Local band sets off on tour, gaining in popularity

Waconia-based band Molly’s Worst Enemy – from left, Max Rickell, Deano Erickson, Paul Winkelman, Devin Aadland and Chris Braudt – will tour this summer to promote their newest CD “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” They will travel as far as Cleveland, Ohio, spending over 33 hours in their 15-passenger van.
Waconia-based band Molly’s Worst Enemy – from left, Max Rickell, Deano Erickson, Paul Winkelman, Devin Aadland and Chris Braudt – will tour this summer to promote their newest CD “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” They will travel as far as Cleveland, Ohio, spending over 33 hours in their 15-passenger van.

By Greta Sowels
Waconia Patriot

There is an old proverb that says, “Great things come from small beginnings.”

This can be said of a lot of different things, but perhaps it is especially applicable to local band Molly’s Worst Enemy. After playing their first set in 2010, the group released a CD earlier in 2013 and is planning to leave on tour June 14.

The group began at Waconia High School, where all of the members attended school and were part of the show choir. Their first gig was an event called coffeehouse, where they played a set of songs by Say Anything, a band that they particularly liked. The set went really well, which encouraged the group to play again at the homecoming dance.

The band put out a CD in 2011 and toured with it around the cities and to Fargo, N.D. However, the group’s tour last summer fell short of expectations. “All of the shows canceled on us as we were on the road,” said guitarist Deano Erickson.

Molly’s Worst Enemy’s newest CD, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” was released in January 2013 and is currently sold on iTunes or locally at Mocha Monkey. Erickson used the words rocky, fast and melodic to describe the music, adding that it was “punk you could sing to.”

The band will be touring this summer with that CD beginning June 14. This time, the band had a booking agent, Jeremy Hiniker, who booked most of their shows.  Show locations include venues with a stage, a bar and house or basement shows.

“This will be our first chance at establishing them as more than just a local band as they work to prove themselves on the road,” said Hiniker. “This will help to gain them the attention they deserve.”

After leaving Minnesota, the band will travel around Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana and will go as far as Cleveland, Ohio. The trip is over 33 hours of driving time.

Erickson said that the basement shows are the best because they are the most personal.

“Fifty to 75 kids in a basement, and it’s just packed,” said Erickson. “The same amount of people in a venue that’s supposed to hold 200, then it just looks really open.” Erickson also mentioned that the band plays for a lot of high school students but can also draw attention from a variety of older people in the music scene.

The bands members – Max Rickel, Chris Braudt, Devin Aadland, Paul Winkelman and Erickson – had to personally pay to get the band started up, which included putting out a CD, making t-shirts and travel costs on tour. “It’s slowly getting to the point where we don’t have to pay to be in the band anymore,” said Erickson. “We don’t have to put our own money in because the band is kind of funding itself.”

For the tour this summer, the band will travel in a 15-passenger van loaded with equipment. “Basically when we play shows we get $50 to $100 per show and all of that money goes right into the gas tank,” said Erickson. Sometimes venues will feed the bands, but if not, the band will eat the free meal that Chipotle provides to touring bands or hang around Little Caesar’s Pizza waiting to collect pizza that would otherwise be thrown out. “We spend a lot of nights sleeping on the floor of somebody’s basement or on couches,” added Erickson.

In addition to financial strains, the band has also dealt with relational conflicts among friends, girlfriends and family. It was also a challenge to pull together the band during the school year because the members were spread as far as a Chicago. Aadland, who attends Columbia College in Chicago, will be leaving the band in the fall to pursue photography full time. The band is still solidifying a replacement bass guitarist.

Erickson emphasized that while the members have made sacrifices to be in the band, it is all worth it.

“It’s exhilarating,” said Erickson. “It’s so much fun to have like your four or five best friends and you’re all collaborating on a piece of art – a song that essentially is you.” He also mentioned that all of the songs that Molly’s Worst Enemy writes and performs are very personal. “It’s as honest as we can possibly be.”

Hiniker is excited about Molly’s Worst Enemy, adding that they are honest, relatable people. He see’s this tour as a stepping-stone to a great future. “If these guys can maintain their passion and work ethic, which I fully expect them to do, I see nothing stopping them.”

To learn more about the band, check out their Facebook page.

  • Shaka Brah

    “Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away.” George Carlin
    Keep playing that Rock’n’Roll MWE!! From the sounds of it; all your hard work, enthusiasm, creativity, practice, practice, practice & did I mention PRACTICE!? All reflects the fun you guys are having. Have an enlightening road trip. Study, learn & absorb and stay focused. While enjoying the fun that comes from being the best you can be when you’re @ the top of your game. Growing with every note. Free to be true to yourselves. Performing as artists while being who you are @ this moment knowing the journey will take you places you never dreaned possible while creating the music you love. That’s where I see you guys @ this stage of the process. The process called ‘Life!’ The secret to ‘Life’ is to be in the moment. Enjoying the moment. Occassionally losing your breath because the moment’s so incredible. Being in the here & now just breathing… Ok catch your breath & have one great show after another.
    Cheers, from Shaka Brah / Rick Tabor