A shift in forecast for The Lake Effects
Grand Valley State University brings together many talents, including a rising indie brass-pop band called The Lake Effects.
The Lake Effects, formed in 2013, consists of members Niko Schroeder, Lukas Schroeder, Gabe Ellis, Denton Grant, Marty Malfroid and Dominic Petriella.
To identical twins Niko Schroeder and Lukas Schroeder, who grew up in Big Rapids, Michigan, playing in a band was a natural instinct. After coming to college, the other band members were found through the music program and friends.
"The band is a great outlet for self-expression," Niko said. "All too often in music school, we get stuck in a limiting classical idiom, and this is an awesome opportunity to branch out and try other things."
The Lake Effects released its digital album “Beta” on Jan. 22 and increased playing live shows this past semester, while also being played on the radio.
The band incorporates vocals, guitar, keyboard, trumpets and a sousaphone to produce popular music with an intricate distinction of the members' classical music training.
West Michigan has encouraged the band for success with a thriving and supportive do-it-together community, Niko said.
"It's easy to play shows and the hosts are very gracious and do their best to put together great line-ups," Niko said. "Even with groups like ours that may not last past college, they still create a great environment to grow in."
With many local performances, the band shows its support for other local artists while drawing inspiration from various performance. One such band is Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers; Lukas never misses a show.
Other influences include Fever Haze, Gosh Pith, Flint Eastwood and global groups like Youngblood Brass Band.
"We really try to avoid the 'ska' sound because it's so stereotypical for brass instruments," Niko said. "Jazz is a big deal for us, and we like a lot of indie-pop."
It helps that the band has a leader to delegate and take charge during rehearsals and practices.
"Niko is pretty much the only element that makes the band work," Lukas said. "He is the one that everyone hates because he takes initiative and responsibility for everything getting done."
The future of the band is evolving as the band members’ lives change. Next semester, Malfroid is transferring, and Grant and Petriella will move forward in their college careers, which will alter the band’s line-up.
"Unfortunately, that's part of the reality of being in a band in college," Lukas said. "We have to go through a lot of changes."
The newest member, Makenzie Mattis, will play drums and the band is also reworking its set into a quartet.
"I'm excited to keep playing shows," Lukas said. "As a quartet, we're able to work more efficiently at booking gigs and getting stuff done, and we've already got several shows lined up this summer."
The Lake Effects will play shows in various locations around Michigan this summer, including Muskegon, Mount Pleasant, Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids.
For more information about the band and future shows, visit www.facebook.com/thelakeeffects. To listen to the band's new digital album, visit thelfx.bandcamp.com.