Indigenous band rocks SDSU


Taylor Roemeling

Reed Two Bulls performs at Anderson Plaza Sept 6.

Brooke Burnette, Reporter

The Wake Singers held a performance Sept. 6 at the Anderson Plaza. The band is Rapid City-based and is an Oglala Lakota alternative rock band. 

The members of the band include Reed Two Bulls (lead singer/ keyboard), Mike Two Bulls (drummer/guitarist/bass/keys), Douglas Two Bulls (guitarist/bass/keys) and Dan Carroll (bass/guitarist). The band performed original music from their album, “The Wake Singers” along with cover songs. While these four cousins performed, the audience was either sitting around enjoying the music, playing cornhole, delighting in free SDSU ice cream or having a picnic. 

“They brought tons of energy, which made it fun and enjoyable to watch them perform,” Alexis Walking Eagle, a freshman nursing student, said. 

  Mike Two Bull spoke with the Collegian about how the band got their start with music. 

“We got turned onto music very young, we learned together through family support,” Mike said.  

Mike started the band along with his cousins when they were attending art school at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

Reed Two Bulls had a little bit of a different start when growing up in Minneapolis. 

“My dad was an episcopal priest, so I grew up singing music within the church,” Reed said. “When I was a kid I was also in plays like Annie and Rent.” 

Reed joined the band in 2014 when he was only 15. They came up with the name, The Wake Singers, when they were in college. At the time it was just Mike, Doug and two other bandmates from school, who are no longer in the band. They came up with the name and have been “The Wake Singers” ever since. 

“The feeling of creating something and having people like it and you like is the best feeling,” Mike said. 

That feeling is what inspires them most when writing their music.

Their songwriting process usually looks like a “collaborative effort” with all the members of the band. Doug comes up with a medley and brings it to Mike. From there they just keep adding to the song with instruments and then they add lyrics. When the song is something they are all happy with, they then record a demo and get the song from there. 

Reed said they hope to inspire people by “showing other bands that it is possible to make your music because we started from the ground up and now we are doing it, you can always express yourself creatively.”

In a few years, Mike wants to see the band doing more live shows and recording new music. You can find the band’s first album “The Wake Singers” on Bandcamp.