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Saturday, June 15, 2024

ON AN ON to bring catchy tunes to RSR stage

The Daily Cardinal recently spoke with Nate Eiesland—lead singer of the band ON AN ON. Natives of the Midwest, ON AN ON will stop in Madison Thursday, April 25, at the Regent Street Retreat Stage.

After releasing Give In earlier this year, ON AN ON has seen some substantial success. They had one of their songs, “Ghosts,” featured on the popular TV show “Grey’s Anatomy” and are in the process of headlining a national tour. Eiesland feels the band has taken this spurt of popularity in stride, as they are really enjoying their new challenges and opportunities.

“Well we’ve pretty much been on tour, pretty solid, since January, so not that much has changed. Right now we’re on a headlining tour, which is a little earlier than we would have thought to be out on a headlining tour,” Eiesland said. “But it’s been a really, really fun thing because, you know, we were just expecting to open for people for like a year. But to have one of these this early is fun to do … It’s a blast, I couldn’t ask for more.”

Even though Eiseland is confident in the music ON AN ON is making right now, he said it has still been kind of surreal how quickly things have picked up for them.

“When we put ‘Ghosts’ up in the fall it was such great reception—I would say we were surprised then,” Eiseland said. “We really thought that in the fall that it was going to be a lot slower of a burn. But it’s just amazing to be able to go around the country and even the world… and being able to meet people who are into what you’re into, the things that you think sound cool, they think sound cool too.”

One of the biggest reasons ON AN ON has so much going for them right now is because their songs have a catchiness to them that is, to put it simply, hard to pin down. There’s nothing too complex going on in any of their songs, but that’s what allows them to exist in their own form. It’s also what makes ON AN ON’s music so striking: It’s the down-to-earth, relatable feel—ripe with unfettered emotion—that draws you in, but once you’re hooked, the songs don’t lose that hold. They somehow manage to avoid the sameness that plagues an indie-rock scene currently obsessed with replicating a few very specific sounds.

“Going into it we sort of agreed that it’s not our style to say, you know, ‘we love this band and this song and this band, let’s try to make a band that sounds like all those things put together.’ There’s a way to do it, but that’s just not very interesting to us to do things that way.

We’re comfortable with having influences, of course, everything influences us … I think it’s just more of an inspiration where you can hold on to it and it feels more comfortable—if you just let it be inspiring. And I think that space where something connects to you when you listen to something and it’s that sort of magic—that is something that you can bounce off of and make something of your own,” Eiseland said.

This rejection of following a specific formula or style in songwriting is reflected in ON AN ON’s sound. And by creating something that they can call their own, ON AN ON creates a sound that lets people find their own interpretations and meanings.

“I want it to have some sort of humanity, basically. It’s frail and it’s flawed and it is what it is, but if you get to know it you can have a relationship with the art in a way,” Eiesland said. “And those are the records that have meant the most to me and that’s the kind of art and music that I want to make and we want to make.”

Eiseland is excited to make another stop in Madison with ON AN ON, especially now that Give In has generated so much attention. He feels their upcoming show will be exciting for Madison dwellers.

“This is one of the more ‘proper’ gigs we’ve had in Madison and we’re really looking forward to it,” Eiseland said.

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ON AN ON will perform at RSR Stage April 25. The doors open at 8:30 p.m.

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