The Box Social

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The Box Social
The Box Social - The Box Social.jpg
Madison, Wis., 2008
Background information
Origin Mequon, Wis., US
Genres Alternative
Years active 2002–2008
Labels Bright Ideas
No Karma
Associated acts Direct Hit
Nick Junkunc
Members Nick Junkunc
Nick Woods
Dave Griesbach
Brian Peoplis
Past members Mike Ewing
Adam Melberth
Matt Kuehl

The Box Social was an American rock band from the Midwestern United States based in Madison, Wisconsin, the state's capital in the south-central region, that broke up in November 2008. While usually classified as pop rock or power pop, the band drew influences from grunge, country, and alternative genres, citing bands such as Nirvana, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Replacements, and REM as their major forebears.


The Box Social was founded in Mequon, Wisconsin c. 2002 by singer/songwriter Nick Junkunc, drummer Brian Peoplis, and bassist Mike Ewing. The band's name is a reference to a The Simpsons episode in which Marge tells Homer "no par-tays, no shindigs, no keggers, no hootenannies, no mixers, no raves, no box socials!" in order to keep him from holding parties at Mr. Burns's home.

After approximately 10 shows in Milwaukee suburbs, Nick Woods created a Web site for the group, Woods later joined the band as lead guitar. The new lineup (Junkunc/Woods/Peoplis/Ewing) performed their first at a party in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin in May 2003.

In June 2003, the band recorded their first set of demos called What, Too Soon? Released and sold to their friends in a run of 100 CD-R copies. They have since sold out and have not been repressed. The band began performing on a more regular basis in basements within Milwaukee's Riverwest Neighborhood. No Karma Recordings founder Michael Wojtasiak saw the band and kept in touch.

The Box Social recorded their second disc Golly Gee Whiz! in July 2004, subsequently released by Mike Graff and Qdot Records in a run of 150 CD-R copies. The covers were designed, silkscreened and numbered by hand in Madison by an artist duo The Little Friends of Printmaking. The band sold the majority of them before the remaining 10-20 copies were stolen when the band performed at Onopa Brewing Co.

In August 2004, the band went on their first tour, lasting a week, with six performances in St. Paul, Ames, Kansas City, St. Louis, Peoria, and Chicago.

In September 2004, Junkunc and Ewing joined Woods at UW-Madison, while Peoplis remained in Milwaukee. The band fired Mike Ewing soon thereafter, and began searching for a new bassist - Zach Rapport filled in until Matt Kuehl joined mid-month.

In January 2005, the new lineup went on their second tour - an 11-day trip to New York City and back, and performed live on 91.7 WMSE. The band made a second trip out to NYC that spring to perform as house band for the Banished To Siberia comedy showcase, before returning home and recording their EP Blown To Bits with Shane Olivo at Bobby Peru's Recording Studio. The album was released worldwide by No Karma Recordings in October 2005 as a limited pressing of 1,000 CDs. Soon after recording the EP, the band fired Matt Kuehl, and replaced him with Adam Melberth that September.

In January 2006, Junkunc, Woods, Melberth and Peoplis went on an 11-day trip to the Southern and East-Central United States, performing in Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas and Indiana among others. The band parted ways with Adam Melberth in March, 2006. Peoplis's friend Dave Griesbach replaced him that month.

The band began recording demos for what would become the full-length album Get Going in April 2006 with engineers Shane Olivo and Justin Perkins. After a 3-week tour that took the band through the Rocky Mountains and up the West Coast, the group returned home to begin pre-production with Dave Rieley, who later recorded the album's 11 songs at Rax Trax and Chicago Recording Company in Chicago, IL over the Winter of 2006 and 2007. The album was co-released on June 9, 2007 by Bright Ideas and No Karma Recordings on an unlimited basis.

The band has toured extensively throughout the continental United States and has made notable appearances at such popular music events such as the Vans Warped Tour, Summerfest, and CMJ Music Festival. They have been voted Best Band in Wisconsin by viewers of FuseTV, and Best Emerging Artist by Summerfest attendees.

The Box Social agreeably disbanded in late October 2008, citing diverging personal agendas as the primary cause for the split.


Current Members Past Members
Nick Junkunc - Vocals/Guitar Adam Melberth (Bass, 2005–2006)
Dave Griesbach - Bass/Vocals Matt Kuehl (Bass, 2004–2005)
Nick Woods - Guitar Mike Ewing (Bass, 2002–2004)
Brian Peoplis - Drums


Title Description Label
Get Going 11 tracks, unlimited run Bright Ideas / No Karma
Blown To Bits 5 tracks, 1,000 CDs out of print No Karma Recordings
Golly Gee Whiz! 6 tracks, 150 CD-R copies, out of print Qdot Records
What, Too Soon? 5 tracks, 100 CDR copies, out of print self-released

Notable Press[edit]

Hybrid Magazine
The Onion
Delusions of Adequacy
Nashville Scene
Culture Bunker
Shepherd Express
Independent Clauses

External links[edit]