With the first listen of Cathedral off the group Asker’s United EP you wouldn’t guess that this group is comprised of four newly acquainted college students. The music feels familiar, the vocals seasoned. It has the catchy hooks and comfort of mainstream pop/rock music you’ll find floating through top 40 radio, the sparse tendrils of an indie band freshly planted.
We wanted to learn more about Asker, so we asked. Here’s what they had to say.
TCM: Who/What is Asker?
Asker: Asker is an indie-rock band made up of drummer Alex “Sully” Sullivan, guitarist Jack Vondrachek, vocalist/guitarist Alexander Rollins, and bassist Daniel Dosch. We formed in the spring of 2011 after meeting one another at college.
The name Asker just sort of happened. We were playing with some ideas for names and Asker just sort of came out. It has a lot of meanings, but the word Asker just sounds beautiful.
TCM: There’s an air of familiarity in your music, catchy guitar lines, soaring vocals. Where do you draw your influences?
Asker: Our influences come mostly from Brit-rock bands and alternative bands from across the pond, U2, Radiohead, Elbow, Travis, Blur, Ride, etc.., from the influx of indie rock from the 2000s like the National, Arcade Fire, .. And we are also huge fans of post-rock bands like Sigur Ros, Appleseed Cast, Explosions in the Sky, etc. We find ourselves going back to our rock and roll roots like Led Zeppelin and the Beatles (especially George Harrison’s solo stuff).
TCM: Any favorite local acts?
Asker: Definitely, we’ve played a few times with some young guys name Danger, Will Robinson and we really dig them. They’re doing a pretty-cool post-rock thing that can’t be summed up on a record, you have to hear it live. They’re especially cool since they’re only in high school and are doing something very different. Another one of our favorite bands is Dandylion WarPaint, we played with them at the Fine Line back in November and we haven’t been able to get their sounds out of our heads since.
TCM: Your profile says you’re made up of four college students. Where do you find the time for music outside your studies?
Asker: Having our plates full with school almost makes us work harder at making music. We have to find time to get together and record or rehearse. We can’t just do it whenever, so when we can get together we have to definitely focus and communicate well, which is helping us mature a lot as musicians and as people. This is teaching us how to balance each others schedules and focus more on the tasks at hand. With everything going on it actually helps us keep ourselves in order.
TCM: What does the ideal future hold for Asker?
Asker: Right now we’re focusing on working on our second record and raising funds to finish it via our Kickstarter project, while playing some shows and trying to grow this as much as possible. This is our passion, we’d love to do this forever. Our motto for out next record is “To make passionate music with intention”. As long as we can do that and be heard, we’ll be happy.
What’s good about our music scene here in Minneapolis?
The local scene is very accessible. Being a young act, we all can vividly remember playing to no one or one person in small venues. If you’re good, or even if you just love what you’re doing, you can do it in Minneapolis. We have a lot of great venues that support local music so it’s very easy to get a show and play, which is probably the most important thing when you’re a band.
There also seems to be a community of musicians here. There are Facebook groups for Minneapolis musicians left and right, and the communication and interest throughout the entirety of the scene provides a definite transparency and as a young musician, we can learn a lot because of the open lines of communication and discussion here.
TCM: Where can we catch Asker next?
Asker: The shows that we’ve confirmed right now are:
March 9th at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD
March 15th at Big V’s (opening for Vancouver-based In Medias Res)
April 12th at the University of St. Thomas
June 12th at Father Hennepin Bluffs Park
More Asker can be found here: