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Get to Know The Homegrown Band Tailspin

Welcome to the vibrant world of Tailspin, a rock band that knows how to put on a show like no other. When they hit the stage, audience members are bound to recognize plenty of iconic cover band hits and essentials. But wait, there’s more! Amidst the familiar tunes, Tailspin delights their audience with their own original music, adding a unique twist to the average cover band setlist. In this article, we take a closer look at the electrifying music journey of Tailspin, where the lines between covers and originals blur, and the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll shines bright. So buckle up and get ready to rock out with Tailspin!


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Tailspin’s Favorite Songs to Perform

  • The Man by Tailspin
  • Give Me My Car Back by Tailspin
  • War Pigs by Black Sabbath
  • House of The Rising Sun by The Animals
  • Basket Case by Green Day
  • Creep by Radiohead
  • Mr. Brightside by The Killers
  • Mashup of Dani California by Red Hot Chili Peppers and Mary Jane’s Last Dance by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  • Mashup of Tiny Dancer by Elton John and Young, Wild, and Free by Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa

"My 2003 Honda Civic got stolen, and I wrote the hook for 'Give Me My Car Back' and then we kind of built it out from there."

It all began with Grant and Briar, who met through the local heavy metal band, In Spades. While Briar continues to rock on as the band’s drummer, Grant decided to explore new musical horizons. Seeking guidance from Joe Rudd, a seasoned member of the band Front Fenders and a mentor to Grant, he delved into the world of cover bands.

Joe, who had been Grant’s guitar teacher and has a guitar shop, shared valuable advice with Grant for making a name for himself in the local music scene and even sold Grant his first PA system. He explained that from a cover band perspective, it was easier to secure live shows and bookings. Intrigued by the idea of playing more gigs while still working on original music, Grant shared his plan with Briar and they slowly expanded their circle.

It was through Delta Tau Delta at NDSU that Grant crossed paths with Owen, and their musical connection was instant. They quickly bonded over their shared vision and creative direction for the band. As time passed, more like-minded musicians joined the group, including Austin, Abbi, and Lars, aligning perfectly with their musical journey, resulting in the band they have become today. Driven by their passion, they decided to team up and thus began the formation of Tailspin.

Tailspin is currently hard at work on crafting original music to add to their cover setlists, offering a blend that hits bold old and new tracks. Their main goal? Finding the perfect producing and recording space to lay down their tracks and create their record.

When performing live, Tailspin positions themselves as a cover band, drawing in music enthusiasts to experience the magic of live music. But don’t be fooled; they love weaving their original songs into their sets, adding a unique touch to every performance. Grant shared, “One of our newest songs, ‘The Bar Fight,’ perfectly encapsulates this vibe. It has a catchy hook that goes, ‘I’m gonna start a bar fight at [insert name].’ Dempsey’s, Windbreak, wherever. It helps get the audience moving and it’s something small that’s catered to them.”

Adapting to different venues and audiences, Tailspin makes sure to tailor their music accordingly. Grant explained, “When you have to know 60 songs, you tend to just do 60 songs. We’ll definitely add and switch a few songs around here and there to tailor our music to the crowd. Dempsey’s is more of a college bar vibe, whereas we do more of a punk rock vibe at the Harwood Bar and Grill, for example.”

To stay at the top of their game, Tailspin dedicates themselves to regular practice sessions, experimenting with new music, and honing their craft as a cohesive unit. “We like to practice at least once a week, if not more. We’re experimenting with new music and seeing what works and what doesn’t as a band,” Grant, said.

With a perfect blend of covers and original tracks, Tailspin is taking Fargo by storm, leaving audiences captivated by its musical ambition and electrifying performances. Keep an eye out for this talented band, as they continue to soar to new heights in the local music scene. Rock on, Tailspin!

