Tune in Saturday for E.C. Band Waldemar’s Network TV Debut
indie band’s performance will air June 10 on 'CBS Saturday Morning’
UPDATE 6/10/2023: Check out videos of Waldemar’s performance at cbsnews.com.
Between gigs on a spring tour around the Upper Midwest – including Eau Claire, naturally, as well as Milwaukee, Madison, and Chicago – the Eau Claire-based indie band Waldemar took a slight detour. Amid shows in Winona and Minneapolis, the five-piece act made its way to Times Square in New York.
It wasn’t a sight-seeing trip for frontman Gabe Larson and Co.: They had been invited to record a performance for CBS Saturday Morning. Their recent debut full-length album, Ruthless, had caught the ear of a producer for the program, which typically pre-records a set by a musical act for each episode.
Waldemar’s performance will appear on Saturday, June 10, on CBS Saturday Morning, which airs 6-8am. (If you’re not an early riser, don’t have cable, or can’t pick up CBS on your TV’s bunny ears, don’t worry: The performances will be available online afterward.)
I’m feeling some sort of weird – it’s not survivor's guilt, but a kind of ‘Why us?’ feeling. There are just so many, so many insanely great bands with great records right now.
on his band's opportunity to appear on cbs saturday morning
“I’m still shocked by the whole thing, to be perfectly honest,” says Gabe Larson, the band’s lead singer, guitarist, and primary lyricist. The network TV-sized break came via a publicist the band hired to promote the album, which was released on May 5. The publicist sent a copy of several records, including Waldemar’s, to a contact at CBS Saturday Morning.
“The other bands they were pitching were some really big frickin’ bands, and all they got was a polite ‘no,’ ” Larson said. The producer liked what he heard from Waldemar, however, and two weeks later the band – which also includes his brother Nick on drums, Josh Garcia on guitar, Jordan Coffland on keys, and Will DeBlaey on bass – was making the drive to Manhattan for a May 17 recording session at CBS Studio on Times Square.
They recorded three songs – “Limbo,” “Ruthless,” and “Summer Rain” – all of which will appear online and two of which will be broadcast. Larson said the publicist explained that it was ideal first TV gig: It was pre-recorded (which meant the opportunity for retakes) and there was no live audience.
The band was pleased with its performances, as were the show’s producers, who have kept in touch with Larson. “They were telling us to get ready for some more offers for TV stuff, but I don’t know,” he said.
While CBS Saturday Morning may not has a profile as high as The Tonight Show or CBS’s own Late Show with Stephen Colbert, it nonetheless draws several million viewers each week, a huge boost to an unsigned band from Eau Claire with one album and one EP under its belt. The show also has a tradition of choosing diverse, highly regarded musical acts, which in recent months have included the likes of the Hold Steady, the Tallest Man on Earth, and Nickel Creek.
Having finished their tour at the end of May, Waldemar is keeping its calendar open for potential shows in the near future. Larson hopes the CBS performance catches the attention of booking agents and leads to further touring. And he’s still shocked the band was invited on CBS Saturday Morning in the first place, considering the show gets 300 to 400 musical submissions each day.
“I’m feeling some sort of weird – it’s not survivor’s guilt, but a kind of ‘Why us?’ feeling,” Larson explained. “There’s just so many, so many insanely great bands with great records right now.”
Larson’s primary attitude, however, is one of thankfulness. “I’m super grateful for the opportunity, no matter what happens,” he said.
You can catch Waldemar’s performance on CBS Saturday Morning from 6-8am on Saturday, June 10, live on CBS, after the fact on cbs.com, or via the Paramount+ streaming service. Check out the band’s website, Bandcamp page, or find them on Facebook.