Well-Known Strangers
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Well-Known Strangers

Racine, Wisconsin, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Racine, Wisconsin, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Indie




"Premiere: Well-Known Strangers’ Debut Single “Another Sun”"

This is for everyone who doesn’t need another Jasey Rae-esque vague summer love jam. Even though I like “Call Me Maybe” (of course I jammed to it) and the other one that’s out now, “I Really Like You”, I’m craving a summer single that addresses the fact that I may have more on my mind than an unrequited crush.

Cue “Another Sun” the debut single by Well-Known Strangers. This is your new collegiate summer single.

Who is Well-Known Strangers? They’re a DIY modern pop-rock group from Wisconsin gearing up to release their first addition to their discography, the Found EP, on June 23rd. If you’re from the area you might recognize some names in the lineup of band members since they’ve all been in and around the scene for quite some time: Joe Adamek (guitar/songwriting), Betsy Ade (vocals/songwriting), Roger Gower (drums), Sacia Jerome (cello), Jon Wolf (guitars), and John Kulas (bass guitar, guitars).

“Another Sun” sounds like your 90s pop radio feel good, introspective, confusion-driven go-to single that you include in your throwback comfort playlist (and thank god!). The lyrics touch on a collective emotion that we all feel from time to time- Confusion. The track wrestles with the need to find a sense of belonging while not entirely wanting to be disconnected from what’s currently surrounding them. Betsy sings, “I need some distance I know you hear me loud and clear” and, gosh, we do.

“Another Sun” – It’s your ripened teenage anthem.

Follow on Well-Known Strangers on Twitter to get all of the latest news on their debut release!

And visit http://wellknownstrangers.com/ for all things Well-Known Strangers. - Music Existence

"Review: Well-Known Strangers – “Another Sun” Single"

We live in a music world that is now obsessed with the single. Seemingly gone are the days of picking up and listening to an album in its entirety as now listeners have the opportunity to quickly download their favorite singles with the click of a button. It’s changed the face of the music business, for better or worse, and has dramatically increased the burden on artists to choose which singles to release wisely, for those decisions can make or break a career. Thankfully, rising collective Well-Known Strangers has chosen wisely as their new single “Another Sun” provides a warm, inviting introduction to this talented band.

Well-Known Strangers is the brainchild of Joe Adamek, a musical jack-of-all-trades whose skills as songwriter, performer, and more have garnered him plenty of praise across the Midwest, seeing him perform with a myriad of bands and headline numerous events. Inspired by his experiences, he endeavored to create a new collective of the region’s best musicians and performers, seeking to bridge into the pop-rock realm with a powerful female vocal and some soulful strings.

Adamek found that powerful female vocal in Betsy Ade, a seasoned performer whose ability extends beyond rocking the microphone to penning lyrics as well and, teamed with Adamek, the two make a powerful force. Adamek’s strings came along when he found cellist Sacia Jerome, a talented artist whose resume lists performances with numerous regional pit orchestras and symphonies including The Wisconsin Philharmonic. To round out the collective, Adamek recruited Roger Gower (drums), Jon Wolf (guitars), and Jon Kulas (bass guitars, guitars), cementing the band’s core. Sonically, the band draws from their roots, offering up solid doses of alternative and acoustic rock that has drawn favorable comparisons to bands as diverse as Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers, Annie Lennox, and The Goo Goo Dolls.

“Another Sun,” however, while boasting some similarities, is still very much their own sound. With a sound that toes the line between pop and country, things lead off with a warm set of acoustic guitar fills before Sacia’s cello hits in strong, providing a rich set of added emotion. Ade’s vocals are rich and inviting, her delivery almost percussive throughout the verse while she comes into full form in the chorus, the layered elements giving the track an extra push. The bridge, in particular, is a highlight here as the sunny-feeling arrangement allows for a moment of rocking passion, Ade really showing her vocal chops and stealing the show while singing of the ups and downs of a committed relationship, her protagonist wondering throughout if she’s got what it takes to stay through the difficult trials.

Frankly, the only disappointment that listeners will be faced with when listening to “Another Sun” is when the track ends and there’s nothing to follow. Well-Known Strangers, under the keen leadership of Joe Adamek, have crafted a perfect introduction to this Midwestern outfit that delivers on all fronts and will have listeners chomping at the bit for more, a win-win for all involved. - Breaking Down Sound

"Singling Out: Well-Known Strangers"

Looking for that midweek pick-me-up?

Search no further than Well-Known Strangers’ debut single “Another Sun”. Well-Known Strangers is a Wisconsin-based modern pop-rock band, whose debut album Found releases on June 23rd. “Another Sun” is the perfect summer pop, feel good song that throws me straight back to the 90s (minus the crimped hair and body glitter). It’s got a message that goes beyond the basic pop song, and I can tell that the the songwriters have had some real life experiences. The members of the group all have lengthy backgrounds in music, including the guitar player, Joe Adamek and lead vocalist, Betsy Ade, who both also write the lyrics. The overall laid-back feel of their single is much needed for this crazy summer week. Definitely looking forward to hearing the rest of their EP later this month. - Independent Artist Buzz

"TMFC Band/Group Radio Chart"

Well-Known Strangers' "Take You There" hits #2 on the TMFC radio chart for 6/26/2015. - YTELLSOCIAL

"CD Review: Well-Known Strangers' "Found""

Well-Known Strangers is a pop-rock band that makes its home in Racine, Wisconsin. The band came together in 2014 when founder, chief songwriter, and guitarist Joe Adamek decided he wanted to create a band that contained female vocals and cello. The result of Adamek’s vision is a band that features some of the strongest musicians from that area’s music scene. Along with Adamek, the rest of the band consists of: Betsy Ade (vocals/songwriting), Roger Gower (drums), Sacia Jerome (cello), Jon Wolf (guitars), and John Kulas (bass guitar, guitars). Together, the band of Well-Known Strangers has just released a new EP entitled Found.

The new release from Well-Known Strangers begins with the track “Aligned”. The track has a strong folk-rock feel to the music and also contains a driving feel to the music. The vocals from Betsy Ade bring to mind a cross between Sinead O’Connor and Enya. The music’s folk-rock sound falls more over to the rock side of things but still has a light touch that comes from a folk influence. That folk influence also comes from the inclusion of the cello from Sacia Jerome as it sounds like a fiddle in the track. The track ends up having a crossover feel that would be very welcome on today’s Top 40 radio formats as the song feels very commercial and very listener-friendly.

