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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Battle of the Bands returns

Photo by Photo via Marquette Radio
Battle of the Bands comes to the Annex Courts Thursday.

With Marquette Radio’s Battle of the Bands quickly approaching, eight bands from around Milwaukee are preparing to compete. On the table for the champion is a 414 Live session on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, an opening slot for “An Evening With Abby Jeanne” April 5 at The Tonic Tavern and an opening slot at the Marquette Radio Spring Concert.

With hopes high and excitement buzzing, here are the bands that will be vying for the grand prize Thursday, Feb. 22 from 7-11 p.m. at the Union Sports Annex.

YaYa Bigs

The Marquette-based rock group YaYa Bigs is hoping that the Battle of the Bands contest will bring it more recognition within the campus community. Students Adam Labban, Jon Chacon and Michael Stearns met through their love of music here at Marquette and listed Eurythmics, Jermaine Jackson and Devo as some of their prominent inspirations. While the band mostly specializes in covers, it plans to unveil two new original songs at Thursday night’s event.

“We just hope to inspire at least one person to feel really passionate about something for a brief moment,” Chacon said.

The New Grey

The New Grey is a Wisconsin based R&B/indie-mix band looking to make a name for itself in the music scene. Band members include Jake Rieboldt, Luis Santana, Mike Hartl and Johnny Franchino, all of who share a passion for the band’s playing of solely original songs. Their unity and songwriting skills steered them to the studio before live shows were even a priority.

“Our story is a little unorthodox in that instead of playing shows right away, after three practices we decided to book studio time at Howl Street Studio,” Santana said.

The New Grey will be playing its third public show Thursday and said it hopes to gain some fans along the way.


Coming together at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Dogbad’s members said they are inspired by indie rock, jazz, funk, neo-soul and anything weird. Members Carter Voras, Isaac Repinski, Ethan Suhr and AJ Peal said they hope to meet other musicians in the area and share their own music with them.

“We would love to just make some noise, make the crowd feel happy, depressed, beautiful, ugly, shattered, uplifted and overall jive the night away,” Repinski said. “As an up-and-coming band, we’d like to make our own name while developing new friendships along the way.”

While Dogbad has played at a few open mics in Milwaukee, this will be its biggest gig to date, and it plans to play two original songs for the crowd.

“We want to open our hearts and creativity to as many people as possible and share our passions,” Repinski said. “Maybe inspiring those in the audience to make their own dreams come true.” 

Chaz and the Eutectics

Chaz and the Eutectics members Chandler Zastrow, Anthony Gnas and Wyatt Warell are ready to make a splash at Thursday’s Battle of the Bands.

“The band has shuffled members and names, but after six to seven years, we’re back where we started sans a pianist and singer,” Warell said.

Coming together about a month ago after a period of separation, the members are back on their feet just in time for the contest. The alternative-rock style band is inspired by the likes of Pearl Jam and Dave Matthews and plans to play a few original songs throughout the show.

Modern Joey

As a traditional rock group with the majority of its influence coming from both the rock and soul music of the ’70s and the jam rock scene today, Modern Joey plans to play two original songs at Thursday’s event and said it is looking forward to performing alongside others in a friendly competition.

Band members Logan Furuta, Jackson Payne, Carl Erikstrup and RJ Ziebarth said they are excited to network with other bands for future shows and spread their name around the Wisconsin area. They also said they hope to play at Summerfest in the future and think a strong showing at the Battle of the Bands concert could have a positive influence on its prospective plans. 


Timothy Kempen, Nathan Waters, Daniel Sendelbach and Alexander Sendelbach are hoping their group SCARLET will burst onto the Milwaukee music scene in Thursday’s contest. With both Alex and Daniel going to school in the Milwaukee area, the band has been looking for an opportunity to bring a performance closer to its college peers than the Fox Cities, where the band usually plays.

The alternative hard rock band is looking forward to playing two of its original songs at the show and hopes that this contest will both establish its presence in the Milwaukee area and lead to regular performances.  

The Red Flags

Unlike other bands getting involved in the contest, the Wisconsin-based band The Red Flags has already established itself in the Milwaukee and Madison music scenes. Gabe Wilson, Jonah Wilson and Ally Borchardt said they are hoping their unique style lends itself well to the concertgoers.

“(Our style is) like Rage Against The Machine and The Dead Weather made sweet, sweet love,” Jonah said.

The Wilson brothers met Borchardt within the Milwaukee music scene, and Jonah Wilson recounted their immediate desire to join forces.

“We met Ally at a gig in Milwaukee. She was playing in a group called Deadly Friend, and we were opening up for them,” Wilson said. “Soon after that gig, we got wind that she quit Deadly Friend, and we asked her to join us.”

The Red Flags said they hope to use the Battle of the Bands to further connect, network and discover.

“We love who we meet in this industry, whether they’re musicians, managers, promoters, bookers, it doesn’t matter,” Jonah said. “You can tell everyone in this business is very passionate in what they do.”  

Simon Mustafa

Hip-hop artist Simon Mustafa will enter Thursday’s contest as the only solo artist in the lineup. Coming off his first official tour, one that was completely organized without the help of a label, Mustafa said he is inspired by the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, GLC and WebsterX.

“My main motivation for immersing myself in hip-hop and writing was a need for my voice to be heard,” Mustafa said. “Being the youngest of three children, I often felt I wasn’t being listened to, and hip-hop gave me an opportunity to share my thoughts, feelings and opinions in a different way that allowed me more freedom than I felt I had previously.”

The Milwaukee native said he hopes that this contest will bring him more recognition in the area as well as connections with other Milwaukee musicians.

“(I’m hoping to gain) more connections, live performance feedback and new fans,” Mustafa said. “As well as a win.”

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    Jflah5Feb 20, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Davy G is my hero