The Box Social

The Box Social

Infobox musical artist
Name = The Box Social

Img_capt = Madison, Wis., 2008
Landscape = yes
Background =
Years_active = 2002–present
Origin = Mequon, Wis., US
Genre = Alternative
Label = Bright Ideas
No Karma
Associated_acts = Direct Hit
Nick Junkunc
Current_members = Nick Junkunc
Nick Woods
Dave Griesbach
Brian Peoplis
Past_members = Mike Ewing
Adam Melberth
Matt Kuehl
URL = []

The Box Social is an American rock band from the Midwestern United States based in Madison, Wisconsin, the state's capital in the south-central region. While usually classified as pop rock or power pop, the band has drawn influences from grunge, country, and alternative genres, citing bands such as Nirvana, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Replacements, and REM as their major forebears.


The Box Social was founded in Mequon, Wisconsin - a northern suburb of Milwaukee - c. 2002 by singer/songwriter Nick Junkunc, drummer Brian Peoplis, and bassist Mike Ewing. Originally members of a prog rock-type group called Nineteen Tickety Two, the three solidified on their own as an independent band to focus more on Junkunc's songwriting, and began performing student showcases at their respective high schools. The band's name came about as a reference to a popular episode of The Simpsons in which Marge tells Homer "no par-tays, no shindigs, no keggers, no hootenannies, no mixers, no raves, no box socials!" in order to keep him from holding parties at Mr. Burns's home.

After performing approximately 10 shows in the Milwaukee suburbs, the band was approached by Junkunc's friend Nick Woods, of former Pleasant Street fame, who offered to put together a Web site for the group after seeing them perform at Marquette University High School. When Junkunc later mentioned they were considering adding a lead guitarist after failing to find a new singer - a role Junkunc still maintains - Woods offered to fill in. The new lineup (Junkunc/Woods/Peoplis/Ewing) performed their first show together at a friend's party in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin in May of 2003. At the time, Woods was a senior in high school; Junkunc, Peoplis and Ewing were juniors.

In June of 2003, the band recorded their first set of demos, compiled on a 5-track disc they called "What, Too Soon?", which they released and sold to their friends in a run of 100 CD-R copies. They have since sold out and have not been repressed.

In August of 2003, Woods moved to Madison, WI to attend the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and rode the bus home every weekend to practice and play shows. The band began performing on a more regular basis in basements within Milwaukee's Riverwest Neighborhood, and soon began sharing stages groups such as Thunderbirds Are Now!, Poster Children, and Tim Kinsella. It was at one of these shows they met No Karma Recordings founder Michael Wojtasiak, who kept in touch with the members as the band grew more popular in Milwaukee and the surrounding areas.

In December of 2003, the first billed performance of what would come be called "The Classic Four" by no one in particular took place in a basement in Shorewood, Wisconsin. The recurring lineup - consisting of The Box Social, Bob Gun, Juiceboxxx, and Doombuggy - would come to dominate Milwaukee's music scene for the next year, creating a developing scene that was nonexistent before the four groups began performing together consistently.

The Box Social recorded their second set of tracks called "Golly Gee Whiz!" in July of 2004, which was subsequently released by Mike Graff and Qdot Records in a run of 150 CD-R copies. The covers were designed, silkscreened and numbered by hand in Madison by an artist duo called The Little Friends of Printmaking. The band sold the majority of them before the remaining 10-20 copies were stolen when the band performed at Onopa Brewing Co. that summer with Bob Gun and The Five Mod Four.

In August of 2004, the band went on their first tour, lasting a week, with six performances in St. Paul, Ames, Kansas City, St. Louis, Peoria, and Chicago. Because Nick Woods's unappreciative brother would not fill in, Bob Gun singer/songwriter Zach Rapport filled in for Ewing on bass, who remained home to be with his girlfriend. At their show in Kansas City, a number of items were stolen from the band's van after a chunk of asphalt was thrown through their passenger side window. Woods watched the culprit walk away with the stolen gear, but did not realize what had happened until Junkunc found the shattered window and empty interior. Among the stolen equipment were Rapport's bass and amplifier, a situation remedied by borrowing gear from other bands in St. Louis, Peoria, and Chicago. This experience was the inspiration for the final verse of the song "Blown to Bits," and the song "KCMO" from Get Going, which shares many of the same lyrics as that final verse.

In September of 2004, Junkunc and Ewing joined Woods at UW-Madison, while Peoplis remained in Milwaukee. The band fired Mike Ewing soon thereafter, and began searching for a new bassist - Zach Rapport filled in until Matt Kuehl joined mid-month.

In January of 2005, the new lineup of Junkunc, Woods, Kuehl, and Peoplis went on their second tour - an 11-day trip to New York City and back, and performed live on 91.7 WMSE. The band made a second trip out to the city that spring to perform as house band for the Banished To Siberia comedy showcase, before returning home and recording their EP "Blown To Bits" with Shane Olivo at Bobby Peru's Recording Studio on Milwaukee's south side. The album was released worldwide by No Karma Recordings in October 2005 as a limited pressing of 1,000 CDs. Soon after recording the EP, the band fired Matt Kuehl, and replaced him with Adam Melberth that September.

In January of 2006, Junkunc, Woods, Melberth and Peoplis went on an 11-day trip to the Southern and East-Central United States, performing in Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas and Indiana among others. They returned home to performances with The Redwalls, The Pink Spiders, and others, and parted ways with Adam Melberth in March, 2006. Peoplis's friend Dave Griesbach replaced him that month.

The band began recording demos for what would become the full-length album "Get Going" in April of 2006 with engineers Shane Olivo and Justin Perkins. After a 3-week tour that took the band through the Rocky Mountains and up the West Coast, the group returned home to begin pre-production with Dave Rieley, who later recorded the album's 11 songs at Rax Trax and Chicago Recording Company in Chicago, IL over the Winter of 2006 and 2007. The album was co-released on June 9th, 2007 by Bright Ideas and No Karma Recordings on an unlimited basis.

The band has recently returned home from a 2-month tour that took them through 35 states, and included several performances on the Vans Warped Tour. They have been voted Best Band in Wisconsin by viewers of FuseTV, and Best Emerging Artist by Summerfest attendees.



Notable Press

[ Hybrid Magazine]
[ Onion]
[ Delusions of Adequacy]
[ Nashville Scene]
[ Culture Bunker]
[ Shepherd Express]
[ Independent Clauses]

External links

* [ MySpace Page]

* [ Web site]

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