Found continues with the track “Take You There”. The song kicks the energy of the music up as the band creates a quicker pace to the track. When the track begins, the band creates a strong musical feel that is built around the acoustic guitar, but the feel of the music changes for the refrain when the acoustic guitar is replaced with the electric guitar. The track alternates between the acoustic and electric directions throughout the three-minute play time. Like the first track of “Aligned,” “Take You There” feels very commercial and the listener will find much to like within the song.

With the song “Release Me,” Well-Known Strangers slows things down. The easier feel at the beginning of the track comes from the keyboards and the cello. The track’s easy feeing helps to reinforce the lyrics about a restless mind that refuses to quiet down. As the listener allows the song to play out, they begin to identify with Betsy Ade as she sings. The song picks up halfway through the track and when it does, the more energetic feel of the song gives the lyrics a completely different meaning.

Well-Known Strangers’ new release of Found comes to a close with the album’s title track, the song “Another Sun”. The track is probably the most commercial track and the closest thing to straight-out Rock And Roll of the four tracks on the release. The slow introduction at the beginning of the track builds until it “launches” into a strong folk-rock track that seems to combine elements of artists like The Indigo Girls and maybe even 10,000 Maniacs to create its musical feel. The song is very strong and could easily be the track of the four that make up the EP.

The Found EP from Well- Known Strangers is the type of release I love coming across. As the release plays out, the songs draw the listener further and further into the musical world of the band. With each note, you find yourself jamming along with the group and before you know it, the album comes to an end. The four tracks on Found are really strong and refreshing when compared to the rest of the current music that is being played on the radio. When the all-too-short release of Found from Well-known Strangers comes to an end, you will most certainly want more. - Mathieson's Entertainment Blog

"Well-Known Strangers wins Song Of The Month"

Joe Adamek & Betsy Ade of the pop/folk/rock band Well-Known Strangers (based in Racine, Wisconsin), has won the SongwriterUniverse “Best Song Of The Month” Contest for July, for their song “Aligned.” This song is included on their debut 4-song EP, Found, which was released independently in June (2015).
“Aligned” is a well-crafted, acoustic/pop song which has a heartfelt lyric theme and an appealing melody. Each verse contains fast-paced phrasing which helps build energy toward the chorus, which is the song’s main highlight. This recording provides a fine showcase for Betsy Ade’s expressive lead & harmony vocals, and the arrangement includes an excellent string arrangement which features cellist Sacia Jerome. “Aligned” was expertly produced & mixed by Nick Radovanovic, who has mixed cuts for Melissa Etheridge and Eric Hutchinson, and is a member of the Seattle-based band, Acceptance.
Well-Known Strangers consists of six musicians who have played in different bands in the Midwest, and are part of the regional music community. Adamek plays lead & rhythm guitar, and along with Ade (who plays guitar & mandolin), are the main songwriters in the band. The other members are Roger Gower Jr. (drums), Sacia Jerome (cello & background vocals), John Kulas (bass) and Jon Wolf (rhythm guitar).
“We’ve known each other for about 15 years,” said Adamek, in a joint interview with Ade. “We’ve been in different bands but we kept in touch, and when we played together at a friend’s wedding last year, we clicked musically and decided to form a new band.” Notably, Ade is a member of two bands: Well-Known Strangers, and Candy Apple Crush.
The Well-Known Strangers
The Well-Known Strangers
Both Adamek and Ade discussed how they wrote “Aligned.” Adamek: “‘Aligned’ was created as a song that spoke about accepting things for what they are…to find peace with a relationship that didn’t quite work out.” Ade: “I connected with this song’s universal idea…finding peace within yourself, and moving forward.”
Currently, Adamek & Ade are busy writing songs for another EP (or album), and they’re pleased that their songs are already receiving some local and international airplay. In addition, the band is preparing to do more live shows.
“We can feel the momentum building,” said Adamek. “It’s been really gratifying as the word has gotten out, and people have been so enthusiastic about the band. It feels incredible and very validating.” - Songwriter Universe

"EP Review"

The musical concept behind Well-Known Strangers was to combine passionate feminine singing with the sound of a cello -- an instrument much more associated with classical music and refined pop. This idea originally came to Joe Adamek, who is the founder and main songwriter for this six-piece act.

Adamek has said the name has a bit of a double meaning. On the one hand, this group contains some relatively well known musicians (at least in the Midwest). They include Betsy Ade (vocals/songwriting), Roger Gower (drums), Sacia Jerome (cello), Jon Wolf (guitars), John Kulas (bass guitar, songwriting) and of course, Adamek. Although these folks were 'known' on the scene, Adamek has noted that they didn't really know each other all that well – at least not when they first started.

Jerome, the group's cellist, plays with a number of pit orchestras and regional symphonies. However, for her role with Well-Known Strangers, she applies the cello to a much more pop-y sound. Adamek has said that he was thinking of modern sounds, but also a few older ones. One older template includes the Beatles' “Eleanor Rigby,” which – at the time – was quite innovative. Sure, groups and pop singers had experimented with string 'sweetening' in their songs, but the Beatles actually made the string quartet an actual essential part of this song's mix.

Ade is not only this group's vocalist, but she is also one of its songwriters. The music she helps create has been compared to Goo Goo Dolls, Mumford & Sons, 10,000 Maniacs, Brandi Carlile, Annie Lennox, Rusted Rood and Matchbox 20. That's quite a range of comparisons/influences. Also in this mix is straight up pop, as well as more adventurous singer/songwriter stylings.

The first single from this group's EP Found is a tune called “Another Sun.” It won't ever be confused with the Beatles' “Eleanor Rigby.” This is because, although one can detect the string parts on the track, this particular song sounds much more like a jangle-pop song. One of the group's primary influences/comparisons 10,000 maniacs particularly comes to mind. Ade sings it with a Judy Collins-like lilt in some places. In other parts, though, she sings out the words in a rapid manner.

With the advent of the sub genre chamber pop, audiences – especially alternative music fans – have grown to be much more open to innovative string parts in their music. The whole idea of 'sweetening' with strings has since been nearly totally outdated. Elvis Costello recently performed a concert at the famed Hollywood Bowl where he was backed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. For this special show, he completely rearranged some of his most popular songs with orchestrations. With the new arrangements, these songs took on a whole new feel. This was not dumb-ing down his music; it was re-imagining it, instead.

