My First Band Podcast



Each Friday, My First Band features a long-form interview with a different notable musician about all of the projects that preceded what you know them for. We discuss their musical origins, and we trace a few of their embarrassing high school bands and other associated bands that happened before they broke out. This show digs deeper than any Wikipedia page or band bio would ever dare to go. And, sometimes, the guests will even share some of their old songs. You can expect to hear a lot of interesting, informative and hopefully entertaining anecdotes about all of the bands along the way.My First Band is sponsored by Boulevard Brewing. It is hosted by Tyler Maas, of Milwaukee Record, and edited by Jared Blohm.


  • 63 – Nick Wiger (Doughboys, How Did This Get Played?)

    15/05/2020 Duration: 01h09min

    Listeners all around the world know Nick Wiger from his work as the co-host of Doughboys — a popular podcast about chain restaurants — and a video game podcast called How Did This Get Played?, along with his off-mic career as a television writer. Long before "The Burger Boy" was making a living with his fast-food musings, the SoCal surfer dude was immersed in music. As members of the Burger Brigade have probably heard, Nick "Double Reed" Wiger spent much of his youth playing in school bands and orchestras. Recently, My First Band host Tyler Maas reached out to Wiger to talk about his surprisingly extensive musical history. After discussing a Bucks-Lakers NBA Finals that probably won't happen this year, Wiger opened up about playing the clarinet as a child, his motivation for moving to saxophone and bassoon as a teen, experiences at summer band camp, and his short tenure in some Orange County ska punk bands during high school. Before episode's end, Wiger also talked about writing comedic compositions like "The

  • 62 – Aaron Mader (Lazerbeak, Doomtree, The Plastic Constellations)

    08/05/2020 Duration: 01h26min

    Aaron Mader has made quite a name for himself in the music industry. That name just happens to be "Lazerbeak." Using the moniker, the co-founder and CEO of Doomtree has released an abundance of his own music, produced songs with the likes of Lizzo, P.O.S, Mac Lethal and Dessa and delved into the world of artist management. Long before Mader was a Midwest music mainstay and one of the driving forces of an accomplished creative collective, he was an inexperienced teen in the Minneapolis suburbs who was struggling to get shows for his first band. That band — The Plastic Constellations — wound up lasting 13 years, being signed to French Kiss Records, touring and selling out spacious venues in Minneapolis before he could even legally drink. Along the way, Mader dabbled in beat-making and his Lazerbeak alias was born. The rest is history. Recently, Mader spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas and told him about his impressive indie rock past, the origin and unexpected explosion of Doomtree, and how he stays both ac

  • 61 – Mike Park (Asian Man Records, Skankin' Pickle, The Bruce Lee Band)

    01/05/2020 Duration: 01h20min

    Mike Park is nothing short of a ska punk legend. Beyond being an activist and a touring musician with more than 30 years of onstage experience, Park is best-known for his work with Asian Man Records. The label's founder/owner/pretty much everything else started Asian Man in his parents' house in 1996. In the 24 years since that humble beginning, Park's venture has managed more than 300 releases, helped introduce the world to bands like Less Than Jake and Alkaline Trio, and outlasted many of its — oftentimes much larger — record label counterparts as the music industry experienced immense change around him ... all while staying true to Park's D.I.Y. ethics and without moving to a larger office. Recently, with most of the country under quarantine, My First Band host Tyler Maas took a shot in the dark and asked Park if he wanted to be a guest on the podcast. He said yes! After Maas fanned out for a few minutes, the seasoned ska punk and longtime label owner opened up about his high school hardcore band, his time

  • 60 – Walt Hamburger (The Hamburgers, Honor Amongst Thieves, Caution to the Wind)

