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Buffet of rock and roll from ballads to in your face alternative they can’t be tied down to any specific genre. Minneapolis natives, Vaudeville, has released four albums and have been performing around the Midwest for the last three years. With an array of influences from Rage Against the Machine to the Gorillaz you’ll hear originals as well as some covers at their shows. Gummesons loves to cover Led Zeplin so expect a sprinkle of hard rock.
You can catch them in their Clifford Mobile, also known as The Red Rocket, with gatorade and powdered donuts this summer. They have performances booked every weekend but still make time for some “frolfing” (frisbee golfing).
BEWARE: Guitarist Schara might be in the process of getting maimed while frolfing, so if you see them and are first aid qualified you could be of some help in the near future.
Catch them next in Cadott, WI for Rockfest this summer.
Where do you hail from?
What brought you all together to be Vaudeville?
It started out with Christopher Gummeson (vocals/keys) when he was 17 years old, covering Billy Joel, Elton John, and Coldplay with just a piano and a microphone. Throughout the years, he met a lot of great musicians who just weren’t on the same page musically, or simply wanted to keep performing as a hobby; not wanting to get seriously involved with the music industry.
A number of years later, Gummeson found the guys who were ready to take it to the next level and make sacrifices to pursue our dreams and really push ourselves to the limit musically and mentally.
How did you come up with your band name?
Gummeson learned the term in 9th grade from a friend who was in the theater. “Vaudeville” is an old fashioned variety traveling show that would go around the country and perform during the the early 1900s. They had singers, actors, dancers, comedians and kept their shows interesting and exciting for audiences. We try to push ourselves to be that way. Variety is very important to us as we don’t want our listeners to pop in our CD and hear the same song 12 times..
How would you describe the music you play?
It’s safe to say that we are primarily an alternative stadium rock kind of band but there are so many influences from different genres in the group. It’s really hard to tie ourselves down to one. We play soft ballad rock, harder bigger sounding rock and even have elements of electronic sounds and other unique instruments in our songs. We never force ourselves to go a specific direction when song writing what comes out and feels right is what we are going to give.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Led Zeppelin, Muse, U2, Rage Against the Machine, Brand New, New Radicals, Gorillaz, Radiohead, NIN and many more
What covers do you like to play?
Gummeson’s personal favorite to cover is Led Zeppelin of how challenging it is on his voice. Once he sings a Zeppelin song, his voice is completely warmed up for the rest of the night and everything else becomes easier to sing. We also cover Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz, MUSE, The Stones, Elton John, White Stripes, AC/DC, U2 and many more.
Have you been able to record? Where?
We have recorded 4 albums. The first album was recorded in Nashville, TN. Long story short, we had to re-record a lot of it here in Minneapolis. The last three albums have all been recorded here in the Cities at 3 different studios. We did Vendetta at a studio called the Big Red Barn with our producer Wally. The last two parts of Masquerade have been tracked in Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center at two different Studios.
Have you been on tour – where?
We have toured throughout the Midwest every summer for the last 3 years. 23 week runs and some additional weekend runs. We usually write during the winter and don’t get out much.
Where do you normally perform?
We have been all over the place. Anywhere from home right here in the Cities to Cadott, WI for Rock Fest to Nashville, TN. Our favorite place to play if definitely First Ave mainroom! They are by far the most professional and fun Club we have had the pleasure of working with!
How do you plan to expand on the future of your band?
This year we are doing things a bit different and instead of touring all of the place on week nights we are booked out every weekend this summer and staying within the Midwest.
Do you have any goals other than to perform music? (political, social service, animal rights, etc.)
We all have things that we enjoy doing on the side. Timmy is an amazing engineer and plans on building his own studio. Chris Schara loves to play video games and spend as much time with his friends as possible. Gummeson loves playing sports (softball, disc golf and foosball). John (drummer) loves conspiracies and movies. He can also lucid dream
Does anyone have any pre-show rituals or superstitions that affect their performances?
Not really. For bigger shows, Schara likes to request time off and find his “Zen” but he probably just likes to play video games all day the day before a big gig. We also enjoy taking a shot of Fireball and a Jäg-bomb before we hit the stage.
What is your spirit animal?
Clifford the BIG RED VAN. (aka The Red Rocket) It’s what we travel in.
What does your favorite color smell like?
Give us five fun facts about Vaudeville.
Because of Chris Schara, a “no disc golfing on the road” rule has been in the talks of going into effect. We cannot think of ONE SINGLE occasion where he hasn’t managed to hurt himself out on the course. Unfortunately for Schara, Tim and I love disc golf too much to actually put this rule into effect. Although, it does lead us to the question: “What will hurt Schara at the next course?”
Timmy Kosel cannot be beaten on our N64 in the van rides. (It’s because he’s old) Luckily, we’re putting an Xbox 360 in this summer.
John “JIMBO JONES” Olson, aside from his nickname, has an alter ego that goes with it. Just ask him, before you converse, if you’re speaking with John or Jimbo.
Chris Gummeson is the worst to travel in a van with. Not only does he have the bladder of a 3 year old, but he’s a bench hog, loud when drunk, and consumes lots of powdered donuts and Gatorade.
Scott Berman is very new to us so we haven’t learned much of his traveling quirks yet, but we’ll have some good stories to tell about him sooner than later