With “Another Sun,” and some of the other music Well-Known Strangers are creating, they are also re-imagining what pop music can be. There should be no barriers or boundaries. With so much computer generated music these days, it gives one hope to see a new act utilizing real instruments to create out-of-the-ordinary pop music. - Dan MacIntosh - Examiner.com

"Q&A with RealSoundsOK"

Your names:
Betsy Ade (Vocalist, Mandolin) & Joe Adamek (Guitars, Piano).

Where are you from?
Betsy is from Kenosha, Wisconsin and I'm from Racine, Wisconsin (about 15 minutes apart).

Name of band:
Well-Known Strangers.

Who else is in your band?
Sacia Jerome – Cellist, Backup Vocals
Roger Gower Jr. – Drums / Percussion
John Kulas – Bass Guitar
Jon Wolf – Rhythm Guitar

How would you describe yourselves and your music?
What makes our group unique is we’re a collection of musicians with very diverse social and economic backgrounds. Despite our differences in lifestyle and opinions on various topics, we get along great. We’ve also been doing the ‘music thing’ individually for a long time (some longer than others). No drama, just enjoying writing, recording, and playing music together. Tough to describe our music as we touch a number of genres…rock, pop, country, alternative. The strings tend to bring a country feel at times, when I write I tend to cross a few genres, and Betsy’s vocals can drive a song in a number of directions due to her amazing range and styles. We have elements that make people think Goo Goo Dolls, Of Monsters & Men, Florence & The Machine, Rusted Root, and Mumford & Sons….so we’ve been told.

Who are your main influences musically?
Musically, Betsy and I (and the rest of the band) have been influenced by trendsetters throughout our lives, leaning to artists that either have no fear at setting new standards, finding unique approaches towards instrumentation and lyrics, or have simply created music that speaks to us individually. In some cases, just seeing various artists live and their approach toward performances have had a massive influence. Early spinning of Beatles records drove a huge focus in me to write try and develop strong choruses, catchy hooks, and radio-friendly melodies. U2 has also had a massive influence on me through Bono's powerful lyrics and live energy, the Edge's amazing guitar riffs and use of effects...not to mention the band's dedication to each other. Finally, I really like The Cure. They put a massive imprint on my writing since the early 80's, with their creation of unique sounds and Robert Smith's amazing and fearless song construction. For Betsy, her influences have a foundation associated with passionate lyrics and melodies, incredible vocal energy, and creative use of instrumentation. These artists include, but are not limited to, Ani Difranco, Brandi Carlile, Sarah Mcglocklin, Alanis Morresette, Fiona Apple, Florence and the Machine, and Coldplay. All trendsetters with powerful passion, song construction, and instrumentation. Well-Known Strangers' music has and will explore many genres and trends set by these (and other) amazing artists.

What do you hope to achieve in music?
All of would LOVE the ability to simply wake up each day, write music, record, or play live as our full-time job. Ultimately we’d love to have success and make a name for ourselves throughout the Midwest and further.

What has been the highlight of your career so far, and why?
We’ve truly been blessed with so many amazing experiences (touring, recording, playing amazing venues/festivals/shows). In addition, we’ve had the opportunity to work with or simply receive guidance from some amazing people ranging from musicians, to graphic artists, to poets, to other media and industry leaders. People like Steve Hawkins at Route 20 Outhouse, Frank Mastalerz from FM Entertainment, Mark Harrod, Jackie Brown, Matt Specht, and so many others. One major highlight has been working with Nick Radovanovic and Steven Servi (producers at Skies Fall Media) who have recorded artists that include Melissa Etheridge, Acceptance, and Eric Hutchinson, to name a few of the more recognizable names. They bring a production process unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Simply amazing and definitely a highlight for all of us.

And what’s the moment you want to forget?
This may sound cheesy, but all the ‘rough’ moments have helped shape who we are today. We look back, laugh, shake our heads, perhaps even cringe a bit, and try our best to avoid those moments moving forward...and there have been SO many that have only strengthened our focus, abilities, and creativity. Most forgettable moments include live performance mistakes, dealing with rude and/or non-professional people, and simple things like forgetting lines here and there.

If you had to pick just one of your songs to represent your music, what would it be and why?
Aligned. This song touches so many elements within band, both individual moments throughout our lives, and even touches on the way our band came together. It’s a song that speaks to all of us for many reasons.

Where can we listen to it?
You can find Aligned, and all our songs on https://soundcloud.com/well-knownstrangers, in addition to sites like iTunes, Amazon, Spotify. Also, our videos are on a number of online video sites including YouTube https://youtu.be/YyAQfTHkOMo, Vimeo, Dailymotion, and more.

Where can we find out more about your music?
The best place to find out the most information about our band is directly from our official website. http://wellknownstrangers.com

Anything else you’d like to say about your music that I forgot to ask?
One thing that everyone has been asking is 'who is writing the songs?'. While I wrote all songs on the EP initially, everyone else has helped further them along to where they are now. Betsy played a major role with overall song construction, lyrics, and instrumentation. Sacia has been amazing with her extensive classically-trained cello backround…she brings the most knowledge of music, theory, terminology, etc…integral in our work. Roger has been a major support for me personally, encouraging me to never stop doing what I love. John and Jon are all excellent musicians and have helped to transform ideas to reality. I've had the pleasure of jamming out with both John, Jon, and Roger in a recent cover band. - RealSoundsOK.com

"TMFC Band/Group Radio Charts 7/17/2015"

Well-Known Strangers song, "Take You There" finished at the top of the charts! - YTELLSOCIAL

"Heath Andrews Review"

Founded in September of 2014, the sextet of Well-Known Strangers wasted little to no time in terms of getting themselves into a position to write, perform, and record. Less than a year later their debut EP, Found was released, showcasing the band’s talent and fantastically lush sound across four tracks. At the very core is the songwriting duo of Joe Adamek and Betsy Ade. Thanks to Ade’s remarkably powerful voice and the tremendously well played and arranged music from the rest of the band, Well-Known Strangers possess a staggering sound that’s put to great use on their EP.

Along with Adamek on guitar and vocalist Ade, are drummer Roger Gower, cellist Sacia Jerome, guitarist Jon Wolf, and bassist/guitarist John Kulas. The bevy of guitars on its own would be enough to create a profound wall of sound but the addition of strings pushes the music into a positively sublime realm. Ade’s voice has a touch of country twang to it but the music itself borrows from country, folk, and indie rock. The result is an interesting mix that sounds unique to them.

For example, the opening track, “Alligned” sports a churning guitar sound that fills the space in the music and gives the entire piece a great deal of edge. The deep tones of the cello are what pushes the folk sound, and naturally the vocals in addition to some of the guitar tones promote the country style. Still, with that sonic force it’s not a far cry to compare this piece to a song like “The World I Know” by Collective Soul albeit with a more country tone as opposed to rock. A comparison made even more apt by the use of strings in both songs.

