The feedback from the community for this high school band has been great. Feedback is composed of four high school friends, ranging from 14 – 17 year olds. The band is composed of Mike Leier, lead vocalist; Sam Ruch, guitarist; Grant Christianson, saxophonist and bassist; and Alex Conner, drummer. Brad Conner, Alex’s dad, manages the band.
How did they meet up?
They’re all pretty good friends from high school and have been performing for about a year. The story of how they first got together started a while ago. Mike and Sam started playing at the VFW when they were 12. The manager of the VFW asked them if they could play a full three-hour show, but they didn’t think they could, so they added Alex and Grant and got booked last year around Veterans day.
Where did the name come from?
Sam thought up the name in fourth grade and held onto it.
How long have they played music?
All of them have played music for most of their lives. Grant started taking classical piano lessons in kindergarten and took saxophone lessons from Russ Peterson at Concordia. Mike has played since he was 11, Sam since he was 10 and Alex has played for a few years. Everybody has made music part of their life.
What’s best part about being in a band?
They all love the camaraderie. The band has brought them together as friends.
Is it hard to balance school and the band?
It’s not at all hard for them. They say performing and practicing together is a good way to escape the tension of school.
Is it hard for people to take them seriously because of their age?
They often have problems finding gigs because of their age. Often times bars don’t think they are serious. There are also a lot of legal issues to deal with kids under 18 performing in bars. The city of Fargo has an ordinance that allows them to play in bars as paid entertainers, but in Minnesota they have to get a work permit in order to perform.
What are the plans for the future of Feedback?
Grant is the only member of the band who is a senior. He’s not sure what his plans are next year. He said, “he may go east, west or just stay here.” He does know music will be a part of his life forever. However, he’s also interested in chemical engineering. He’s struggling to find the fine line between music and academic pursuits. They want to take Feedback as far as they can.
What are some of their interests outside of music?
All of the members have other interests outside of music.
Alex likes to play football and was the captain of the freshman football team … right before he got a concussion and had to sit out.
Mike is the Bear Grylls of the group. He really likes to backpack and go hiking in the mountains.
Grant likes to read and spend time with friends, as we all do. He’s also interested in theater production and musicals.
Sam likes to write stories and poems.