Music

Rock Kings

Pullman’s EP Monarchs features new band lineup

Dustin Hahn, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

Jim Pullman performed with his band last year during the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series in Phoenix Park.
Jim Pullman performed with his band last year during the Sounds Like Summer
Concert Series in Phoenix Park.

Jim Pullman got his musical start in fifth grade and shortly afterward began playing with his close friends. They were together throughout their school years, but after his buddies moved away, Pullman began his own band, The Jim Pullman Band. Founded in 2001, the band released a debut album only one year later in 2002. After a break, their second album landed in 2008 with a third in 2011. The time-honored, indie-pop-rock band is set to release a fourth album, an EP titled Monarchs, in May.

“There seems to be a confidence to this album.The songs sound bold.” – Local music vet Jim Pullman on his band’s new EP, Monarchs

After the release of Jackals and Wolves in 2011, the group underwent a line-up change that pushed back the release of what would become Monarchs. The band still includes drummer Joe Gunderson and bassist Eric “Pedals” Thompson, who have both been with Pullman since the End of the Beginning album in 2008. The newest additions are guitarist Scotty Hayden and keyboard player Paul Brandt, who have both been welcome additions to the longstanding group. Pullman is glad he found them and their talents, as he really wanted to focus on the band itself for the new album.

Where Jackals and Wolves featured various musicians from outside the band, Monarchs was an album that Pullman wanted to use to reinvent himself, something he tries to do with each new album. He did this by focusing on finding the best core group he could, getting in the studio, and making an album they could all be proud of. “As a result, there seems to be a confidence to this album,” Pullman said. “The songs sound bold.” This is the first album that features vocals by anyone besides Pullman, as both Hayden and Brandt provide backing vocals. It is also the first album to include a song written by someone other than Pullman: Hayden wrote “That I Might Tremble.” The result is an album different from previous ones, with hard-rocking songs that are driven by melody and stick in your head with a catchy pop flavoring. “I’m hoping it’ll have that fun summertime, windows-rolled-down, sing-a-long vibe,” Pullman said.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the help that Pullman gets from his engineering team. The band is still working with the talented Jaime Hansen from April Base in Fall Creek, who is responsible for engineering the band’s previous albums, as well as Bruce Templeton from Magneto Mastering in Minneapolis, who did all the mastering. A new addition this time around is Eau Claire’s own Evan Middlesworth from Pine Hollow Audio. “Evan is fairly new to the E.C. scene, but is quickly becoming a household name,” Pullman said. “Evan played an integral role in shaping this album into what it is.”

To celebrate the release of Monarchs, The Jim Pullman Band will be playing a release show May 16 at The House of Rock. The lineup also includes Old Buffalo Money, Puncher, and headliners The Drunk Drivers. After May 16, the album will be available at all of their shows, as well as at The Local Store, Revival Records, and Pedals Music.

To learn more about upcoming gigs and music, check out www.facebook.com/jimpullmanband or jimpullman.bandcamp.com.

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