Then the next track, “Take You There” increases the rock quotient a good deal by bringing in a ringing, chiming guitar tone, backed by a brisk, pumping, drum performance from Gower. Once again, Ade sings with a power and richness that is virtually unparalleled in this hybrid genre and it makes for a compelling listen. The cello is still a vitally important part of this arrangement as when it comes into the mix it instantly brings with it that resonant depth of sound that only it can carry.

“Release Me” changes things up by starting off with a much softer mood that relies on the voice and strings to set the atmosphere. After a little while a simple but effective drum track comes in and it only continues to pick up from there; more vocal harmonies, more guitars, more strings, and more energy. It feels relatively short at three minutes long, in part because it accomplishes so much in that time. The relentless build and intensity sounds absolutely phenomenal. Ade’s voice is almost indescribable in how perfectly it fits this style while simultaneously making it come together in staggering fashion.

Finally, there’s “Another Sun” which stands in stark contrast to the other three songs. This number is less densely arranged and gives the vocal performance more room to breathe, so to say. Because there’s less guitars outside of the chorus, and because the drum track is more subdued, Ade’s voice takes center stage with the harmonies and counterpoint not too far behind. Take the last thirty seconds or so of the song for example: during this time the lead vocals, counterpoint, cello, and lead guitar have a synergistic quality that is mesmerizingly beautiful.

That’s Found in a nut-shell, mesmerizingly beautiful. Being only four songs long, the EP can’t really afford to miss a beat, and it doesn’t. Well-Known Strangers have tapped into something that isn’t really heard in music today. You’d be hard pressed to find a voice as compelling as Betsy Ade’s and even then it would be difficult to find someone who could write for it as well as Joe Adamek. The band pulls from several genres but because all the members of the group are so talented, their music is instantly accessible and interesting. This isn’t a must own record for fans of certain genres, it’s a must own for fans of music.

Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5) - Heath Andrews

"TMFC Band/Group Radio Chart"

Well-Known Strangers' song, "Release Me' continues an excellent run on the TMFC radio chart. - YTELLSOCIAL

"Interview with Indie Lady A"

Betsy and Joe interviewing live with Indie Lady A! What an amazing opportunity and a great time. Such an amazing individual! - Indie Lady A

"Music Street Journal Review of Another Sun"

It’s tough to judge a lot from one song, but that’s what we’ve got here. It’s quite a strong cut, though. There are elements of rock and country in the mix. That’s not a big surprise, but I can even make out some epic metal in a way. Here’s a more detailed look at the song.

Track by Track Review

Another Sun
This starts tentatively. Then picked guitar brings it in from there. The piece moves forward with a classy modern pop rock sound. There are hints of country music here. Most of those come from the classy female vocals. The chorus is catchy. This almost has some hints of epic metal in some ways on that chorus. The contrast between mellower and more rocking sections works well. This is a powerful piece that fits well with the music on the radio these days. I’d say that it surpasses most of that because it’s real music. The powerful movement around the middle of the song really does climb toward epic metal. I suppose the best comparison here would be to things like Lady Antebellum, but this is perhaps a little less country than that is. - Music Street Journal

"Wednesday Q&A w/ The Dutch Guy"

Once in a while, I come across an independent artist or band, that leaves me speechless. And I’ve been told, that’s a very hard thing to do! But they managed to do just that with their debut single ‘Another Sun‘.

Coming off their 4-track EP ‘Found‘, I’ve discovered one major setback on their smashing debut. With their strong songwriting, the powerful set of pipes, playful guitars and soothing cello, it is an absolute shame there are just 4 tracks!

Four tracks or not, this is one of my hottest finds this summer and why only share their music video, if we can get to know them a bit better instead, in this weeks Wednesday Q&A with Joe Adamek and Betsy Ade of, Well-Known Strangers:

The Dutch Guy (TDG): Can I borrow 20 bucks?

Joe Adamek: Sure… will you take a check?

Betsy Ade: Only if it’s for drugs.

TDG: When you looked into the mirror this morning, what was your first thought?

Joe: Damn Joe…really?

Betsy: Shower.

TDG: What was the last furry thing you touched?

Joe: My noggin.

Betsy: A cat.

TDG: Can you describe yourself in one sentence?

Joe: Determined, hard-working, friendly, and humbled.

Betsy: I am a loving, compassionate individual with a passion for music, family, and truth.

TDG: What are your (musical) roots?

Joe: Roots go back to my small record player and my collection of U2, Beatles, Generation X, Kiss, Psychedelic Furs, and Jim Croce. My large posters on my basement wall and listening to my records day in / day out, drove me learn music. While I took piano lessons from 6 – 8 years old, it wasn’t until I got my first drum set (mix of Slingerland and Ludwig) in 7th grade that I started to take music seriously. During my time with my first band (high school) ‘Class Act’, I started messing around with my friend’s Strat and I’ve been playing guitar and writing music ever since. My parent’s were always huge on big bands, Lawrence Welk, and classical music, all of which had some level of influence.

Betsy: Simon and Garfunkel, all traditional musicals, Judy Garland, Jewel, Ani DiFranco, Ingrid Michaelson, Brandi Carlile, Jukebox the Ghost…

TDG: How would you describe your sound?

Joe: I don’t write complicated chord progressions, as I believe Betsy’s voice and Sacia’s cello can take what I write to an entirely different level. I typically describe our sound as cello-infused indie pop rock with an occasionally dip into alternative.

Betsy: Our sound is rock with an undertone of pop, folk, and alternative.

TDG: What’s involved in your songwriting process?

Joe: Stumble on a riff, create a verse/chorus progression, then find a patterns and rhythms. I’ll usually pull together some lyrics based on what I’m feeling and then bring that to Betsy who takes everything to an entirely different (and better) level. We keep trying various things until we find what we like. Bringing Sacia into the mix takes things to yet another level altogether. Everyone in the band is so creative and energetic around development of our music.

Betsy: Songwriting is a beautiful mess. We get ALL ideas together and weed out the bad ones until we have a product we are proud to call our own. Compromise, acceptance, confidence, and honesty are all important elements in the process.

TDG: Which aspect did you enjoy the most while working on your EP ‘Found‘?

Joe: For me, there’s truly nothing quite like working with Betsy. As I described in the previous question, the time where her and I get together and write is a deeply creative and exciting time for me. The studio work with Nick Radovanovic (our producer) was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before as his methods and abilities made us all better musicians.

