Interviews with South Dakotans finding success outside their college major by Kyle Hallberg.
Throughout my journey with 605, I’ve delved deep into the music scene of Sioux Falls. While I have met my fair share of bands, singer-songwriters and producers, none were quite like the band made up by Adel Toay, Donny Minor and Zane Lodmell. Also known as Remember To Breathe, this band has been through the ringer and back, and all for one common goal: revive pop punk. Between school, jobs, relationships and life in general, the band has found a way to keep things going, thriving when everything else felt still.
Kind enough to let me into their personal world of recording, the band invited me to their studio and sit down and talk about things from the beginning, to the now, and what there is to come.
Kyle Hallberg: So, how did this happen?
Adel Toay: My junior year of high school I decided I wanted to make a record and it was originally acoustic, solo stuff. Then I wanted to move it more towards studio, band work. The band itself took a bit of a hiatus when I went to the Art Institute of Los Angeles, which is where I lived for a year. I realized that wasn’t what I really wanted to do. At that time, there were only two members of the band. So when I got back, we got the ball rolling on our recovery EP, which is when John left and Zane came in. So that’s how that part happened.
KH: What about Donny?
AT: We actually found each other on Craigslist! It was much less of an audition and more of an invitation. Which also led to Zane, who happened to be living with Donny, so it just made sense for him to be in the band, especially because we were in desperate need of a drummer.
KH: Wow, that’s quite the unconventional approach to acquiring a full band. So after you had a band, a new EP and a release show, where do you go from there?
AT: Well we knew that we wanted to have something out within a year of the EP, and we each kept bringing our own things to the table. We actually started this album before the EP was released, so things kind of just kept going at a natural pace. We were pumping out songs and playing a crazy amount of shows, which we could never seem to get enough of. But, what really launched this album was our recent signing with Loud, Broke and Dumb Records here in Sioux Falls. We plan on taking it to Minneapolis in the end, but it is just a cool thing to be recording in Sioux Falls, where everything started and all of our fans discovered us.
KH: Not that you don’t already seem busy enough, but besides shows, recording and signing, what else happens in your lives? What about school?
Donny Minor: Well I go to USF for Theatre, which has always been in my life. I have dabbled with the idea of teaching, but the thing with that is music has always been number one, and I kind of look at theatre as my fall back, teaching or not.
Zane Lodmell: I am not currently going to school. I went to USF for two years for Youth Ministry and Theology, where I discovered that was something I really didn’t want to do. My plan is to get my degree in some sort of music production.
KH: You guys seem to have juggling down to an art, and the decision to stay, leave and go back to school can be a rough one, but your calm demeanor lets me think the band is number one right now. Do you think your fans see it that way too? Will this album keep that up?
DM: I’m really stoked for this new album, I think it will shift people’s outlook on what kind of band we are. If we had to describe our album, it would be this: If pop punk is dead, we are a band of witch doctors trying to revive it. We have had people come up to us and tell us that they can hear a change in our sound, a good change. It’s awesome to have people come up to us at shows and say we’ve gotten better and grown as a band. Honestly, that’s why we do this. We love writing and recording, but the shows are the reason we are still doing this. The fan base we have built in Sioux Falls is incredible; and while it is small, they are true fans. It’s a crazy feeling to be doing a show and look out and see people in the audience singing along to one of the songs you’ve written.
KH: That’s really cool. I don’t want to say groupies, but I feel like that is the ultimate goal, to have people follow you from album to album, to be able to build a consistent sound that keeps people around.
ZL: Definitely. The best compliment we’ve ever had is a girl say she is excited for our new album. Hearing that was insane. Hopefully when we are able to expand out of South Dakota and take this album on tour, we will be able to build an even bigger fan base.
KH: I find it super interesting that you guys are really best friends and that you have such a personal relationship with the audience and your fans. Do you guys ever feel like there is a certain kind of pressure between school, friends and the band?
AT: Yes and no. I think that is only ever feels like a burden because we know we can’t not do it- And while we have met some of our best friends in college, the people we meet at shows are able to forget about their problems and all of the negativity just falls away. We feel that with the bands we meet, too. The music community in Sioux Falls is so welcoming and everyone just wants to have fun and make music. But, in the end, we are honestly so lucky to have found each other. After everything that this band has been through, to come out with these people is amazing.