a day rehearsing, working on promo mailers and devising a
business strategy. "Playing in a band is a huge time commitment," says d.frost's Cummings. "You
have to take it seriously because there's so much competition out there."
But even if a band doesn't go all the way, there's always the frat parties with their promise of
beer for nothing and chicks for free. Because hey, you're with the band.
April/May 1999 * wwwumaane oi 11