A local band comprised of four University of Toledo students just released their new album, Chloe and the Steel Strings.
For third-year Chloe Wagenhauser, a bio-pre-med major, playing in front of large crowds was always just a dream. However, since releasing her album, Chloe and the Steel Strings has gained recognition and started performing shows in Toledo.
“The first time we all played together was the Ottawa Tavern,” Chloe said. “Now there are some weeks we play five or six shows.”
Her interest in music initially began when she was in elementary school, singing with her twin sister, Anna. When Chloe entered high school as a freshman, she learned how to play the guitar and soon after started writing her own songs.
Now, after a whole year of writing and recording her original music, Chloe has released her first album comprised of eight songs. Chloe said she recorded her album in a local Toledo studio called Firefly Studios.
She added people now constantly message her on Facebook, asking her to perform at their venues.
“It’s a lot more work than it seems,” third-year economics major Anna Wagenhauser said.
Anna plays piano and manages marketing for the band. She said she hopes to make a career out of music marketing someday.
Although the band formed in May 2017, what’s helped them grow and easily book gigs is bass guitar player Connor Ward’s prior experience of playing for a band called Spilled Milk in Cleveland.
"He had the confidence and the knowledge to help us with playing in places, that I didn't have," Chloe said.
The two met at an open mic a little over a year ago and started jamming together, which later lead to playing at shows. Since she already had original material, fourth-year finance and marketing student Ward helped with the recording of the album.
Soon, Anne and percussionist Andre Shepard joined the duo, making it a four-member band.
"It's actually been really cool. I mean I never anticipated that we would be doing so much so quickly but the doors just like keep on opening," Chloe said.
For her, it’s almost like another full-time job balancing rehearsals, writing music and performing. Chloe added the hardest part has been marketing herself since today’s music industry is very competitive.
"Now you have to prove to a lot of recording companies that you already have followers, that you already have people that listen to your music," Chloe said.
However, making it big in the industry isn’t something she’s focused on right now, Chloe said. Instead, she wants to make enough money as a musician to allow her to make a career and go on tours.
"I would like to have like a small group that, you know, feels like they connect with my music and I can connect with them,” Chloe said. "I'm not looking for a lot; I just want to do what I love."
Ward also hopes to make a steady career out of music, relying on it as his only job. He added that since music is his passion, he always finds the time for it.
"I'm looking forward to going out and playing in front of a crowd and hoping that they enjoy it," Ward said.
Ward said what’s different about Chloe and the Steel Strings is that they have a newer sound and something people are going to be more tuned to listen to.
"Catch us before we're famous because it's cheaper now,” Ward said.
Their album release party will be held downtown on Thursday, Nov. 9 at Ye Olde Durty Bird at 7 p.m.
"I'm honestly thinking that that's going to be a big highlight of like the beginning of our music,” Chloe said.