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The Sunflower

Midwest band Ferris Wheel Regulars are Wichita regulars, too

Jack DiGiovanni, Luke Goter and Paul DiGiovanni of Ferris Wheel Regulars. (Photo courtesy of Ferris Wheel Regulars)

Brothers Paul and Jack DiGiovanni and their friend Luke Goter grew up in Wichita, and by high school, they were deeply immersed in the local rock scene, looking up to bands like Kill Vargas and The Cavves.

Now Goter and Paul are students at Wichita State, and all three have been playing together as a band for almost two years.

The identical DiGiovanni brothers (two out of a set of triplets) were the first to jump into making music, forming their band Ferris Wheel Regulars in their basement. Goter would eventually join the brothers and drummer Matt Bianco for their 2023 album, “Distance Holds the Past.”

Goter described their music as space rock or Midwest emo. For Paul, the space rock label isn’t just a broad designation of long, winding, “spacey” rock, but is also an apt description of the songs he co-writes with his brother.

“We write in a lot of analogies of space and science,” Paul said. “It’s nerdy; it’s goofy, but we try to do it in a way that’s tasteful.”

Goter said their previous friendship has made collaborating easier for the band. Besides music, the group shares a love of baseball, even playing a show in uniforms last year.

“We don’t get sick of each other,” Goter said. “I mean, when we’ve been on the road together for a while, sometimes things can get a little dicey, but we just have a really good bond.”

It’s safe to say that Goter, whose parents are a clarinet teacher at WSU and a middle school band director, has been surrounded by music his whole life. Following in his parent’s footsteps as a music education major, Goter has played bass and trombone in multiple ensembles at WSU.

From jazz to funk to Ferris Wheel Regulars’ “nerdy” rock, Goter is familiar with many styles of music.

“When I graduate and become an actual music teacher, I’ll be able to confidently teach in these different styles,” he said.

Paul is also turning his love of music into a career. This May, he’s graduating with a degree in audio production, and he’s already put his education to use, taking charge of production on “Distance Holds the Past,” and working with other local acts.

“Being on both sides of that was really interesting because it’s like, ‘I have these songs; how do I get it to where I want it to be?” he said. “I learned a lot.”

This album was different from their earlier projects in more ways than one.

“We got into a lot more heavy music, especially during COVID time and in the years leading up to recording the ‘Distance Holds the Past’ record,” Paul said. “We wanted to make music that was very dynamic and (in) one part of the song, super hard-hitting, screamy, and then it just cuts to a beautiful interlude or something.”

Ferris Wheel Regulars does not plan to stop anytime soon. Paul and Goter said they want to keep playing local shows and touring when they can.

“At the end of the day, if it’s a show with one person listening, and they’re like, ‘Oh, that song was awesome,’ that’s a goal completed for me,” Paul said.

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About the Contributor
Ainsley Smyth
Ainsley Smyth, Reporter
Ainsley Smyth is a second-year reporter for The Sunflower. Smyth is a sophomore communications major with an emphasis in journalism and media productions. Her dream job is to travel back in time 30 years and then be a reporter for Rolling Stone. Smyth uses she/her pronouns.

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  • AnonymousApr 18, 2024 at 6:57 am

    Nice article