If you don’t know Them Coulee Boys yet, you will soon. The Eau Claire-based bluegrass outfit just released its outstanding sophomore album, Die Happy, two weeks ago and they’re about to embark on a lengthy U.S. tour. Just days after the up-and-coming band put out its long-awaited record and just before officially hitting the road, Them Coulee Boys dropped by Turner Hall to play a one-off show in support of its new album. Before that concert, singer-guitarist Soren Staff was kind enough to talk about Die Happy and the unlikely turn of events that led to him trying to make a career in music with Them Coulee Boys.

Staff met My First Band host Tyler Maas in the Turner Hall balcony before the August 30 outing to talk about the process of making the “all killer, no filler” (both Maas’ and Sum 41’s words) record with one of his musical idols and his band’s plans for the near future. He also told Maas about his start as the singer of a Fall Out Boy-adjacent band in a rural Wisconsin town with a population of 400 and exactly no music scene before he moved to Milwaukee to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering. Along the way, he picked up an acoustic guitar, fell in love with folk, and the rest was history. This episode also features a cameo from past guest Joseph Huber, who started his soundcheck during the interview, and some ice bucket interference in the Turner Hall green room. Interruptions aside, this was and interesting and fun one!

My First Band is sponsored by Boulevard Brewing and is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. Music used in this show comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and Them Coulee Boys (“Die Happy”).