In April 2011, St. Thomas sophomores Alex Rollins, Jack Vondrachek and Alex Sullivan came together and formed the band Asker.
Since then, the band has released an EP and has made plans to travel to Nashville this summer to record with Dave Elkins from the band Mae.
Asker performs at Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis on Feb. 7. The band formed a year ago in April and put out its first song two months later. (Courtesy of Alex Rollins)
“He heard our music and likes it. He came up last week, took us out to dinner and just talked to us,” Vondrachek said. “He is going to fundraise to his fan base for us to come down there and record an EP with him at his studio for free. It’s really exciting.”
Vocalist and guitarist Rollins sent Elkins a demo last fall, but nothing came of it until now.
“We got a call from him like a month ago, and it sort of picked up from there. A couple weeks later, he was like, ‘I’m going to come up and have dinner with you guys.’ It moved quickly,” Rollins said.
Rollins’ former roommate, sophomore Nate Stanoch, has known the band since it formed, and said he is not surprised by the success.
“The amount of time that they have spent perfecting their craft and advertising their music is astounding,” Stanoch said. “In all honesty, I am surprised that it took this long for them to get noticed by a big-time music producer.”
Over the past year, the band has performed at a few music festivals, some college shows, the Anderson Student Center dance and Thursday Night Live at St. Thomas.
Stanoch said the band’s songs and passion are what makes the group unique.
“So many bands these days are trying to be something that they are not. It’s refreshing to hear a band that actually puts their heart and soul into the music rather than hiding their flaws with a synthesizer or electronic beat,” Stanoch said.
The band said its love for music is what drives them.
“I was in my first band when I was 14, and I have just been playing in different bands since then. I just love it. I love playing in shows and writing music and recording,” Vondrachek said.
Rollins, who is the main songwriter for the band, uses the music to express himself.
“Some people don’t listen to music, but it affects everyone in some way. Writing music is cathartic. For me it’s a release. It’s a way to express things I can’t say out loud,” Rollins said.
Though the band has found success as of late, since the group was formed, Asker has been playing with several different bassists.
“We have gone through a lot of them. We’ve had like five,” Vondrachek said.
Brady Lundy is currently Asker’s bassist, and the band hopes its success continues well into the future.
Stanoch said he sees this happening.
“I think that they have potential to be a very influential band in the music industry. Move over Black Keys, Asker has arrived,” Stanoch said.
Olivia Detweiler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.