Photograph by Robert Michael Photography


If one fused the passion of Coldplay with the brooding rhythms of Days of the New, they might find themselves among Tree of Woe, the Stevens Point, Wis., based indie rock band.

           As written in a music review for the Wausau City Pages, Tree of Woe plays “the kind of original music that feels like a breath of fresh air compared to the mostly hard metal being pumped out by other local groups.” 

Tree of Woe has recently returned from recording their second album in Tulsa, Okla., and is breaching into the greater Wisconsin area for their CD release tour. 

The band’s new album, titled “Mushroom Cloud,” was recorded entirely at Yellow Dog Studios in Tulsa, and 7th Kid Productions produced the first three tracks.  Yellow Dog Studios has done recordings for Garth Brookes, 3 Days Grace, Caroline’s Spine and Jimmy Newquist.

             Ryan Hoffer, A&R agent for Shut Eye Records in Orlando, Fla., said about the album, “Tree of Woe resonate with powerful ambition and yearning restlessness … These songs are saturated with a strong sense of nostalgia and enchantment, yet are able to avoid today’s ‘emo’ cliché.”

Tree of Woe’s first single off the album, also titled “Mushroom Cloud,” receives airplay on central Wisconsin top 40 station 95.5 WIFC, and the full album spins at 90 FM WWSP of Stevens Point.

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A Heritage of Mysery

I stand down below, nothing more than a mere ant before the tree towering over me.  I may walk for days and never find the other side.  I may climb for miles and never see the top; I might never find the leaves.  It looms over me casting a dark shadow—a shadow that blankets the world around me in bleak, gray overcast.  It is cold, so cold here in the dark.  There is no sun.  It is lost behind the tree, the gargantuan before me.

 There are knots, many of them.  They twist around each other in meandering streams of confusion.  I try to follow them but get lost in the dizzy maze of loops and turns that climb over the tree like constricting vines passionately enraged.  There are knots everywhere and they pull tighter around the tree, tighter with each fleeting moment lost to the depths of time.  Each twist pulls harder and brings more pain, more anguish.  I know because the tree drops forward as if there were a pain in her gut, deep down inside at her core, a pain causing her to suffer the intolerable.

 The branches reach out for the sky.  She reaches for deliverance, the tree that is.  She reaches for safety and waits in earnest for relief to carry her away.  The branches reach into the sky and are lost in the clouds—even the clouds are gray and roll with lightning.  They gnaw away at her branches torturously slow trying to keep her down, to hold her down, trap her.

 I look up at the tree, and I see her branches spread like a web, an intricate web woven by hundreds of spiders over years and years of toil and burdensome labor.  The spiders are still there, black as night.  They continue to weave, the spiders do, they weave new misery on every branch, misery of every kind, misery so heavy that she begins to sag—majesty weeps like a child.
 She weeps and the tears pour down on me.  Rain from the tree—it covers me in a flood of melancholy, a storm of sadness, thunder clashes in vehement gloom throwing itself against my chest because this is my tree.  This is my tree and those are my branches.  Those are my spiders and those are my knots, because this is my tree of woe.

Quincy C. Carnegie