Betsy: I have learned so much through the recording process with Nick Radovanovic. His expertise made us all better musicians. Also, I thoroughly enjoy my time with Joe when it comes to ground level songwriting.

TDG: Who or what inspires you the most?

Joe: I am deeply inspired by creativity and the impact it has on others. The feeling I get from watching others sing a song I wrote, or commenting on artwork I’ve drawn, inspires me to do more. Perhaps it’s a strong desire for internal recognition, but I love when my efforts positively impact others.

Betsy: The most inspiring aspect of this career is when I inspire or touch individuals with my music. If it is a note that I hit, a song I sing at a live performance, which moves people enough to dance, or a song that I wrote that fans can relate to deeply. That’s where its at for me.

TDG: What is the biggest misconception people have about you?

Joe: Due to the fact that I’ve been in many cover bands, most people (other than those very close to me) have no clue that I write music.

Betsy: We CAN be funny even though we are musicians.

TDG: How important is connecting with fans for you? What kind of connection do you have or do you like to have with them?

Joe: The fans are everything to me. While writing music allows me creative expression, it’s not the individual achievement of doing so that makes it all worthwhile, it’s the impact on the fans.

Betsy: Its one of the most important aspects of my career.

TDG: And social media is a big help in your opinion?

Joe: So far, social media has been instrumental in our growth. There’s no doubt it’s a critical element in success, until perhaps you get big enough where that isn’t as pertinent. Starting out though, it’s so important to build fans and connect through social media channels as the radio stations, news outlets, etc., aren’t always the easiest ones to grab attention from since they received hundreds/thousands of submittals each month. Once they do though, they want to see what type of fan base you have and social media gives a great snapshot at their fingertips.

Betsy: I am finding out that social media is one of the most helpful outlets in making a band successful.

TDG: What do you do to stand out from all the rest on social media?

Joe: I don’t know if we ‘stand out’ by doing this, but we certainly want to make sure we’re in constant connections with our fans by being responsive. So many bands and artists keep some level of distance from direct responses, but we like to be very active with that.

Betsy: Constant presence. Responding to social media attention, thanking fans for support, plugging and sharing news about the band.

TDG: Who is currently on repeat on your iPod or Spotify playlist?

Joe: U2, The Cure, Imagine Dragons, Rush, Pearl Jam, Jewel, Brandi Carlile and Well-Known Strangers.

Betsy: Well-Known Strangers, Brandi Carlile, Ani, Sara Barellis, Bruno Mars, songs from “Annie” Carol Burnett version (1982)

TDG: What’s the best piece of advice you ever got when you started out and you think it would help other aspiring artists/bands?

Joe: Be ok with criticism and use it to improve, not defend.

Betsy: Do it all. Seize every opportunity to exercise your craft, big or small. You will find out who you are and more importantly who you are not.

TDG: Besides dropping this beautiful EP, what else can we expect of you in 2015?

Joe: Thanks for the amazing compliment! We’re working on a ton of new material to put us in a position to not only play live but prep us for another release (LP or EP).

Betsy: Live performances and the release new material!

TDG: Got any last words of wisdom you wanna lay down on us before we wrap this up?

Joe: Avoid complacency whatever you do. It crushes relationships, careers, businesses, etc.

Betsy: Marry for money, love will come later…

- See more at: http://www.dutchguy.tv/?p=8795#sthash.SbPX9ioO.dpuf - The Dutch Guy

"Interview with Vents Magazine"

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We’ve been great…thanks for asking! And thanks for giving us this opportunity. Things are quite busy right now with the momentum surrounding Found, and all the recent interviews, reviews, and new relationships established. It’s been an awesome experience. And with our song “Aligned’ winning Song Of The Month at Songwriter Universe for July 2015, and the work of those around us including our PR firm CyberPR, tremendous opportunities like this one keep coming our way. SURREAL.

Can you talk to us more about the story behind your latest track ¨Aligned¨?

Aligned was a blast to record and the first track off our debut EP “Found”. The song came together very quickly, just 3 – 4 weeks prior to recording it in the studio. The song means something different for each of us in the band but in general it’s about accepting a challenging situation for what it is, and finding peace in that decision to accept it. The song has done very well with our fan base and industry leaders that we’ve been fortunate enough to connect with have constantly called that one out as a favorite out of all 4 songs on the EP.

The single comes off your new album Found – what exactly did you found?

The name of our EP relates to several items in my (Joe) life, however may relate to others in the band differently. First, after playing in a cover band recently and all the bands I’ve played in throughout my life, I wanted so bad to put together an all-originals group with Betsy, whom I’ve known for 15 years or so. We were simply not close friends during that time. Nothing negative, just didn’t hang around each other. After singing/playing at a wedding last year we had a chance to strategize a bit about this project and agreed to work on it. So in essence, this collaboration I’ve personally been dreaming about was finally ‘found’. In addition, we knew we wanted to establish a sound that included an amazing cellist, and Betsy just happened to know Sacia so we ‘found’ our cellist. The EP’s name has a very personal meaning to me as well, as I was adopted by two amazing people and always wanted to write about music about that massive event in my life. Even the song “Aligned” talks about finding peace with something that you’ve struggled with for a long time.

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing process is so much fun. The basic foundation (verse/chorus progression, bridge, etc.) of the 4 songs on our EP was written by me and I had a general idea of the story behind each song. I took these ideas to Betsy who came up with lyrics and melodies that worked well for her, yet still channeled in the basic premise of each song. Working with her has been brilliant…truly. We usually then bring in Sacia who will add her cello arrangement which then drives the melodies to yet another level. Enter Roger who sticks a groove to each song that usually triggers even more ideas. And last, but not least, Jon and John will then further the song along until we are all content with where things are at. As far as recording goes…it was an experience unlike any recording efforts in the past, all due to Nick Radovanovic’s expertise as a producer and engineer. He’s worked with so many excellent artists (including Melissa Etheridge, Eric Hutchinson, Hillary Duff, and many more) and we were actually able to create many new elements within our songs while recording due to his guidance and ideas. It was so much fun that we all are eager to hit the studio again in the future and each and every one of us wants to do so with Nick again. He’s got some mind-blowing talent!

