Inspired by his jazz-playing father and a burgeoning scene around Lake Zurich High School, Christopher Steibel was interested in writing music, even if he wasn’t completely convinced he should perform it.
That is, until a random jam session freshman in his Indiana University dorm introduced him to future Everyday Fantastic bandmates Ryan Lampe and Mitchell Gabel and kicked him out of his musical shell.
“I really wasn’t the music guy in high school. It kind of took a back seat,” he said. “It was actually when I went to college and met these guys. They were supportive of me and loved the music we were working on and gave me the confidence to play for people. .”
“He was playing these songs and going, ‘Yeah, that’s something I wrote, I don’t know. And we were like, ‘Man, this is great!'” said Gabel, the band’s lead guitarist.
This weekend, the dynamic trio headlines the HVAC Pub in Wrigleyville, along with xxThread (from Columbus, Ohio) and The Permanent Fix, another Chicago-area band whose members hail from Evanston and Park Ridge.
Allowing for a post-college hiatus before the bandmates converge on Chicago again after meeting in an IU homecoming game – drummer Lampe from Indianapolis and Gabel from Madison , Wisconsin — the trio have been mixing it up musically for almost six years even though their Chicago debut only happened last summer.
“We really missed the experience of performing with each other and doing shows, writing music,” Gabel said. “And so we all kind of made the decision to come to Chicago primarily for the band. At least those of us who moved out. Christopher was already living here anyway, but he was very supportive of us.”
“Chicago is a great place. There are a lot of opportunities and it’s a really great place. So I intimidated them a bit,” Steibel added, to laughter from the group.
Even though there are only four songs from Everyday Fantastic for fans to explore on Spotify and other streaming services – including this summer’s release “Too Late” – after all this time together, the trio amassed a catalog of unrecorded favorites from their college years and new songs for future releases to draw from for the show. Fans will also be treated to the launch of the band’s next single.
The ensemble will showcase their progression from Steibel’s early folksongs, through the sparkling synth-fueled indie-pop, to the lively riff-based rock they focus on today. Going from DIY house shows around IU to opening The Mowgli’s when the band visited the university – “We were backstage with them. They called us for their encore. I felt like a superstar “, said Steibel – to play in bars and halls in the Chicago area contributed to this development, inspiring even more for the group.
“With us playing so long together, we have so many ideas and songs waiting. We can go into Christopher’s computer and find so many half-ideas for things,” said Lampe, who, in in addition to starring in both Everyday Fantastic and The Permanent Fix, was also seen recently in “Never the Bridesmaid” at the Oil Lamp Theater in Glenview.
“We have a lot of things that we really like and that we just need to take the time to finalize and put in place,” he said, “because one of our main objectives in the coming months is to get a body to practice on, like an EP or something, to concisely show where we’re going with our sound.”
“It’s totally a product of the environment that we started writing. We’ve come all the way into the house show scene where it’s in somebody’s basement or somebody’s garage who plays in Indiana, where you gotta be loud, you gotta have a lot of fun, have a ton of energy,” Steibel said. “People want to sing, and they want to dance and have a good time. And so a lot of our music is written from that perspective, where it has to be just as energetic.”
• • •
Fantastic everyday with xxThread, the permanent solution
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, August 13
Where: HVAC Pub, 3530 N. Clark St., Chicago, hvacpubwrigley.com