An Evening With Uncommon Denominator, Chippewa Valley’s Top Cover Band – The Spectator


Uncommon denominatora local cover band that has been recognized for the third year in a row as the best chippewa valley cover bandpresented a special Valentine’s Day set on Saturday, February 12 at Lake.

The band, which is made up of eight members, took the stage in the small ambient room and played a three-hour set that included five decades of love songs.

Before the show, the band discussed everything from the band’s inception, the influences UW-Eau Claire has on each member of the band, how the band survived COVID-19, what they attribute their success to, and what Chippewa Valley folks can expect. to this upcoming year of Uncommon Denominator.

Emily Watkins, Ben Phillips and Jake Arnold, the only three founding members still in the band, discussed forming the band in August 2018.

“I remember we used to play Stones Throw a lot,” Arnold said. “I’ve always loved the music we play now, and we haven’t really had a chance to play it in our college bands.”

Watkins added that in the beginning the group went through several name changes and was known as the Common Denominator for a brief period. Nicole Johnson, the band’s trumpet player, said he was chosen by a Facebook poll. Phillips then explained the origin of the name.

“I just put that in there because it’s something my dad says a lot,” Phillips said. “He talks about people he thinks are stupid, he says we have to adapt things to the lowest common denominator.”

Watkins said, “So we’re named after the lowest common denominator.”

The name Uncommon Denominator was created after an artist from the New York area contacted the band on their Facebook page and asked them to change the name because he was recording music under the name Common Denominator. Watkins said the band decided to add a “one” at the beginning, and thus Uncommon Denominator was born.

The band went on to talk about how their time at UW-Eau Claire prepared them for their careers today. Phillips discussed the impact working on UW-Eau Claire’s event production team had on his own expertise within the music industry.

“It was a good opportunity to learn a lot of skills that jobs want you to know and not have to train for,” Phillips said. “I’ve had many opportunities to be able to mix audio for nationally touring artists and set up audio and light equipment.”

Will DeBlaey, the band’s bassist, described how his time at UW-Eau Claire prepared him to play at the “highest level,” but when it came time for him to join Uncommon Denominator, he was ready to go. spending time at UW-Eau Claire.

“I sort of describe my college experiences as kind of half in the door and half out,” DeBlaey said. “I learned a lot, I took what I needed, but I don’t want to say I saw the writing on the wall, but academia was not for me in many ways .”

Johnson then explained how the group had been affected by COVID-19. She said that at the start of the pandemic, all the concerts they had planned were canceled.

However, it allowed the band to focus on technical recording skills and learn how to record at home during quarantine. This eventually paved the way for their first music video.

“We made a music video in the empty pool at Chippewa Falls. So we sat in the drained pool in mid-August,” Johnson said. “This clip, crazy as it is, Ben did all the production, he did all the sound and mixing and we all recorded from home. It kind of fits our personality and sets the tone for this season of Uncommon Denominator.

During their setlist later that night, Uncommon Denominator performed several love-themed songs to a packed room. According to Phillips, who also works as an audio technician for The Lakely, the venue had to bring in extra tables to accommodate the large volume of reservations.

The band played an energetic rendition of “Shout” by the Isley Brothers which had patrons out of their seats and dancing. Another highlight of the evening was a never-before-seen interpretation of Sonic Silk “Smoking Out the Window” as singer Chase Bucheger strolled through the audience to sing directly to patrons.

After the show, Bucheger said what he thinks sets the band apart from other bands in the Chippewa Valley.

“As a band, we really love what we do,” Bucheger said. “Audiences can see it from the outside and that makes them enjoy it even more because they know we’re really having fun and we really love what we’re doing.”

The unusual denominator can be found on instagram, Facebook and Youtube. They will be hosting an open mic event this coming Friday at The cabin from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Adam can be reached at [email protected].


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