Indie rock band with local ties releases full-length album

By JODY L. MAYERS - Special to TimeOut

August 21, 2014


WAUKESHA - Adam Sutkiewicz, a 2007 Catholic Memorial High School graduate and vocalist and guitarist of Indie rock band The Appalachians, said the self-titled release of the trio’s new full-length record has received plenty of local and national interest.

“It’s been great and very exciting,” he said of the band’s success. “It’s even more rewarding knowing how our band members came out of Waukesha, which has a rich history and ties to music with Les Paul,” he said in a telephone interview with TimeOut on Monday.

Sutkiewicz describes the band’s music as raw and stripped down, picking up notes of 1990s grunge bands and even some of The Beatles.

“We have a very unique sound,” he said. “We don’t rely on expensive studio equipment or tricks with our music. What you hear is what you get, no matter where we are playing.”

Ryan Claxtion, drummer of the band and a Fond du Lac native, said he’s bounced around many bands throughout the years, experimenting with different genres and styles before finding his place with The Appalachians.

“This style of music was not something I was used to and took me out of my comfort zone,” he said. “The more I experimented and played, the more I fell in love with this type of music.”

Claxtion said although the band has a strong following in southeastern Wisconsin, they are trying to break through in different cities. Their current tour includes stops in Chicago, Cincinnati and Indianapolis.

“Like so many things, sometimes it’s more about the connections you meet along the way, and the music scene is no different,” he said. “It’s been difficult to plan and get people to follow through, but overall the experience has been amazing. We’ve met a lot of people and have done a lot of networking for the band.”

Claxtion said the band’s sound is loud and very raw. And unlike other bands he’s performed in, all of the members are passionate about music.

“We have a certain stage presence,” he said. “Even if you don’t like this style of music, I can guarantee if you come to one of our shows, you’ll know we are having fun and are loving what we do. We are all so dedicated.”

Sutkiewicz said he attributes part of the band’s success to the appreciation for what the other members bring to the table. The group also includes Waukesha native and bass guitarist Adam Plew.

“There is nowhere else we would rather be,” he said. “Sometimes it’s nice to step back and really appreciate the talents that each of us brings to the table.”

The band plans a CD release party for Sept. 20 at Shank Hall in Milwaukee, a feat all members are proud of.

“It’s really nice to get back to your roots,” Sutkiewicz said. “We have always had a strong following and reception in this area.”

As far as the future, Sutkiewicz says the group will keep its approach the same.

“Our future is pretty much where the wind takes us,” he said. “I try not to look too far ahead. Usually with us, one thing turns into another and than another. So far, it’s been a good ride.”

For more information about the band, visit