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Standard Broadcast: Quintessential PGH indie rock band and founders of The Indie Rock Fest
Written by:
Emily Plazek

“I love having that control of our music and what we do. Yes it’s frustrating at times because you need to do everything; book shows, write music, social media. In the end, you are your own boss. We all made the music that you hear because WE enjoy playing it.”

- Leland Shaw, The Leelz, Standard Broadcast Cellist and MIC Sticker Master

Remember Leland from the "What is an Indie Musician?" article in the Sanctuary?

I'll set the scene.

Mr. Smalls Funhouse, Millvale. April, 2016. I arrived at the “Fair Play” workshop early. People were still setting up. One man with a goatee stood in front of the stage. I had to pee. I asked him where I could accomplish that.

I returned, and asked him what he did at Mr. Smalls. Nothing, the answer was nothing, he didn’t work there, why did I think that. He had been standing there so confidently, no matter, haha, what do you do? He was another musician there for the panel. He played cello in the indie rock band Standard Broadcast.

That bathroom-request was how I met made one of my best musical friends of my life -- and how he became one of the biggest, most crucial and passionate supporters of the MIC indie mission (and official Sticker-Tagging Master -- look for his handywork around town).

We’re here to welcome his band, Standard Broadcast, into the MIC MVMT -- and thank them for creating the event this weekend, the 2nd Annual Indie Rock Fest (the one we’re talking about all over our social media, yes.) Get your tickets here and come hang with me and Leelz, and see Standard Broadcast during their set time around 845!

So who is Standard Broadcast?

Like I said, Leland plays cello (yep, no bass player!) with Nathan Jay (piano and vocals), Holly Fromlak (guitar) and Jeff Skalyo (drums). Formed in 2014, Nathan and Leland set out to create a more dynamic, catchy feel, without the traditional guitar/bass ensemble. After six months of songwriting, the guys went on to add Holly's poppy, almost hip-hop driven beats. Looking to expand their sound, they brought on Jeff as the new drummer in the summer of 2015 and Holly transitioned over to lead guitar.

Let’s hear it from their mouths now:

What’s your origin story?

Nate: Myself and Leland were in another band that was about to take off but fell short. After that band broke up, we wanted to continue so Leland came over and we started playing music. It was just me singing/playing keys and Leland on cello and we were going to be a 2 piece with a drum machine like “Foster the People” feel. My sister’s best friend, Holly heard us at one of my Halloween parties and said she was starting to play drums. We decided to add Holly on to drums. After a few practices, Holly decided to move to her main instrument, Guitar (which she majored in down in WVU). Now with the band being drumless, we turned to our only choice, Craigslist. Jeff was the first one to try out for SB and he was the perfect fit for our band.

What do you love most about being an indie band?

Leland, Holly, Jeff: Chicks, man.

Leland: I love having that control of our music and what we do. Yes it’s frustrating at times because you need to do everything; book shows, write music, social media. In the end, you are you’re own boss. We all made the music that you hear because WE enjoy playing it.

What are some of your struggles as an indie band?

Holly: Really 2 hardest things about being an indie band is getting people to listen to your music and having a fan base. You need people to come to your shows but then you need shows for people listen to your music. It’s hard but you meet a lot of great people in the same boat as us. You are able to make connections and really share fans and music.

Any advice for up-and-coming indie bands?

Holly: Practice

Nate: Patience

Leland: To network and have fun…

Jeff: That pants are overrated.

Favorite PGH Spot?

Holly: BullDog Pub in Morningside

Nate: Dive bar and grille in Lawrenceville

Leland: Spirit in Lawrenceville (Note from the editor: Spirit, you should hire Leland as your mascot.)

Craziest/funniest tour story?

Leland: So not really crazy/funny but we played pride last year (2016). Trying to find parking when it was Pens game, PGH arts fest, PGH Pride, and a Pirate game downtown was jumping. We finally found parking and our stage, but there was something missing. The drum set they promised us was not there.

Myself and Jeff had to drive back to my place (located in Beechview at that time) pack up the drums, drive back into town, set up THEN perform. I remember running to the stage with my cello set up and going right into our first song. It’s crazy looking at it now but very stressful then.  

Any news on the Standard Broadcast front?

Nate: We have our first headlining show on Saturday, August 26th, thanks to Wake up on Fire Productions

They released their debut album last year (I was a part of their crowd fund!) you can read about that here:

https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/pittsburghs-standard-broadcast-releases-its-debut-full-length/Content?oid=1959841

Then follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Listen to them on Spotify. Go to their website.

Obviously your next step is to come to Indie Rock Fest on Saturday and meet us! Tickets can be bought here, they're only $10 for 12 acts on 2 stages, and it goes from 5pm-2am -- Standard Broadcast goes on around 8:45 so come hang with me front row ;)

Standard Broadcast: Quintessential PGH indie rock band and founders of The Indie Rock Fest
Standard Broadcast: Quintessential PGH indie rock band and founders of The Indie Rock Fest
MIC is my baby.

