In this week’s Featured Artist Friday we take a look at Elmhurst space age groove punk band Engine Summer. Engine Summer’s three members are lead singer and guitarist Jeremy Marsan, bassist and vocalist Ben Kostecki, and drummer Ryan Ohm.
Engine Summer was originally founded by Marsan and former drummer Phil Courtright, with Kostecki and Ohm filling out the roster over time. While the trio has only recently come together as a band, the band’s three members have known each other for a number of years.
“We've all been mates since hi-school in and out of different bands,” said Ohm. “We had a rather stellar community of young locals putting on house shows and encouraging each other to be better musicians. As that faded, we went to college & learned the other joys in life like booze and 1099 jobs. But we eventually found ourselves together and still happy as clams to be rockers and in each other's good graces. Now we just bounce jokes around and have fun being some genuine bucko's, but have no mistake; we're still in it for the money.”
The band released the first studio album with their current lineup this past week on Halloween. The album, titled “Trophy Kids,” is comprised of 15 songs which last around 30 minutes in total. The trio’s new album treats the listener to a unique indie sound that is on full display from the moment you hit play.
By following the embedded playlist at the top of this article, you can order your own copy of “Trophy Kids” from Engine Summer’s bandcamp website.
In addition to releasing their album, the trio also debuted their new music video to the album’s title track “Trophy Kids” last week. The link to their music video can found at the end of this article.
“That was a big undertaking since we did all of the mixing/recording in house,” said Ohm. We did that will also figuring out artwork, the best place to print vinyls (Czech Republic!), to shipping it around endlessly and still doing so (give us a shout!), to making videos and yadda yadda - fun stuff but definitely one hell of an undertaking.”
As a group, the band strives to push each other in practice to become the best musicians they can be. The trio’s chemistry allows for the band to continue to build off each other and create songs that they are proud of.
The band will begin writing their songs after building off each other’s energy in a jam session or will pull from ideas they get during their day to day activities. The most important part of the songwriting process for Engine Summer is that the three good friends are hanging out together.
“There's a bit of catharsis and angst for sure, said Kostecki. “But the deeper root is probably our time hanging out, whether its the Friday Night Fish Fry near Jeraldo's place or a bonfire deep into the night with good friends. There's that soundtrack you're imagining in the background, but when you try to put it on, you can't think of the track name because it doesn't actually exist yet.”
Once the band finds their inspiration, the Elmhurst trio undergoes a ten step process to make their idea into a full fledged song.