From the town that created the electric guitar and produced the legendary Les Paul, THE KEYSTONES are an amazing alternative garage rock band based in Waukesha, WI, USA that feeds off of “driving bass lines, gritty tones and simple, hypnotizing chords that shift from bar-rock beats to summer beach jams,” according to the band’s bio.
“The essence behind our band is a bit nebulous, but in short, we’re trying to play kickass shows while sharing cheap beer and exciting music with all of our fans,” stated Vocalist and Rhythm Guitarist Jack Sherman. “We want to be cool, but we’d rather be approachable. We’re kind of like the student who accidentally wins prom king in high school — we’re not the star football player or your reclusive-but-interesting crush at the back of the class. Instead, we’re the guys everyone knows and likes because we’re great at parties, and come vote-day, we win because everyone wrote us in. Also, we have good style, and that has to count for something, right?”
The Keystones – which also features Lead Guitarist Jake Litzke; Bassist Matt Sherman; and Drummer Eddie Curran – recently released its latest single entitled “WLVS.”
“‘WLVS’, pronounced ‘WOLVES,’ was written prior to a show we played with the legendary blues-rock band Reignwolf,” said Sherman. “The lyrics are about a love triangle (‘she can’t see…the way you look at me’), but actually, it’s about the creative process. ‘Paycheck to paycheck ’till you’re 65 / You’re only as old as your wasted time’ is referencing the fact that most of us spend our lives working toward a paycheck instead of a payoff. Why do we do that? In general, if you can fail at something you hate, why not try and fail at something you love?”
“As for the writing process,” Sherman continued, “the song was written from the bones of a previous blues song we used to play called ‘The Gun.’ It was pretty terrible. But that’s one of the best parts about being a small band finding its way – you can fail on a small stage and pick yourself back up in time to get on a bigger stage and crush it.”
The band originally released its debut single, “Different,” in 2019, followed by “2010,” “Miss Connection,” and “Everything I Hate To Lose.” In addition to “WLVS,” all singles will be re-released together on The Keystones upcoming EP, with additional bonus tracks.
Citing a wide range of influences, The Keystones claim to be a far cry from the glitzy, indie pop groups that seem to fall out of the woodwork these days, and the band is okay with that. Why? Because their goal isn’t to find the glossiest sound. In fact, it’s much bigger than that: The Keystones want to make the town that created the guitar as we know it proud, according to the band.
“In our current music climate, rock ‘n roll doesn’t share the same place it used to occupy,” Sherman noted. “That space has since been replaced by this cold electronic synth-based music, even in huge “rock” hits. We’re trying to bring things back to their roots a little bit: by focusing on what we can do with the instruments in our hands and making our hometown proud,” he added. “After all, we’re from Waukesha, WI, birthplace and hometown of the founder of the guitar, Les Paul, and we want to revitalize the memory of his life and his achievements while simultaneously pushing rock into a new age.”
The Keystones have opened for acts such as Reignwolf, Dirty Honey, and Cleopatrick. And, if the band keeps on the upward trajectory, the future is promising for The Keystones.
“Our goal is to play really f**king good music and see where that takes us,” Sherman stated. “We’d love to make this our primary jobs (right now, all of us have jobs and commitments outside of music). We’d be ecstatic to tour with some of our favorite groups. And we’d like to stop practicing in our parents’ basement.”
A band Les Paul would definitely be proud of. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is The Keystones.
(Lead Photo Credit: Ariel Kassulke)