Local band North Dakota collaborates with fans to release new album

By Emily Csukardi

Photo Courtesy of North Dakota
Photo Courtesy of North Dakota

“PAT WAGGY WANTS TO LIVE! HELP HER COME TO LIFE!!!”

Upon scrolling through Valley band North Dakota’s Kickstarter fundraising website, these two sentences demand onlooker’s attention.

For the three-piece Tempe-based band, “PAT WAGGY” stands as the title for their upcoming first vinyl LP, as well as the reason behind the recent hype and support from local fans.

Band members Mo Neuharth, Michelle Blades and Emily Hobeheider faced a challenge: releasing their first album “PAT WAGGY” on vinyl. North Dakota was confronted with a lack of funds, and Blades’ relocation to Paris, France. The band sought financial support through Kickstarter.

“We’d heard of Kickstarter for the past couple years. We made sure to do everything as cheap and efficiently as possible and knew we had enough support from our fans to get there. Also, we had absolutely no other choice because we are all broke,” Neuharth said.

Kickstarter is an online fundraising website for independent bands looking to collaborate with fans to achieve the band’s goals. Fans can back the project by pledging a donation as high as they would like. In return, fans can receive a gift from the band—such as a digital album download or free merchandise—as well as the band’s gratitude.

North Dakota launched their fundraising project Jan. 16, and their goal of $1,500 was exceeded well before their deadline of Feb. 15.

The band was extremely surprised at the amount of support they received from fans in such a short period of time.

“It’s an amazing feeling, truly is. We were worried about the amount. $1,500 seemed like a huge load to us, and 30 days didn’t seem long at all. We are still getting new backers daily and made our goal in only 12 days. Even our EP sales have been skyrocketing throughout this whole process which goes to show how much people care,” Neuharth said.

Since the ending of the fundraiser, big plans lie ahead for North Dakota and the release of “PAT WAGGY.”

“It will take six to eight weeks for the album to get pressed and packaged. We will probably be releasing it online before this. My best guess is, it will be released online in mid-March and physical copies will be in our hands late May to early June,” Neuharth said.

In the meantime, North Dakota is hosting a fundraiser concert on March 16 at Long Wong’s in Tempe.

Since North Dakota’s band member, Michelle Blades, is living in France, the band cannot play at the event. Various local bands have volunteered their time and music to help North Dakota.

“The amount of support we have right now extends far beyond the Kickstarter and is just so heartwarming,” Neuharth said.

When asked what PAT WAGGY is all about, Neuharth referred to it as “a plethora of noise.”

“We’ve always had garage punk/riot girl undertones, but this album really stretches that out. Anywhere from synth-heavy metal about fairy tales, to surf rock about lemonade, to the most dangerous part of Miami, to songs mocking wild-west B-movies, to our very own conquistador-punk version of a song from the cartoon, ‘Space Ghost Coast to Coast’,” Neuharth said.

With the support of fans and bands alike, it seems “PAT WAGGY” will certainly be brought to life, kicking her way into the world North Dakota-style.

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