Season to Risk: Indie-structible since 1989


Season to Risk 2021

(L-R: Wade Williamson, Billy Smith, David Silver, Steve Tulipana, Duane Trower)


T Shirt Alert! Classic art by Frank Kozik (R.I.P.) in psychedelic full color just in time for the weirdpocalypse.

Frank Kozik Season to Risk album cover T shirt


season to risk

Season to Risk are an indie noise rock band from Kansas City, Missouri formed in 1989 by singer Steve Tulipana, guitarist Duane Trower and bass player Paul Malinowski (Shiner). They met while playing hardcore shows at legendary punk venue The Outhouse in high school years and formed Season to Risk in college. Season to Risk built an audience for their genre-bending (post-hardcore, noise rock, math rock) music by touring relentlessly, playing shows as a young band with legends like Killing Joke, Prong, Killdozer, and the Melvins. The band toured constantly throughout North America, returning home briefly for a few days or weeks. Early songs were written with Tim Dow of Shiner drumming.

Season to Risk 1993

Season to Risk (S2R) got lucky during the early 90s major-label feeding frenzy and signed to indie label Red Decibel which parlayed into Columbia Records, making no sense to anyone. They recorded demos at Sony Studios in NYC, and then lived in Chicago, IL to record their self-titled first album at Soundworks Studio with engineer Jeff Moleski, released in 1993 on Colombia/Sony via Red Decibel records. The album artwork was done by Austin, TX artist Frank Kozik, who had done posters for their shows previously. (It was featured in an episode of 90210 on a speed dealer's door) 

After the first record was released, drummer Chad Sabin of Libido Boyz joined. A music video was made for the song "Mine Eyes". The band was asked to play industrial noise punk during the club scene in the film "Strange Days" by Kathryn Bigelow. Suddenly the band was in Hollywood, playing the song 'Undone' and living in a trailer on set. The song was later deemed TOO NOISY for the soundtrack (?!).


In A Perfect World

The band wanted a darker sound than their debut, so they lived at Bisi Studios in NYC for the summer of 1994 recording their second album "In a Perfect World" with producer Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Foetus, Swans). Drummer David Silver was recruited into the band in the Fall 1994, after session drummer Jason Gerken was borrowed from Molly McGuire to track drums on the album. The music was heavier noise, more complex and dynamic, and the album was received with rave reviews from fans...and puzzled looks from the people at Colombia records. There was no place on the radio for music like this, and record stores weren't sure if it should go into Metal, Punk, or "OTHER" bins. (Dig Me Out podcast)

The cover art was done by longtime friend Cleveland artist Derek Hess, which influenced the direction of the music video by director Chel White for "Blood Ugly", filmed outside Portland in an abandoned hydroelectric plant. Another music video was shot live in LA for "Jack Frost" (Dez Cadena of Black Flag was in the video production crew). Touring for Perfect World for over a year, S2R was in a different city every night, which led to total exhaustion by the start of 1996 after tours with Corrosion of Conformity, Monster Magnet, ALL, the Toadies, Babes in Toyland, Plexi, and Unsane, resulting in the cancellation of their upcoming European tour scheduled with CIV. A few more events slowed the roll of S2R: Columbia Records dropped the band from future releases, and founding bass player Paul quit to join Shiner. (The tape reels for these first two albums were lost in the Sony/Universal warehouse fire that claimed 150,000 other master tapes.) TAPES ON FIRE!


Men Are Monk3ys. R0bots Win.

 Season to Risk quickly added Josh Newton on bass in 1996 and got busy writing, adding dark synth to the mix. THICK RECORDS supported the band with CD releases, and tours followed with 7 Year Bitch, Craw, Today is the Day, Buzzoven, Neurosis, Zeke, Calvin Crime, Glazed Baby, Janis Figure, Esoteric, and others. Pooling their resources, they spent most of the next two years building Trainwreck Sound Studios in Kansas City, MO. As floors, walls and ceilings were built, new S2R songs were written and recording started at Trainwreck, including albums by Casket Lottery, The Farewell Bend, Dirtnap, Iron Rite Mangle, Gunfighter and the Pornhuskers. They built their dream studio from the ground up: a 15 x 20 control room, equipped with a 1974 24-channel Auditronics console and a 2-inch tape machine, a 30 x 50 foot tracking room with reclaimed barn wood oak floors, and a huge apartment and rehearsal studio upstairs on the second floor.


Luck Runs Out

Odds are high when you spend most of your time driving that vehicles will break down, wheels will fall off or blow-out, drivers will fall asleep, engines and people will crack or burst into flames. They CRASHED the van, flipping over on a frozen highway in Minnesota. Their 22-foot RV rolled backwards with no brakes down a steep hill in Seattle, and were saved by a small pine tree that caught them halfway down. They broke down sometimes daily in beautiful places all over the country, including the middle of the Golden Gate bridge, and left a trail of half a dozen dead vans in their wake. The band dodged multiple TORNADOES ! on tour through the Summer of 1998. 

In October 1998, shortly after the studio officially opened to the public, a sudden FLASH FLOOD of a branch of the Missouri river totaled everything in the neighborhood in 15 minutes, destroying the building, their tour RV in the parking lot, their bank account, and almost everything else. Band members and studio partner Joel Hamilton scrambled to save what they could. They waded through the five-foot deep, freezing flood waters saving clients' tape reels and whatever studio gear they could grab in a few minutes, eventually leaving in total darkness out of the building to safety. They're lucky no one was killed. Luck never gives, it only lends. And the river takes. And then Josh Newton also left to join Shiner, continuing the streak of LINE UP CHANGES! 

Fortunately, the self-produced third album was finished prior to the flood. Unfortunately, they lost their own reels to the flood, and later discovered that the album "Men Are Monkeys, Robots Win" was printed 'out-of-phase', making the songs sound hollowed-out. The label never re-released the misprinted CD and that album was barely heard. BAD LUCK was swirling around the band. (The remastered mix is now available on vinyl and online.)


The Shattering

In 1999, S2R recruited old friends bass player Billy Smith and guitarist Wade Williamson of Kansas City's Dirtnap, writing new songs and hitting the road. Legendary punk drummer and producer Bill Stevenson (Flag, Decendents) has always been a friend and supporter, and has invited the band on tour with ALL several times. In 2000, "The Shattering" album was recorded with Jason Livermore and Bill Stevenson at the Blasting Room in Ft. Collins, CO, and released on OWNED & OPERATED Records in 2001. The Shattering album was more diverse than ever, fusing elements from all of the band's previous work and some new experimentation into twelve heavy, melodic songs. The album was well-received, and tours and shows followed with Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Helmet, No Means No, and many others.

In the early 2000s the band entered HIBERNATION, with drummer David Silver moving to Boston to study qigong, returning only for interesting shows or tours a couple times a year. Steve and Billy continued in a more melodic direction writing several Roman Numerals albums and performing with Wade as Thee Water MoccaSins. Billy and Wade created and performed as Olympic Size and CoNoCo. Steve and Josh released an album and toured as Sie Lieben Maschinen. Duane Trower played guitar with Overstep and Ex-Acrobat, and built a new recording studio, Weights and Measures Soundlab, where he has produced many albums including Radkey, Giants Chair, Muscle Worship, and others.

In 2024, Season to Risk are FOCUSED on writing and recording new music, and completing their vinyl reissue series.

Season to Risk at the RecordBar