Kalimur, an alternative rock band from Connecticut, is on the road to success one note at a time, but their first step in their musical journey is gaining local support while juggling a college career.
Fortunately, vocalist Brett Steinberg, guitarist Alex Trouern-Trend, drummer Jonah Propfe, and bassist Tyler Berkich won’t let anything deter them from their route to the top, but they admit that keeping up a band while in college is a relentless process. Steinberg and Trend attend college at the University of Connecticut Storrs, while Berkich goes to UCONN Stamford, and Propfe studies at Manchester Community College. All of their schedules are packed with schoolwork and side jobs, but Steinberg explained that although they are all busy, if music is a priority, then they will make it work.
Originally, Steinberg became friends with Berkich during the first week at school and the two decided to “jam” together in their dorm. Steinberg said that he played a few shows for his solo project around Connecticut but also around campus at open-mics or artist showcases. Berkich joined him for a few shows, and towards the end of the first semester last school year, Trend happened to be at one of their shows and took an interest to their music. Trend recognized Steinberg and Berkich from a mutual friend’s graduation party, and immediately spoke up.
Steinberg said that after the three played together for the first time, there was a “really good vibe” in the room, so Steinberg and Berkich decided to ask Trend to join them on their endeavors. He explained to Trend that they’re looking to pursue this musical journey in a very serious way and although it’s going to be very intense and time consuming, they are willing to sacrifice a lot of time and money to make this work. Trend not only agreed to join the band, but also sought out his family friend Propfe while the members were desperately looking for a drummer.
The three members were preparing for a Battle of the Bands show in Hartford and since Propfe jumped onto the bandwagon last second, they only had a total of three hours to practice together. Propfe said that he practiced with Steinberg and Trend the day before the show and met Berkich just hours before they hit the stage. Nonetheless, Steinberg said the energy was amazing and the chemistry between the four musicians was a nice surprise, since none of them knew what to expect.
That night, Steinberg, Berkich, Trend, and Propfe knew that this was a defining moment in their musical careers-not only could they play together, but they could play well in front of one of their largest crowds to date.
In April, Kalimur released their first album, entitled, Ghosts We Used to Know. Steinberg said that the album stemmed from a bunch of different topics, but ultimately the message was two intertwining ideas: past relationships, and creating an optimistic outlook from them. He said that the last song on the album, You’re Not Alone, sums up the album as a whole.
“It summarizes the ultimate idea that we want our listeners to leave with,” Steinberg said. “Although there are past relationships or other aspects of life that might make someone a pessimist, at the end of the day, we’re all in this together and there’s definitely a silver lining in that.”
Promotion is one of the band’s key to success, so Trouern explained that the members have to go around to any “ear” nearby and say, “Hey, we’ve got this thing that we’re diving into head first. We love the music we make, and if you like the music, we want you to be apart of this journey.” Social media has helped the band reach out to six different continents, growing their fan base to over 16,000 followers on Twitter.
Steinberg discussed how social media has really helped the band expand to people around the world, but since they are a local band, a “hometown crowd” is the top priority for Kalimur. Building a fanbase that could come to a show at The Space or any other Connecticut local venue is important to the band, Steinberg explained.
“For us, getting that local following is such an important aspect of what we’re trying to do,” Steinberg said. “At the end of the day, we love writing, we love Twitter, and we love playing live shows, but unfortunately, we can’t play in a place like Brazil right now.”
Steinberg said that the band loves playing local shows around Clinton, Conn., because they have the opportunity to connect and look into the eyes of their fans.
Local shows are extremely important to the band, but they have bigger dreams for the future. One day, Steinberg said he would like to play at Madison Square Garden in New York City, but most of all, he would just like to be able to make a living off of making music. In order to reach this point, Steinberg said that the band must strive as artists and improve what they have already recorded to produce only the absolute best possible creations.
“Success is found in the music industry through promotion, playing shows, writing, recording, practicing and improving,” Steinberg said. “We need to continue what we’re doing and continue the daily grind. Improvement will lead us to finding success.”
Over the past three months, the band has been releasing new content, including their newest single, Modern Love. Kalimur explained that over the next few months, they will continue to release new content and there is new music on the horizon. The band has already booked more shows, and will continue to book more through the summer.
“When you come to a Kalimur show, it’s not just a concert,” Steinberg said. “You’re coming into this community of a Kalimur family. You’re going to get music that’s real from people who are real and who not only want to play music for you, but talk to you before and after the show.”
Members explain that a show is an experience all about honesty, connection, and most importantly, rock n’ roll.
Kalimur is set to play at The Space in Hamden, Conn. tonight at 7:30 p.m., as well as on Jan. 10 and 29. For more tour dates and music, visit http://www.kalimurband.com/.