For close to 15 years, Erik Stenglein has been the vocalist, guitarist, and only constant member of Northless. During that span, the Milwaukee metal band has managed a number of sludgy and punishing releases that have earned the attention of respected music publications and listeners all over the world. With new members in the fold, a new album on the way sometime this year and shows on the books, it looks like there are a lot of exciting things on the horizon for Northless.

Prior to his band’s March 11 show at Cactus Club, Stenglein spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about all those exciting developments and many of the projects that preceded Northless. Over the course of the conversation, Stenglein talked about growing up in the rural Wisconsin town of Hubertus, discovering Metallica at a young age, immersing himself in guitar, playing in a variety of grindcore and hardcore bands in his teens and early twenties, finding kinship in the Milwaukee music scene, and some of the most memorable moments he’s experienced as a member of Northless. And yes, the Ernest film franchise also came up!

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”) and Northless (“Godsend”).