Meet The Band

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Grant Goffe, hailing from Fargo, ND, is a versatile musician who rocks the lead guitar in his band and occasionally takes charge of the drums. Currently pursuing his education at NDSU, he finds joy in attending local band performances downtown. Armed with a Gibson Les Paul and a Fender Stratocaster, he delivers his tunes through a Marshall JCM 2000 amp. 
The Aquarium stands as his favorite venue, while he also frequents comedy open mic nights at Front Street Taproom on Wednesdays. Beyond music, Grant finds excitement in riding motorcycles, shooting guns, and chilling in his camper with friends. He thrives on delivering exhilarating shows and witnessing the crowd match his passion for the music. 
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Lars Hager is a self-taught pianist from Fargo, North Dakota. He started his music career with the trumpet. He played in concert band, pep band, and jazz band at Fargo South High School. He loved learning about improvising and music theory. During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, he couldn’t stand sitting in his basement learning nothing from the Zoom classrooms. So, he decided to teach himself “Green Onions” by Booker T. & the M.G.’s on the Piano. He later got his own keyboard and loved playing for his friends even though they might not have loved listening to it. Lars didn’t care. 
Lars started his Freshman year of college when he met his band members. He joined the Delta Tau Delta fraternity where he met Owen and Grant. Once Grant knew Lars played the keyboard he asked him to join the band. As Lars’s cover band career continued he decided to make a slight change to his instrument of choice. Lars now plays the Roland AX-Edge, a Keytar. In his opinion, the keyboard guitar (keytar) is better than every other instrument combined.
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Abbi Lee, a vocalist hailing from Hillsboro, ND, discovered her passion for music early on through singing in church choirs and assisting her grandmother with Sunday School music classes. During high school, she honed her skills with classical vocal training while showcasing her musical versatility as a saxophonist in the school band. After a brief hiatus from the music scene, Abbi found her voice again when she joined the band Artificial Dopamine based in Fargo. There, she contributed her backup vocals to their debut album. 
However, fate had more in store for her musical journey when her brother Briar, also in Tailspin, approached her with an exciting opportunity to become the lead vocalist for a new band. Since joining Tailspin, Abbi’s musical talents have expanded, and she now rocks the harmonica and tambourine, adding even more flair to the band’s performances. Outside of music, Abbi dedicates her time to instructing multiple dance classes at a local dance company, showcasing her diverse artistic abilities. Beyond her love for music and dance, Abbi finds joy in the company of her beloved cats, nieces, and nephews. 
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Owen Piehl, the 22-year-old frontman for Tailspin, hails from a musical family and picked up the guitar in 5th grade, eventually venturing into songwriting during high school. Originally a SoundCloud rapper, Owen has now transitioned to releasing his own singer/songwriter music on major streaming platforms.

A Fall of 2022 NDSU graduate with a degree in Strategic Communications, Owen’s passions extend beyond music; he is an avid writer and a devoted Minnesota sports enthusiast. However, his true joy lies in delivering high-energy performances and creating music alongside his friends. Spot him showcasing his talent at open mics across Fargo-Moorhead and, of course, captivating audiences with his vocals and guitar skills as part of Tailspin.

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Meet Briar Lee, the 26-year-old drumming sensation behind the rhythm of Tailspin. Briar’s passion for drumming ignited during his childhood, as he watched his older cousin perform at various events in his hometown of Hillsboro, ND. From there, he found his groove, joining the church band and pep band in 5th grade, which laid the foundation for his musical journey.

In high school, Briar and a friend launched a small rock band, which motivated him to explore the industry deeper and pursue music. Though he took a break from drumming for a while, fate led him to Fargo a few years ago, reigniting his love for music. Eager to find like-minded musicians, Briar crossed paths with Grant, and their connection sparked what has become Tailspin today.

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Austin Saraceni, hailing from Fargo, ND, is a multifaceted bass guitarist and vocalist. His journey into the world of music commenced during his early childhood and flourished further during his college years when he ventured into music production and songwriting. From playing violin initially, his musical destiny swiftly transformed when he picked up a guitar in middle school. As a talented singer and producer, he garnered a significant following on SoundCloud, going by the moniker “gloomE”—a project that still captivates his creative pursuits to this day. However, it was his love for rhythm that steered him toward the path of becoming a skilled bass player, eventually finding his place with Tailspin.

When not immersed in the world of writing and performing, Austin finds solace in the company of his beloved cat and dog or simply unwinding at home. His musical inclinations lean towards captivating genres like Midwest emo, pop punk, and Lofi hip-hop. With an unwavering passion for music, Austin Saraceni continues to leave a lasting impact on both small and large venues across the Midwest.

A Q&A with Tailspin

Who are some of your biggest mentors to you as a band?

