Feelin’ Indien Summer

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Published 2004-11-17T00:00:00Z”/>


Stacey Schooler<br>Staff Writer

An Indien Summer is in the forecast for Chico.

You can catch the heat wave when the group performs at Off Limits Bar on Dec. 11.

In 1989, Indien Summer was formed by Bob Bird and Pete Mizera. They had been friends for years and had seen each other play with other bands, Mizera said. Both found the music scene in Chico to be lacking and wanted to try something new.

Bird knew a couple of guys that he invited to join the group. One of the two was asked to leave when it was discovered that his style did not play well with the others’.

Thus, the band became a trio, Mizera said. The third member, Ted Williams, whom Bird and Mizera call “Ted the bass player,” has been with Indien Summer ever since.

The name was chosen, in part, because of heritage, Mizera said. His family is “very diluted Canadian Indian,” and Bird’s is of the Shawnee tribe from Oklahoma. They were also inspired by the stories of local Native Americans. There was one more thing that influenced their decision.

“We were just sitting around one day and thought of the name,” Mizera said. “I remember it was a hot November day, hence Indian Summer.”

To add the finishing touch to the name, Mizera changed the spelling.

Indien Summer found its style by looking to the many bands that had influenced each member in the past such as U2, The Police and the Sex Pistols. Mizera said they look to others to describe their style.

“We’ve been told that we sort of invented the current hippy-jam-rock thing that comes and goes around Chico,” he said.

Their style is a form of intricate, complicated-secret pop. These are pop songs that no one realizes they will be singing after they hear them, Mizera said.

Their songs are also dynamic.

“Which means we’re quiet one minute and explode the next…kind of like some ex-girlfriends,” he said.

While music is their passion, the men of Indien Summer also do other things with their time.

Williams cuts hair at the Danielle Taylor salon in downtown Chico. Bird is a Web designer and music producer and gives guitar lessons. Mizera is also a music producer as well as a freelance audio and visual engineer.

“We are real musicians’ musicians…broke all the time,” Mizera said.

While their finances may be bleak, they have high hopes for the future. Currently they are working on several projects to build their image. Mizera said they are building a Web site, finishing a CD and working on merchandising. Indien Summer is also preparing for performances in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

There is a great interest in expanding the fan base beyond the West Coast. Mizera said he would be interested in using some connections the band has in England. The next time they go on tour, Indien Summer plans on including stops in England and along the East Coast.

Mizera is hopeful that some good fortune from the past will repeat itself. For six months between 1992 and 1993, the group had a record deal with a company from the Bay Area. At this point, Indien Summer produces all of its own music.

The members of the group are content for the time being because they truly enjoy the music they are producing. Mizera said they would just like to get paid for all the fun they’re having. Either way, he said this group is together for the long haul.

“If we all could rock when we’re 80, we will.”

Stacey Schooler can be reached at

<a href= “mailto:[email protected]”>[email protected]</a>

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