Taproot's 'wannabe' athletes releasing new album

Mon, Apr 9
TaprootVictory RecordsTaproot singer Stephen Richards, center, and drummer Nick Fredell, right, are big sports fans.

Stephen Richards learned to skate when he was 3 and drum when he was 4, so it's only natural the Taproot frontman considers himself equally versed in hockey and music.

Throw him into the company of his hockey friends and Richards can guarantee they'll want to discuss his craft as much as the rocker does theirs.

"All my pro hockey buddies are definitely wannabe rock stars just like I'm still definitely a wannabe hockey player," he says.

At times the two intertwine, allowing Richards to chase his dream rather than simply live vicariously through his puck pals or his beloved Chicago Blackhawks. But given the time that's passed since his music career grabbed topped billing, Richards dedicates himself to the stage rather than the ice.

Taproot's sixth album and first in two years, "The Episodes," will be released April 10. The album, conceived six years ago by Richards and guitarist Mike Dewolf, includes "No Surrender," a single with a music video shot at Chicago's Logan Square subway station.

Through his music, Richards' inner hockey persona is evident. His willingness to leave the stage and mosh with fans in the pit is a glimpse into the aggressive personality that led to him being drafted by junior hockey clubs before Taproot took off.

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