William “B.J.” Seidel wears a lot of hats. He’s owner of a celebrated beer-focused bar called Burnhearts and he co-owns Goodkind, a nationally-regarded fine dining restaurant. He’s also the lead singer and guitarist of a new Milwaukee supergroup called Dramatic Lovers. However, most Midwestern music aficionados probably know Seidel best for his work in seminal Milwaukee groups like Camden, The Promise Ring, and Decibully. Aside from a short gap after Decibully and before Dramatic Lovers, Seidel has been a celebrated fixture in Milwaukee music since he moved to this city in the mid-90s. But his musical journey actually starts much earlier.
Prior to Dramatic Lovers’ performance at this weekend’s Bay View Bash, Seidel met up with My First Band host Tyler Maas to talk about forming the short-lived Billy Jehovah & The Pigeon Boys (which quickly became “Faceless Neighbors”) as a high schooler in Racine, Wisconsin, and truly getting started in Milwaukee’s music scene with a band called Matthew’s Uncle. Over the course of the conversation, Seidel—who, coincidentally, is Maas’ landlord—talked about touring with Death Cab For Cutie and Jimmy Eat World, playing on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, being robbed and desperate for shows in Europe, being referenced in the first Duplass Brothers film (and playing shows with Mark Duplass’ former band), and much more.
My First Band is sponsored by Boulevard Brewing and Bradford 2020: A Charity Calendar. The show 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”), Decibully (“On The Way To Your Hotel”), and Dramatic Lovers (“How Do You Want To Be Remembered”).