Anomic has been so supportive of us as a band. When our rehearsal and practice space flooded, they opened their arms up to us and gave us a safe place to store our equipment. They’ve been so helpful in teaching us the ropes of music in Fargo since we’re just starting out and they’ve been in the scene for a while. Also, we wish there were more bands like Walking Phoenix with an indie-pop alternative sound. We take a lot of influence and advice from local bands and really appreciate that so many are willing to show us the ropes and welcome us into this community since we’re still pretty new. We’ll go to their shows and see what would and wouldn’t work for us, and we’re so thankful for them to help us out along the way.

Who does the songwriting for Tailspin’s original music?

“I’ve been doing solo singer/songwriter music for a long time, playing Arts in the Park in Mandan and those sorts of fun events. Now, I’ve been trying to make more music that’s oriented towards the music that we’re hitting and finding our niche. I write the lyrics with some super simple, basic chords and bring them to practice. They’re a rough outline more than anything else. They’ve all been really supportive of the ideas that I bring to them, and they’re all really great, super collaborative musicians who can make our ideas happen in real life. Watching all of them bring the energy by adding these crazy baselines and drums and switching it up by bending the genres—it’s awesome to see.”
Owen Piehl

Do you ever face writer’s block when writing music? If so, how do you work through it?

“Writing can be really hit or miss. I’ll write 10 songs and maybe only 1 or 2 of them are decent enough to bring to the band. I used to go months without writing a song because it’s so hard to sit down and write something that I like sometimes. What I found is that forcing myself to sit down and write a song a day when I’m facing writer’s block helps me through it. It’s just a matter of continuously going at it and attacking it, otherwise, it could be six months without a new song. You can always wait for inspiration to come, but you also have to be present and actively trying to do something new and original.”
– Owen Piehl

What are your biggest challenges in the Fargo music scene? If you could change or add one thing to the Fargo music scene, what would it be?

Fargo could benefit from larger venues and stages. We love The Aquarium, Dempsey’s, and the other venues around town, but it’d be sweet to have a more prominent, devoted location for small and medium-sized acts. The bigger ones that come to town will perform at the SCHEELS Arena, Fargodome, or Bluestem [Amphitheater] in Moorhead, but this area could benefit from having something one notch lower for smaller acts to really grow. When you have a drummer, bassist, guitarist, singer, keyboardist, and equipment, that stage fills up pretty quickly. We like to move around and get the crowd hyped up, so we really appreciate having bigger stages.

Did You Know?
Tailspin collaborated with Matt Mastrud, AKA Punchgut, to bring their eye-catching, unique merchandise to life with the artist’s signature flare. Punchgut is also known for his work with Drekker Brewing Co.’s unique, forward-thinking branding.

As a local band looking to expand in the 21st century, how are you handling social media management?

We’re promoting the show beforehand, making posters on Canva, posting them to our socials, and sharing them with our friends before the show. Immediately following performances, we take a group picture for social media. We’ll also take videos of our performances to post on Facebook and Instagram at the same time I just posted a picture and video of us having a great time at The Windbreak, so thanks to everyone who came out. Our following has been slowly increasing and our name’s been getting a little bigger, so we’re looking forward to seeing where that can take us.

If we get one new follower on our socials after a show, it was already more than worth it since they might become a fan who will be on the lookout for our next show. We’ve had some people in the crowd request music and we instantly recognize them from past shows, which we love seeing.

We’ve played for some smaller bars before with little to no people in them, which we love doing since we still treat it like a sold-out show. It doesn’t matter if there are 5 people or 500 people; we’re still going to give each show our all and bring that energy that people love seeing us live for.

What pushes you all to keep doing what you do and continue making a name for Tailspin in the local music scene?

We’re all fans of music ourselves and know what it’s like to go to a concert and have a special moment with the band. Something as small to us as throwing a guitar pick into the crowd could make that person’s night. Those things go a long way for some people in the crowd, so it’s huge to us now that we’re on the other side and can give that feeling to someone else.

For example, a very nice lady came up to us after the show and asked for a picture. As we were gathering everyone to get a picture together, she said, ‘It’s my 30th birthday tonight. You guys are so awesome and this was such an amazing time. Thank you so much.’ Then, she posted us on her page and thanked us for making her 30th the best it could have been. We obviously didn’t know it was her birthday, but we performed like we knew it was, and we couldn’t have been happier to hear that compliment at the end of the show. It’s the little things that go a long way in our eyes.

Stay updated with the latest news and performance highlights on Instagram! @tailspin_fm

Written by Grant Ayers

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