Experimental rock duo does things a little differently

The Houses (Where We Grew Up) has a show at the Kami Inn on Feb. 1 — and other plans

A Kamloops duo with an upcoming show in the city has set out some goals for the coming year.

Sean Schneider, right in photo, and Rob Wikstrom, left, make up The Houses (Where We Grew Up), a local band that came together in 2016 that has released a single and is now making a push with more music.

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They’re also seeking the spotlight with an entry into this year’s CBC Searchlight contest.

Local music fans might know Schneider from other bands he plays with or has been in around Kamloops, including: The Fine Print, River City Magic, The Dungbeatles, I’ve Taken a Lover, Ida Lane, Bobby Cleveland, Jackson Marshall and The Jims and The Decoys.

Schneider’s local efforts have been prolific, but he’s never quite been half the band before.

Schneider and Wikstrom played together in I’ve Taken a Lover, but when other obligations pulled the band apart, Wikstrom wanted to start something new and the new band was formed.

The two pride themselves on doing things differently. Although their single does play on the radio, it’s an edited version — the original song comes in at just over nine minutes.

“We kind of get a kick out of doing things in a way people wouldn’t do them. Who’s going to release their first song and have it be nine minutes? It’s kind of silly,” Schneider said.

The two share a close friendship and spend time with each other — supporting other bands, watching horror flicks — even when they’re not making music.

Schneider plays drums, synthesizer and does the drum machines, while Wikstrom sings and plays guitar.

On the creative side, they seem to have things figured out.

“Our general rule is that if one of us has an idea and the other is 100 per cent against it, we scrap that idea,” Schneider said.

Schneider said in larger bands someone almost always ends up being outvoted, so their arrangement has been working well so far.

Another way the band has made itself stand out is on its social media, especially Facebook, which Wikstrom oversees.

Wikstrom’s posts are driven by a sometimes self-critical but still playful ironic wit — and given the number of followers the page has (150), a surprising number of people are engaged with each of Wikstrom’s posts.

Ahead of the release of the band’s single We Will Break / Up Someday, Wikstrom posted a cipher, and whoever solved it received a free copy of the single. The hand-written cipher ended up being the cover art for their single.

Although the single is officially the only music the band has out right now, there’s a lot more in the works.

“We’ve got so many songs. We’ve probably got upwards of 20 songs. Some are nine-minute epics like our single, others are a minute and a half,” Schneider said.

Schneider came across Echoplant Recording Studios when another notable Kamloops band, the now-defunct Van Damsel, recorded its self-titled LP. The band has been recording there and plans to release “a number of songs” this year, but has yet to mark a date.

“The specifics are mysterious, I guess,” Schneider said.

The band is also taking a run at CBC’s coveted Searchlight contest. The band has put up a new track, 8th Ave, and will soon call upon its fans to vote when the contest kicks off on Feb. 5.

Before then, find the duo on stage at the Kami Inn, 354 Victoria St., on Friday, Feb. 1. Playing in support will be Calgary’s Flowshine. Showtime is 8 p.m. and Schneider has promised some “surprises.”

© Kamloops This Week


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