Granola Just wrapped up their debut album, we caught up with them to get the scoop on their Album


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Debut Single off new Album PleasureLand

OntheMic.news Visits with Connor Engberg From the band Granola.

By Luis Martinez

We're excited to have a chance to catch up to Connor Engberg from Granola.

Thanks for taking the time out to sit with us today.

Yeah, thank you, excited to do this.

You really have an inspiring story about the inception of your band and how it all came together, Tell us about it?

All right, well we've all kind of been jamming together for quite a few years. We met at the former Brennan Rock and Roll Academy in Sioux Falls. My boy Jackson Ashlok the drummer, was a student there. So you know we started out being one of the first bands to jam together. Right away we got off to a great friendship and just had a really good vibe going on as a drummer and guitar player.  

Photos  courtesy of Granolamusic.com

Later when performing at the local fairgrounds with Kory and The Fireflies, I met Amberly Koopman, our keyboard player. We invited her to our show, and later we got her to join the band and play with us, which was great. Next, I recruited Parker Brown from my high school to join the band as well. I had the privilege of choosing my favorite people for our band, and together we just started creating music. We practiced for two years as the band Granola, not really going anywhere. 

You guys were in the start-up phase. 

Yeah, we didn't really take it seriously and basically goofed around, hung out, and played music. Not really going anywhere, just kicking dirt around.

Tell us how you came up with your band name Granola?

The name Granola came from an inside joke between us, the term was originally used as an adjective. "Like oh, that's Granola, or that's pretty Granola." Now it's our band name and flows naturally, although we are frequently asked why. 

 Tell us about your experience with developing this album and what things you did differently than when you recorded your single Treble Clef Tattoo?

Treble Clef Tattoo was just dipping our toes in the water. I had the guitar riff and the lyrics, we put them together and it somehow worked. Now with the Album, we're finding out we had to have everything along the same theme, so the album can be a smooth listen. We were experimenting with a lot more songs and introducing more sounds. We brought in a few choir members, Reid Hunhoff, Katy Price and Stacie Soderstrom, as well as a close friend on the violin, Hanna Guggisburg. Parker brought in a trumpet player as well, Rilyn Fox.   

What's the title of the album?


How did you guys come up with the name?

Well, we have a song called Pleasureland. It's an instrumental song and when we play it live we bring fans up onstage and have props for them, hats, bongos, a frog percussion, and a shark head. It's wild, everyone is dancing on stage and that's Pleasureland.

Do you have a favorite track on the Album?

I'm not sure. The first song that I ever wrote to completion is on the album, Sinning Boy, which is our closing song. 

When can we expect a release on the album?

May-ish, we have one more track we are working on in the studio.  

I want to thank you again for sitting down with us today. Do you have any peeps you want to send a shout out to?

Yeah; Jackson, Parker, and Amberley. Mark at the bunker, who has some good stuff going on over there. Last but not least our photographer and close friend, Anthony.   

OntheMic.news would like to thank  Connor Engberg and The Band Granola. We look forward to the release of their Album, PleasureLand. For concert events and booking, visit Granolamusic.com.

Guitar Instructors on the go will love what the Blackstar ID: Core 10 has to offer.  


I purchased two Blackstar ID: Core 10's over a year ago for commercial use. As a traveling guitar instructor, I wanted an amp that was low wattage, compact, lightweight, durable, and would cover a nice pallet of sounds from clean warm tones with a touch of reverb to delayed, sustaining tones with lots of gains.   

The Blackstar ID: Core 10 delivers that and more. Weighing in at a mere 8.1 pounds, the Blackstar ID Core 10 was easy to travel with. These two little powerhouse amps have demonstrated their durability over and over again. The Blackstar ID: Core 10 is equipped with outstanding features such as full control over your patch configuration and effects via the Blackstar Insider Software, which is provided for free through Blackstar. Many of my students were still learning how to create tones using various effect pedals so having access to reverb, delay, gain, and modulation was a great feature to have to provide guidance in creating great sounds. My Blackstar ID: Core10's are now nearing the 15-month mark without any failures or broken components. The Blackstar ID: Core 10 not only shines as a compact practice amp but also does amazingly well in front of a Shure mic SM57. The Blackstar ID: Core 10 will not disappoint you in the studio. 

The Blackstar ID: Core 10 is a great little amp to have around. I'm rating the Blackstar a 5 out 5 due to features, benefits, and price point. For further details on the Blackstar ID: Core series amps visit www.blackstaramps.com/uk


What the fret? 


So often guitar players talk about the sweet pick-ups they just wired in or about new high-quality pots recently installed. They discuss wood grades, neck materials, tall frets, thin frets and jumbo frets. We headed to Sioux Falls Premier Luthiery, Gary Cleland, from Northern Lights and got educated on fret grade.

There are not a lot of choices when it comes to fretting material. Differences can be appreciated in how they wear, which will give you an idea of how soon you will need to have fretwork performed. The most common material in use is Nickel, Stainless Steel, and Evo Gold. Nickel frets are a mix of nickel and steel with a rating of 18% N/S ( nickel-silver ) and is widely used on many quality guitars. This is considered a soft compound so this material does wear quicker than Stainless Steel. Stainless steel is a harder compound and as such is more resistant to wear. 

Photo courtesy of Northern Lights Luthiery

Lastly, Evo Gold,  made of copper alloy which is gold in color. Evo Gold offers the longevity of stainless steel, but is easier to work with. All three fret wires are available in tall, thin, jumbo, and medium jumbo sizes. The industry standard for sizes that are widely used has been provided by Dunlop. There are many companies that have implemented their own form of measurement standards, such as Jescar and Warmoth.   

You would be hard-pressed to find a recommended fret wire or size because it all comes down to what feels and sounds right to you. A basic school of thought is pairing your string choices with your neck set up. Pure nickel strings on a stainless steel neck may decrease fret wear but there are many factors to consider.  Style of player, technique, and attack to name a few. Another factor to keep in mind is that nickel strings are coated steel strings, so once the nickel plating begins to wear consider replacing your stings. In the end, it is more cost effective to burn through guitar strings than have your luthiery perform a complete fret job or at minimum a crown and level. For more detailed specifications I recommend visiting www.jescar.com and www.warmoth.com    


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