Volante finds next stage

by Oren Goldberg

Some call it paying dues.

“You feel like there’s a right way to get to the next stage of things,” according to Gabe Shapiro of local indie rock band Volante, “but you don’t know what it is.”

Almost every band goes through it starting off: sparsely attended shows, little recognition and lots of uncertainty.

Volante got their start in February of 1998 with brothers Jeff and John Mitchell on guitars, Josh Madson on drums and Shapiro on bass and vocals. Since then, with some good fortune and plenty of hard work, they’ve taken their music a long way.

After the quartet released their first EP, Inland, in the summer of ’98, a friend hooked them up with D.C. indie hero and producer J. Robbins of Jawbox and Burning Airlines fame. With Robbins, the band recorded a very professional sounding LP called 45 Degrees North. The band talks about it as one of the most important things they’ve ever done, but it also caught ears, climbing not only Radio K’s chart, but also the national CMJ charts.

What’s Volante sound like? “It’s two guitars, a bass and drums-therefore it’s rock. It’s loud but not stupid,” Shapiro says. If you are looking for a box to fit Volante in, you can probably find one. It’s easy to take that the wrong way though. Shapiro explains, “If we fit into a niche, it’s not because we sat down and decided that’s what we want to sound like. It’s all a matter of context. People will hear you and compare you to something in your head, and then to them that’s what you sound like.” Get it?

A lot of things set apart Volante from many other bands. They have a sound all their own. They also have a great work ethic. “We work very hard,” drummer Josh Madson says. Jeff Mitchell, the elder of the guitarist brothers adds, “we’re not the laying-around-on-the-couch, smoking-pot, hoping-someone-will-give-us-a-show kind of band.”

Volante plays Thursday at the 7th St. Entry (701 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8388). The Hawaii Show, The Crush and The Malachi Constant also play. 8 p.m. $5. 21+. Download Volante mp3’s at www.mp3.com/volante