The Gustavian Weekly

Local band: Late Night Rising | The Gustavian Weekly

By Kelli Ludwig Staff Writer | September 26, 2008 | Variety

Meet a group of guys who play for the sake of music, who are dedicated and make every practice their best performance, who are serious about their music, but have fun with it as well. Meet a local St. Peter band named Late Night Rising.

The group, who describes its sound as “driving power-pop/indie but with something different added in,” consists of Nate Smith on the MM6, microKORG and vocals, Mitch Johnson on guitar and vocals, Aaron Smith on drums, and Robb Hawkinson on bass.

About three-and-a-half years ago, brothers Aaron and Nate Smith started tinkering with some sounds. Johnson joined shortly after. The three immediately clicked and created their first song, “Memories,” during their first practice. After experimenting with a few different bass players, Late Night Rising found Hawkinson about half-a-year ago.

Two older recordings already exist from the Late Night Rising, but now they’re playing some new music. If all goes well, they’ll have a new professional recording out soon with their set of six new songs. The band is also hoping to start touring the area in the near future.

The music of Late Night Rising is a well-rounded experience. They take small parts of a variety of sounds and put them all together to create something new. The band puts a lot of thought into each piece, testing it and getting input from each member.

The guys love what they do and what they play. As Hawkinson said, “I play for the same reason that people listen to music: I enjoy every minute that I listen to our songs.”

Johnson said, “I wish that I could just play music all the time. Without all of the other obligations and responsibilities we have, we could really be famous, because we would just spend all of our time playing together.”

Nate Smith said that he loves playing because it’s an “outlet for creativity” for him. Aaron Smith agreed and said that “it makes [him] feel good when it sounds good.”

Every member seems to have a passion and drive for making great music. More than that, the group loves to play together because of the chemistry they share while playing. “It’s not hard for us to stay together,” Johnson said. “I don’t like it when we don’t play. I get anxious.”

Late Night Rising will play on Oct. 18 with Breathe Electrics at the What’s Up Lounge in Mankato. Also look for the group performing this winter at the River Rock Café, The Toy Box in Minneapolis or The Depot in Hopkins.