Columbus's Forever Unknown: A Band With A Fate Unlike Their Name

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Running Down A Dream

During my high school days, I spent most of my free time making unwise decisions with my friends. Sometimes I stop and think about where I would be if I instead spent my time pursuing tangible goals and my yet to be discovered passion. All of our lives we’ve been asked, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" I’ve always hated that question because I never knew, and kind of still don’t know the answer. Most of us have many interests. So how do you choose which interests you want to pursue and make a career out of? To accomplish something great, at some point you have to commit your focus and energy towards a concrete goal, and to some degree put your other interests aside. To succeed at anything, it’s going to take a great deal of effort. Sometimes, even if you’re pursuing your interests, the hard work is going to suck. There will be times that you doubt yourself, times when you’re exhausted, frustrated, confused, and perhaps even bored. Our passions though are the things we’re willing to go through the shit storm for. Nothing is easy, and everything in life sucks a little bit. Our passion is the thing we’re willing to embrace the suck for. Why am I writing this little spiel? Because I was inspired by a group of five high schoolers who are making an example of everything I just said. They know who they want to be and they’re forging their path to get there. They’re taking on a challenge that has no guarantees and enjoying the process. They’re proving that hard work does pay off and we truly can be whatever we want when we grow up. They have a ways to go but they’re on the path. They call themselves Forever Unknown.

It’s a Long Way To The Top If You Wanna Rock And Roll

I was made aware of the youngsters by a co-worker of mine so I dove into their three singles on my drive home. My ears perked as the ominous guitar melody of “Pyramid Scheme" trickled from the speakers. When Micah’s gritty yet graceful vocals entered the mix I was sold. She sings with a level of confidence that demands the listener's attention, making it known that she has something to say. Overdriven guitars, fat string-sounding bass, and tight drumming followed suit to reveal the band's refined recipe of grungy alternative rock. Next was “Don’t Know Where We’re Going,” a more upbeat track that alludes to the band's free-spirited side with Micah singing the anthemic chorus “Don’t know where we’re going, but we don’t really care.” Last is “Manifesto” which is exactly what the title suggests. It’s a slow builder that seems to be questioning the way that we all live and reveals their fear of not chasing their dreams with the line “And all the things I’ve never done, and all the songs I’ve never sung, they’ll all haunt me until I’m gone.” In a way, the song is a declaration of their intent to give it their all. I should also mention this song ends with a hell of a jam. Overall each single is unique which is no surprise when you consider their varied personal influences, with Foo Fighters, Blondie, Mac Miller, Naked Giants, Sublime, and Radiohead being a few mentioned. They all seem to be tied together though by a feeling of angst, big sounding guitars, and driving rhythms.

I was able to catch a short set of theirs at Craft & Vinyl and was glad to see that their recordings were no gimmick. They sounded well versed, and they captured the room with their energy. I was also impressed by the fact that everyone in the band plays multiple instruments. Throughout the set they were jumping around from instrument to instrument, making it look easy in the process. These guys (and girl) have both passion and talent in their arsenal. This is when I knew I needed to chat with the group and hear their story.

The band's origin can be traced back to earlier days when Jacob (guitar), Blake (guitar), and Evan (drums) were just some tikes playing tunes together. After Sully (bass) came along the four decided it was time to find themselves a singer. Word got out to Micah (vocalist) that the group was looking for a singer so she made the fateful drive to a practice session Pickerington. That was many practices ago and since then they’ve been steeping a tasteful brew of alternative rock that’s beginning to catch ears all around Franklin County.

Since they’ve sprinkled out their singles over the first few months of this year, they’ve found themselves coming in over the airwaves on stations such as CD 102.5 and WCBE 90.5. When asked what it’s like to hear yourselves on the radio they went on to explain “It’s amazing! It’s a really weird but cool feeling. The idea that one second they’ll be playing Silversun Pickups and then our song comes on is really amazing.” They’ve also been crowned as the GrooveU Instaband winners, a statewide battle of the bands put on by the Columbus based college that has a focus on music-related career paths. Furthermore, they’ve taken the stage at some of the cities biggest festivals such as Comfest, Columbus Art Festival, and the Pickerington Food Truck Festival.

When asked about their future goals they reassured me that pursuing music is top priority, but they do have their backup plans adding the comment, “However, if the music doesn’t work out for us, Jacob wants to go into welding, Evan wants to be a therapist, Micah wants to be a Special Ed teacher, Blake wants to go into architecture, and Sully wants to “live in his car” (I too have the back up plan of living out of my van). They went on to say, “Our goals are to continue making music that means something to us and to hopefully go on tour. Long-term, we want what every band wants, which is to let the world hear what we have to say and to be able to spend our lives traveling and sharing it with many people who want to listen. And, of course, making a lot of money part doesn’t hurt.” It’s obvious they have an appetite for success, and apparently, fruit snacks as well, informing me that they’re also proud of the fact that they can go through a box of them (particularly Pokemon ones) in 10 minutes.

What’s more? The group has been in the studio at GrooveU recording their debut EP which they were reluctant to share too many details about. The process, they explained, has been full of ups and downs, but thanks to the friendly crew at GrooveU and countless Redbulls, it has been an overall amazing experience. They’re excited to share the EP with the world which is expected to be released this October. Specifically, they mentioned a surprise acoustic bonus track they’re rather jazzed about. I know there aren’t many of you out there that are too excited about the impending end of summer, but at least we have this to look forward to.

To be successful as a band, it requires a certain level of actual musical talent. It’s passion and perseverance though that allow artists to break through the brick wall. These guys seem to have the whole package. They know what they want to do and they’re excited about doing it. As long as they stay the path I have a feeling they won’t go forever unknown.

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Patchbay Fest

It was a pleasure to hear and share their story, but I’m even more excited to have these guys kicking off the first annual Patchbay Music Festival. They’ll be taking the stage in the Land Grant Beer Garden at 1:30 PM on August 4th to rock out in our effort to raise awareness for mental health and benefit Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s On Our Sleeves campaign for pediatric mental health. Not only do they make great music, they’re genuinely great people as well. The band has been openly enthusiastic about supporting the cause stating “Mental health awareness is super important to us because we all either know someone who struggles with mental health issues or have them ourselves. We think it’s really important for everyone, particularly kids and teenagers, to know that struggling with your mental health isn’t anything to be ashamed of, and doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you.” So far they’ve raised $254 as part of the Patchbay fundraising team, and I couldn’t be more thankful for their help. Whether you make it to the fest or not, I encourage you to catch these guys the next chance you get!

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