It’s been a banner year for the Geneva band Fargo, which last summer won the Geneva Park District’s Battle of the Bands competition and now is playing at Chicago music venues alongside such acts as Said The Whale, a Canadian band.
Fargo, comprised of lead singer/guitarist Ryan Thomas, Robert Donile on guitar, synthesizer and vocals, Brandon Cantwell on bass and David Del Giudice on drums, will perform Friday, Aug. 2, as part of the Paul Ruby Foundation’s seventh annual Concert for a Cure fundraiser at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles.
The concert will feature former Journey singer Steve Augeri and his band. Also on the bill is local band Noah’s Arcade. The show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are available at www.oshows.com.
Kane County Chronicle reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to Thomas, who will be a sophomore this fall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, about the show and Fargo’s latest activities.
Eric Schelkopf: So, are you guys pretty excited about being on the bill for the second year in a row?
Ryan Thomas: We’re very excited. And the change of venue was a cool selling point for us, as well. The Arcada is such a historically rich place in terms of the Tri-Cities area.
ES: The band’s name comes from the fact that your parents live on Fargo Boulevard in Geneva, right?
RT: Yeah, as do I, I guess, when I’m not in school.
ES: You guys last year won [the] Geneva Park District’s Battle of the Bands competition, and now are playing at Chicago music venues with Said the Whale, a band that is known pretty well in Canada. What are you learning from playing with bands of that caliber?
RT: We are seeing the kinds of things that go on behind the scenes that all come together to make a show happen.
ES: Are you surprised at all that you are able to book these shows? Obviously, there is good word of mouth about the band.
RT: Something that we really try to do is play music that’s contemporary, that people would get excited to listen to in 2013.
And I think that helps. We’re not like some classic rock derivative. Also, at our first shows that we played locally, we were fortunate to have some pretty strong crowds.
ES: So, I guess it’s been a pretty good year for you guys. Did it all kind of start with you guys winning the Geneva competition?
RT: It’s hard to gauge. I think it’s just that kind of grinding away, continuing to play shows and continuing to reach out to new promoters.
I see a lot of local bands that are kind of playing the same venues over and over again. We did do that to some extent, but I think it’s important to be contacting new promoters and new venues on a pretty ongoing basis.
I’m ambitious with it. I don’t have any trouble with receiving a “no” from a promoter. I’m still happy with myself if I tried.
ES: What do you think it is about your music that appeals to people?
RT: I don’t know. I think the whole indie rock thing is something that is big right now.
I think we take elements of that. Those things might be appealing to the younger crowd.
They might hear elements of bands like Radiohead. People also throw around Vampire Weekend as a reference sometimes.
We have some older people who enjoy our music as well because they hear elements of what they were listening to when they were teenagers. And that’s completely accurate, because we listen to plenty of Talking Heads and things like that from the ’80s.