Today we’d like to introduce you to Ethan Bouchard.
Ethan, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
We started off in 2015 with members Garrett Noel, Richard Lacy, and myself, later to be joined by David Laurent and Henri Roelke after a few months. One drunken night, our good friend and local comedian Kevin Ward sang the chorus to an improv song he created in the moment called “Livin’ in a Mine”. Shortly after, with his permission, I wrote it into a full song and presented it to him. He responded by saying “Strong Work!”, which at this time is what he would say instead of “Good Job!” The name stuck out to me and we quickly renamed ourselves Strong Work!
We began to learn some of the more upbeat songs that I had written throughout my life, which was quite satisfying for me, as I had never heard these songs with a full band before, including Zombocalypse (2010), The $#!+ (2011), and Past//Present//Future (2011). A few months later, after posting our existence on social media, we were offered our first gig at The Abbey Underground in Denton, Texas.
A few months later, we get contacted by Puddin’ Taine that they can’t make Homegrown 024 in Houston, Texas featuring ‘Green Jello’, and offers us their spot. We accepted and played our first festival, which ended up not as fun as we hoped. They ended up not paying us, Richard’s van broke down in Waco, and we were watching as the crazy floods that happened there on April 17th, 2016 stranded people on top of their cars and homes. It was a crazy time for us.
One year later, we played at the Deep Ellum Arts Festival 2017 on the PBR Stage, which would be our second festival and a more positive experience from the people running it. In April 2018, we decided to go on hiatus. It seemed like darker times for me, as I had fallen in love with the project and the rest of the members didn’t seem to care much for it anymore. Garrett and Richard would end up joining the band GRRG, while I started performing my set solo again until I could find band mates that can share a similar focus as me.
On February 18th, 2019, I went to check out a band at Killer’s Tacos in Denton, called Obscene Beings, including drummer Jonah Harmon, bassist John Pierce, and frontman Nathan Williams. I fell in love with Jonah’s rhythmic talent immediately, and when their set ended had asked him to PLEASE join me in my project, in which he said yes and joined me. I was very excited as Jonah is one of the most talented and driven drummers I’ve seen here in Denton. Shortly after, we ask John to join as well, who is one of the best bass players I’ve worked with on a project as well. At this time, we were just drums, bass, and acoustic guitar.
March 13th, 2019 ‘SW! the 3P’ is recorded by Michael Zane Rosser as a gift. (Thanks Michael!) We didn’t pay anything out of pocket so we put them on our bandcamp for free download with optional donation and also printed our own CDs to give out at shows as our appreciation to our audience. The 3P includes songs “Livin’ in a Mine”, “Fear and Clock Spotting”, and “Kamehameha!”.
August 10th, 2019, while searching for a keyboardist, I ask my old bandmate Matt Cochran (Puddin’ Taine) if he’d like to come and check out one of our rehearsals and see if he’d like to join the project. At the same time, I ask Kaarthik Tharmiya (Radio Wore) if he’d like to add some electric guitar to the mix. The next rehearsal, they both showed up and enjoyed the set, so they stayed.
Since then, we’ve stayed a solid group, full of positivity, creativity, and driven members. We have plans for three albums, comic strips and books with a written out universe and storyline, and episodic material online that will include short films, sketches, and music videos to go along with the comics.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
To be honest 2015 up until 2019 was a VERY rough road for at least myself. I didn’t feel like the bandmates were into the project, which I understand is natural after years of no success, and we kept getting let down by venues and low audience retention. I think that people could start to tell that the members weren’t having fun up there, and it ruins it for the audience.
NOW it has been pretty smooth for us with the new lineup. People like our sound now that all of the members are visibly driven and passionate, and we are able to reach new heights because of it, which in turn fuels our fire!
Can you give our readers some background on your music?
We are a punk/funk/rap/rock band, and with the band name “Strong Work!”, I feel like we have to deliver a better show every time we perform. Our motto is “Give it 110% of what you’ve got”, which is exactly what we are practicing now by recording performances, reviewing them, communicating, and collectively making changes as we go.
The writing for the comics and music videos have been really fun for me personally, as I love telling a good story and the comics are exactly what’s going to bridge the gap between the songs in our album. So it’s been really interesting in how I get to turn the many stories that we have within the songs into a mega-story that people could discover if they ever read into it.
We are known for our high energy, variety of sounds, comradery, random jam sessions in the middle of a set, and our collective expressions have been said to be an interesting mix.
We’ve received enough donations from fans to be able to record our first album with Eric Delegard at Reeltime Audio, and you can see us having fun with that on our YouTube channel “StrongWorkBand”. A HUGE thank you will be on the inside cover of the album to the friends, fans, and family that donated anything to help us fund the album, and donations to help us fund our comics and music videos is on our website.(www.strongworkband.com)
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
A flash-flood hits us while we played on an outside popup stage. We continued playing until the equipment started buzzing, then quickly helped to get everything off until the rain stopped. The speakers stopped working, and Jonah’s drum bags got caught up in some muddy water while we weren’t looking, and the show was off until they got another speaker system in there.
Bryan Fulton and Eric Delegard hears us and offers us to come into Reeltime Audio and record “Livin’ in a Mine” for free, which was an amazing and eye-opening experience for us that we were seen in such a light by people that we hold so much respect for. Afterwards, I had set up a way for fans to donate to our first album, and we got a chance to see that our fans, friends, and family really want to see us succeed as much as we do.
- Website: www.strongworkband.com
- Phone: 9407039563
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/strongworkband
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/strongworkband
- Other: www.youtube.com/strongworkband
KMWirth Photo (Kennie Monroe Wirth) / Not Normal Media (Ethan and Melanie Bouchard)