Genre: Alternative Rock












In 2016, when Andrew Tschiltsch played his first gig as frontman/guitarist for his new alt-rock trio Microcosms at a house party in his adopted hometown of Chicago, he came up with the perfect phrase to describe the band’s aesthetic: “Making music to question your beliefs to.” He wasn’t just referring to concepts like religion, the universe, or the cultural mindset. It was also about taking an introspective look at what he wanted to do with his life, weighing his passions and muse against the expectations of staying on the path he had long been conditioned to accept. “I was questioning my place in the world,” he says. “I wanted to spend my time doing what I felt would be valuable to society and make me happy.”

Judging from the success that the band – which includes bassist Bryan Emer and drummer Jered Piepenbrink – has had since, he made the right choice to quit his cushy job as a transfer pricing consultant and pursue music full time. After several years building their local fan base at Windy City hotspots like Crown Liquors, Burlington Bar, Gallery Cabaret, and Café Mustache, the trio recently played their biggest show ever at Metro Chicago as part of an event hosted by RAW Artists. Microcosms’ first release was the Know My Body EP in 2017, which was quickly followed with 2018’s Fairytale, which featured singles “Omnipotence” and “Wrapped Up.” Now they’re back with the punkish and blistering new single “Forget Us.”

Before the fiery chorus kicks in, Andrew begins “Forget Us” by asking a deeply probing question that taps into our current cultural zeitgeist: “How can you find/Legitimate peace of mind/When you’re surrounded/By hatred in your life?” The track is about the intense fearmongering going on everywhere. Though he admits the song can mean different things to him at various junctures, generally it’s a socially conscious dig at those holding the power who use fear as a weapon to keep people down, by stroking “our egos and make us jealous/While you stuff your pockets and you try to forget us.”

Andrew, a native of Southern California who relocated to Chicago for work after graduating from Indiana University, was a longtime drummer who learned to play guitar via a videogame called Rocksmith, which he describes as “like Guitar Hero but with a real guitar.” Inspired by his new instrument, Andrew began making solo demos after he would come home from work. Thematically, these demos focused on introspective and existential ideas. While the band’s sound is influenced by many different genres, the songwriter’s true love lies in alternative and psychedelic rock. “For now, we’ve been focusing on what works best within a power trio lineup – mostly punkier/grungier stuff – but we’ll be expanding on that sound in the future.”

At the same time he was making demos, Andrew was seizing the opportunity provided by Chicago’s numerous music venues to learn from the best. “I was seeing so much amazing music,” the singer says, “and after a while I would go to some of these shows and tell myself, ‘I could do this!’ I was feeling more confident in my songs and I wanted to bring them to life. I quit my job and formed the band. It was scary, but I was starting to feel like if I didn’t do it, I’d regret it the rest of my life.”