Five Minutes with Milwaukee Musician Amelinda Burich

Five Minutes with Milwaukee Musician Amelinda Burich

She got to tour Japan with one of her bands!

Amelinda Burich grew up surrounded by music. Her parents played guitar, and she started taking piano lessons as soon as her fingers were long enough to reach all the keys. Eventually she picked up the viola and guitar too. 

Shortly after moving to Milwaukee from Racine when she was around 20, she became immersed in the city’s local indie music scene. Since then, she’s taken on different jobs around the city – she currently works for 88Nine and co-runs a vintage boutique, Harlow Girls, with friend Stacy Harwell – but she’s never stopped making music. We asked her how she manages to juggle the demands of a day job while still carving out time for her creative pursuits. 


What was your first job?

My first job was working at Fright Fest as an actor in the haunted houses, when I was about 15. That’s how I paid for my Christmas presents.

I always saw my jobs as a way to pay for my music.


And how did you get into music in the first place?

I’m from Racine, and there was actually a pretty good punk scene in Racine when I was young.  I started to go to shows when I was around 12. Kids from my school, and cooler schools, would come play. 


So punk rock was your first love?

Yes! But for some reason in eighth grade I got into Norwegian black metal. And when I moved here, I started helping out with DIY shows. Punk and metal shows. And I’d meet musicians that way too. 


You’ve been in a couple of bands too, right?

In 2018, I got to tour Japan with a punk band, Detenzione. That was an amazing experience. We hadn’t even toured the U.S., really, but there was a DIY label in Tokyo, Snuffy Smiles, run by a guy named Yoichi Eimori. He loves Riverwest punk bands and has set up tours for a bunch of them. We saw a lot of the countryside while we were there. It was beautiful. 


What were the shows there like?

People were falling over the drumsets. They were raging and picking up our singer. It was super rowdy, and I think that’s because we were playing DIY sets. There’d be 200 kids crammed into a space with no stage. 


What are you working on right now?

I’m currently in a band called Ankh. It’s a metal band in the doom spectrum, with some classic metal elements too. Our vocalist can growl really well, but she has a powerful singing voice too. 

We just recorded an EP. And we’re hoping to start booking some shows soon. 


What do you do when you aren’t at work or practicing?

The first Wednesday of every month, I DJ at Strange Town. Every Wednesday they bring in a female DJ, and the first Wednesday is me. And they commit to only playing vinyl in their restaurant too, which I love. 


So you feel like Milwaukee is a place where musicians can build careers for themselves? 

Definitely. It’s cheap to live here. And we’re kinda in the middle of everything. Flying to New York is doable. Flying to L.A. is doable. Chicago is close. 

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Lindsey Anderson covers culture for Milwaukee Magazine. Before joining the MilMag team she worked as an editor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and wrote freelance articles for ArtSlant and Eater.