“All Bands on Deck” is a regular column by Culture Editor Amanda Niess that profiles local, Boise-based bands.
From house shows to performing downtown at The Shredder to making it big at Treefort Music Fest, this band has done it all. Meet VEMM, a local band from Boise, Idaho.
The band started just two years ago thanks to guitarist Michael Oliver. Oliver slowly started collecting the members one by one to initially just play music together. Their occasional jam sessions eventually turned into VEMM.
Band members Elias Willerup and Myles Stauffer happen to be full-time Boise State students. Willerup, a junior GIMM major, and Stauffer, a sophomore visual arts major, find inspiration from bands like Peach Pit and Hers.
In the beginning, Willerup only knew how to play the drums but, thanks to his musical influences, he was able to pick up the bass.
“Bass is actually like a very new instrument for me,” Willerup said. “I started out on drums when I was really young and I only picked up the bass like three or four years ago.”
Stauffer shared different reasons as to how he started playing the drums. In middle school, there were too many percussionists in his band class, so his teacher made him pick up a new instrument: the saxophone.
When Stauffer moved on to high school, he immediately asked his band teacher for permission to pick up the drums, and he reverted back to his favorite instruments. Now, Stauffer plays the drums for the band.
Aside from the instruments they play and the inspirations they look to, Willerup and Stauffer expressed on behalf of the band that their music is more than just an after-school hobby.
“As students, we’re all really stressed out and anxious, and nobody really shows it,” Willerup said. “Just being able to play shows and go to shows is such a good outlet and such a good release for that, being able to forget about all the homework assignments and the future planning that we have to do.”
As the band has gained more experience, they have also taken advantage of more opportunities, like playing at Treefort in September, where they were able to reach more listeners than ever.
“It feels good knowing that people are getting something out of it,” Stauffer said, “whether it’s like just fun or getting rid of their stress from school or whatever.” Expect much more from VEMM this year and possibly a new album. For now, check VEMM out on Spotify and other streaming platforms.