From musical theatre to indie rock band, the start of Stage Wombat Collective

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Courtesy of Stage Wombat Collective

Stage Wombat Collective members Jordan Knitzer and Alec Steinhorn. The band will release their first EP on Friday, March 12.

Hailey Kim, Reporter

Since Jordan Knitzer (Communication ‘20) and Alec Steinhorn (Communication ‘20) graduated, their careers have veered in an unexpected direction with the start of their band, Stage Wombat Collective.

Knitzer and Steinhorn met their freshman year as songwriters for the Waa-Mu Show. The duo used to focus on writing for musical theatre, which they both wanted to pursue after graduation.
When the pandemic hit, Knitzer and Steinhorn focused on a “lifelong dream” of starting a band, Knitzer said.

Stage Wombat Collective consists of Knitzer on guitar and vocals, alongside vocalist and pianist Steinhorn, and their bandmates Will Finnegan (McCormick ‘19) on the guitar, Jared Decker (Bienen ‘18) on the drums, and Rae Goldman on the bass. The group will release their first 6-song EP next Friday, March 12.

While their music is mainly in the realm of indie rock, the band also tries to incorporate funk and folk sounds. They work with traditional musical theatre elements by writing lyrics that serve a narrative function.

Last month, Stage Wombat Collective released their first single, “Clown Wolf.”

“(The song is about) being the entertainment for other people and hoping they’re having a good time at the expense of you taking care of yourself,” Knitzer said. “And how we love being the entertainers, and we love putting on the show, so there is a bittersweet tone to it.”

Steinborn described the production of “Clown Wolf” and the band’s other song “Self-Drawn Circle” as a “humongous learning experience.” There were numerous creative decisions to make, some of which Steinhorn and Knitzer said they had never faced before. These included figuring out which instruments to incorporate, and at what volume.

Despite not being able to practice in-person all together, the band showed strong chemistry and eagerness to work together. Decker said playing in the band is “a combination of trust and mutual respect.”

Decker said he especially enjoys the process of working with his bandmates to turn each member’s ideas into music.

“They either had an idea and we could interpret it, or they trusted us to fill in the gaps,” Decker said. “That is a really rewarding part of playing in the band.”

Knitzer, who is on guitar and vocals, said the band has a very comfortable and relaxed work environment, allowing the space to be a “happy place” for him to create.

The members of Stage Wombat Collective said they hope their future will include new and exciting opportunities, like collaborators and a national tour. They also plan to continue to explore different styles of music.

“Seeing what we can get that is exactly, specifically, and uniquely us, that’s what I’m most excited about going forward,” Steinhorn said.

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Twitter: @haileyykim30

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