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Speaking for myself….typically the verse/chorus progression comes from just sitting down with my guitar and trying things. I have my guitar in my hands constantly and like to fiddle around with different chord fingering, rhythms, and progressions. I usually just stumble onto a structure due to something I heard or felt that triggered a specific idea. From there, Betsy and I will always sit back and talk about what the song idea started as and then she’ll either apply the idea to her life, or she’ll basically go into ‘character’ and try to imagine the scenario while writing. Her way of writing lyrics and coming up with melodies is quite a gift and the entire process is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever been a part of. All of us in this band have been through so many highs and lows (like most others in the world) and we can relate to each other in one way or another. For Betsy and I, we find it very easy to work together as we’re often sitting in the same writer’s mindset simply due to our experiences in life.

Influenced by the likes of Matchbox 20 and Goo Goo Dolls – I am guessing you don´t want to be a rip off of any of those acts, so what´s the thing you enjoy from their music you always try to incorporate in your music?

You’re right…we definitely do NOT want to come across as similar to any bands and humbly stated, many have told us that we cross a number of genres…rock, pop, folk, country, alternative…and that they can’t quite associate us with any a specific band or one genre. They can definitely hear various influences each of us have within music but we’re careful to do our own things. Bands like Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox 20, Beatles, Ani DiFranco, U2…all those artists know how to write songs that can resonate with their fans. The success they’ve had with song structures, lyrics, melodies, hooks, and use of instrumentation are what we strive for. Goo Goo Dolls use of strings, Rob Thomas’ amazing song structures, Ani DiFranco’s stunning and fearless approach towards lyrics and melodies, U2’s deep lyrics and catchy instrumentation, and the memorable hooks associated with The Beatles. We certainly strive to achieve some level of each of those factors (within reason as those bands and artists are tremendously gifted), yet we love being unique.

Any plans to hit the road?

Absolutely. We’re developing our live set now, working on songs that will eventually lead to the release of a full album next year. First though, we need to get out and play. If you combine the number of shows each of us have played in our lives, we’re probably sitting well over 500 shows, and we all love to play live. October 17th will be our first ‘official’ show at Route 20 Outhouse in Sturtevant, Wisconsin. We’ll undoubtedly play some house parties to practice up prior, but that will be our first big show as this band. Ultimately, we’d love to be signed by a label and tour. It’s our dream to open up for some bigger acts and help promote our EP and new songs, and see where that takes us. We can’t wait to get rolling!

What else is happening in Well-Known Strangers´ world?

All of us have families, careers, and other hobbies, which keeps us busy outside our time together playing music. We’re all truly blessed to have such an incredible circle of support surrounding us, which makes this drive to write, record, and tour so much easier. We can’t thank them enough. Beside our families, careers, etc,, we’re working on obtaining some better equipment, recording a new single or two, new professional pics and another video for one of our singles, and building relationships within this industry. What a journey it’s been so far!! - Vents Magazine

"Behind the Scenes with WKS"

MILWAUKEE — Betsy Ade’s nervousness was palpable.

The last week for Ade and the other five members of the Racine-area band Well-Known Strangers had been a whirlwind of long nights, practices, new faces and excitement, all leading to the Land the Big Gig competition at Summerfest on Thursday night.

Despite the nervous excitement, members of WKS couldn’t help but smile, even laugh, as they ascended the stairs to the back stage area of the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard Stage. They were accompanied by their two competitors, Juice, from Boston, and Honey & the 45s from Chicago. The three bands watched as the night’s headline act, Jack & Jack, performed a sound check.

“I’m ready to play,” said Ade, the lead vocalist for WKS.

The bands were ushered to a small backstage room, which quickly appeared even smaller as gear was carted in. After moving all the gear, WKS and the other bands were taken to the VIP area, where they received passes and were set free.

“We need you back by 2,” said Adam Weidman, the Land the Big Gig manager.

The band dispersed. Some went back to the hotel and some home, bassist John Kulas stayed to watch a band from Kenosha. Although the band members went separate ways, they all agreed rest was needed — most had not slept well the night before. It was 11 a.m. They had three hours.

The band's origin
Well-Known Strangers only officially formed just over a year ago. In that time, the band has become a family and support group for the members, including co-creators Betsy Ade and Joe Adamek.

“You add in people that really care about each other, that takes it to another level,” said Adamek.

Adamek is tall. He sports a buzz cut, reminiscent of his days in the military, and has a serious face often broken by large smiles and laughs. Adamek can often be heard describing his time with WKS, and their success, with the words “humbled” and “honored,” but the two words seem to fit Adamek well, too.

Adamek has found a foundation in the band that is reflected in both the music and the companionship. WKS’ song “Release Me” tells the story of Joe’s fight with cancer, a fight he eventually won.

Betsy Ade has found the same support from the band as Adamek.

Resistant to the spotlight, Ade has found herself the center of attention. Ade, who works with Adamek to write most of the band’s material, has found unprecedented support from the band, her girlfriend and the WKS community to write her own songs.

Together, Ade and the other members of WKS produced songs that garnered attention, and it was the same songs that would ultimately land them a spot at Summerfest.

The performance
At 2 p.m. Thursday, the band returned to Summerfest. They had three hours till the show, which started at 5. They would be the first of the three Land the Big Gig bands to play.

At 4 p.m., after nervously energizing with food and drinks in the VIP area, the band began to set up. A crowd was gathering that would eventually exceed 1,000 people. Green, blue and white “WKS” shirts worn by friends, family and fans flashed through the audience; WKS had the hometown advantage.

At 5 p.m., the band stepped on stage to perform. The bands each played three songs. WKS chose to play “Mirror,” their new single “Splinter” and “Revolution.” The crowd loved it. Cheers, claps and laughs greeted them at the end of their last song. After a critique by the three judges, they walked offstage.

It was time to wait.

WKS watched as Honey & the 45s performed next; then came Juice. All three bands performed well and nervousness was nearly visible backstage as the three bands waited to hear who won.

The bands were called out on stage. Third place was awarded first.

“Honey & the 45s”

Next came second place.

“Well-Known Strangers”

A giant $5,000 check facsimile was brought to them. The real checks would come later. The band looked at each other with a mix of elation and a little sadness. They hadn’t taken last place, but they hadn’t won.

Backstage, WKS took some time to process. Texts from friends and family expressed happiness, dismay and excitement; but all agreed, the band had played well.

Although Summerfest was over for WKS, their rise to success wasn’t. For now it was time to rest and prepare for the Fourth of July in Racine.

The band began to load their gear into their van.

“It was a good day,” said Adamek. - Racine Journal Times

"Looking to Become Household Names"

The band is called Well-Known Strangers, but they are hoping to become well-known artists very soon.