    24/04/2020 Duration: 01h46min

    Before he was traversing the continent, touring Europe and sharing the stage with some legendary punk-rock powerhouses, the singer-songwriter listeners now know as Walt Hamburger was just a guy named Walt Lontkowski who fronted little-known bands in Northeast Wisconsin and had no expectations of making a living as a full-time musician. Thanks to untold hours of experience in those projects, a great work ethic, an ever-improving catalog and a few chance meetings that turned into life-changing opportunities, Walt Hamburger has already accomplished more in the realm of music than he'd ever imagined possible. The solo artist with the appetizing moniker and infectious material was on the cusp of even bigger things this year, with a Canadian tour and a run of overseas shows booked ... at least until COVID-19 made its way stateside and threw his plans for a loop. Now in quarantine in his hometown of Appleton, Hamburger recently took some time out of his suddenly quite-empty schedule to video conference with My First

  • 59 – Matt Wild (Milwaukee Record, A.V. Club, Holy Mary Motor Club)

    17/04/2020 Duration: 01h05min

    If you've been keeping up on Milwaukee entertainment and culture coverage at any point in the last 15 years or so, you're likely very familiar with the work of Matt Wild. Before co-founding Milwaukee Record with My First Band host Tyler Maas in early 2014, Wild served as the City Editor of Milwaukee's branch of The A.V. Club and got the occasional byline in national publications as well. Prior to earning a reputation as one of the Milwaukee's most talented and unique journalistic voices, Wild was a musician and film student with little-to-no writing aspirations. During Milwaukee Record's recent "14-Hour Socially Distant Telethon," Maas and Wild worked in enough time for a My First Band recording. During the lengthy and open discussion, the co-owners and editors talked about the unlikely start of the business, the ups and downs of Milwaukee Record's first six years and how they're trying to get through the economic uncertainty and difficulty of the COVID-19 crisis. Eventually, Wild got into his 15-year run wit

  • 58 – Todd Bell (Braid, Hey Mercedes)

    10/04/2020 Duration: 01h11min

    Compared to many other musicians, Todd Bell got kind of a late start. He more than made up for it, however, when the second band he ever played in would end up becoming one of the most influential emo bands of all time. After first picking up a bass in his early 20s and playing a few house shows in a band he formed with a skating buddy, Bell wound up in the rhythm section of a little project known as Braid. The rest was history. Despite being under quarantine, Bell has been keeping extremely busy with parenting duties and his day job as a special education teacher. Still, he found enough time recently to get on a video chat with My First Band host Tyler Maas and — despite battling a few technological issues — told him about finding a group of like-minded friends as a teenager in the Illinois college town of Champaign, his decision to take up bass guitar, the unlikely start (and most memorable experiences) of Braid, his time in Hey Mercedes, Braid's second stint, and what prompted his move to Milwaukee more th

  • 57 – Tyler Maas (Infinity & One, Milwaukee Record)

    03/04/2020 Duration: 01h28min

    Well, this wasn't supposed to happen, but strange and uncertain times call for desperate measures. With Milwaukee (and much of the world) under quarantine and social isolation for the foreseeable future, we're simply no longer able to record My First Band episodes in person at this point. Rather than shelve the show for a few months, we decided to give this whole "remote recording" thing a go. Concerned about potentially wasting a guest's time with a subpar recording, My First Band co-producer and audio engineer Jared Blohm had the idea to test the unfamiliar process by interviewing the podcast's usual host, Tyler Maas, about his first/only band. With the aid of video chat and a few beers, the pair talked about their first few weeks in isolation before Blohm asked Maas about the rise and fall of his Menasha, Wisconsin-based pop-punk band called Infinity & One. Along the way, Maas spoke about the importance that his stint playing music had in forming long-term friendships, boosting his confidence and pavin

  • 56 – Caleb Westphal (Devils Teeth, Offend Your Friends, Fish Fries)

