Die Kreuzen (prouounced Dee-Kroytzen) was formed in mid-1981 by two refugees from Rockford, IL (vocalist Dan Kubinski and guitarist Brian Egeness) and two from Brookfield, WI (bassist Keith Brammer and drummer Erik Tunison). They became aquainted through the varied Milwaukee 'new music' scene and realized a common interest, not only music but also in escaping the boring reality of nine-to-five life.
They set about practicing and playing wherever and whenever they could, and seizing every opportunity to broaden their horizons by playing out of town (i.e. Minneapolis, Chicago, Madison, Indianapolis). Their name was chosen specifically to avoid stereotyping, because "no one knows what it means".
Their first recorded output was four songs on Noise magazine's Charred Remains cassette compilation, followed by three on The Master Tape compilation LP. This and the ensuing press in Milwaukee and (especially) elsewhere led to the release in late 1982 of a 7" six-song 45 on the Version Sound label, entitled Cows And Beer, the title being "an in-joke on peoples' preconceptions of life in Wisconsin". This proceeded to sell out two pressings of 1,000 apiece (and is incidentally a much sought-after collector's item), prompting them to undertake their first tour of the South and West Coast in the summer of 1983.
Upon returning, they were greeted with the news that Touch And Go records wanted to release an album, which for various reasons did not appear until July 1984. This 21-song self-titled LP then proceeded to sell upwards of 13,000 copies in the U.S. and Europe (and is still selling today). The release was followed by two years of repeatedly touring the States and Canada and gradually (through word of mouth and press of all sorts) spreading their name everywhere.
Gradually, also, their songs were changing, their sound evolving and maturing. This was exhibited on their second LP for Touch And Go, October File, released in May 1986 (12,000 and counting). Two more years of slow but steady songwriting and touring, helped along by positive critical response resulted in the release, in July 1988, of their third Touch And Go album Century Days.
Progress, variety and melody are the key words here, adventurous songwriting accented by diverse production and outside help from horns without losing the band's trademark drive and excitement. Attractive packaging, multiple formats (11 song LP, 12 song cassette, 13 song CD), international distribution and increased airplay helped Century Days do very well indeed.
After a great tour of Europe and the U.S. the band returned to the studio to record a new song entitled Gone Away, along with a version of Aerosmith's Season's Of Wither. This saw release in two formats: a limited edition (2,000) white vinyl 7" with deluxe foldout cross-shaped sleeve (Gone Away/Different Ways (Live)) and an extended play 12" and cassette (Gone Away & Seasons Of Wither/Stomp, Cool Breeze, Man In The Trees, Bitch Magnet, Number Three (all live)).
After more extensive touring and various side projects (Keith played for Wreck, Dan performed in The Muckrakers, Impact Test 1990, War On The Saints and Chainfall. and both were in Boy Dirt Car. Dan and Brian even started a Cheap Trick tribute band called Chick Treat), the band flirted with some new record labels but eventually released their fourth LP for Touch And Go records in 1991, Cement. Of course, the band resumed touring in support of their new album.
On April 1, 1992, Die Kreuzen disbanded amid much conflict when guitarist Brian Egeness decided to quit the band. "He had different things to do, a different agenda", Keith Brammer said.
The remaining members formed a band entitled Chainfall, which included Nerve Twins and SODA member Charles Jordan on guitar. They also stayed busy with other projects (Keith Brammer played in the Carnival Stripppers while Dan Kubinski and Erik Tunison were in Fuckface).
What are they up to now? At last report Erik Tunison had moved to Europe, Brian Egeness works as an engineer/producer in a recording studio, Keith Brammer plays in Crime And Judy and Dan Kubinski has a new band called Decapitado.
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