In Eastern Iowa, every musician knows just about everyone else in the other bands.
“At almost every show in this area, you look out and you will see someone from some other band in the crowd,” says 40 Stories frontman Ryan Roling. “We check each other out, to see what they are doing right and what they could be doing better, and apply that to your own band. If they played a great show, then you go to your next rehearsal or gig with a newfound drive to step it up a little. This keeps raising the bar.”
One band dissolves; two bands are formed. Take, for example, Roling’s band, one of the newest in town. Members — Roling on guitar and vocals, Joe Salomon, also on guitar and vocals, Matt Batchelder on bass and vocals and Jamie Howard on drums and vocals — came from the bands Loaded, Thud, Done with Tuesday, Mr. Meaner and Slap N’ Tickle.
“I’ve known Joe from when he replaced me as the guitarist in Done with Tuesday. Joe and I would go to each other’s gigs, check out each other’s guitars and amps, and eventually we started talking about putting together a great rock band,” Roling says. “I had almost started a band with Jamie before, so we asked him if he wanted to give us a shot. He asked if it was cool if he brought a bass player he knew. That was how Matt came into the picture.”
And they clicked.
“The first time the four of us got in the room, you could tell that we were all on the same page. We were all comfortable and joking around with each other as if we had known each other for years. We have only been playing for a few months and we are getting really tight and locked in with one another.”
Expect to see them around Cedar Rapids — “Cedar River Landing and Otis’ Tailgators have always been great venues that I am looking forward to getting back to, and I am sure we will be working our way into some of the other venues and festivals in the area soon,” but not too many, he adds.
“We are not going to be one of those bands that plays every weekend, at every bar they can get into. We want to be sure to not overplay ourselves and we want to make sure every show is different. We will be playing maybe twice a month at a few select area bars that support live music, have great crowds, and lots of cold drinks,” Roling says.