    27/03/2020 Duration: 01h27min

    Caleb Westphal is best-known for his amazing fish fry streak, which currently stands at 325 consecutive Fridays (and counting!). This impressive, hyper-specific and unarguably Midwestern feat has earned the Milwaukee writer attention from national publications, a cameo on a fish fry-focused documentary and — as chance would have it — a spot in a band. After mentioning his desire to play in a band in some of his weekly fish fry reviews on Milwaukee Record, a surf rock outfit called Devils Teeth gave Westphal a chance. A couple years later, the saxophone player is a valued part of the accomplished outfit, and his fish fry streak is still going strong. Last week, Westphal welcomed My First Band host Tyler Maas into his basement where (from a safe distance), they ate fish fry together before talking about the origin of his weekly ritual, his favorite haunts he's discovered over the course of his six-year odyssey, how he landed in Devils Teeth and his extensive musical past. Over the course of the hour-long discus

  • 55 – Dylan Mattheisen (Tiny Moving Parts)

    20/03/2020 Duration: 37min

    As the energetic singer and spellbinding guitarist of Tiny Moving Parts, Dylan Mattheisen — along with his cousins/bandmates William and Matthew Chevalier — has toured the world over, built an impressive fan base that's grown with each of the band's seven full-lengths, and helped put his hometown of Benson, Minnesota, on the map. Before Mattheisen and company were bringing the small western Minnesota town to outward consciousness among fans of math-y Midwest emo, he and his future rhythm section were working at their family-owned grocery store, learning covers of Blink-182 and Sum 41 songs and holding no expectations of where they'd wind up. Last week, before the band was to start a nationwide tour in belated support of last year's "breathe," My First Band host Tyler Maas joined Mattheisen in the band's van outside X-Ray Arcade, where the frontman talked about growing up in Benson, his early artistic attempts in ill-fated projects with numerals in their names, when things really started to click for Tiny Movi

  • 54 – Marc Solheim (The Globe, Turner Hall)

    13/03/2020 Duration: 01h13min

    Marc Solheim is a low-key Milwaukee music legend. Though he rarely takes the stage himself these days (except when he fronts his Morrissey and The Smiths cover band, Salford Lads Club), Solheim has been a noted figure in Wisconsin music for close to 30 years. The Pabst Theater Group booker has been instrumental in bringing some notable — and once-unthinkable — acts to Milwaukee and, along the way, he's also helped Turner Hall Ballroom delve into wrestling events. Well before he was making shows happen at a cluster of downtown venues, Solheim was living in Walworth County and fronting a high school band. After moving an hour north after graduation, he saw potential in many Milwaukee bands and found his way into management. From there, he also booked shows at The Globe, The Unicorn and Mad Planet, where he brought bands like No Doubt, Alkaline Trio and Arcade Fire to the city for the first time. He has a treasure trove of great stories, and he was gracious enough to talk about his lengthy and incredibly interes

  • 53 – Sabrina Ellis (Heart Bones, A Giant Dog, Sweet Spirit)

    06/03/2020 Duration: 01h08min

    Most musicians wait a lifetime for the chance to be part of one outstanding project. Sabrina Ellis is currently in three of them. The front person of A Giant Dog and Sweet Spirit recently added another project to their already-impressive arsenal. Along with Har Mar Superstar mastermind (and Episode 19 guest) Sean Tillmann, Ellis embarked on a new artistic endeavor called Heart Bones. After a successful tour in which they performed the music of Dirty Dancing, the dynamic duo set out to write and record an album of their own. Last month, Heart Bones released its debut album, Hot Dish, and set out on a lengthy U.S. tour. Before kicking off that run of shows with a performance at The Cooperage last weekend, My First Band host Tyler Maas joined Ellis for a pre-show discussion about the new record, their other projects and everything that came before. Over the course of an hour-long Airbnb interview, Ellis talked about fronting a high school cover band in the suburbs of Houston, finding a place in adolescence at pu

  • 52 – Sid McCain (WMSE)

    28/02/2020 Duration: 02h10s

    Sid McCain has spent most of her life immersed in music. Since falling in love with hardcore music while attending boarding school in North Carolina, McCain — who currently works at 91.7 WMSE — has had an undying passion for learning about bands and helping musicians she loves find new listeners. Naturally, she decided to embark on a career in the music industry after college, and she's never looked back. Earlier this week, McCain came to the My First Band headquarters to talk about her long and incredibly interesting music industry background, including an internship at MTV, memorable experiences with the likes of Angus Young and Iggy Pop, helping to coordinate a concert at the World Trade Center, and helping her father (John McCain) hang out with her then-client (The White Stripes) in the green room at Saturday Night Live when the senator was hosting during his Presidential campaign and The White Stripes were the musical guest. Along the way, McCain talked about the importance of local media and Maas impres

