Local Band Looks to Make Strides in 2019
Story by Kris Ketonen, Photos by Kay Lee

Luke Warm and the Cold Ones hope 2019 will be something of a milestone. The Thunder Bay band will certainly keep playing live shows in front of an ever-growing audience. But also on the agenda this year is some time in the studio, putting together an EP. “We’re looking to make some more strides,” band member AJ Haapa says. “We don’t just want to be a bar band in Thunder Bay.”

Luke Warm and the Cold Ones, which also includes Greg Chomut, Carlo DeAgazio, Hillary McDowell, and Kyle Oikonen, formed in 2014, debuting at an annual party Chomut hosts. “For that show, we had three weeks to prepare for it, and I just think some good songs came out of that crunch,” Chomut says. “It just seemed like a good thing that we didn’t want to let go.”

Getting together to jam, write songs and play shows has proven to be a valuable outlet, as well. “Every time we play a show, it gets all of our friends together,” Chomut says. “When you get a career and everything going, you don’t see your good friends as often. For me, that’s a big part of it. You get to see all these people you don’t really get to see in the busy day-to-day.”

But the band’s growing popularity isn’t just a matter of support from their friends. “If they didn’t like the music, they probably would have stopped coming,” Oikonen says. Speaking of that, the Luke Warm and the Cold Ones sound is a varied one. Nobody in the group listens to the same music; their influences range from folk to hip-hop to punk to metal, and it shows in the songs.

“It’s all of our input, for sure,” Haapa says. “And I think that what makes our music good is that we do disagree sometimes, and that we don’t just go with it. Music, you dump part of your soul into something, I think. We have a vision and we want it to sound a certain way, and I think that when we butt heads, it just makes better music.”

Luke Warm and the Cold Ones play the Foundry on March 1, and Mount Baldy on St. Patrick’s Day.

For more, visit lukewarmandthecoldones.com or facebook.com/lukewarmandthecoldones.