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Born in Bulgaria, raised in Racine, making it in the music biz: See The Racine Pulses at

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Drummer Mike Newby

Drummer Mike Newby is pictured on the kit during a March 6, 2020, show at High Noon Saloon in Madison.




Drummer Mike Newby and bassist Sam Olson back him up. Iliev continued to utilize Craig’s List to find instrumentalists to jam with.

Iliev, 26, grew up in Racine and graduated from Walden III High School in 2013. He currently resides in Madison.

The music video for “Go, Forward!,” filmed at Breese Stevens Field where the team plays, includes a cameo from Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, where Barnes is seen tossing a soccer ball.

Iliev said he plans to perform the song at Summerfest.

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He said the song writing process was rather quick because he is a big fan of soccer. The song debuted during the team’s first season. The Racing Pulses performed during a game — and the atmosphere there was “thrilling,” he said.

“The fans in the city are a very tight knit community, and people know who I am,” he said of Madison. The song has been added to some Spotify game day playlists and was used for a podcast, he said.

But, the Madison and Spotify community are not the only areas the musical project spans.

These band names suck. Don’t believe us? Ask the bands themselves! For this list, we’ll be looking at well-known musical groups, regardless of genre, who have publicly expressed regret over what they called themselves.




The Racing Pulses logo

Pictured is a new Racing Pulses logo, recently designed by singer and guitarist Kristian Iliev.




The Racing Pulses has a growing a fanbase across the world. In 2018, the project did a two-month tour in Bulgaria. One of the shows Iliev played was at Elenska Basilica, a large abandoned but partially preserved late Roman Christian basilica in west central Bulgaria that’s more than 1,400 years old. He considers this show one of the coolest he’s played.

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