Towncrier: Getting the Band Back Together

Back when the 21st century was shiny and new, five guys got together in Des Moines and created a band called Towncrier. Consisting of drummer Will Locker, vocalist Jerry Lorenson, guitarists Ryan Plotz and Lucas Welchans and bassist Cory Talbot, Towncrier was responsible for some of the tightest material, most well-rounded material to come out of the city's early 2000's music scene. And then it stopped.

It was not a break up in the traditional sense; the guys did not faction over creative differences, nobody got bored of the project, or decided to quit playing for good. Life just took Towncrier's members in different directions. So when the circumstances allowed for them all to come together again a decade later, here we are.

“It really was simply a matter of all of us collectively realizing that we were back in the same state again,” Lorenson said. “Every once in a while we'd have a friend ask 'when are you getting back together?' One text led to another text, and everyone was really excited about it.”

In the 10 years since they last played together, all of the band's members had continued playing with other projects, even picking up some new tricks along the way. But none of them had really done much with the Towncrier material since the band was shelved. But Lorenson says that once the reunion was planned, the group did not miss a beat.

“It was crazy how easy all that material came back together,,” he admitted. “It was all so much fun. We didn't know if anyone would care, so we scheduled (our return show) as a really low-key kind of Wednesday night at Gas Lamp.”

People cared. In the middle of the week — a time when bands are fortunate to draw 40 people in Des Moines — Towncrier packed nearly 150 into Gas Lamp to hear them play. From there came a second show The Nadas, where Towncrier debuted some of their new material. Now, the band is off and running, with more shows lined up and plans for spending time in the studio.

“The shelf life for just revisiting those old songs is running out, I think,” Lorenson said. “We've got 10 songs that are really good candidates for recording. We'll just keep trying the new stuff out and make a new record.”

Originally appeared in Cityview February 17, 2016