Somnia started out in the summer of 1999.

We formed from the ashes of two previous bands – Spoondrift and Dreamt By Another.  Mike Lowder came from the former, Heeley and Aaron came from the latter.  It was just the three of us, and when we started, it was kind of an experiment.  We didn’t know what we would sound like.  It turned out that the old Somnia sounded a lot like the band +LIVE+.

Our first show was on October 21st, 1999 at a place (that is now closed) called Karma.  Two people showed up to see us.  Heeley had a 104 degree fever and was sick as a dog.  We had all been in bands before and played good shows, and we knew this was definitely not a good show.  Our second show a few weeks later was another disaster.  We were out of tune, we were playing another bands gear.  It was a definite low-point.

Before our third show, I think we were all having second thoughts about this little experiment of ours.  Another bad show and we might have just said “well, that was fun but it didn’t work”, and that would have been that.  The end. But our third show was actually a good show.  People were there.  We played well.  We had fun.  So we kept going and didn’t look back.

We played a few more shows back then, in early 2000, and they went well too.  We entered a battle of the bands, sponsored by the old St. Louis radio station 104.1 Extreme Radio.  We came in second place and won $1000 store credit at a local music store.  I think we bought some floor monitors and microphone stands (and we still use that gear to this day).  We recorded our first album, entitled (not to scale).  We thought it was the best album ever, and it would be a matter of time until we were signed.  We now joke that it should have been called “not for sale”.  It was recorded well, but nobody wanted to hear it.

We played at a really cool STL club that is no more, called the Firehouse.  We played a block party in Chicago and lost our Uhaul trailer while we were driving.  We played Mississippi Nights for the first time as a bunch of wide-eyed kids.  We shot a music video for our song “Brothers” with our pal Ken Calcaterra and released it at a sold out Hard Rock cafe.  We played lots of charity shows and donated all the money to good causes.

We just kept playing.

Then we decided to strengthen our live shows and our songwriting, so we added a guitar player, a fellow by the name of Max Eisenberg.  He played rhythm and sang the occasional backing vocal into a megaphone.  That was cool.   In late 2001, Heeley organized a charity CD to benefit the victims of the 9/11 attacks and unite the St. Louis music scene.  We played shows all over the St. Louis area.  We decided to record again, but this time make an E.P.  We wanted a different sound than our first album.  We hired a producer named Darrell McClanahan.  He helped us get acheive the guitar pop rock sound we were looking for. We were writing different songs, better songs.  Max decided to leave and we were sad.  Luckily, he's still a great friend.  We added another guitarist, this time a guy named Jack Walker.  Heeley bought a van.  A really cool van with a Super Nintendo and a VCR.  Jack did his best to break every moving part in the van, but he failed.

We started playing shows all over the Midwest.  We started buying merch.  We started recording.  We put all these expenses on our band credit card.  We wanted what every band wants:  to be rich and famous, to be successful musicians.  Our debt could be paid off later.  We released our second CD – The Rock EP.  We sold out the Hi Pointe.  We were doing pretty well.  Even the Riverfront Times mentioned us, and they hate everything.  Ken Williams from 101.1 The River was playing us on his local music show.  He was also helping us out tremendously.  We got picked to open the River Of Toys show at a sold out Pageant.  We got our music on XM Satellite Radio.  We got good reviews in national press.

And we kept playing.

We promoted The Rock EP.  We started getting older.  Girlfriends became fiancés became wives.  Rent money for apartments turned into house payments.  Shitty part-time jobs turned into 9-to-5 professions.  But we kept playing.  We started writing more music.  We decided we needed to record again.  After a year and a half of recording a bit at a time, we were done with another EP, Love And Other Problems.

This disc also got good reviews, and the people seemed to like it, but we never got the attention of the bigwigs in the industry.  The farthest we got with a label was them saying “we liked what we heard, send us more songs.”  So we did.  We ended up getting the dreaded response we had heard before:  “sorry, but you’re just not what we’re looking for.”

And all the while we kept playing.

Show after show after show, town after town and then back to STL again.  We kept plugging away at it, because that what unsigned bands do – they plug away and keep fighting until they get that one break.  Some get that break, some don’t.  It turns out that we never got our break, but it didn’t stop us from trying.  We’ve survived our best friend bands breaking up, we’ve avoided Somnia breaking up a few times.  We’ve seen girls come and go.  We’ve seen the good ones stay.  We’ve written some really good songs.  We’ve written some really bad songs.  We’ve written some other songs that no one will ever get to hear.

But now, 6 years later, we’ve all decided it’s time to close the book on Somnia.  No one in the band quit, we didn’t have a knock-down drag-out brawl.  We’re all still great friends.  The bottom line is we’ve had a lot of fun, but it’s time to end this period of our lives.

We would like to thank each and every person who has supported us, loaned us money, come to our shows, said we were great, said we sucked, told us to tune our guitars, turned knobs in the studio, bought us drinks, given us kisses, sang along, and had a good time with us.

We did it because we love music, but we mainly did it because of you.

Thanks.
10.21.05