In 2018, Omaha ranked in the top 10 states with prominent indie music artists. With countless venues to choose from, live music is easy to stumble upon in the Omaha metro.
This compelled Billy Brown, a musician from Texas, to dive into the Omaha music scene.
“I had just made some random Facebook post,” Brown says. “I said something like, ‘What’s everyone’s music goals for this year?”
Cody Rathman, a local musician who had already begun making a name for himself in the metro, reached out to Brown via that Facebook group.
“I think Cody was the first one who said he wanted to play music with people he’d never played with before,” Brown says. “’ I was like, ‘alright, I’ve never played with you before,’ so that checks out.’”
With similar interests in music Brown and Rathman found it easy to find the perfect group mates and determine their sound.
“I always wanted to be in a band like Hippo Campus,” Rathman says. “We just found some people who wanted to do that type of music, and we did it.”
Rathman connected with his friend Nick Wenner, and the band fell into place.
“We were pumping out songs every single practice when we first started, and I think we did that for three months straight,” Wenner says.
They write together, each one bringing something different to every song. They start with a riff or a beat and work off it until a song comes together.
“We’ll just figure something out on the spot, and then just build and build, and by the time we know it, we’ve got another song,” Brown says. “I think it’s been a really cool dynamic so far, and it’s not just one person who writes all of our music, and then we play it together. Literally, every member has come with something.”
Together, they quickly racked up a set-list worth of songs. They just needed a name.
“We had written six or seven songs before we had a band name,” Wenner says. “Eventually, Cody was like, ‘this is getting out of control. We have to name this thing and make it official.’”
The group sat down with a list of words they liked, trying different combinations of a few before landing on Infinite Video.
“By the time that we had a show booked, we knew almost all our songs,” Wenner says.
Doubts started to set in as the bandmates started communicating with the rest of the Omaha music scene. They feared the local music scene might not be ready for Infinite Video’s sound.
“I found out no one knows who Hippo Campus is,” Rathman says. “We thought, ‘what if we did something wrong here.’”
But after a few shows, band members realized they had nothing to fear.
“At first, there weren’t many other indie bands, but now I’m seeing a few,” Rathman says. “I don’t think it’s because of us, but it’s super cool to see more indie music going on.”
The band played five shows before the pandemic stopped live music. On the last night before the COVID19 shutdown, the band opened for Flor, one of the bands Infinite Video based their sound around.
“Literally right after Flor, everything shut down,” Brown says. “It was a year and a half of nothing.”
In the absence of live performances, the band put their energy into recording.
“Over COVID, we went to the studio and finally recorded four of our songs,” Rathman says.
In 2021, Infinite Video released their first EP, “Wear the Afterlife.” With COVID restrictions loosening up, they held an album release show at the Reverb Lounge.
“The EP release show was awesome, but it was kind of daunted by COVID still,” Rathman says.
Even still, bookings are somewhat of a struggle.
“It’s scary to book anything anymore,” Rathman says. “The last show that we booked, one of the bands got COVID, so we had to scramble to find an opener.”
Since the initial shutdown, the band has only played a handful of shows.
“We went from being a new band with a lot of shows and a great trajectory to a four-year-old band with like 10 shows,” Rathman says.
Even with the difficulties of live music, the group has found plenty to keep them busy off stage.
“We‘re working on a five-song EP,” Rathman says. “We’re recording it all in the basement, and then we’re going to send it off to my buddy who mixed the first EP.”
The band plans to do more social media outreach and hopes to put more focus on their online presence.
“We have these cool little jam sessions in such a neat space, and we don’t capitalize on that currently,” Brown says.
The band has also started looking into the possibilities of regional shows and festival opportunities to promote their new EP.
Infinite Video is an essential part of the live music scene in Omaha, frequently playing at the Slowdown, the Reverb Lounge and The Waiting Room. Their shows bring much-needed energy to the community and have a way of bringing the listeners together.
“This isn’t just another local band saying big things are coming,” Rathman says. “Things are actually coming.” ◆