The material through these em grueve systems has been heard throughout the Midwest

By Gus Bode

The members of em grueve has performed with notorious names such as Roger Walters from Pink Floyd, Pat Benatar, The Doobie Brothers, Canned Heat, and most recently Little Feat, Leftover Salmon and The Specials throughout the Midwest music scene.

Em grueve, the em standing for eclectic midnight, can be found at Mugsy’s Friday, Sept. 6 at 9:30.

Brian Elder, Nathan Hirning, Stephen von der Heyde, David Grelle, Ben Reece and Josh Stewart make up the six-member band that began jamming together 3 years ago. The original band began in St. Louis at midnight January 12, 1997.


Mixed up sounds of rock, jazz, Latin and funk featuring strong vocals and unique instruments is what em grueve breathes. The instruments used include violin, keyboards, woodwinds, bass, guitar and drums.

The most recent album is ‘Further From,’ which was released on Dec. 29, 2001. The twelve-track album is one of the bands two released CD’s. The band has also released one EP. When in concert, the group will perform a couple cover songs, but concentrate mostly on originals.

The band members work together to tell a story. Each story told, can be applied both musically and lyrically. The story that they release through the pit of their lungs and out of the mouth is what they consider catches the energy with each new live performance.

By writing the story first and then patterning sounds to go with the story, the groove soon becomes the sound.

“I fit the lyrics with the music. The lyrics and music are intertwined. They belong together,” said lead vocalist, Brian Elder.

Together as a team the group make an eclectic midnight groove that travels past the moon.

The sound of em grueve is said to be related to the Dave Mathews sound. Everyone throws together important elements that make em grueve one.


As the fire starters for music with intense meaning, this band is not out to preach, just make a statement. According to the band, there is so much political static related to the media. People are constantly drawn to this grey area.

“We’re all running through life at a fast pace.” Elder said. “I don’t try to preach, I’m in the middle of it too.”

Reporter Jackie Keane can be reached at [email protected]