Omaha's Southern grunge comes to Sioux City

2014-01-09T00:00:00Z 2014-01-31T13:50:07Z Omaha's Southern grunge comes to Sioux CityKay Kemmet kay.kemmet@gmail.com Sioux City Journal
January 09, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Growing up in small town in Nebraska, Joe Janousek listened to classic country legends Hank Williams and Johnny Cash while blending in ‘90s grunge rockers like Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilot.

The resulting melting pot of music comes out when Janousek hits the stage as the lead singer and songwriter for Rock Paper Dynamite. (Here’s a hint: Dynamite always wins.)

That style could be described as Southern grunge, garage rock or power pop. But don't let the Southern influence confuse you.

The four-piece band hails from rural northeast Nebraska. Janousek and his brother Andrew Janousek grew up in Schuyler, Neb. -- about an hour northwest of the band’s current home base, Omaha.

It was there Janousek's musical talent was discovered by his older brother, and he's been singing in bands with his guitar-slinging big brother since.

Those musical brothers will join local favorites The Buddha Cheese Band and We Live in Sod Houses at the Chesterfield, 1225 Fourth St., on Friday (Jan. 10) along with Guilty Is The Bear out of Lincoln, Neb.

They’ll perform Janousek’s favorites like “Somebody Who Knows” off the group’s latest EP -- simply titled "R.P.D." -- which came out almost exactly one year ago.

“You can feel that sweet spot when you hit those notes, when my voice is spot on,” Janousek said.

And the notes he hits are pretty high and shift from raspy and rough to clear and concise.

Throughout the 4-year-old band’s repertoire of music, Janousek’s vocal range impresses with his brother Andrew Janousek singing backup.

Then there is that rough Southern grunge influence that dominates other songs like crowd-pleasing “Nonchalant.”

“It’s just kind of a balls-to-the-wall psychedelic,” Janousek said.

Rock Paper Dynamite has released five EPs, but Janousek said he and the others are waiting to hit the recording studio again until they have enough material for a full-length album.

Until then, the band continues to tour regularly. Last year, they took a writing trip to South Carolina but, mostly, the group tours all over the middle of the United States occasionally jutting to the east or west.

Despite leaving for several weeks at a time to tour, Janousek said he and his three bandmates have kept their day jobs, playing on the weekends and using Kickstarter to fund their last album.

But the love of music prevails past the lack of economic compensation.

“You have to do it because your body tells you to and your mind tells you to,” Janousek said, “because you aren’t getting rewarded much monetary wise.” He works for www.musicpage.com, an Omaha-based social media website for the music industry.

But Janousek said the out-of-town shows are what they really look forward to.

“It’s a different kind of thrill to go to a town that you’ve never been to,” Janousek said, adding that in Omaha, there are only so many venues and listeners to reach.

That thrill is coming to Janousek soon with Rock Paper Dynamite’s first Sioux City performance.

Copyright 2015 Sioux City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.