Capitol Drive unveils new CD

Alex Schaaf

The evening of Saturday, March 3 the Underground Coffeehouse will host Capitol Drive, a rock band from Milwaukee that includes Alex Bunke, a Lawrence sophomore, on the drums.
The show is the official CD release event for Capitol Drive’s second album, “Why I Brought You Here.”
Hailing from Brookfield, Wis., just outside of Milwaukee, the band has been together since January of 2003. Bunke rules over the drums, as well as adding vocals and guitars.
Ben Glawe also adds vocals and guitars, as well as the distinctive harmonica. Mike Howard contributes vocals and guitar, and Dan Shafer plays bass.
Presenting a sound that the band describes as “rock-and-roll with a harmonica,” they draw from such influences as the Dave Matthews Band, Incubus and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
They recorded their first album, “That Was Glorious,” in 2003, but the result was one part of their history that the band would rather forget.
The drummer spared no more than four words to describe that album. “It was no good,” said Bunke.
But their newest album, “Why I Brought You Here,” shows vast improvement in not only recording quality but in songwriting.
The band finds the right mix of upbeat guitar-driven songs such as “Small Exchange,” and more complex, layered “epic” songs such as the six-and-a-half minute “Airplane.”
There is also room for the occasional ballad, like “Both Crazy,” which manages to capture that often-elusive goal of heartfelt emotion without being overly cheesy.
The songwriting on the album was a collective process: Each member of the band contributed to each song.
“The coolest thing about the band is that all four of us have a hand in any aspect of song production,” said Bunke. “Everyone in the band has written at least one aspect of a song, which keeps everyone interested, and so no one feels left out.”
The creation of the album was a long process for the band. Taking roughly two years to complete, the entire thing was recorded in Glawe’s basement.
“It was literally like putting a puzzle together,” said Bunke. “We were all so busy with other things that there never seemed to be a time when we all could be in the studio at the same time.”
Another issue that added to the length of the process is, in fact, one of the band’s most noteworthy qualities.
“We have three different singers in the band,” said Bunke. “So for each song, each of us recorded the vocals for the song, and then we as a band decided which voice worked best for each song.”
In October of 2006, the final mix was finally finished. The band then took the album to a company in Milwaukee to have it mastered. After completing that process, the disc was sent off for duplicating and packaging, and the band received the albums in their finished forms in December.
The CDs will be available for sale at Saturday’s show. However, Bunke is quick to point out that the purpose of the album was not to make money.
“All we really want is just for people to hear the CD, and to enjoy us,” he said. “We’re not concerned with making money off of it. As long as people can hear us, and eventually come to some of our shows, that is all we really need.”
The show begins at 8 p.m. and is free to the public.