  • 51 – Norb Rozek (Boris the Sprinkler, The Onions, Suburban Mutilation)

    21/02/2020 Duration: 58min

    Norb Rozek is known better to the world as Reverend Norb, the front man of Boris The Sprinkler. Before he was the incomparable voice of the legendary Green Bay punk band, Rozek was cutting his teeth in other — far less-renowned — Titletown projects like Static Cling and Suburban Mutilation after being led to a life in rock and roll by The Everly Brothers of all things. With close to 40 years of onstage experience, Rev. Norb has no shortage of great stories at the ready. Recently, Norb invited My First Band host Tyler Maas into his home in Green Bay to talk about the city's music scene, being part of a high school riot that allegedly inspired a 7 Seconds song, being tricked into joining Boris The Sprinkler in the early '90s, being bumped from a Green Day and Pansy Division show in Neenah in the early '90s, his stint with The Onions, and so, SO much more. Along the way, the pair also talked about Heritage Hill, Concert Cafe and non-existent barn shows in Wrightstown. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room M

  • 50 – Cory Chisel (The Wandering Sons, Breathing Machine, Mile of Music)

    14/02/2020 Duration: 01h05min

    If you're a fan of outstanding Americana or you have any awareness of music in northeast Wisconsin, you probably know Cory Chisel. Not only does the accomplished singer-songwriter and namesake of Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons have an impressive and extensive body to his credit, he's also the co-founder of the successful Mile of Music festival in Appleton and an instrumental figure at Refuge Foundation for the Arts. Long before he landed a major label deal, collaborated with the likes of Norah Jones and Emmylou Harris, performed on virtually every late night talk show, and helped carry the Fox Cities music scene to higher ground, Chisel was annoying parents as part of a punk band called Panic. The Wisconsin music mainstay recently invited My First Band host Tyler Maas to the gorgeous and secluded Refuge to talk about the space, the refreshing artistic perspective he's gained through his experience in the music industry and where his musical journey started. Over the course of the discussion, Chisel also t

  • 49 – Chris Schulist (The Mistreaters, Dope Folks Records, C-Section)

    07/02/2020 Duration: 01h33min

    These days, you're most likely to see Chris Schulist at The Vanguard, the beloved Milwaukee bar and sausage establishment he co-owns. A few years before taking the bold leap into restaurant ownership, Schulist started a classic hip-hop label called Dope Folks Records — which he still operates with friend and co-founder John Kuester — and fronted one of the city's most accomplished bands of the early 2000s. Prior to touring and playing unforgettable shows with The Mistreaters, giving endangered rap recordings a second life on vinyl, and opening an instant and undeniable Midwest culinary landmark, Schulist was performing jokey hip-hop under the name "C-Section." Recently, My First Band host Tyler Maas invited Schulist to Milwaukee Record headquarters to talk about some highlights from The Vanguard's first five-plus years in business, how Dope Folks got its start a decade ago, what it was like to play a Mistreaters album release show with The White Stripes and C-Section's unexpected popularity in Madison. Along

  • 48 – Zach Stephenson (Hockey Dad, Abstract Classic)

    31/01/2020 Duration: 35min

    Zach Stephenson has come a long way since he was playing AC/DC covers in Wollongong, New South Wales. Though he still lives in the Australian coastal town, the singer and guitarist has been able to perform all over the world as a member of Hockey Dad. Since his garage rock band's formation in 2013, Stephenson and his longtime bandmate and friend Billy Fleming have released two albums (both of which have climbed the Australian charts), put out a well-received EP, achieved notoriety in their home country and have also found an audience in other continents. Back in December, while headlining a brief North American tour, Hockey Dad stopped in Milwaukee to perform at The Back Room @ Colectivo. There, Stephenson took some time before the show to meet My First Band host Tyler Maas in the green room for a quick run-through of Hockey Dad's current happenings, the band's formation and his other early musical efforts. Along the way, they talked about Stephenson's stint in Abstract Classic, Hockey Dad's Simpsons-related

