With The Living Blue, Stephen Ucherek tended towards writing songs punky in attitude but with a pop-producers mind for cleanliness. As a member of Tunnels, those tight forms are replaced with an easy and laidback aesthetic, filled with guitar feedback and gleefully misplaced instruments. Most of the time it’s fun to listen to and simple to appreciate. Catch Tunnels for $7 at Highdive on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. with Gentleman Auction House and Cameron McGill and What Army.

buzz: What’s your status with The Living Blue?
Stephen: We just made a record last August. So, we’re shopping around for a release in the States and we’re lining up a release in Europe. We’ve been playing shows around Champaign and Chicago and we’ll probably book a tour for spring or summer here in the States.
buzz: With Tunnels, do you enjoy being away from the group? Do you enjoy doing a side project?
Stephen: It’s cool, because with Tunnels it’s totally different people. It’s a nice reprieve from the usual for me, both musically and socially.
buzz: What do you see for the group going forward, longer term?
Stephen: You know, we’ll just keep playing the right songs and record, and see where it takes us. If we get a good reaction from it, or something comes from it, we’ll definitely go out and tour with it.
buzz: What’s your writing process like?
Stephen: I usually just have a melody in my head and then the rhythm comes pretty quickly as well. I just try to write words poetically, separate from the music, and when I have an idea that comes to fruition musically I’ll match it up with something I’ve written lyrically.
buzz: Who are you supporting for President?
Stephen: If I would have to pick a candidate it would be Obama, but I don’t believe in the two-party system. I’m a socialist myself, so there’s not a candidate that I would wholly support.

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