By ERIC SCHELKOPF
Wellthen is helping put a fresh face on the Chicago music scene.
The band will perform Feb. 12 at the Beat Kitchen, 2100 West Belmont Ave., Chicago. Wray, New Canyons and Foreign Shores also are on the bill.
The show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets range from $8 to $10, available at www.ticketfly.com.
I had the chance to talk to Wellthen frontman Aurelio Damiani about the band's activities.
Q - Great talking to you. I know that the band has released some demos in advance of your CD. Are these songs representative of what people should expect from the new CD? In sitting down to make the CD, what goals did you have?
We think of the demos of more of a rough sketch of what the album will look like. The album we’re putting together will be 10 songs and the five demo songs were all re-recorded.
While the structures have stayed pretty much the same we think the overall dynamics, tone, and presentation are much more representative of what we had in our heads when we originally wrote these songs.
Q - I understand that you haven't done many shows yet, and will be doing your fourth show in February. What have you been trying to do with your live shows?
We think first and foremost, we’ve just been trying to entertain people and have a good time.
Some of these early shows have really been about finding our footing as a live band and really trying to identify our weakness and just improving on them. We have a good deal of live playing experience individually, but this band is kind of a new thing for a few of us.
For example, this is the first band I’ve played in as a lead singer.
I’ve mostly only played drums in bands so there’s definitely been some nerves flare up that I haven’t really felt since high school.
Fortunately the rest of the guys are all pros and I just lean on them to make us look and sound good.
Q - I understand that three of the four members have played in other bands together. Has that helped to strengthen the musical chemistry in Wellthen?
Definitely! Christian and I have been playing in bands together for more than 10 years and Matt has been playing with us for nearly 3 or 4. I think it creates a nice shorthand and conversations go really smoothly more often than not.
And while Andy is technically the newest of our group, he has really slid in like an old friend. Sometimes I forget that he wasn’t in past bands with the three of us.
It all feels strangely familiar.
Q - In forming Wellthen, what were your goals and do you think you accomplished them? How do you think the band has evolved since forming?
Not sure if we had any specific goals in mind when started aside from just playing good music and having fun. We’re definitely not in this to be rock stars.
I think our biggest goal so far has been the record. And by that I mean, recording it and eventually releasing it (which hopefully will be soon).
Q - Is there a meaning behind the band's name?
So the name was from a previous short lived project between Christian and myself. We were kind of just singing duel leads over each other’s songs and were stumped in finding a name.
One day when texting back and forth, we realized that we often start and end a lot of our texts with “well then” and it just kind of fit.
When we started this project we kept hitting a wall on what to call it and Wellthen just seemed to fit. It was probably the easiest the band name we’ve ever come up with.
Q - What do you think of the Chicago music scene and how do you think the band fits into it?
We’ll find out, I guess. We’ll have to see how many '90s rock bands are playing in the scene now. We’ve been in a little out of touch for the past few years, so we’re really anxious to see what people are doing these days.
We’re sure it will be great!
Q - What are the band's short-term and long-term goals?
I think short term it would be release the record, get it out there for some people to listen and just play locally and maybe a little regionally. Long term, well, I think we’re more a short term goals kind of group.
Planning too far ahead is difficult and it’s maybe best just think about things in the present.