By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
Back when he was an organic farmer in Steeleville, Freund started a recording studio out of his barn because he had nothing better to do. When he moved back to St. Louis, he started Redlight Studios, where a slew of local bands have since recorded.
"I moved back here fighting," recalls Freund. "I didn't ever want to move back. Things were as bad as I ever thought they would be. But the talent! The talent in St. Louis is fantastic, better than anywhere else I've lived. So either I do nothing -- and watch St. Louis do nothing -- or I become a part of the community. It's good here. But there's no industry, and that's what Kate and I want to do."
Eddens' part in their new organization is to work directly with bands on being more professional by helping them promote themselves and teaching them what's important about playing a show. "Sometimes it's dumb shit," she says, "like being on time. Being respectful. Sometimes it's learning how to play to an audience, not playing selfishly. Bands are like, 'Oh, we want to be super fucking loud because we're rock & roll,' but no one can enjoy it because it's too loud." Eddens' agency, Sugarfreak Productions, is about working with bands, not for them, booking them first locally and then taking them on tour.
"Booking has come easily to me in the past," says Eddens. "When I came back to St. Louis from Chicago, people I knew in bands asked me if I could get them gigs in Chicago, and I could. Because I've been involved in music for so long, I've befriended a lot of different people in the industry all over the country. Most people hate talking to promoters, trying to get a show. Bands loathe doing that. I think it's fun."
In the end, this is all supposed to be fun. No one who loves music does what they do for any other reason than to fan their affection. Freund and Eddens don't know it all. But they want to offer up what they do know, because, as Eddens says, they "just want to help make the scene fun again."