ALTON - A new band has arrived on Alton’s music scene.

Shareholder, a rock group made up of several local musicians, released their first single “Candlelight” on Friday, May 3, 2024. Members Cameron Goewey (guitar), Brett Kutter (guitar), Andrew Robertson (drums), Thomas Tavolacci (bass) and Ian Whitmore (vocals) have combined forces for the new project, and they’re excited to see where it takes them.

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“It’s unique in the sense that we didn’t have any particular intentions in the beginning,” Whitmore said. “We were just jamming with no particular ideas in mind of even how it was going to sound, let alone making a whole project out of it. But it just very naturally played out, and it’s definitely one of the more put-together things I feel like we’ve ever done just by sheer chance of a lot of different perspectives coming together.”

Whitmore explained that Goewey and Kutter were “jamming” one day in summer 2023 when they decided to collaborate with the other musicians for a session. They quickly found their groove, and all of the band members were pleasantly surprised when “songs started flying out.”

Goewey, Kutter, Robertson, Tavolacci and Whitmore stumbled upon a formula that worked, and they decided to stick with it. The band members range from early 20s to mid-30s in age, but they’ve all formed a quick friendship based on a love for the music they’re making.

For Whitmore, this project is the latest passion in a lifetime devoted to music. He remembers his childhood in Catholic schools listening to bands like Blink-182 and Death Cab for Cutie. After he got his hands on his first drum set, he would spend his school days “drumming on [his] desk with [his] pencils and pissing off the nuns.”

At age 18, Whitmore met Kutter and formed a band with him. They’ve been playing together on and off in the ten years since then.

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Every musician in Shareholder has a history with local projects like 86red, Daisy-Chain, Distant Eyes and Devolve. They’re eager to combine forces for this latest project, with plans to elevate it beyond their past work.

“Our goal really is to do everything entirely differently than we’ve done it before,” Whitmore explained. “That’s definitely one of our foremost goals with this one is to just do everything with a higher quality than we’ve ever done it and really do everything differently than what we’ve done before. Play different places and really try to push out of the area.”

Whitmore noted that it’s been strange to break into the post-COVID-19 music world. Several local venues have shut down, and there are a lot of new musicians on the scene. Shareholder hopes to expand past the Riverbend and take on St. Louis, with goals to eventually travel throughout the region.

In the meantime, the band will continue putting out music. They recorded “Candlelight” in Alton with Alex St Cin, co-owner of Lighthouse Sounds, and Grammy-nominated producer Will Yip. The track was mastered by Nick Townsend of Infrasonic Sound.

While the band considers “Candlelight” to be the “moodiest” track they have, it combines some of the basic elements they’ve come to expect in their music, including “heavy dynamics, big choruses, infectious melodies and intriguing lyrics.”

Whitmore said they have big plans for the future, and lots of hard work to look forward to as they find their footing as a band. But they’re excited for whatever comes next.

“We all have other projects going on and it’s definitely a busy part of the year, but we’ve got a lot in the pipeline,” he added. “We’ve got two songs that we’ve finished recording and the same guys said they’re interested in working on some future songs, so we’re trying to get all the things aligned, get some merch rolling, get some finances rolling, keep everything moving along. We’ve got some pretty cool stuff in the works.”

For more information about Shareholder, check out their official Instagram profile.

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