By ERIC SCHELKOPF
After winning a breakout band contest in 2010, Chicago band Workout Music continues to carve out its own identity in the Chicago music scene.
Workout Music will celebrate the release of its third studio album, "Every Other Time," by performing a free show June 26 at Double Door, 1551 N. Ave., Chicago.
I had the chance to talk to guitarist Ben Spotora about the new album.
Q - Great talking to you. I know your third studio album, "Every Other Time," will be released soon. In sitting down to make the album, what were your goals and do you think you accomplished them? Is there a meaning behind the album's name?
We wanted to mature with this album and work with a producer who could bring us to next level. I believe we did that ten fold.
This "new" sound helped us get away from our gimmicks and allowed us to write songs that we are proud to show everyone. "Every Other Time" is actually the title track of the album.
The reason we chose that song to name the album after is because the song represents our own realities and we believe it is very relatable.
Q - Marc McClusky, known for his work with such bands as Weezer, Bad Religion and Everclear, produced the album. How did you hook up with him and what do you think he brought to the album?
Working with Marc was a very different experience for us. We were not used to writing with an outside source, but I really think that it helped with the final product.
He taught us how to simplify and listen to what makes sense. He also pointed out our strengths and showed us how to capitalize on them.
Q - You've opened for such bands as Local H and The Presidents of the United States of America. What did you learn from such experiences?
We learned that we still have a lot of work to do and ground to cover. You have to play your best for new audiences in order to gain fans and keep them.
Q - What is the story behind the band's name?
The name was originally a joke. Our old bassist envisioned a new band with a treadmill, a computed with a mustache, and a large man with a sweat band on. He said, "I'll just call it 'Workout Music' ya know?"
We laughed at the idea and then a few months later, we started playing some dance-like tunes and thought back to the joke. After that, the name just stuck.
Q - You are known for your live shows. What do you try to do in your shows?
We try and create a party experience rather then just a concert. We like to go over the top and do the extra things to make our live show memorable.
Confetti, Silly String, and custom made stage props are just a few examples.
Q - It must have been an honor to win WGN TV's "Breakthrough Band" contest. What do you attribute to your win? Was that a real turning point for the band?
Indeed it was, although it seems like forever ago ha ha. I really think our live performance gave us the boost we needed to win.
We really pulled out all the stops to win that thing and as a result, it steamrolled us into some good local popularity. I would most definitely say it was a turning point for the band.
Q - What do you think of the Chicago music scene and how do you see the band fitting into it?
Well, I think that the Chicago music scene is one to be reckoned with when it comes to musical talent. There are so many awesome acts that come out of this city and it has a very strong online, TV, and radio presence.
The live scene is pretty good ,but I personally think it could be a lot better. Unfortunately, cover bands sort of rule the kingdom right now and that hurts the original bands.
However, I do think it original music has been on the up and up again in the last few years, so let's hope that is the case. I think we fit in to the scene quite nicely.
I think that our style is very likable and respected around the area and I hope to stick around for a long time.
Q - What are the band's short-term and long-term goals?
Short term, we would like to continue to write new music, play out of town more, and gain new fans. Long term, we want it all man, fame, fortune, and a solid music career.
That is the goal and the dream.