Look out Warriors, there’s a new power-trio rising in Wisconsin and they’re set to take the world for a ride. Boasting unadulterated, raw power, catchy lyrical style, and a great beat to dance to, The Living Statues are ready to kick some life into Marquette’s music scene.
The Living Statues bring an incredible blend of influences to create their own unique style. The pure crunch of the guitars and amps, a smooth bass line filling the bottom, and energetic drums keep the beat driving, but this isn’t just your daddy’s garage band. They bring a dance-rock rhythm that draws everyone together in front of the stage. The lyrics are very modern: brilliantly poetic and catchy.
“When I describe our sound to venues I tell them, ‘Imagine the White Stripes spilled their drinks on The Strokes and then got into a scuffle with Kings of Leon,’” says Morales.
Go to one of their shows and you soon realize that there is a lot more to the Statues than playing a few songs and going home. The showmanship is phenomenal, and it starts with the contagious, go-big-or-go-home fire of frontman Tommy Shears.
“We’re about to play one of my favorite songs,” Tommy announced most reverently to the crowd at The Bad Genie, “But it’s kind of intimidating when the man who wrote it is staring right at you…and his face is five by five.” For a second you could’ve heard a single pin drop, “John Lennon wrote this song.”
With that the Statues ripped into a rendition of “Well Well Well” that would have brought the rock legend to tears.
Meanwhile, behind the drum-kit Morales brings the steady spark and pop of the Statues. Truly the steady and powerful heartbeat that drives the band’s speedy dance rhythm.
Shears is the fire and Morales the heart, it’s Alex Thornberg that provides the ebb and flow that glues the act together at the seams. His smooth bass lines and cool, calm attitude complement his band-mates perfectly.
“Thorn definitely brings the cool to the act,” Morales said, “We met Thornberg recently. He’s from Chicago, and he fit right in.”
While Chris and Tom, both Milwaukee natives, have been playing together since high school they started collaborating seriously in 2008. While they have been known to pay tribute to classic hits, their main focus is their own original work. Their single “Red Shoes” was the first song they wrote together, back in ’08. It’s just the first of their ever-expanding repertoire.
Tom is a technically trained musician, having taken classical guitar for several years. Morales, on the other hand, didn’t play an instrument until high school. “My family is a musical one, my father played percussion and danced. Beats just come natural to me,” says Morales. Love of making music is clearly something shared by all members of the band.
“Seeing people go crazy dancing to a song that you wrote is the greatest feeling imaginable,” Shears told the Warrior.
While many college campuses are thriving centers of artistic culture, certainly the proving grounds for many aspiring musicians, it is not surprising the disappointment many artists have found at Marquette. Marquette is just not for the arts. That’s not to say that the university is against it. Yes, various dance companies and choral groups book the various theaters on campus. The History department even boasts a class on the history of rock and roll, but there is very little over all participation from the students. It is frustrating for many of the students on campus, but the Statues are determined to breathe some life into the Marquette music scene.
“Sure, there are a lot of musicians here at Marquette, and a lot of “cover” musicians. That’s great, but no one else here is doing what we’re doing,” says Morales. “The Annex has really stepped it up, we’re excited to play there in a couple of weeks. It is also rumored that WMUR, the campus radio station, is working on hosting a showcase of Milwaukee area bands, which will hopefully serve as some inspiration. “We were contacted by WMUR, they’re really trying to build interest in Marquette’s music scene as well.”
There isn’t a doubt in anyone’s mind, the Statues are on a roll. The band released a four song EP last October and have been on the fast track since, headlining their most recent show at the popular rock venue The Bad Genie on the 29th of January. Playing for amixed crowd of college students, locals, and fellow bands. Their next show is February 9th at a popular Madison spot called Frequency. But don’t worry Marquette, they’ll be back in action at the Union Sports Annex February 17!
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