A slice of Hard Salami
Dubuque-based band prides itself on fun, fun and more fun
It's motto might be "We play good music badly," but for the Dubuque-based band Hard Salami, you don't need to be great to have fun.
"Anybody can be the band that people just sit and listen to," said guitarist Kent Kraus. "We like to give the crowd a good time and get them involved. If people don't have fun at our shows, we're disappointed. We take our fun seriously."
Just shy of 10 months in the making, Hard Salami's off-the-cuff brand of humor, crowd participation shows and knack for having a good time has made it popular with area live music audiences.
Four fun members strong, the group includes Kraus, 38, on guitar and vocals; Scott Coleman, 43, on lead vocals; Tod Hollenback, 43, on bass, vocals and sound; and Nick Oberhoffer, 23, on drums.
All work together at Eagle Point.
The high-energy acoustic rock band plays an extensive list of covers -- the songs you know and love -- ranging from Jimmy Buffet to '80s one-hit wonders and traditional Irish tunes.
Hard Salami prides itself on working the room.
"We bring people up on stage to sing, dance and play instruments," said Coleman. "We even have a horn section people can come up and use. And if the crowd doesn't come to us, we go to them. We'll use a wireless mic and go out into the audience. If people are timid about it, they tend to get over it pretty fast."
"We had our thing early," Hollenback added. "We wanted to be the band that people had fun going to see. If people have a good time, they talk about it and they come to see you again."
Hard Salami had all but the band when it first began coming into fruition. They had the logo, the concept and, of course, the name.
"We went on a road trip to Chicago together, and someone had food," said Kraus. "At one point, somebody said, 'Hard salami -- that would be an awesome name for a band!' We would always ask, 'When are we getting the band together?'"
The band finally did get together at the company's Christmas party at the Grand River Center, which marked its debut gig.
"That first gig was what really inspired us to keep it going," said Coleman. "Everyone was so blown away and surprised by it -- they had a good time. We decided that this was something we could really do."
Since then, Hard Salami has been branded.
"We actually haven't gone out seeking opportunities," said Kraus. "They have all come to us."
"We are not doing this for the money or to become famous," said Coleman, who, like his other bandmates, has a family at home. "Our priority is to just have fun with it and schedule the band around our home life."
Copyright 2007 Telegraph Herald 801 Bluff St., Dubuque, IA 52001
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