Since forming in 2010, The Olives have been a beloved-though-largely unknown part of Milwaukee music. The entirely female punk quartet and its arsenal of brash and mostly-goofy songs spanning one or two minutes apiece were basement show favorites, in addition to going over well at (primarily) Riverwest cafes and bars, and our recent Local Coverage benefit. However, the band announced it would be playing a farewell show at Bremen Cafe on June 13.
The decision to part ways came as a result of bass player Alyssa Schulte’s upcoming move to Portland, Oregon this summer. Beyond her role as The Olives’ bassist, Schulte is also a popular Milwaukee artist and one of Hovercraft’s three founders.
“Being in The Olives has been different from every other art collaboration I’ve worked on because I went into it not knowing anything and I learned everything from my bandmates,” Schulte says. “We all learned from each other and influenced each other so that our songs truly were a collaboration of the four of us. Also, we have a lot of fun together and goof around a lot.”
Guitarist and singer Mary Johnson compares The Olives’ conclusion to the end of a long-term relationship, but is happy with what she’s been able to accomplish with collaborators she says are “like family” to her.
“I am just amazed and so grateful that we stuck with it for as long as we did and that we grew so much as musicians and human beings together,” Johnson says. “We started with the concept of all of us playing instruments we had never played before. To see where we are today creatively and musically compared to where we started is mind-blowing.”
Johnson will continue to play with her other band, Fox Face, and started a band called Donna Juanitas with members of New Boyz Club, The Calamity Janes, Sex Forecast, and Struggle Session. Her band Pussy Collector is playing a reunion show in April. Drummer Lindsay DeGroot is the new bass player for Static Eyes, taking over the spot recently vacated by Jake Kornely. The Olives’ last show will feature Iron Pizza and another band TBA. Like all Bremen Cafe events, the farewell show will be free.
“The most important part of the whole experience becomes treating the end with the respect it deserves,” Johnson says. “Alyssa’s move makes the end so definitive, so why not throw her an amazing going away party?”