interview with Speaker Eater

What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you? My name is Matthew, I play guitar and handle half of the vocals. On the recordings I play some of the piano parts as well.David plays bass, and handles the majority of the other vocals. Thomas handles percussion as well as the occasional vocal part.We are all in our mid twenties.

Have any of you played in other bands? All three of us played in a band called Horus prior to forming Speaker Eater. It was with a different guitar player so I handled bass and David did pretty much all the vocals.

How is it that you started playing music? I started playing guitar when I was in elementary school. It wasn’t until high school that I started playing with other musicians. A good friend was having a hard time finding a bass player so I volunteered. I met David and Thomas for the first time at our first practice and we played for about two years as Horus.

Have you had other previous members? Speaker Eater always was and will be the three of us.

Did you make music even when you were young? By some peoples definitions we are still relatively young. However in earlier years I would tinker around with pro tools recording instrumentals by myself.

Where are you from? We are from a town in central Wisconsin called Wausau.

What year did the band form? We formed Speaker Eater in summer of 2010.

What's your style of genre? This is always a hard question as we incorporate a wide variety of influence. It is somewhere in the mix of hardcore, sludge, doom, etc. Call it what you like we just hope you enjoy.

What inspires you? Being on stage and getting to play my own music in front of a crowd is what inspires me. It can be for 5 people or 50, that release of energy has always been therapeutic for me.

How often and where do you reherse? We used to practice about once a month. I was living about three hours from the other guys which made it difficult. Since August we are no longer an active band and we can no longer practice as David has moved to Colorado.

How have you developed since you started with the music? I think the biggest development has been playing and writing what we want to play. When we first started we had a list of other bands we wanted to sound like but naturally over time we created a sound that is unique to us three getting to be creative together.

Do you have other interests of work outside the band? Of course! Both myself and David blow glass. I am currently in my final year studying environmental conservation and hope to go on to do restoration work. I also really enjoy kayaking when I can find the time.

Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? Obviously not anymore but this never was an option. We are a DIY band and I always valued forming connections with promoters and other bands and that was always sufficient for setting up shows here in the Midwest.

Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? No we are not looking for a label. We put our last record out with the help of some friends at Minnesconsin records but that is more a collective then a label. It got our music in the ears of more people but it was still very much a self released record.

What made you decide to make this music? We created sounds because of our enjoyment of heavy music but mainly it comes down to that release of energy that drew me to play this kind of music.

What are your songs about? Our songs are about a wide variety of topics. Mostly conceptual ideas but I encourage you to read the lyrics and decide for yourself.

Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? Whoever does the vocal part usually writes those lyrics.

Do you start with the music or the lyrics? Usually the music comes first.

Do you compose in a certain environment? No, we have had several practice spaces over the years. It isn’t so much about the space as it is about the people.

Have you done any covers live? No, we only play original compositions.

What language do you sing in? We sing in English.

What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? The least usually is playing for the other bands. We have played some shows to 50+ people as well.

What ages are most of your concert attendants? It varies. The last couple years all ages shows have been harder to come by so most attendants are at least 21.

Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? They vary depending on the set we agree upon. A few songs are always rotated for our opener and closer however.

Do you have a regular place you play live often? Yeah, there are two places we regularly played in Wausau. One was a bar called the Polack Inn and the other was a DIY basement venue called The Stank. That place was like a second home to us growing up playing music.

What was your first gig like? I can’t say a really remember anymore, ha. It wasn’t a disaster I at least know that.

What was your latest gig? On August 1st we played our farewell show at the Polack Inn in Wausau, WI. It’s been a long time since I have seen the place so packed.

Have you had to cancel a gig? No, we never had to cancel a gig.

Where have you played live this year? We played a lot in Wausau and Madison, WI this year. We got out of state a bit playing in Iowa as well.

Where do you plan to gig the comming year? Unfortunately we won’t be playing anymore.

When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? We started creating our own merchandise right away. Currently we still have records, CDs, and t-shirts for sale at highly discounted prices I might add!

Where can people buy your merchandise? https://speakereater.bandcamp.com/merch

What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? It’s no big deal. That is how I grew up accessing music. I just hope they get out to a show and support the group in some way. We all know making art isn’t cheap.

How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? I think it makes being a band more accessible however it makes making it your job even more completive.

What do you think of my work? I think it is great you are reaching out to so many different bands from all over the place. Being exposed to a diverse range of music is what might inspire the next generation of artists.

How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? Anytime someone new hears our music it is a humbling experience.

Do you have any role models or idols? I have always looked up to anyone that has a drive and determination to play music for a living

Why do you think that they exist? I think they exist to inspire others.

Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? Personally I think active bands are easier to inspire because they are living with the same obstacles that we are and find a way to make it work.

What have been your biggest obstacles?

Distance became our biggest obstacle.

What advice would you give other bands or artists? Play what you love and be honest to your fans, they appreciate that.

How do you get psyched for a gig? I get pretty nervous before shows, a good brew can help to calm me down.

Do you have any new material? No the LP we released last April was the last material we wrote together.

What are your web sites?

https://www.speakereater.com

https://www.facebook.com/SpeakerEater

How can people reach you? Visit our website or message us on face book. Otherwise feel free to email me at mcihaski@gmail.com

What are your plans for the future? My future plans are to finish my last year of college and hopefully move out of the Midwest.

Do you have something to add?

I really appreciate you reaching out to us. Even though we are no longer an active band making music was a huge part of my life and I always get excited that someone out there is listening to what we created. I sincerely thank you for giving us another opportunity to be heard by new people.

All our music can be downloaded for free at https://speakereater.bandcamp.com/music

I attached a photo but feel free to use any that you find elsewhere. Thanks so much once again.

Matthew

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