The Ronald Raygun

after three-year breakup, band reunites for album

Scott Morfitt

NOT PICTURED: THE RAYGUN. Eau Claire band The Ronald Raygun will release their sophomore album We Will All Be Dirt on November 23 – with a show to follow on November 26 at the House of Rock.
 
NOT PICTURED: THE RAYGUN. Eau Claire band The Ronald Raygun will release their sophomore album We Will All Be Dirt on November 23 – with a show to follow on November 26 at the House of Rock.

Sometimes all it takes for a band to release a second album is to break up, wait three years, have a child, start a successful business, have a friend move up from Tennessee, gain perspective through personal growth, and have a clear vision of what they want to accomplish.

That is the case for Eau Claire band The Ronald Raygun. Their long-awaited sophomore album We Will All Be Dirt is a testament to this growth. Fans and music lovers will have a chance to pick up this album November 23 and see them live on November 26 at the House of Rock.

The Ronald Raygun’s CD release show in 2006 proved to be their last performance and collaboration for three years. Front man Ben Hinz describes why breaking up was a necessity. 

“Before we even played that show I realized I was quitting the band. We made a lot of good music together, but did it in the slowest, most unhealthy way possible.”

While the band was in hiatus, Hinz and drummer Matt Haapala, who were the core of the band, took time off to explore other musical opportunities. Hinz started a successful effects pedal company, Dwarfcraft Devices, which has sold guitar pedals to such successful touring acts as Coheed and Cambria and Duluth band Low. Haapala also worked with Hinz at Dwarfcraft Devices and plays with Eau Claire’s The Heart Pills. 

When they reunited the band, they added two members, Robert Swanson on guitar and screams and Ben Hoffmeister on guitar. Hoffmeister says the addition of himself and Swanson adds to the creative process and helps speed things up.  

“Because Ben and Matt have played together for so long, they know each other so well. Me and Robert joined the band and it is a new ballgame.”

Hinz adds, “There’s four heads in the game. Also for me in those three years that we weren’t The Ronald Raygun I grew up and learned a lot about myself.”

 

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