“I love having that control of our music and what we do. Yes it’s frustrating at times because you need to do everything; book shows, write music, social media. In the end, you are your own boss. We all made the music that you hear because WE enjoy playing it.”

- Leland Shaw, The Leelz, Standard Broadcast Cellist and MIC Sticker Master

Remember Leland from the "What is an Indie Musician?" article in the Sanctuary?

I'll set the scene.

Mr. Smalls Funhouse, Millvale. April, 2016. I arrived at the “Fair Play” workshop early. People were still setting up. One man with a goatee stood in front of the stage. I had to pee. I asked him where I could accomplish that.

I returned, and asked him what he did at Mr. Smalls. Nothing, the answer was nothing, he didn’t work there, why did I think that. He had been standing there so confidently, no matter, haha, what do you do? He was another musician there for the panel. He played cello in the indie rock band Standard Broadcast.

That bathroom-request was how I met made one of my best musical friends of my life -- and how he became one of the biggest, most crucial and passionate supporters of the MIC indie mission (and official Sticker-Tagging Master -- look for his handywork around town).

We’re here to welcome his band, Standard Broadcast, into the MIC MVMT -- and thank them for creating the event this weekend, the 2nd Annual Indie Rock Fest (the one we’re talking about all over our social media, yes.) Get your tickets here and come hang with me and Leelz, and see Standard Broadcast during their set time around 845!

So who is Standard Broadcast?

Like I said, Leland plays cello (yep, no bass player!) with Nathan Jay (piano and vocals), Holly Fromlak (guitar) and Jeff Skalyo (drums). Formed in 2014, Nathan and Leland set out to create a more dynamic, catchy feel, without the traditional guitar/bass ensemble. After six months of songwriting, the guys went on to add Holly's poppy, almost hip-hop driven beats. Looking to expand their sound, they brought on Jeff as the new drummer in the summer of 2015 and Holly transitioned over to lead guitar.

Let’s hear it from their mouths now:

What’s your origin story?

Nate: Myself and Leland were in another band that was about to take off but fell short. After that band broke up, we wanted to continue so Leland came over and we started playing music. It was just me singing/playing keys and Leland on cello and we were going to be a 2 piece with a drum machine like “Foster the People” feel. My sister’s best friend, Holly heard us at one of my Halloween parties and said she was starting to play drums. We decided to add Holly on to drums. After a few practices, Holly decided to move to her main instrument, Guitar (which she majored in down in WVU). Now with the band being drumless, we turned to our only choice, Craigslist. Jeff was the first one to try out for SB and he was the perfect fit for our band.

What do you love most about being an indie band?

Leland, Holly, Jeff: Chicks, man.

Leland: I love having that control of our music and what we do. Yes it’s frustrating at times because you need to do everything; book shows, write music, social media. In the end, you are you’re own boss. We all made the music that you hear because WE enjoy playing it.

What are some of your struggles as an indie band?

Holly: Really 2 hardest things about being an indie band is getting people to listen to your music and having a fan base. You need people to come to your shows but then you need shows for people listen to your music. It’s hard but you meet a lot of great people in the same boat as us. You are able to make connections and really share fans and music.

Any advice for up-and-coming indie bands?

Holly: Practice

Nate: Patience

Leland: To network and have fun…

Jeff: That pants are overrated.

Favorite PGH Spot?

Holly: BullDog Pub in Morningside

Nate: Dive bar and grille in Lawrenceville

Leland: Spirit in Lawrenceville (Note from the editor: Spirit, you should hire Leland as your mascot.)

Craziest/funniest tour story?

Leland: So not really crazy/funny but we played pride last year (2016). Trying to find parking when it was Pens game, PGH arts fest, PGH Pride, and a Pirate game downtown was jumping. We finally found parking and our stage, but there was something missing. The drum set they promised us was not there.

Myself and Jeff had to drive back to my place (located in Beechview at that time) pack up the drums, drive back into town, set up THEN perform. I remember running to the stage with my cello set up and going right into our first song. It’s crazy looking at it now but very stressful then.  

Any news on the Standard Broadcast front?

Nate: We have our first headlining show on Saturday, August 26th, thanks to Wake up on Fire Productions

They released their debut album last year (I was a part of their crowd fund!) you can read about that here:

https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/pittsburghs-standard-broadcast-releases-its-debut-full-length/Content?oid=1959841

Then follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Listen to them on Spotify. Go to their website.

Obviously your next step is to come to Indie Rock Fest on Saturday and meet us! Tickets can be bought here, they're only $10 for 12 acts on 2 stages, and it goes from 5pm-2am -- Standard Broadcast goes on around 8:45 so come hang with me front row ;)

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