Cultured Calamity is a rock band out of the Iowa Cedar Valley. Over the years Cultured Calamity, formerly known as "TBD", has shuffled through a few different line ups. Now sitting on a solid group of guys for the past couple of years, the decision was made to start fresh. This decision lead to a name change, repertoire adjustments and, most importantly, the beginning of their own sound.
Cody Lee (Drums) -"Originally from Waterloo, I have lived in Sun Prairie Wisconsin and Cedar Falls as of 2007. I got into drums in a funny way. Starting in fourth grade I was originally supposed to play the saxophone or trumpet, but my affinity for hitting pots and pans on my deck was just too great. I had found my calling. Around the age of 12 I knew that I wanted to try the full set, after watching kids at my school I finally convinced my parents to let me take lessons with Kip Roelfsema (excellent guy I suggest him to all newbies). After learning the basic rudiments with the song "Take me to the River" by the Talking Heads, I was hooked. I have always loved watching people sit behind a drum set and lay down an awesome beat and try to match it. My idol in the drum world is Neil Peart of Rush. However I do have some other musical influences such as Tre Cool (Green Day), Keith Moon (The Who), Buddy Rich, John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), and Lars Ulrich (Metallica) etc.
- I have been to 8 Rush concerts since you started reading this.
- I am a huge fan of Hip Hop music even though Kip says the drums aren't real.
- Apparently I have a nice singing voice but you'll never hear it
- I am quite introverted, but come talk to me anyways!
- I've always wanted to produce trap/house music."
Owen Abkes (Guitar/Vocals) - "I come from the great city of Ackley, Iowa. I picked up the guitar for the first time when I was twelve years old. I had originally dreamed of playing drums, but after I started watching videos of Slash I knew the guitar was for me. I took lessons from Jeff Burak and that's how I met Ian and Kip, which eventually led to meeting Cody. My influences come from kind of all over, from Foo Fighters, Guns N' Roses, Def Leppard, AC/DC, and Motley Crue to Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, Buckcherry, as well as the other fruit bands. My all time favorite guitar player is Chris Robertson from Black Stone Cherry, I aspire to be able to play leads like him. Playing live music is definitely a passion of mine.
- I have gotten whiplash from head banging at a Black Stone Cherry concert.
- I used to absolutely hate Les Pauls, until you know.. Slash.. now I am obsessed with them.
- I am fluent in no other language besides English.
- I have a problem with impulse buying music gear.
- I am the most outgoing Software Engineering major you will ever meet.
- If you come up to me and I make fun of you.. it's because I like you.
- I think Elf is by far the greatest movie of all time."
The band is made up of guitarist and vocalist Ian Tagtow, guitarist and bassist Travis Granberg, drummer Cody Lee, guitarist and vocalist Owen Abkes. Fresh out of the gates, Cultured Calamity is looking to make an impact on the music scene in the area, and hopes to branch out and bring its sound to the masses.
Ian Tagtow (Vocals/Bass/Guitar) - "Born and raised right here in Waterloo, Iowa. Been playing guitar for eight years, and I'm one of the original members from TBD. I like to play anything from jazz to indie rock, but I always have to remember my classic rock roots. I got into playing on my 10th birthday on a trip that I thought had me headed to the arcade, but I ended up at Bob's Guitars instead. When told that acoustic was good for beginners, I wouldn't have any of it, electric or bust.
I love rock and roll more than any other kind of music, and I won't hesitate to break into a sick riff.
One of my first major influences, and my first favorite band, was the Beach Boys. Some of my inspiration comes from one of my favorite guitarists and legends Chuck Berry. I'd put some of my favorite bands, but it's too hard to pick from them all."
Travis Granberg (Bass/Acoustic/Vocals) - "I was born in Batesville, IN but have lived in Oelwein since 1996. Music was always a part of my life but always came second to golf. My music career started in 6th grade when I began playing trombone. I played until 9th grade and decided to focus on choir only. In August of 2012, the start of my senior year of high school, I decided it was time to start playing the Sam’s Club guitar that I had received for Christmas five years earlier. At my final choir concert I played my first solo song, “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty. Playing guitar became an addiction after that night. In college I began playing a few live shows at local bars and lounges. My senior year I met Owen in a class and he drove to Oelwein every Wednesday and a great friendship instantly developed (he still denies this). We played a few acoustic sets together until he invited me to join Cultured Calamity in the summer of 2018. While some of my musical influences came from major groups like Foo Fighters, Live, and various country artists, my main inspirations come from many different local artists from Northeast Iowa.
- I bought my first house at age 22 but still do not live in it because I flooded it…
- Since I have flooded my house I have found 10 bats which I am deathly afraid of.
- I have never taken a formal guitar lesson and I cannot read music. Come watch a show and this will be obvious to you.
- In 2017 I played 49 shows between Cultured Calamity and various acoustic sets.
- My family owns an office supply company so quit going to Staples."
Photographer: Doyle Voss (Voss Studio)