As a member of Dead Horses, Dan Wolff has performed relentlessly, opened for legendary bands like The Who, toured all over the country with renowned bands like Trampled By Turtles and Mandolin Orange, played at legendary venues like Red Rocks Amphitheater and Alpine Valley, and (along with longtime bandmate Sarah Vos) has earned a reputation as one of Wisconsin’s—if not the Midwest’s—most accomplished Americana acts. Before he was making a living exclusively as a musician, Wolff was getting in trouble for playing Bloodhound Gang and NOFX covers in high school, and killing time in his college years with decidedly less ambitious musical endeavors like Cocktooter.
Recently, Wolff joined host Tyler Maas at Milwaukee Record headquarters (thanks, vaccines!) for the first in-person My First Band recording in more than a year. After the requisite conversation about how weird it was to be in the same room and how excited they both are for the safe return of live music in some capacity, Wolff talked about abruptly ending a tour last March, spending the past year-plus learning how to record, the mixed returns from the handful of socially distant shows Dead Horses tried last summer, and reforming an old band (Offend Your Friends) over Zoom. Of course, the discussion also turned to Wolff’s musical past, including invaluable music lessons in the small Wisconsin town of Berlin, bawdy bands in his teens, the musical opportunities Oshkosh afforded him, the start of Dead Horses, the band’s eventual move to Milwaukee, and some of his most memorable on-stage and in-studio moments in the years since.
My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”), Dead Horses (“All I Ever Wanted”), and NINETEEN90S (“Zombie Apology”).