The Advance-Titan

UW Oshkosh student jump starts career in recording technology

DerekFPhoto courtesy of Derek Fredericken

Derek Fredericken is a senior at UW Oshkosh studying recording technology. Fredericken is the mastermind behind his band, Normal Fox, and when he is not playing music, he is behind the board recording others’ music. A-T: How old were you when you first started getting into music? Fredericken: I was thirteen years old. A-T: What made you get into music? Fredericken: We had band, choir and an exploring music class. It started out as a keyboard class and it turned into a guitar class. I picked up the guitar and I was pretty good at it, and then from there I was playing in an ambient punk band in high school. We played some all ages shows that not a lot of people came to. We were like yeah, we’re in a band. Then I chose Oshkosh for the recording technology/industry program. A-T: What were some influences on you getting into music? Fredericken: I really love pop punk music. There was a Minnesota pop punk scene with bands like Sing It Loud and Motion City Soundtrack. It’s funny because I was obsessed with those pop punk bands and I would cover their music. I wanted to be a really good engineer at the time so I followed the producer, Jordan Schmidt out to Nashville. He moved to Nashville when I was looking for internships. I interned with him for two summers; this previous summer and the summer before that. A-T: What did you do during your internship in Nashville? Fredericken: It was pretty cool. I got to see how he engineered and picked up all of his tricks. Jordan Schmidt worked with Sing It Loud and he engineered Motion City Soundtrack’s album, “My Dinosaur Life.” Jordan’s brother, Dane Schmidt, who goes under the stage name Jamestown Story was in Nashville as well so I was able to hang out with him a lot, which was really cool. A-T: What do you plan on doing next with your band, Normal Fox? Fredericken: So, we have an EP that came out two years ago and last year our full length came out, which features various current UW Oshkosh students and alumni. We paid a bunch of money for a radio promotion and it got us ads in Maryland and Chicago and some other places, but they didn’t translate to sales because people don’t buy music anymore. I check Spotify, and Spotify plays are fine, but 700 plays you get like $1.20 so… (Laughs). I don’t know if that’s worth it. We filmed four music videos in June for the release of our full-length album. A-T: You already shot four? Fredericken: Yeah, if there is enough of a media push, we could hopefully have enough support to tour. A-T: What plans do you have outside of Normal Fox? Fredericken: The engineering and producing thing is pretty cool, but here in the Fox Valley, there isn’t a lot of money in that business. Bands will maybe pay you $100 per song and that’s just not really enough to survive off of. A-T: So you would enjoy being an engineer, but you would want to move somewhere else? Fredericken: If we could bring up a music scene here in the Fox Valley, that would be cool but I don’t know if we could. Bands around here aren’t willing to spend any money. Bands around here are like yeah, we’ll be bands but let’s not spend any money so they try and do everything for free. Nothing happens to the band because a band is a business and a band has to invest. A-T: Is any of your work being released soon? Fredericken: The first thing I edited is going to be released on November 27. It’s for a pop punk band called Patent Pending. I just did some vocal edits and it’s my first label release under the label, Rude Records. I’m really stoked for that.

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
UW Oshkosh student jump starts career in recording technology