Local band still going strong after 9 years



August 29, 2014 - 12:00 AM

The mirrored walls gave the impression of more men on the stage than there actually were. Twin drums rolled out rhythms while doppelgangers mimed the guitarist’s moves and the bass player’s singing. On the floor, women danced to the music and watched some otherworldly vision of themselves do the same behind the band onstage, echos of real life, dreams within dreams.
Latent Content is a local band that has been giving a voice to the soul of Iola for nine years. They write most of their own songs and use very few covers, using everyday life in a small town as the inspiration for much of their material.
Nic Olson, guitarist/bassist/vocalist, said that in the early days small town life inspired his music because it was something he wanted to get away from, until he actually tried it.
“I lived in a bigger town and I realized a small town feels more homey,” he said. “It’s where everything is comfortable.”
Olson, 28, grew up with bandmates Stephen Bender, bassist/guitarist/vocalist, and Jason Chandlee, drummer. They were friends long before they made music, and their friendship endured through school, college, moving and the gradual changes in life.
“There was a time we were living in three different towns,” Olson said.
Despite that, the band never broke up. They continued to play the occasional gig together, although they were few and far between.
“We weren’t really growing during that period,” Chandlee said.
Time and circumstances brought them back together, though, and now they continue to practice every week, working around their work schedules and life while other bands fizzle.
“Bands fall apart because people have problems,” Bender said.
Chandlee agreed that most people form bands based on the instruments or sound and not on a solid foundation of friendship.
While Latent Content is content to call Iola home, there are things they would like to do. Namely, Bender says, find more venues to play in.
They most recently performed last Saturday at Scooters, a bar in Iola.
“We never intended to get big or do anything besides share music with people,” Bender said. “But I would like to share my music with more people.”
A CD is planned for the future, as well. A friend in Lawrence has offered to help them record and produce one, but working around everyone’s schedule to find a day when they can all go to Lawrence to do it has proven problematic.
“The toughest part,” Olson said, “is finding the time.”

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