Nevis Students Launch Rock Band Never-More – Park Rapids Enterprise
Easton Venselhein, a sophomore, is the leader of the group. He learned his first guitar moves from his father, Matt Hein.
“My dad started playing guitar when he was 16 and was in a few bands,” he said. “The biggest one was ‘Southern Accent.’ They traveled everywhere He played lead guitar and when I was very little he played his guitar and I played my little toy guitar.
“My dad passed away when I was 8 in a car accident. I never picked up the guitar again until about a year and a half ago. Because I was so young when he died, I don’t have a lot of memories, but when I play the guitar, I feel a connection with him.
The band favors ’90s alternative rock. “Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Weezer,” Venselhein said.
He said “Never-More” is taken from an old movie where the phrase was set in stone. “English teachers tell me they like that name because it’s also in a poem by Edgar Allen Poe,” he said.
The band got their start when Venselhein’s best friend Nolan Simkins, also a sophomore, got a bass guitar and they started playing together every day.
“There’s no musical background in my family, but I picked it up right away,” Simkins said. “It helps that I play with Easton, who was way better than me. I knew he could play guitar, but I didn’t know he could be that good or that I would play with him. I learned to play by going to YouTube and looking up songs, watching people play them.
The two sometimes trained for six or more hours a day in Venselhein’s garage.
At first, Simkins said his fingers hurt and turned purple. “I should then stop and take a break,” he said. “But after a while you build up calluses. You can play endlessly, and that’s great.
Jon Rice, a junior, is the band’s drummer. He started drumming in sixth grade with the Nevis school band and said playing with Never-More was a lot of fun.
“Easton and Nolan had been playing for a few months,” he said. “One night Easton and I were driving and he brought up his idea of having a band. I said I played drums and he asked me if I wanted to be in the band. I said yeah, and we went to Brainerd and bought some drums and the next day we were playing. It was awesome!”
Rice said he read music, but also picked up songs by listening to them. “Being in this group really made me stand out more as a person,” he said. “I can express myself through music, the rhythm of my drums and having fun with my friends. When we are on stage, we are completely different people, all smiling from ear to ear and happy. It’s incredible It connects us more as a whole.
“We could go on playing for hours and hours. The music from the 70s, 80s and 90s that I’ve loved since I was a kid because that’s all my parents listened to.
Elijah Peterson, also a sophomore, directs sound and lights. He said the best part of being with the band was hanging out with his friends and meeting new people.
Paige Cowden is a junior. She was the last to board, taking center stage as the lead vocalist. “I’ve been singing since I was little,” she says. “In choir, I got solos and duets, and entered the talent show at the Hubbard County Fair.
“I’ve known them all for a few years, and they needed a singer and I wanted to create music, so it was a good match. I like that my voice can be heard and I can make people feel with my voice. As a lead singer, people listen not only to your voice, but also to the words you say, and sometimes those words can make a difference.
“Her friends told us she could sing and when we finally got her to sing, we got goosebumps,” Venselhein said.
Simkins said that one night while driving around Nevis, they stopped at Terrapin Station.
“We thought it would work for a place where we could play in the winter,” he said. “We saw a number on the door and called the owner and told him about our band. He’s great and we’re renting him out right now.
Friends often come to meet. Whether it’s a handful or more than 20, Venselhein said, the band loves having an audience.
Venselhein said performing in front of a crowd of 150 to 200 people on Snow Days was a big step forward.
“We all go to school here and everyone knows us,” he said. “They never had a live band, so the student council thought it was a good idea. I love the music so much that I told them we would do it for free, but they are going to pay us. We’ve worked on 10 songs in the hour we play and even have a slow dance song.
“The band’s next goal is to get a spot to play for Muskie Days,” Venselhein said. “I hope we will play the 2nd Street Stage one day. And after high school, I hope to be on tour with my best friends.
“Hopefully we can make it big,” Cowden said. “My dream job since I was little was to be a famous singer, so hopefully we can make it happen.”
“‘Hopefully we’re going somewhere with this, because it’s really fun and I love playing,” Simpkins said. “Playing guitar is one of the best things that’s ever been part of my life. life. Hopefully we’ll have more shows this summer and people will start to recognize us. That’s the goal for now. Then start playing in bigger places, gigs. Easton’s mother used to lead her father’s band, so she has a lot of connections.
Peterson said he didn’t think that far ahead. “I’m more interested in living in the moment and making memories,” he said.