The six-member group — which includes Kenoshan Betsy Ade on vocals — has been together since February 2015 and, on Thursday will be one of three bands competing in Summerfest’s Land the Big Gig contest.

That’s quite a leap for a group that played its first show last October.

The speed of the band’s success is not lost on Ade or guitarist Joe Adamek, and they’re careful to enjoy the ride, he says.

“It’s thrilling; it’s really thrilling,” he said earlier this week, appearing wide-eyed about the band’s upcoming Summerfest performance.

They write the songs

Ade writes the band’s songs with Adamek, one of the band’s co-founders. His day job is running Veritas Solutions, a staffing company in Kenosha and Racine.

Ade, who writes the lyrics, didn’t start writing songs until after college. She was in another band before Well-Known Strangers but says, “I found a better place for myself in this band. We have lot of confidence in what we do.”

The band is getting ready to release its first album, and “our live performances back it up,” says Ade. She says any stage fright “disappears after the first few songs when I get into the groove.”

And cello makes six ...

The band features two guitars, a bass guitar, drums, a vocalist — and a cello.

Ade says having a cello in the band “gives us a unique sound. We’re alternative rock — with a sophisticated sound. Our lead guitarist and cellist have master’s degrees in music, and they know how to build complex harmonies.”

Adamek was, well, adamant that the band should have a cello.

“We knew early on we wanted a cello player. Bands that I love — the Goo Goo Dolls, the Beatles, Collective Soul — all used cello.”

Their cello player also sings backup vocals, and he “is amazed at what she can do. She comes up with cello riffs to fit a rock song; she truly has a gift.”

Asked to define their genre, Ade and Adamek squirm a bit, struggling for a definitive answer.

Adamek says, “We can’t declare a single style. If you ask, are you pop? Are you country? It is alternative, it is pop, it is rock … and some folk.”

For the record, when I listened to their song “Aligned” on YouTube, I likened their sound (on that song at least) to Lady Antebellum. Adamek says “we do get that Lady Antebellum comparison. People also tell me they hear the influence of the Goo Goo Dolls and The Cure, and I am big fans of those bands.”

Fan support

He and Ade are also fans of Juice and Honey & The 45s, the other two bands in Thursday’s Land the Big Gig Contest.

“Those other finalists are both great bands,” Adamek. “We’re super excited to be playing on the same stage with them, and we wish them well.”

Well-Known Strangers plays first, so fans should get there no later than 5 p.m. Thursday. And be prepared to cheer. The bands are scored in four categories, which include originality, musicianship, crowd appeal (that’s where the fans come in) and overall performance.

“We do have the advantage of being local, and we hope we can get the crowd behind us,” Adamek says, adding that “no local band has won this contest. Yet.”

Have a comment? Email Liz at esnyder@kenoshanews.com or call her at 262-656-6271.

Betsy Ade: 5-second bio

Born and raised: In KenoshaGraduated: From Bradford High School in 1996 and from UW-Parkside in 2000, with a degree in psychologyAthletics: Ade attended UW-Parkside on a softball scholarshipOn stage: Ade is the vocalist with the six-piece band Well-Known Strangers, performing Thursday at SummerfestDay job: Ade is a substitute teacher for Kenosha Unified Schools, where she just finished a long-term subbing job at Strange Elementary School, in the fifth grade. “I love teaching,” she says, “but this — music — is what I want to do. I love to wake up in the morning and write songs.”

Land the Big Gig contest

When: 5 p.m. Thursday. Well-Known Strangers plays first. The other finalists are Juice, from Boston, and Honey & The 45s, a Chicago band. Where: On the Briggs & Stratton Stage at the Summerfest Grounds in downtown Milwaukee. Format: Each band will play three songs. A panel of judges will score them in four categories. Well-Known Strangers is performing “Splinter,” “Mirror” and “Revolution.”Prizes: $20,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place and $2,500 for third place.How it started: 157 bands entered by submitting a song. The bands were whittled to a Top 10 list through fan votes, and the contest judges selected the three finalists.

Meet the band

Well-Known Strangers is well-represented on social media and can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Their website is wellknownstrangers.com.Band members are Betsy Ade (vocals), Joe Adamek (acoustic guitar), Sacia Jerome (cello), Theodore Koth (lead guitar and banjo), Roger Gower (drums/percussion) and John Kulas (bass guitar).

For more on local bands performing at Summerfest, see Thursday’s Get Out entertainment section. - Kenosha News

"Meet The Finalists"

For Honey and the 45s, Juice and Well-Known Strangers, playing Summerfest won't just be a big gig. It'll be the biggest gig of the young bands' careers, with a $20,000 grand prize, in cash, up for grabs.

The three acts are performing on Summerfest's Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard stage Thursday for the fifth annual Land the Big Gig, presented by the Journal Sentinel's entertainment site Tap Milwaukee. From a pool of more than 150 acts from around the country, the 10 bands that received the most votes at landthebiggig.com were reviewed by a panel of music industry specialists and narrowed down to the three finalists.

Three judges, including Summerfest's Vice President of Entertainment Bob Babisch, will award Thursday's second-place winner $5,000, while third place will receive $2,500. But as Honey singer and guitarist Kristina Cottone told the Journal Sentinel, "We already feel like we've won, just because we get to play."


A battle of the bands competition at Summerfest is familiar territory for Honey. Eager to play the Big Gig, the Chicago band made the trek to Milwaukee three years ago to compete in the "Battle for Catalano" local band tournament at Club Charlie's. It was right before playing a championship slot at Summerfest that Honey learned about the Big Gig contest.

After applying last year, Honey made the cut this summer. In the three years between, the soulful blues group padded its résumé, opening Midwest shows for the likes of Andy Grammer, Eric Hutchinson and Cold War Kids; appearing on WGN-TV; and releasing two albums, 2013's "The Need" and last year's "MAD."

"We have two female frontwomen," Cottone said. "(Honey singer) Kim Kozel in college used to be an a cappella choir director, so she can find these harmonies that are out of this world and are so easy for her, and the band's jazz undertones makes for a really unique sound."

But besides being simpatico singers, Cottone and Kozel are also co-workers. So when Cottone got the email while at work that Honey was a Big Gig finalist, the bandmates got to bask in the glow together.

"We did a few high-fives and silent screams," Cottone said.


Seeking to make its debut album, Boston band Juice launched an Indiegogo campaign last July. In just 11 days, it surpassed its fundraising goal of $15,000.

Not bad for a band of Boston College kids that had formed only a year prior.

