Metro-East Living

Music teachers combine modern and classical for a unique sound

Soundcheck: Dropkick The Robot

Belleville natives create their own sound
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Belleville natives create their own sound

The Ready Room, a quirkly warehouse setting in St. Louis, was the perfect venue for Dropkick The Robot to share its unique sound.

Band members Kara Baldus, 35, who grew up in Belleville, and Dan Mehrmann, 39, of Millstadt, have spent years learning, studying and teaching music, but now they are creating music that shows their personality.

Both graduates of Belleville Township High School West, Kara and Dan have been playing music since they were children. They played in grade school, high school and in college. The two met while they were studying music composition at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Kara, who plays flute and piano, went on to get her Master of Arts in music performance. Dan plays guitar. Both teach music at Southwestern Illinois College and Washington University.

“At Belleville West, I did symphonic band, concert band, played the flute in jazz band and that really shaped me because I had a great musical structure and support,” said Kara about growing up as a musician.

After collaborating with other local musicians, Dropkick The Robot built its own recording studio for artists to record original material. Jettison Studios is located in the basement of their home and is equipped with everything a musician would need to record a track. The studio also offers and editing station to ensure that the artists get exactly the sound they want.

Kara and Dan offer music coaching to artists who record at Jettison Studios. They offer the same guidance that they give to students in their music performance classes.

Dropkick The Robot sometimes go by the moniker, DTR. Although they enjoy playing in St. Louis, DTR would like to see more live music venues in the metro-east. They will be performing at live venues and events in St. Louis throughout the summer.

You can see DTR perform live at 7 p.m. July 6 at Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave, St. Louis.

For more information on upcoming performances at Off Broadway, go to Off Broadway Nightclub

To tell me about local musicians, email or call 618-235-2547 and follow me on Twitter @jhodgesBND