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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Former resident turns love of music into career

Monday, August 6, 2007

Former resident Ed Christensen Jr. performed in Brazil with his band, Pfreak Show, Friday evening.
For as long as he could remember, Ed Christensen Jr. has loved to pound the skins.

He loves playing his drum kit. He loves his job.

For the past 16 years, Christensen Jr. has played drums for Pfreak Show.

"We still go under both names," he said. "It depends on where we're at."

A native of Connecticut, Christensen has played drums since he was in the sixth-grade.

His family eventually moved to Brazil and he graduated from Northview High School in 1985. He said his family purchased him a snare drum in the sixth-grade and told him if he continued to practice on it, he would receive a drum kit, which he did.

"I'm thankful I learned the basic fundamentals," he said.

While at Northview, Christensen participated in marching, concert and jazz band.

"I lived for marching band," he said. "In high school, (playing drums) was all I cared about."

Christensen played in some bands prior to joining Pfreak Show, but according to him, "it was nothing serious."

"I just thought, 'how cool is this,'" he said. "They were already established."

Now, however, that's all he does.

Since joining Pfreak Show, Christensen plays nearly twice every weekend and at least 36 extra shows during the year, meaning the band has bookings for more than 100 shows per year.

Years ago, Pfreak Show, under the name P.S. Dump Your Boyfriend, recorded an album.

However, Christensen said when they would be playing shows and someone might yell out to hear a song, nearly all the fans would leave the dance floor because most had never heard the song.

Since then, the band has focused on playing "cover" songs, or other artists' music.

"We're a cover band," Christensen said. "We have a steady thing."

The band performed at the Gooseneck in Brazil Friday evening, something it does frequently, which also gives Christensen a chance to see some old classmates.

"Most of them are supportive," he said. "They love the band."

However, he admitted he still gets asked if the band will record another record, something he doesn't see happening.

Christensen currently lives near Elkhart.

In fact, the entire band lives far away from each other, making practices difficult.

But Christensen said if the band wants to learn a new song, they decide on which song to play then take it home and "do our homework." Then the band practices it together prior to shows.

Even though Pfreak Show takes up a large portion of his time, Christensen also plays percussion for the Jason Sapen Band.

He said the band plays more originals, has recorded a disc and plans to record another in the future.

Since joining Pfreak Show, Christensen has had an opportunity to do what many don't: Have fun with their job.

"I don't take it for granted," he said. "Being in the music business is not easy. But if we can do it into our 80s, we'll do it."

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