"I had deferred my first semester because I was competing on 'The Voice,'" said Juice singer Ben Stevens. "So when I came to Boston College (in early 2014), it was a random rooming situation."

Perhaps fate stepped in. Stevens happened to live across the hall from musicians and future Juice members Daniel Moss and Miles Clyatt. Together with keyboardist friend Chris Vu, they took first place in an on-campus band competition — and then started collaborating with second-place winners, Kamau Burton and Christian Rougeau.

"Our sound comes from a weird conglomerate of interests and influences," Stevens said. "Our bass player and pianist are huge jazz cats, our drummer and guitar player are really big into funk, I'm into soul and R&B."

Since late 2014, the band's "played a lot of colleges," following the fan-base-building playbook of influential acts Dave Matthews Band and Phish. It's also played the Mercury Lounge in New York and released that fan-funded self-titled album in May. Thursday will mark its first festival show.


Band name aside, Well-Known Strangers should be playing for a lot of familiar faces at Land the Big Gig on Thursday. The band's members are based in Milwaukee, Kenosha and Racine, and are all but guaranteed to attract the most fans among the finalists.

"We wanted a Goo Goo Dolls feel of the '90s, crossed with some of (frontwoman) Betsy (Ade's) favorite types of singers like Jewel and Ani DiFranco, but with more eccentric lyrics," explained guitarist Joe Adamek, who started the band with Ade after playing with her at a wedding in late 2014.

The band grew twofold from there, including the distinctive addition of classically trained cellist Sacia Jerome. Debut EP "Found" arrived last year, followed by local gigs and shows in Chicago and Las Vegas.

Adamek entered the Big Gig competition with little expectation right before deadline. "But next thing you know, the voting went well, and when we were notified for the top three, it was a huge surprise," Adamek said. "We're super excited and really humbled. It's been a really fast ride so far, but its been so rewarding."

For more Summerfest coverage, visit jsonline.com/summerfest.
Find out about the week's must-see shows, concert tickets and more in the newsletter "Piet Levy's Music Picks." Subscribe atjsonline.com/newsletters.
Piet talks about concerts, local music and more on "TAP'd In" with Jordan Lee, 8 a.m. Thursdays on WYMS-FM (88.9).


What: Land the Big Gig at Summerfest

When: 5 p.m. Thursday

Where: Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard

How much?:$5 admission between 4 and 6 p.m. - Milwaukee Journal Sentinal


Flicker - Single released on Feb 24, 2018. Will be part of 5-song EP to be released on May 4, 2018. 

Aligned - Release on June 20, 2017

  • Revolution
  • Splinter
  • Aligned
  • Breaking Bread
  • Don't Follow
  • Voices
  • Release Me
  • Take You There
  • Mirror
  • Runaway Girl
  • Another Sun
  • The Difference
Splinter (EP) - Released on November 20, 2016
  • Splinter (Acoustic Version)
  • Splinter 
  • Mirror
  • Voices
Found (EP) - Rerelease on October 17, 2015
  • Mirror
  • Aligned
  • Take You There
  • Release Me
  • Another Sun

Found (EP) - Release on June 23, 2015

  • Aligned 
  • Take You There 
  • Release Me 
  • Another Sun 



Well-Known Strangers has been entertaining Midwest audiences with a cello infused, alternative pop/rock, with a tinge-of-country-band sound.  Members Joe Adamek (acoustic guitar), Betsy Ade (lead vocals, guitar), Sacia Jerome (cello, background vocals), Theodore Koth (lead guitar, background vocals) Roger Gower (drums/percussion) and John Kulas (bass guitar) have been busy preparing for the Summer 2017 tour of their debut album, Aligned. W·KS is diligently working with Fight to End Exploitation, a non-profit collaborative network working to end human trafficking, and the I-94 Corridor on a concert in June to raise critical awareness and help end human trafficing. With the release of “Voices” W·KS is intensely committed to this cause.

Together, the band members have an amazing mix of musical knowledge and education that provides a unique sound that is reminiscent of familiar of music from the ‘90s while being expressively groundbreaking and melodically rich. While Ade and Adamek do most of the songwriting, it’s the band’s creative spark and sonic diversity that are the driving force behind their sound.

Well-Known Strangers grew out of a 15+ year friendship between Ade and Adamek.  In fact, it was Ade, who in 2009, sang backup vocals on the song “Storm” that Adamek co-wrote for artist Mark Harrod.  Then, after performing at a mutual friend’s wedding in May 2014, the two discussed the possibility of a music collaboration and began seeking out talent.  In February 2015, Well-Known Strangers were born.  Their name comes from the idea that they were all individually “well-known” in the local music scene when they got together, but on a personal level some of them were “strangers” to one another.

Ade’s rich lyrical gifts are essential and her vocal delivery is simply unmatched in contemporary pop/rock music.  A proud member of the LGBTQ community, Ade is passionate about cancer research, after losing her mother to Hodgkin’s disease when she was just 9 years old. In 2004, Ade won the Wisconsin Area Music Industry’s “Female Vocalist of the Year” award.

Adamek plays rhythm guitar and has spent over a decade playing drums and bass guitar in several bands throughout the southeast Wisconsin area.  Adamek is a cancer survivor, who is also deeply passionate about cancer research. In addition, Adamek is a decorated Gulf War veteran, having fulfilled eight years of active service in the US Navy and was honorably discharged.

Jerome is classically trained with a Master’s degree in Cello Performance. She plays the accordion, cello, trumpet, piano and guitar and is actively the orchestral and chamber music musician who plays with regional symphonies including Festival City, Racine, Kenosha, Oshkosh and The Wisconsin Philharmonic.

Koth, also classically trained with a degree in music, with experience in orchestration and arranging, has been playing lead guitar as a session musician for local SE Wisconsin bands as well as projects on the East Coast. In addition to lead guitar, Koth is proficient with acoustic/steel string guitar, classical guitar, mandolin, banjo, and ukulele.

Gower plays a wide variety of percussion, is a "DW loyalist" and has been very successful in establishing his percussive reputation with several regional projects. 

Kulas, an all-around excellent guitarist, utilizes his diverse abilities to hone his talent on bass.

W·KS released their debut EP Found in October 2015 to much acclaim and Ade and Adamek won “Songwriter of the Month” by Songwriter’s Universe in July 2015 for their work on Aligned. They are currently working on their 5-song EP to be named soon and released on May 4, 2018. Their first single off the EP, "Flicker", was release on Feb 23, 2018. 

Well-Known Strangers music can be found on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon and heard on Pandora and Apple Music.

Band Members