The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, August 31, 2000, Page 8, Image 8

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    Megan Cody /DN
Curtis Grubb feels comfortable in
Compared with the relentless pace he
and his band, Grasshopper Takeover,
have been setting while touring, record
ing and promoting themselves in Los
Angeles, a trip to the heartland has been
“It's great to be in a place where you
have so much support,” said Grubb in a
telephone interview from Omaha
Tuesday night. “V^et’ve got so many
friends, family and fans here that are will
ing to help us.”
Grubb was checking the band’s e-mail
when the interview started. The band has
a booking agent but prefers to do its own
“I just got an e-mail from the A&R
department at Virgin Records,” Grubb
said calmly, seeming to take all of the
attention the band has been getting com
pletely in stride Grubb shared the e-mail:
"Most of these are the same, you know, ‘I
would like to request a promotional pack
et of the band’s press. Thank you.’ Short,
sweet and to die point”
Grasshopper Takeover has also gotten
several requests to add songs to compila
tion albums with artists such as Metallica
and Eminem. All of this for a band who
has been in Los Angeles for less than two
years and has yet to sign its first record
In its first full year in Los Angeles,
Grasshopper Takeover has toured the
country, both as a headliner and in sup
port of 311 and Incubus.
Fans from all over the country - from
California to Rhode Island - have either
set up fan sites dedicated to the band or
have links to the band’s official Website,
The move to Los Angeles proved to be
the right one for the band.
Drummer Bob Boyce said the move
became necessary for the band to keep
“We had done everything we could in
Omaha, and it was time to move on,”
Boyce said. “We were selling out CD
release parties and really had no where
else to go but out of Omaha.”
Grubb’s long time friend and 311
frontman Nick Hexum has helped the
band in its move in many ways. Hexum
and Grubb went to high school together
and Grubb has co-written songs with 311.
One song, "Right Now,” showed up
recently on a compilation of early 311
tunes called "Omaha Sessions.”
Grubb said he doesn’t really consider
311 as just friends in the "industry.”
“They’re just friends to me,” Grubb
said. “They’ve been great with introduc
ing us to people and helping us with our
During their "catch-up” period back
home, Grasshopper Takeover will play in
Lincoln tonight at W.C.’s Downtown. 1228
Boyce said Lincoln wasn’t very recep
tive to the band at first, but with the help
ofW.C.’s manager Sean Reagan, the group
has started to draw more and more fans.
With a solid fan base and the help of a
publicist and booking agent,
Grasshopper Takeover has turned its
attention to landing the right record deal.
Plenty of labels have been nibbling,
and some have asked the band to play
showcases, but Grubb said he isn’t going
to jump at the first deal that’s thrown out
“We’ve worked too hard to just sign
our lives away,” he said. "Too many bands
are so eager to get that deal that they end
up giving away publishing rights and
everything else. Record companies are so
eager to get that first single played and
then throw the second album out and
hope it sticks.”
Grubb hopes the fan support
Grasshopper Takeover has built up
around the country will give them a little
more leverage than most new bands have.
The band also has that built-in fan
base that transcends regional support, as
well as a mention as one of the top 100
unsigned bands in Los Angeles by both
Music Connection and Rock City News.
For now, Grubb said, the band is
happy touring the country and putting
out their own CDs.
Their latest,
“International Dance Marathon,” has
been selling well, according to Grubb.
Live shows still gamer the most sales,
but Grubb said the album is starting to
make a presence in retail stores.
But, the record deal is the next logical
step for Grasshopper Takeover, in a cre
ative sense as well as a business sense.
“Music, to me,” Grubb said, "is a com
munication of ideas. That communica
tion shouldn’t stop at just one or a few
people. I want to get my message, which I
communicate through my music, to as
many people as possible.”
Grubb’s messages about love and life
draw from personal experience, but he
said he tries to turn the songs into some
thing more universal.
“It’s all about that wider appeal,” he
said. “I want everybody to relate to what
I’m saying. If I write a song just for me, no
one will want to listen to it but me.”
Grubb’s lyrics aren’t always uplifting,
but he said he tries to relay a message of
never giving up, mirroring the struggles
and triumphs of Grasshopper Takeover.
For “International Dance Marathon,”
Grasshopper Takeover used several pro
ducers, including Nick Hexum and 311
bandmate Chad Sexton. Grasshopper
Takeover recorded two songs, “Noel” and
“Purpose,” at Hexum’s studio, The Hive.
The band also turned to producer
Gabriel Mann, who produced seven of die
album’s tracks, as well as two other pro
ducers in Omaha.
Grubb said the process of recording
with different producers could be a litde
“It makes it real hard to find a cohe
sive sound, a cohesive vision. I loved
working with all of these talented people,
but it was difficult sometimes.”
Grubb said Hexum wanted “three
piece, straight-ahead punk rock music,”
while Mann preferred to layer the songs
with multiple tracks.
Grubb said he enjoyed both styles, but
would have preferred to find a sound
somewhere in between.
The band’s Latino neighbors in Echo
Park, where the band lived in LA, helped
give the track "Esta Vida” a Caribbean fla
"We just kept hearing all of these
mariachis and stuff, and eventually it just
sunk in.”
Grubb said the band will continue to
try new sounds and new recording meth
ods. He’s fallen in love with digital record
ing and says he has a recording method he
calls his "secret weapon.”
