Justin Klein takes notes at the piano while Mark Haugen plays the guitar.
When Justin Klein, a senior digital media major from Hartley, and Mark Haugen, a senior digital media major from Waverly, came to Buena Vista University, they knew they would earn a degree. They just didn’t imagine they would also get to explore their interest in music, form a new band and develop skills in music production.
“When I was a sophomore, I decided I really wanted to try making my own music,” says Justin. “I was in Edson Hall, working on it, and Mark happened to walk by. He offered to help, and from there, it’s just kind of taken off.”
The duo is known as 3 Wolf Moon, a take on a popular t-shirt design. They share duties on vocals and instrumentals and describe their style as “feel good hip hop.” Their collection includes “anthems about the little victories in life.”
Both of their albums – Peachez and Dreamz and Destined for Star Dumb – were recorded on campus and are available for free download on Bandcamp. Justin and Mark say the availability of resources on campus not only enables them to provide their music free of charge, but also encourages them to keep creating.
“We have access to all kinds of technology on campus, including the music production lab and even our iPads and laptops,” says Mark. “We can literally make music anywhere – sitting in a dorm room or in one of the studios. I actually began laying down beats for one of our songs while I was sitting in the servery. It’s cool how the technology culture here at BV allows us to be creative as we want, wherever we want.”
After debuting in BVU’s EdgedOut concert in November 2011, they have quickly become a campus favorite. They have more than 500 fans on Facebook, and they performed at the Cultural Leadership Conference earlier this spring and are slated for BVU’s EdgeFest concert.
“This started out as something fun to do, but it’s interesting to see how we’ve grown,” says Mark. “We’ve both learned more and more about the different tools. It’s amazing to look back at the first songs and see how the production value has increased since then. We’re constantly discovering new things we can do.”
Graduation day is looming, but neither Mark nor Justin sees it as the death of 3 Wolf Moon.
“We’d really like to continue, and because of technology, we can probably do it,” Justin says. “Even if we’re not in the same place after graduation, we can use Dropbox to share files and recordings. We’ll just have to see what happens.”