Welcome to the first issue of Ohio Music Resource Monthly. As we enter into the holidays, it seemed like the perfect time to launch a free e-zine for the website. After all, ‘tis the season right? For the first issue I wanted to focus on Springfield, Ohio. I thought what better place to start than my hometown.
Most people don’t think of Springfield when they think, “great places to play live music” but Springfield has it’s little gems just like a lot of other smaller locations. That’s the thing about music venues and guitar stores and recording studios too for that matter, they are really spread out all over in every little nook and cranny of the state. It’s hard to know where you might find the next really cool spot.
Featured Guitar Store
The Guitar Attention Center
115 East Ward St.
Springfield, Oh 45504
The Guitar Attention Center is off the beaten path. It’s located at 115 East Ward Street. It’s a residential type neighborhood and it’s based out of what used to be someone’s house. The cool thing about the Guitar Attention Center is the owner. His name is Randy and he has been around for a long time. He is very smart about instruments in general and especially acoustic guitars. It’s the kind of place you can walk into and kill about a half an hour just talking to Randy and he will shoot the breeze with anyone. He is a very nice guy. He doesn’t act like his life depends on you buying a guitar or a pack of strings or something. Often I will find myself going there verses another shop just because I like Randy. You would be surprised at how many people are willing to pay an extra buck or two for strings just because they like the people they are buying them off of. It’s really amazing. The guitar attention Center is a throwback to a different time before “Guitar Center.” If you’re in or around Springfield and want to check out a neat little store, check this place out.
Un Mundo Café
117 South Fountain Ave
The Un Mundo Café is a little coffee shop located in the Heritage Center in downtown Springfield, right next to the library. It’s a really neat set up because the heritage center is such an old large building and in one corner of it there sits this coffee shop. Un Mundo has live acoustic shows every Friday night from 7pm to 10pm and is very supportive of local music. They are very easy going and unproblematic to line shows up with. This is a great place to play a nice acoustic set, sell a few CD’s and be out by 11pm. That’s a nice change of pace from the bars where you’re not leaving until around 3 in the morning. I’m actually going to be playing a show at Un Mundo Café on the 30th of December, so if anybody is in the neighborhood drop by and say hello.
The Defendants are a local punk band based out of Springfield, Ohio. I first met them a few years ago when I was playing a lot of shows with my old band. Since then they have played a ton of shows all over Ohio and have really become seasoned veterans. They are a great bunch of guys, spot on artists, and really embody the spirit of punk rock. The Defendants are John on drums, Damian on bass, and Mike on guitar and vocals. Mike was nice enough to answer a few questions this month to kick off Ohio Music Resource Monthly right. So without further ramblings from me let’s get into the interview with Mikey Defendant of The Defendants:
OMR – So tell us the brief history of your band.
Mike D. - well after the first punk band I was in booted me out (much love to my homies from aggravated assault) my brother john and I started our own punk band, with a crappy drum set we got for like 50 bucks, and a dream. That’s all you need for a band right? We wrote "stand up fight back" and jammed on it for a day. John on drums me doing vocals and guitar. Then we invited a few friends over to jam and eventually it became The Defendants on July 30th 2008! I moved to just playing guitar while Chad Taylor sang, and Josh Goodman played bass. We played our first show that following September at the DDC with Krum bums! And it was magic from there. We have had a few line-up changes, and I think we may have finally found what works best for us.
OMR - Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Mike D. - I cant speak for the band in general but MY musical influences (which are quite similar to john and damians) include bands like The casualties, black flag, Germs, misfits, stevie ray vaughn, Hendrix, Charles mingus,leftover crack, rancid SOME KIND OF NIGHTMARE, SUICIDE SEVEN, so many to name really anyone who picks up a guitar (metaphorically speaking, could be any instrument)and follows their dream while at the same time remembering their roots and staying true to their beliefs. outside of music my influences are a lot of political figures. Pierre Proudhon, Charles Darwin, Emma Goldman, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr (any civil rights activist). Anybody willing to fight for what they believe really, good or bad… if I disagree I fight back! and that's what life is about!
OMR - As a band, what are your dreams and goals?
Mike D. - To make enough to get some nachos and a fountain drink after the show! no. but really.. we like nachos... but I guess we're living it! Playing shows, playing music. Maybe one day we will get some where, I hope to one day make some money but that is in no way why we play. We love what we do. It’s not a job, it’s a hobby. A career is much different. This is life…through music I have made many new friends (family like friends) had many, many good times, heard many great, been some cool places I’m pretty happy. I guess our dream is to just keep on keeping on!
OMR - Who writes the songs, what are they about?
Mike D. - I write the songs. they are really just about whatever comes to me. Mostly political, but I’m not sticking to that one topic. Ii never know what the next song is gonna be about.
OMR - How do you promote your band and shows?
Mike D - flyers, facebook. talking to people, craigslist, sharpie,
OMR - Describe your show, visual and musically
Mike D. - a normal Defendants gig consists of a ton of last minute throwing everything together, and some how making it early, writing a set list, watching EVERY BAND, moshing alot, then playing. When we play I usually try to get the people stirred up by giving some speeches on some issue I find necessary. We sometimes will argue…and I’ll forget words so you may hear me growling into the mic at any given show. Sometimes people will jump on stage and take the mic and sing. Sometimes I’ll even get hit. It gets intense. No show is too crazy for us!
OMR - What do you think about downloading music online?
Mike D. - Some bands whine and complain about it…but I don’t care about it. The bands that usually complain are the rich guys that don’t remember what its like to not be able to afford 13 bucks to take a chance to see if their crappy over produced album was worth spending the money that could have fed their family for a day.
OMR - What's your outlook on the record industry today?
Mike D. - It shouldn’t even exist. MUSIC is not a business. It is evil! But we need it I guess to progress…I think. I don’t know.
OMR - What inspires you to do what you do?
Mike D. - I just do it cause I love the way it feels. It’s amazing.
OMR - What advice would you give to fellow bands?
Mike D. - Suicide! every front man commits suicide (except me I’m too much of a wuss) but yeah if you want your band to make it play a few shows release a record then shoot yourself in the face. Plenty of bands have gotten famous that way... ok... maybe not…ehh just do what you feel. Take people’s advice… but not always. Sometimes things work differently. Lightning never strikes in the same place twice.
OMR - What's new in the recording of your music?
Mike D. - Right now nothing’s official, but we are working hard on a 2nd release. It will be longer and the songs will have more put into them since we have progressed over the years.
OMR - In your opinion, what are the biggest obstacles for bands on the local music scene today?
Mike D – It’s becoming too mainstream. A lot of the bands are starting to sound the same.
People don’t put as much into as they used to. They just wanna look cool.
OMR - Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
Mike D. - December 30th at Club Soda! and our BIKE TOUR, over 120 miles biking and playing shows. 8 dates! and Feb. 15th with the Casualties! at Peabody’s! Buy tickets. You should be there because we are sexy!
Well people its been nice chatting. Thanks for supporting us! Thanks for supporting great local zines like this one! You can find out any more info by going to www.facebook.com/defendantspunkrock and asking us! peace - Mike/The Defendants
That’s about it for this month everybody. This is my first time writing a little e-zine like this so you’ll probably see me go through some growing pains. That’s what life is all about though right? Anyways, this is Kam wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Ohio-Music-Resource.com. Here’s to hoping we all are safe and kind to one another…and in the words of the legendary Jim Rome, “Goodnight now.”
-Kam J (OMR Monthly)
New! Comments Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.