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Local artist: Fairhaven

February 12, 2016

About an hour north of Monmouth on the Mississippi River sit the four towns of Moline, Rock Island, Davenport and Bettendorf make up the four cities known as the Quad Cities. The Quad Cities are home to a history of great music, mainly jazz.

However in 2010 a few high school students started using their horns for something else. Fairhaven was formed by Nathan Lane and Landon Kuhlmann when the two started playing Blink 182 covers together. The two found a drummer and then decided that the band would sound better with some horns.

Fairhaven is a ska-punk band. Ska is a type of upbeat reggae that originated in Jamaica. Ska-punk fuses the genres of ska and punk together. Examples of popular ska-punk bands are Reel Big Fish and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

Lane and Kuhlman were drawn to ska because of the fun nature of ska. “Everyone can have a good time at a ska show,” Lane said. Fairhaven plays most of their QC shows at venues like The Bier Stube in Moline, Rozz Tox in Rock Island and The R.M.E. in Davenport.

When Fairhaven is at any of these venues on a Friday or Saturday night, it’s hard to find anyone in the audience with a frown. Fairhaven shows are packed with people, from high school and college students to anyone out and about in the QC looking to have a good time.

Their vast appeal to all different age groups comes from the songs they write. “We all have dramatically different tastes, anything from indie, punk, jazz, metal, funk, hip-hop. Our interests are always changing and I believe it affects our song writing, depending what we’re digging at the time.” Lane said.

These diverse tastes in music from the different members of the group set Fairhaven apart from other ska bands because they are always trying something different. The result of these different influences results in something more diverse than traditional Ska punk bands. Not every song they play has the same generic beat and tempo. Sometimes they slow it down, and sometimes they jam. The audience never knows what might happen at a Fairhaven show.

Fairhaven has no problem stepping outside of their comfort zone. “They’re mostly personal lyrics but lately we’ve been turning to fictional narratives to escape our own point of view and write something funny or exciting that has nothing to do with us personally.” Kuhlman says.

This breakout has also led to several side projects. Kuhlman starting his own indie project, The Port Authority, and Lane and drummer Sage Weeber play in the pop punk band Bankshot. Weeber also plays drums in several QC area bands.
Fairhaven’s two self-produced albums can be found on their Bandcamp, accessible through their Facebook page, but the quality of these recordings just doesn’t match up to seeing them live. Check out Fairhaven the next time you’re up in the Quad Cities.

Timothy Yates
Staff Writer

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