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Rock, paper, scissors, queue the set

Sherry Lane: Folk, punk and indie all mixed together

By Chris Rugowski

Sherry Lane performing at the Lyric Room. The band will perform at Frets and Friends on May 8 for its album release show. Submitted Photos

What started out as a folky acoustic set on New Year’s Eve 2019 at Pepper on Broadway Ave has blossomed into a harmonious mix of indie-punk rock featuring the likes of singer and lyricist Tyler Tolman, bassist Brandin Tolman, jazz and blues guitarist Jon Vertz and metal drummer Rudy Solorio – now known to fans as Sherry Lane.

On May 7, the Green Bay-based indie-punk rockers will play their hearts out for a sneak-peek album release show at 9 p.m. at Frets and Friends (2105 University Ave). Doors open at 8:30 p.m.

Though the album won’t officially be released until May 8 at midnight, physical copies will be available for purchase at the show.

Elmerglueskin and The Sinner and The Saint are set to open the show.

Unconventional start

It’s been an uphill battle for the mixed-sound band – with its first show happening two weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world.

While performances slowed, Tyler Tolman said the band took the pandemic as a sign to finish recording its first album in the most DIY fashion possible, all while refining its sound as a band.

Fast forward to 2022, and Sherry Lane is set to release its second EP, Rough Night.

Tyler Tolman said though the lyrical content is dark, the sound on the new album is “unintentionally upbeat.”

“Most of it’s pretty upbeat actually,” he said. “It starts out blues-like with that swagger confidence, and then it kind of adapts as it goes; by the end it’s punk.”

Though Rough Night contains just five songs, Tyler Tolman said the band is always writing, always ready to have a good time and always ready to entertain.

Tyler Tolman said Sherry Lane’s mixed sounds are what makes it unique.

“I will say the dynamic of Rudy having a metal background, John having a jazz improv background and then me and Brandin having folk backgrounds, makes us unique in a way,” he said. “Because when we want to get loud and have a double kick going it could happen, and maybe Jon’s solos sound like Dinosaur Jr. It’s incredible.”

Tyler Tolman said the band’s goal is to put on a show, be entertaining, be professional and ultimately have a stage presence that is memorable, like that of Arctic Monkeys, which he said a lot of his education in stage presence came from.

“I try to have the most fun ever,” Solorio said. “I obviously want to put on a good show, but at the end of the day we’re doing something that we love.”

Brandin Tolman said leaving an impression on the audience is key.

“If one person leaves our show and talks about us to even one person that’s pretty good,” he said. “Whether it’s good or bad, at least you’re getting our name out there. Mainly, I just want to have fun with it.”

Which is what all band members say is its overall theme – fun – and Tyler Tolman said there is no shortage of fun to be had.

The band said though Rough Night contains just five tracks, the sentiment of playing on stage and living through the pandemic as an artist really rings true – which Tyler Tolman said forced Sherry Lane to think differently, especially given the indie-punk genre.

Tyler Tolman said everyone in the band appreciates the music, and wants to see it continue to be a force going into the future.

He said as far as an end goal, timeframes and the thought of getting signed, Sherry Lane is just living in the moment.

“I think that’s the greatest thing about being an indie band at the moment, we don’t have a deadline,” Tyler Tolman said. “We can do whatever we want and release whatever we want, whenever we want, so it’s just a great experience.”

Chris Rugowski is a photojournalist from Green Bay, who mainly focuses on event photography, with an emphasis on bands and music.

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