Howland native Braeden Lemasters wallows in success | News, Sports, Jobs

AP Howland native Braeden Lemasters of the band Wallows is featured at this year’s Coachella Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA.

As a member of Wallows, Howland native Braeden Lemasters spends the year performing at many of the world’s most prestigious music festivals – Coachella in California, Bonnaroo in Tennessee, Lollapalooza in Chicago, the Reading Festival in England and Austin City Limits Music Festival in Texas. .

His love of music was nurtured by watching his father, David Lemasters, play gigs at Mocha House in Warren, Leo’s Ristorante in Howland and the former Mahoning Valley Rib Burn-Off in Niles. His father, a Howland High School graduate, played in the later incarnation of Left End as well as bands like Triple Play and The Benders.

“My dad literally had everything to do with my initial love of music,” said Lemasters. “I wouldn’t be a musician, I wouldn’t play music without my father. I grew up going to his concerts. He is truly one of my favorite musicians of all time.

“His love of music and his love of the Beatles made me want to play music when I was very young. I still love watching my dad play to this day.

Before his musical career began, 26-year-old Braeden Lemasters was successful as a child actor. The family moved to California when Lemasters was around 8 years old so he could pursue an acting career.

He appeared in a McDonald’s commercial that aired during the Super Bowl in 2005 and landed a role in an episode of HBO. “Six feet Under ground.”

Lemasters worked steadily as a teen and teen-guest spots on “ER,” “Criminal minds,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “To lodge,” regular roles on ABC “Treason” and TNTs “Men of a certain age” as well as roles in films such as “Easy,” “Step-father” and “A Christmas Story 2.”

It was at the start of his acting career that Lemasters took up the guitar.

“I would say it took me a year or two to really want to pursue music,” he said. “I started playing guitar when I was maybe 10, but I didn’t really understand. I wanted to play, but I was a kid and it takes a lot of work to learn to play, so my attention span was like, “It’s okay, I don’t need to play.”

“My dad was like, ‘I’m going to show you how to play.’ A year or two later, you couldn’t stop me from playing the guitar. I’d be in my room 10 hours a day by myself, writing music, listening to (Led) Zeppelin records, Beatles records, (Jimi) Hendrix records, I was so incredibly drawn to the music.

While her father is credited with inspiring her interest in music, her mother, Campbell High School graduate Michelle, is responsible for the platinum-certified band Wallows.

Lemasters’ mother and Dylan Minnette’s mother became friends online. Both were mothers of aspiring actors who moved from the Midwest to California so those kids could continue acting.

“Me and Dylan got along really well because his dad played music, his dad was in bands and he liked the same music I liked when I was 12 and another one really liked when I was 12” , said Lemasters. “We bonded over our love of music at Cheesecake Factory.”

After playing and writing songs together for about a year, their parents enrolled them in Join the Band, a School of Rock-type program where young musicians are paired with others of similar skill levels. It was there that they met Cole Preston, and the three have been making music together for a dozen years.

They performed together under different names, such as The Narwhals and Feaver. They played rock clubs in Los Angeles at night, and then Lemasters and Minnette often had to show up on set for their acting work early the next morning.

“In our minds, we were serious (about the music) from the start,” said Lemasters. “If you asked us at 13 about the band, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s what we do, that’s our lives.’ “We were really, really focused. Being in a successful band was always the goal. It was never a hobby.”

Their music began to match their acting success in 2017 when they released “Please,” their first single as Wallows.

“The day after ‘Pleaser’ was released, four different labels contacted us, which never happens. It happened very soon after that. he said.

“Are you bored yet?” a collaboration with Clairo on Wallows’ 2019 debut album “Nothing happens,” has been streamed over 500 million times on Spotify. Other tracks have over 100 million streams.

Lemasters did not give up playing. Him and Minnette, who is best known for the Netflix series “13 reasons why” and recently appeared in the Hulu limited series “The Stall” will still seek acting jobs when the band isn’t touring or recording, he said, but those breaks in the band’s schedule are getting shorter and less frequent.

Wallows released their second album, “Tell me it’s over” in March. It was produced by Ariel Rechtshaid, who has worked with artists like Adele, Vampire Weekend and Haim.

Whereas “Nothing happened” had a more cohesive sound, the band took a different approach for the sequel.

“We kind of wanted each song to feel like its own world,” said Lemasters. “We knew that Ariel had a very wide kaleidoscope of musical knowledge and that we could achieve many different sounds. We wanted this album to feel like each song opens a different door to a whole new world.

In addition to all those major festivals, Wallows’ 2022-23 tour includes shows June 4 at Agora Theater in Cleveland and June 12 at Stage AE in Pittsburgh.

“The guest list for Cleveland, with all the people from Warren, is the biggest for me, like 20 people, and it’s not my whole family, just those who can make it happen,” said Lemasters.

And the guitar he played at Coachella in April and takes with him on this tour is a white Fender Stratocaster that belongs to his father.

“I thought it would be awesome. I love this guitar. He was like, ‘I don’t use it much’ and let me have it.

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