About Somerset

Slightly twisting the pop-punk formula, Somerset churns out a power punk combination of rock, grit, and aggression that never loses sight of basic pop sensibilities. Forming in Minneapolis, MN, in September 2002, the group comprises Forrest Olsen (vocals/ guitar), Claudio Rivera (drums), Matt Broadbent (bass), and Michael Warren (guitar). They recorded their first demos within a week of forming, and four months later, finished and self-released the five-song EP This Thought Process. An EP under their belt, the band booked their first tour and hit up college radio. Working next with producer Chris Fudurich (Nada Surf, RX Bandits), several more demos were finished by fall 2003 and released the following spring online for free and also as a three-song "mini-EP." An East Coast tour followed during which Warren abruptly left the band midway through. Undeterred, the remaining members quickly recruited friend JT Viele for guitar and backing vocal duties, and within a week, they were back on the road and headed to the West Coast. That November, Somerset recorded their debut full-length (again with Fudurich) and -- through an early friendship with editor Scott Heisel (of and later Alternative Press magazine) -- became the first band signed to the fledgling Punknews Records, an offshoot label of the popular news website. Pandora appeared in August 2005 to largely positive response. Somerset took a brief break the next summer while Rivera worked as Motion City Soundtrack's Warped Tour drum tech, but by mid-August, they'd regrouped for shows with new songs in tow. ~ Corey Apar

    Minneapolis, MN
    September, 2002

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