South Student Makes a Mark on Local Music Scene

Oscar Cozza, Visual Media Editor

“[It] was just a complete surprise. I feel like everything, like us getting on the radio, was a real fast coming thing,” said Sean Clements. Clements and his band, Want Slash Need, were awarded 30th in radio station 89.3 The Current’s top 89 local songs of 2014. Want Slash Need took its place among other local musicians including Atmosphere, Prince and Trampled by Turtles. Want Slash Need is composed entirely of high school freshmen.

Max Folina, a freshman at South, met Sean Clements through a school project at their middle school. Folina said “We were in the same history class and there was an assignment where you could chose to like either write a song or do a drawing or something.” Folina and Sean Clements wrote a parody of ‘Come Out and Play’ by the Offspring about the Napoleonic Wars. A year later, they had been joined by Henry Ricker and Cole Zielske, playing drums and bass, and the band was formed.

Want Slash Need was one among many bands who had a song nominated for best local song by The Current. They rose to prominence in the local music scene after playing several shows for young audiences.“We found out that there was this local show [that] would play all high school bands and some college bands,” said bassist Zielske. “So we thought that we better get our songs [recorded] really fast.”

The band’s musical influences are diverse, and include grunge, punk, alternative rock and even jazz. “I got really into the grunge scene, like Nirvana, but also [modern] alternative rock. One of my favorite bands is Queens of the Stone Age and I feel like we all draw inspiration from them,” said Zielske. Folina said “I think we all have different influences. … Honestly pretty much anything with Dave Grohl is our inspiration.”

“Henry (Ricker, the drummer) I think is the guy I think who kinds of keeps us going,” noted Clements. “He tries to bring the most diversity into the band. Sometimes we are just like ‘Henry, that is a horrible idea’, [and] he says stuff that I don’t think everyone agrees with, but at least he keeps the ideas flowing… as a drummer, he can kind of go with it. He brings in those jazzier tones and all these other styles of music that he listens to. [He] keeps the diversity in our music.”

“It (being played on the radio) felt like we actually accomplished something,” said Folina. The band members noted that being played on the radio was a significant accomplishment for a high school band, and that the way technology has permeated the underground music industry is partly responsible for them being able to be noticed.

Zielske said “I think we definitely showed that in the 21st century it’s really easy to get your name out there and expose yourself because we have the internet and all sorts of social media platforms we can launch ourselves from.”

Want Slash Need will be releasing their first EP in the near future, and they are considering utilizing online music sharing platforms to build on their momentum. Websites like Bandcamp and SoundCloud have been an important factor in the unsigned music industry, and have been used by other youth bands and musicians in Minneapolis and South High School to help make new music accessible to the general public where it otherwise wouldn’t be.

Want Slash Need is planning to perform in several gigs and many house shows over the summer. They are performing at the Driftwood Char Bar at June 6th, and plan to spread the word about their music through live shows and social media. “I would be fine just sitting back in my 90s looking back like ‘I got played on the radio. That was pretty rock’n’roll stuff’,” said Clements.