Way Das to release their new EP at Black Cat


The Appalachian Online

Makaelah Walters



Way Das will be celebrating the release of their newest EP at Black Cat Burrito on March 18. The band, voted best local band in The Appalachian’s 2015 Best of Boone issue, will be performing alongside local bands Cave Shine and Sentiments.

The EP “Bored Games” includes seven songs. On March 4, the band released one of the EP’s songs “Water for Yuppies,” which has reached nearly 500 views on YouTube. The song is about how estrogen can be found in the water supply because of disposal of things like birth control.

Way Das consists of four members: drummer Russell Bomer, vocalist and guitarist Nick Eichen, guitarist and bassist Joey Frost and vocalist and bassist Emily Kolakowski. Their sound has been described as “lo-fi, sad girl rock” in their tags on Bandcamp, a music store and promotion site. Kolakowski said their genre is what has carried them to the top of the Boone music scene since 2014.

Senior English major Frost, junior interdisciplinary studies major Kolakowski and junior sustainable development major Eichen all met when they lived in the same dorm during their freshman year at Appalachian State.

“Our dorm had a music room,” Eichen said. “We made noise for a little while, then we wanted to be a band.”

When they realized they desperately needed a drummer, they found Bomer. The group had stolen Bomer from Frost’s brother’s band, and the story has become a running joke among the four of them.

Initially, Way Das struggled to make music that had an established and cohesive sound. Kolakowski classified their sound as millennial rock, but some people have compared them to more well known musical artists.  

“We have a video up on YouTube and there is only one comment, and it says ‘sounds like a bad Sonic Youth cover band,’” Frost said. “Sometimes we go with that.”

Many people have had their say about exactly what type of band Way Das is. Eichen recalls a comment made by someone at a recent show at Murphy’s labeling Way Das as “not a jam band.” Kolakowski said people can be really opinionated about bands in Boone, but Way Das knows they’ve made a good song when it sounds like something they would hear on the radio.

Though the band struggles to find a particular genre that they fall into, they each admit to being influenced by artists ranging from Modest Mouse to Frankie Cosmos.

“We try to think of bands that we really like and make music like that,” Kolakowski said.

Eichen does most of the writing for the band. He said he has written songs about his friends doing stupid things with him, calling them out in a fun way. Eichen also gets excited about stuff he learns in class and writes about it.

“A lot of the earlier songs were really simplistic but we’re having songs that are different and that’s rewarding,” Eichen said.

When it comes to playing shows, Way Das has graced the stage of the venues in Boone, including Murphy’s and Legends. They have even played a few house shows, but with their rise in popularity and the upcoming release show, the band said they can afford to be more ambitious regarding their future in music.

“We’d like to release a shorter EP and get our music on spotify,” Eichen said.

The band says that they want to do more group stuff in regard to writing new music, but as full-time students, Frost said it can be a challenge to find the time to do so.

“We don’t find time,” Frost said. “Last week we took hours stamping the cover for the album and I got none of my homework done.”

Mostly everything affiliated with Way Das has been a massive do-it-yourself project, the band members said. Bomer and Eichen’s combined Photoshop skills resulted in the cover art for their album and the designs seen on promo posters.

“The only thing we’ve gotten someone else to do is our t-shirts,” Eichen said.

The shirts, which the band sold for $10 each, feature a design created by senior studio art major Rachel VanHoy. Additionally, the band will be selling their CDs at the release show on Friday.

Bomer, who wishes to make a living playing music, mentioned a few of Way Das’ short term goals.

“We’d like to go on a short 10-12 day tour up the east coast this summer,” Bomer said.

Though they all agree that the ultimate show would have to take place somewhere in outer space, for now, those interested can catch their next show at their EP release party this Friday at Black Cat Burrito for $5.

The show is 18+ and begins at 10 p.m.

Story by: Makaelah Walters, A&E Reporter