Well, here we are: year 2020. Not only does this New Year’s Day mark a brand new year, but a brand new decade. A lot has transpired in the past 10 years with my life personally. I am 24 years of age as I type this, meaning I was 14 when the year was 2010.
In that year, I recall that I had just started regular season shows as a student attending School of Rock in Parkville, MO (basically a suburb of Kansas City), and I was becoming more experienced on guitar – so much so I started to try and learn the bass guitar. I had 6 years of drumming experience and 2 years of guitar experience at that point. ‘
And I am still learning so much more to this day!
In 10 years, at age 24 presently, I have recorded and released 3 EPs and 1 full-fledge LP. I recorded in studios in Kansas City, MO; Nashville, TN; and Minneapolis, MN. While playing live has been a rocky experience (pun-intended) we as The Owl-Eyes have at least 24 shows under our belt since I arrived in St.Paul in 2014. All of this in between various line-up changes, life altering events such as a school closure (read more here: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/19/571997969/minnesota-music-college-closes-abruptly-and-students-scramble-to-find-schools) , and finally popping the question to my long time girl who was with me during all the highs-and-lows. We are set to be married August of this year. 2020; we got the vision! (I wonder how many high-school graduating classes are going to use this for their class motto?)
I began working on a project around the fall of 2016, towards the end of my McNally Smith education. The project was finally released on March 23rd of 2019 – Hallelujah Hysteria. We had our Record Release show in a wonderful facility called Can Can Wonderland, which you should totally check out if you’re ever in the Twin Cities area (https://cancanwonderland.com).
Here are some photos from that event.
In the past 10 years, I played in various projects amongst all this activity just stemming from The Owl-Eyes. Sometimes I was just filling in for a gig. Other times I was hoping to see the project to it’s full fruition and stay with it long term, but life simply got in the way. All-in-all, things come and go – it’s simply just a blessing to experience it I the moment, so I cannot complain, nor will I. But, to list them:
I played drums for a hardcore band, then bass for an indie-rock/shoegaze/folk outfit, and now finally playing drums in a psych-rock/metal group called “Staind the Mind.” In the past 10 years, I filled in for two different rock groups on drums, filled in for a classic 60s brit rock quartet on the guitar, and I even worked in a theme park as a sound technician during the summer of 2019. The sad news is that the fast-pace nature of my life left my absent-mindedly forgetting to document it all through my website. Content is king, and while I was experiencing it, I wasn’t tallying it. In my mind, that is the correct way to live life – but it’s a shitty way to promote your music.
So here some posters of just a few of the shows we played this year!
In 2019, we also got to open for Minnesota Underground Rock Legends, the Magnolias; at a fantastic little venue called The Hook and Ladder. While the poster unfortunately doesn’t seem to be co-operating with me and WordPress to upload it, here is some other photographic proof.
— Junkfood Cinema (@JunkfoodCinema) June 14, 2019
However, I feel that the highlight of this year came when I finally discovered I job I could see myself committing to full time – while still also creating my art full time. While surprising to me, considering how much I detested School growing up, I find myself to be called to teach.
And after years of applying to School of Rock in Eden Prairie, MN – I finally got in!
I’ve been teaching drums, guitar, bass, vocals, and directing Rock 101 and 201 groups, and I’m having a blast doing it! The first time I started teaching around February of the past year, when I saw a student’s eyes light up as she began to understand how to play a certain beat, it made my heart practically explode. I found a way to greatly impact the world while working on music that will hopefully one day lead to a recording/touring rock group career. In the mean time, I want to give back to the world and keep a spirit of positivity fresh in the hearts and minds of the youth today.
I have been called to teach, so teach I will, and rock in between I shall.
In the meantime, I’m working on more shows for the next year, finishing up the writing process for our second album, and working on taking everything in both my music-life and personal life to the next level.
I mean…holy christ-cakes I’m going to get MARRIED! 😀
Catch y’all on the flip flop.
With many regards,
Ethan P. Teel