  • 47 – Eric Benét

    24/01/2020 Duration: 01h07min

    Eric Benét has done it all. Over the course of his 25-year solo career, the R&B superstar has earned four Grammy nominations, released a pair of chart-topping singles, sold millions of records and performed to adoring fans all over the planet. Along the way, the accomplished musician has also worked his way into the realm of acting by landing roles in mainstream films, sitcoms and television movies. What Benét has done over the course of his career is even more impressive when you factor in where it all started and just how close it all came to coming to an end before it really even began. While back in his native Milwaukee for a homecoming performance at Northern Lights Theater, the multi-talented entertainer took a little time in the hours leading up to the show to meet My First Band host Tyler Maas at Milwaukee Record headquarters to talk about standout moments from his incomparable career, upcoming music and film projects, and his artistic origin at his church and as part of a Top 40s tribute band. Du

  • 46 – Shane Parsons (DZ Deathrays, Modern Liars)

    17/01/2020 Duration: 40min

    Since forming in 2008, DZ Deathrays — originally known as "Denzel" and, later, "DZ" — have accomplished quite a lot. The Brisbane-based band has climbed the charts in their native Australia with each new release in their extensive and impressive catalog. In the process, they've won a mess of awards, cemented their status as one of their country's premier rock outfits, toured avidly and won fans all around the world. It's safe to say DZ Deathrays singer and guitarist Shane Parsons has come a long way since he was a 13-year-old trying to learn Nirvana songs on an acoustic guitar. Last month, while touring Canada with their Australian counterparts in Hockey Dad, Parsons and his fellow Deathrays crossed the border into the States while en route to eastern Ontario for a show at The Back Room @ Colectivo in Milwaukee. In the minutes leading up to the show's start, Parsons met My First Band host Tyler Maas in the venue's green room for a conversation about everything his band has done, what they have coming up this

  • 45 – Abby Jeanne

    10/01/2020 Duration: 01h16min

    Artists like Abby Jeanne don't come along every day. Not only does the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist have one of the single best voices in Wisconsin, she's also one of the hardest working musicians around. Over the last three years, Abby has released two full-length albums in addition to an abundance of 7-inches and singles (on a record label she started). She played some high-profile shows and spent extended stays writing and working with some of her heroes in Los Angeles and (now) New York. She's booked ambitious and well-received pop-up events and residencies. Though she's accomplished a lot in a relatively short span of time, she has her sights set on way bigger things. As interesting as the last three years have been for her, Abby Jeanne has actually been on a wild creative adventure since she was a teenager. Before her upcoming show at Turner Hall on Jan. 11, the tireless Jeanne met My First Band host Tyler Maas at the Milwaukee Record headquarters to talk about her recent output, upcomin

  • 44 – Year-End Recap (Tyler Maas and Jared Blohm)

    03/01/2020 Duration: 01h06min

    The first guest of 2020 is, well, nobody. Instead of starting the year with a traditional episode, we decided to take a look back at the output we managed in 2019. My First Band's first abbreviated year in existence found us releasing 43 episodes (and a couple bonus installments) and featuring in-depth interviews with a wealth of musicians — and a few comics and media personalities with musical pasts — from the Midwest and various other parts of the country. Since launching the podcast in early March, we released an episode each and every Friday and have been heard by thousands upon thousands of listeners in more than 30 countries. We're proud of what we've accomplished so far and we're excited about what's to come, so we figured it would be a good time to look back at My First Band's 2019. Host Tyler Maas recently met up with My First Band co-producer and "audio engineer" Jared Blohm to talk about the year that was, hopes they have for the future of the show and how the podcast came to be in the first place.

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