By Roberta Olson, Correspondent
Four young men who came together just over two years ago as a new Central Minnesota rock band, “The Issue,” were fulfilling a destiny. They came from musical families; was there any doubt about their direction?
Clay Deters, who is the lead vocalist and rhythm guitar for The Issue, has two older brothers, Calvin and Colby, who play in the band, Contention.
Avery Wiese is a third generation musician, following in his grandpa John Wiese and dad Jai Wiese’s footsteps. He has played in church with the two senior members. Avery plays lead guitar and adds vocals.
Kyle Rutten set his guitar aside and taught himself to play bass to become part of The Issue, his first band affiliation.
Drummer Jeff Marthaler previously played with four bands, including Dana and the Bottlerockets, before joining The Issue.
Together the four young men have put together a deep, vibrant rock sound that has them booked into mid August.
“We play rock,” says Kyle, “bundles of rock, not much else, anything from the 70s to the early 2000s.”
Not quite true. Deters and Wiese collaborate on writing new music, “Six that we play live, with more in the works,” says Deters.
That original work was showcased on Thursday, June 8, at Whiskey Junction in Minneapolis with two other bands when they played their first original gig, which is a 30-45 minute set of all original music.
“We will lay it out on the line, show everybody what we’ve got,” says Deters. “Hopefully it leads to more gigs like it.”
The guys all grew up in Sauk Centre, Rutten and Wiese in the same neighborhood. Three went to high school together, when they came up with the idea of forming a band.
Things went well until they tried to select a name. “We were kind of fighting about the name. One night at open mike my uncle was there and he announced, it sounds like you guys have quite the issue choosing a name,” says Deters.
And “The Issue” was born. “It just sounded like a band name,” Deters said. “Let’s just call the name ‘The Issue.’”
The band has opened for other area bands, and rocked between sets with Dana and the Bottlerockets. They have done some shows with Contention. They also have a connection to Wiese’s uncle’s band, better known as Beaner and the Big Chickens. They have been influenced by Led Zepplin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alice in Chains, and Nirvana.
A wedding party one recent weekend was followed by two gigs, one Friday at Bug-a-boo Bay in Alexandria, and Sunday night at The Watering Hole in Ellendale.
Come mid-August, however, the band will slow down, as three members move on to continue their educations.
Wiese, the son of Jai and Darcy, will attend McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul to study music production, after graduating this spring. After two years in the program Avery plans to work in a music studio.
Deters will move on to Minneapolis into a program called Record Now, at Essential Sessions Studios. The son of Jeff and Karen Deters graduated from Sauk Centre High School in 2014. His goal is “to keep playing in bands, and as much work as I can do in the music industry — work in studios, producing.”
Rutten is going to be a senior at St. Cloud State University. A native of Sauk Centre, and the son of Scott Rutten and Lisa Kohout, graduated from Sauk Centre High School in 2015. He is studying community psychology and applying for graduate school with a long term goal of becoming a counselor of some sort, “and of course playing music” he says.
Marthaler, fits in well with the younger musicians. He is a Sauk Centre native, son of Tom and Linda Marthaler, and a 1998 graduate of Sauk Centre High School. The Issue is his fifth band, including Dana and the Bottlerockets. He is currently assistant manager at Fleet Supply in Sauk Centre.
The band can be found on Facebook, which features their coming engagements. Go to www.facebook.com/TheIssueMN