Meet PW Student Chris Freeman
Members of Hot Mulligan, including PW student Chris Freeman (center)
One Professional Writing (PW) student is taking his skills on the road this semester. Chris Freeman, a sophomore in the digital and technical writing track of the PW major, also plays guitar and sings harmony with Hot Mulligan, an emo/pop punk band that spent their recent spring break on tour.
“Hot Mulligan started in my senior year of high school,” Chris says. “I was playing in a cover band at the time, and we played in a show in another town with a band playing original music.” After the performance, Chris reached out to the other band’s vocalist and Hot Mulligan was formed. “We started writing songs together, and since then we have had a lot of line up changes,” he says. Along with Chris, the band’s current
line-up includes Tades Sanville (vocals), Garret Willig (bass), Brandon Blakeley (drums), and Ryan Malicsi (lead guitar).
Shortly after forming the band Chris took the initiative to book time with Mat Kerekes at his recording studio in Toledo, OH. The band recorded a three-song EP that was distributed on Save Your Generation Records, an indie label in Livonia, MI. A few months later, Chris received an unexpected message asking if Hot Mulligan would like to do a show in Milwaukee. The band made the most of the opportunity, and once Chris started at Michigan State a few months later, he began booking shows for Hot Mulligan’s first tour, consisting mainly of house shows. Two years later all that hard work has paid off. Hot Mulligan was recently offered a deal with No Sleep Records, a well-respected indie label headquartered in California.
For a touring musician, balancing student life and band life is no easy task. “It’s hard,” Chris admits. “Obviously I can’t tour while school is in session, so I attend my classes and then find out when Christmas break is, when spring break is, and when summer vacation is.” Chris has multitasked by studying and booking shows throughout college, and uses breaks to tour with Hot Mulligan. Next semester he has made the decision to become a part-time student taking online classes so he can spend more time on the road.
In addition to using his playing, singing, and songwriting skills, Chris also serves Hot Mulligan as the band’s de facto promoter and communication manager—roles in which his skills as a PW student have served him well. “I use what I’ve learned from the PW major in managing all of our social media accounts, creating tour flyers, and pitching shows with professional-looking emails,” he says. “I also do press for the band, and I think that is where I actually use [PW skills] the most.” Chris notes that Visual Rhetoric (WRA 360) has been especially useful for him as he creates cohesive designs for Hot Mulligan’s promotional materials across different platforms.
Although things are really taking off for Hot Mulligan, Chris is determined to finish his degree. He’s looking ahead to career paths that will allow him to combine two things he loves: music and professional writing.
Written for WRAC by Rachel Nanzer
Photo provided by Chris Freeman