Article Written by Joe Anderson. Photo credit to Jayda Saatzer.

If you frequent the Stewart Hall and its basement radio station KVSC, you might have met Jake Avdem. Avdem, a senior Mass Comm and Film student, has been the host of KVSC’s Monday Night Live since December of 2022. The program showcases the musicians from around the area as they play a one-hour set, and an interview from the band as intermission.

But what you might not know is Avdem is the leader of his own up-and-coming local band Simple Motions.

The story starts, as with many passion projects of people these days, with the endless hours of spare time the pandemic lockdown gave us in 2020. Avdem decided to use this time to pick up the guitar.

Before transferring to SCSU, Avdem met the bands lead guitarist Josh Huebsch while playing baseball at the St. Cloud Tech College. Avdem was a pitcher and Huebsch was a catcher, so they spent a lot of time warming up together. It wasn’t long before their friendship formed, and they discovered their shared love of music.

Their relationship grew as they started to get together and play music. Avdem was an aspiring guitar player at the time and said he learned a lot from Huebsch.

“He was really good, so playing with him made me better. I’m always trying to write songs. He’s the human jukebox with his hands.” Avdem reflected on Thursday.

It was around this time when Avdem would make the switch to Bass which, in union with Huebsch’s mellow electric style, creates the cornerstone sound of Simple Motions that was heard at St. Cloud venues throughout 2023.

With their craft and style developing, the two began working on demos. These tracks, yet to be officially released, showcase what would become their style. A distant lead guitar that complements the bass line invites the listener to just close their eyes and get enveloped in the sound.

In these songs, Avdem took to writing the lyrics and becoming the lead singer of the group. He attributes the success of their songwriting partnership to their shared music taste and practice.

Throughout 2023 the duo, with Duluth students Andrew Theisen (Drums) and Jack Randolf (Guitar and Vocals), got together monthly and jammed. It all culminated in March of that year with their first gig at Beaver Island Brewing in town. They played more gigs over the summer, building their comradery.

“We’ve all been writing songs. We all have distinct voices on what we want to be,” Avdem said.

In October they played their biggest show at La Playette Bar in St. Joseph, meeting other musicians and getting energetic responses from the community.

This spring, Avdem and Simple Motions are looking to the horizon. Their primary goals are to record their first LP or EP and start a tour in the Twin Cities and other stops in Minnesota, maybe even branching out to surrounding states. Avdem’s group has shown that a drive to learn and work with others can produce a product better than any one individual.

Secured By miniOrange