A New Semester

new duo hopes to build on past success

Dustin Hahn, photos by Andrea Paulseth

AFTER Y2K, WE WILL ALL BE WEARING SUSPENDERS. Eau Claire’s Kyle Culver, left, and Matt Hasenmueller, formerly of The Last Semester, have formed a new band, The Millenium.
AFTER Y2K, WE WILL ALL BE WEARING SUSPENDERS.
Eau Claire’s Kyle Culver, left, and Matt Hasenmueller, formerly of The Last Semester, have formed a new
band, The Millenium.

Eau Claire has a new band in town that everyone can relate to. Kyle Culver (guitar, songwriter, electronics, and other instrumentation) and Matt Hasenmueller (vocals and guitar) are The Millenium, a two-piece band that is all about staying young and reaching as many people as possible with its music. The Millenium formed in May out of their previous project The Last Semester, with help from one of their “brother bands,” The Picture Perfect. They are releasing their very first single, “Love in a Ghost Town,” on Nov. 10.

Culver and Hasenmueller originally considered themselves a pop band, but they have since changed their thinking of what that means. “We initially called ourselves ‘pop,’ but in the course of doing videos, photo shoots, (and) press, we’ve really had a change of thinking,” they said. “We just don’t think pop music is created by the artist. It’s created by the listener.” The duo said they tried to make their music as versatile as possible, so most people will be able pick it up and find something they enjoy. At the same time, they made sure to stay true to their roots of electronic elements, angsty vocals, and uncompromised lyrical content.

The pair’s personal musical tastes and inspirations vary, but they like it that way. Hasenmueller enjoys pop/rock revival, while Culver enjoys more acoustic “coffee shop” music (among other types, of course). This difference in styles has led to some butting of heads between the two, but Hasenmueller thinks it works best that way. “The difference in our styles has made for some bickering and arguing in our writing on both of our ends,” he said. “but in the end we don’t dress up what we think something should sound like.” They also describe a checks-and-balances system, in which they are completely honest and upfront with each other about how a song is sounding or where the band is going. “If I or Matt think something is awful, we are vocal about it,” Culver said. “You can’t go into it trying to not hurt feelings when you’re trying to improve your art. You just have to roll with it. … It’s made us better people and musicians.”

With their new single and an album to follow, Culver and Hasenmueller are hoping to re-visit some of the success of their previous project, The Last Semester. For now, promoting their single and shows is all they want to do, without pushing the idea of touring full-time before it really comes together.

The band will play at the NOTA open reading, which starts at 8pm Nov. 7 at The Cabin in UW-Eau Claire’s Davies Center. On Nov. 10, they will be do a live interview and in-studio performance from 5-7pm on WHYS Radio (96.3 FM). After that, they have plans for a few Midwest shows, including one in Eau Claire.
And while you’re checking out The Millenium (facebook.com/themilleniumWI), be sure to give The Picture Perfect (facebook.com/thepictureperfectmusic) a listen as well. Culver and Hasenmueller said they would be nothing without their support, as well as that of The Millenium’s producer, Austin Nivarel.

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