He wouldn’t reveal what that weapon
was, but soon the whole country may be
hearing the band’s sound over the air
With plenty of momentum and no
signs of slowing down, Grasshopper
Takeover’s road to success may very well
be paved in platinum.
Takeover with
kPianet of the Apes I
Courtesy photo
)an»M<Mann (left),C^6ndd» and Bob Boyte of GraBhoppefTaheove^piayatW.a Downtown
tonight The Omaha natives have been in Los Angeles promoting their new altum and doing Ive shows.
Planet Butter to bring eccentric
jazz, funk music to Zoo Bar stage
Most Lincoln bands would love to
have 200 people show up for any show.
Planet Butter had that many at is
first performance.zz
Most Lincoln bands would kill to
play at die world-famous Zoo Bar.
Planet Butter made its debut at the
renowned blues spot
“There weren't 200 people in there
at the same time,” guitarist Matt
Richardson said. “You wouldn’t be
able to move in there with that many
As people filtered in and out
throughout the night, the total draw at
the end of the night ended up being
about 200.
Planet Butter, and eight-person,
horn-fueled band, brings their explo
sive brand of jazz, funk, and R&B back
to the Zoo Bar’s stage tonight, and the
band’s draw has continued to grow.
The band can draw its roots back
to Blue Tango, a blues outfit that
Richardson and bassist Brian Marrow
played in. Marrow, feeling confined by
the inherent songwriting limitations
of blues music decided he wanted to
try a new kind of music.
Marrow's decision to add horns
came later, as Marrow began feeling
the need to continue to expand Planet
Butter’s sound.
In Kirstin Frosheiser, Marrow and
“We all get a chance to be
creative at different
times, to put our stamp
on the song."
Jason Carper
keyboardist of Planet Butter
Richardson found the perfect vocalist
for the band. Frosheiser, an advertis
ing major at the University of
Nebraska, spent some time with local
cover band Bossphilly. Her soulful,
powerful voice gives Marrow’s songs a
driving force.
Frosheiser is one of only three
members of Planet Butter with no for
mal musical training - Richardson and
trumpet player Jim Dodson are the
Marrow, the only band member
not a current or former student at the
University of Nebraska, said his musi
cal training has helped with the chal
lenge of arranging the hom parts.
“With basic three- and four-piece
bands,” he said, “songwriting can be
done pretty much by ear. But with this
stuff, I have to actually think about
what other people are playing.”
However, keyboardist Jason
Carper said the songs still had room
for improvisation.
“We all get a chance to be creative
at different times, to put our stamp on
the song,” he said.
Richardson said Planet Butter,
who currently has a three-song demo
available, plans to head into the studio
in December to record its first full
length CD. The band has about 30
songs to choose from, and Frosheiser
said other songs are always forming
out of practice and improv sessions.
Although Frosheiser said she
would like to see some of the other
band members sing, Marrow said
Frosheiser will handle the bulk of the
“She’s got such a great voice,” he
said. “It would be a shame not to hear
it all the time.”
Final episode of'Survivor'
draws 51 million viewers
■ The finale of the show ranks as most
watched summertime TV show since
the year Nielsen began measuring its
audience in 1987, and brought CBS
a victory in the polls.
NEW YORK — The finale of
“Survivor" drew 51 million viewers last
week, ranking as the most-watched
summertime television show since at
least 1987,according to Nielsen Media
It also led CBS to an easy victory in
the week's ratings.
Richard Hatch won $1 million by
outlasting his competitors on PulauTiga,
but CBS won much more.
It scored a rare victory among teen
age viewers last week. It had nearly as
many 18-49-year-old viewers as NBC
and Fox combined.
It is unclear whether a summer series
before 1987 had a higher viewer ship;
that's the year Nielsen began electroni
cally measuring its audience, and
records before then are considered less
“Survivor” was second only to the
Super Bowl as the most-watched televi
sion show of the year.
The one-hour “Survivor” reunion
special with Bryant Gumbel as modera
tor attracted more than 38 million view
For the week in prime time, CBS had
an average of 13.6 million viewers (8.8
rating,15 share).
ABC had 9.7 million viewers (6.7,12),
NBC had 7.6 million (5.5,10), Fox had 5.9
million(4.0,7), UPN had 3.5 million (2.2,
4), the WB had 2.3million (1.6,3) and Pax
TV had 1.4 million (1.1,2).
NBC’s “Nightly News” won the
evening news ratings race with 9.4 mil,
lion viewers (7.0 rating, 16 share).
ABC’s “World News Tonight” had 8.6
million viewers(6.5,14).
The “CBS Evening News had 7.8 mil
A rating point represents 1,008,000
households, or 1 percent of the nation's
estimated 100.8 million TV homes.
The share is the percentage of in-use
televisions tuned to a given show.
For the week of Aug. 21-27, the top 10
shows, their networks and ratings:
“Survivor," CBS, 28.6; “Survivor The
Reunion,” CBS,22.5; “Who Wants to Be a
Millionaire” (Tuesday) ABC, 15.1; “Who
Wants to Be a Millionaire”
(Sunday) ABC, 14.9; “Who Wants to Be a
Millionaire” (Thursday), ABC, 13.6; “60
Minutes," CBS, 9.7; “20/20Downtown,”
ABC, 9.0; “Dateline NBC"
(Tuesday),NBC, 9.0; “The Practiced'
ABC, 9.0; “Law and Order,” NBC, 8.3.