Antler House Plays Ungulate Music
Finally, some moody indie rock for humans and hoofed mammals.
The lyrics cover everything from burying rabbits to dealing with barking “underdogs” to leaving the earth on an ark. Add to that the musical vocabulary of the indie rock trio Antler House: its eclectic sound ranges from a raw live experience to a moody folk atmosphere.
The trio of musicians attended Shorewood schools together and and reconnected during college. Since the band’s emergence in 2012, and since its members replaced the name Elk Attack with Antler House, they have played in almost every nook and cranny in Milwaukee’s Riverwest. Antler House already has one full length album under their belt. Their second, Across The Waves, is planned to release on April 30.
We loved the visuals for their first single “Wabbit,” a rather colorful video to match Antler House’s unique personality. And we caught up with band member Sean Anderson, who answered our questions, including a reference to “ungulate,” as in hoofed mammals. Who knew?
When did you begin playing as Antler House?
We began playing shows in the spring of 2012. John McCabe (drummer) and myself (acoustic guitar, bass, vocals) have been playing together since high school. We wanted to start getting serious about song-writing and playing shows and recruited our friend John Johnson (electric guitar) to be our third member. We’ve been playing the Milwaukee area and beyond ever since.
What are some artists that inspire you?
Some of our major influences are bands like Modest Mouse, Do Make Say Think, Radiohead, Built To Spill, and Grizzly Bear to name a few. But the local music scene in Milwaukee has arguably influenced and driven us even more. Bands like Absolutely, Soul Low, Migo, and Ugly Brothers have all been huge for us.
Where did your name come from?
We originally wanted to be called Elk Attack, but another band from Wyoming or something had already gotten it. We defaulted to Antler House somehow, sticking with the ungulate theme.
How old are you?
We’re all 23.
Our music ranges from indie folk vibe to a heavier alternative rock. Our first album Through the Dirt was much more mellow and atmospheric in a way, whereas our upcoming album Across the Waves is much more raw and true to our live sound.
What do you think of the local music scene?
The local scene is great. I personally knew nothing about the Milwaukee music scene before we started playing shows. We had no idea what we were doing, and no idea who was who. I feel like we learned a lot from the bands we’ve played with, and wouldn’t have grown to what we are now without taking in advice from other musicians, and observing how others play. It’s made our love for music grow, knowing that there is such a receptive and hard working community of musicians in Milwaukee.
What are your lyrics typically about?
The lyrics range a lot. One of our songs is about leaving Earth on an ark. Another is about confronting personal demons. Another is about trying to take care of an injured bunny only to have it die. A handful of others are about fear of missing out (FOMO, as the youngsters call it). I guess it’s whatever is going on that day.
Where do you most often play in Milwaukee?
We most often play in the Riverwest and East Side neighborhoods, but we still venture over to Bayview and Walker’s Point. Wherever we can play!
Favorite place to play?
Have to say Bremen Cafe. We played our first real show there, and they immediately took us in and gave us a monthly spot. It’s where we learned to play on stage, and we’ve had tons of good memories there.
Have you toured anywhere?
We’ve left town a few times, but never had an actually tour. I’m actually starting to plan a Midwest tour for after we release Across The Waves. We’re releasing it on April 30th at Company Brewing with Ugly Brothers and another band soon to be announced. I actually just made the event page.
We also just released a music video for our new song “Wabbit”:
What are your plans for the future?
I’m writing songs left and right, so we’re just going to keep on playing!Cascio Interstate Music is proud to sponsor Urban Milwaukee’s Band of the Week column. Running in tandem with their own Band of the Month program, supporting local music is key to CIM’s mission.