By Heather Leszczewicz Special to Published Feb 24, 2006 at 5:19 AM

Many bands use a well-known pop culture reference for a band name. Madison band I Voted For Kodos went for one of the more obscure examples -- from an episode of "The Simpsons" for its moniker.

Rather than having a highly recognizable name, pop punkers IV4K focused on persevering with effort from the beginning.

"The way the original line up started was people I met -- friends -- and we started playing. We played under the same name, but broke up," says lead singer Rick Bisenius. "Some people stayed and some people left. We now found our touring lineup."

Through touring and Internet promotion IV4K -- also comprising Lee Gordon (guitar), David Gage (drums), Tyler Christensen (guitar) and Jeremy Braband (bass) -- has been getting its name out there. The hard work has been paying off. The band has performed on the Warped Tour; won the Bamboozle Festival contest last year; and has just signed to Milwaukee's Snapdragon Records.

"The reason that I signed them is we share common passion for the industry, common goals and they are just plain amazing live and they capture it greatly on CD," says Kristan Harris, Snapdragon Records president.

"We've known Kristan Harris for a while just from playing shows," Bisenius says. "It's a good situation for both of us."

IV4K has been jet setting from coast to coast on tour after tour, but Wisconsin and the Midwest in general is underrepresented.

"We play Midwest shows on our way to west or east. There's not as many big markets in the Midwest," Bisenius says. "It seems like (the coasts have) more venues for us to play."

However, if you want your IV4K fix, the band will be coming back to Wisconsin mid-March for some dates, starting with Oshmosh at Timbuktu in Oshkosh on March 4.

"It's going to be a great show. It's a big all day show, and rather than just get bands from the Oshkosh area, the organizers brought in the best bands from around the state," Bisenius says. "It's a collection of some of the best pop-punk, emo, rock and ska bands that Wisconsin has to offer."

March 18 at The Loft, 827 E. Washington Ave., in Madison, the band will be celebrating the release of "My Newest Obsession. "Also, the band has been confirmed for some of this year's Warped Tour dates which Bisneius says the band is excited about.

Harris says that IV4K is a band that should not be missed.

"I believe I Voted For Kodos will bring to the industry what its been missing for a long time -- passion. It's brought out in their music, in their performance and you can hear it live as well," Harris says. "Not to mention they are just plain professional. With catchy hooks and a bunch of kids doing what they love more than anything in this world, how can you say no to that?"

"No one should ever pass up a chance to see IV4K, because we'll rock you every time," Bisenius says with a laugh.

I Voted For Kodos' Web sites are and

Heather Leszczewicz Special to

Originally from Des Plaines, Ill., Heather moved to Milwaukee to earn a B.A. in journalism from Marquette University. With a tongue-twisting last name like Leszczewicz, it's best to go into a career where people don't need to say your name often.

However, she's still sticking to some of her Illinoisan ways (she won't reform when it comes to things like pop, water fountain or ATM), though she's grown to enjoy her time in the Brew City.

Although her journalism career is still budding, Heather has had the chance for some once-in-a-lifetime interviews with celebrities like actor Vince Vaughn and actress Charlize Theron, director Cameron Crowe and singers Ben Kweller and Isaac Hanson of '90s brother boy band Hanson. 

Heather's a self-proclaimed workaholic but loves her entertainment. She's a real television and movie fanatic, book nerd, music junkie, coffee addict and pop culture aficionado.