Big thanks to Scott Beseler, Paul Brumm, Jason Nix and Johnny Walker at The Lodge, in Dayton Kentucky for helping us record our first-full length album. We got through 15 tracks, over an hour worth of material. Now, we're finishing up overdubs at The Stable, and should have 30-40min. for a record to shop to the world in the coming month or so. We will have a treat or two soon!
Cincinnati is no stranger to the music festival. With a genre-spanning line-up announced, Midpoint Music Fest definitely gives others a run for their money. Wristband sales are up, the expansion into Washington Park has been a wild success, and everything seems to be coming up Milhouse for MPMF.
You can only play indie folk for so long until the rock gods call you back. This is exactly what happened with Jason Snell before forming the trio, Ohio Knife. The outfit is driving with rich vocals, fuzzy guitar, and pronounced melodies. They’re pure energetic rock ‘n’ roll, and also have a few online reviews praising their live show. It sounds like a recipe for a good time. Fans of Filligar or Mutts are going to enjoy Ohio Knife.
Split into three days (September 26-28) and fifteen venues, it’s easy to look at a festival like MPMF and get a little overwhelmed. Or, it’s easy to look at all the information and want to organize it all. Everything. Every last bit. Well, here’s where we fit in: we’re here to highlight some regional artists from each day to make the decision between Venue A and Venue B a little easier.
MAINSTAY ROCK BAR/MPMF
Ohio Knife (Cincinnati)
After creating warm, textural Indie Folk for several years in The Chocolate Horse with numerous bandmates, Cincinnati artist/singer/songwriter Jason Snell was ready to strip things down and rock the fuck out, so he formed Ohio Knife. Starting out as a recording trio with drummer Joe Suer and out-of-town keyboardist Andrew Higley, Snell and Suer started played explosive duo shows (including showcases at South by Southwest) before adding musicians, like bassist Scotty Wood. The band is driving and fuzzed out, with Snell sailing his rich vocals and pronounced melodies over the crafty, musical drumming of Suer and the swell of distorted soul.
YDIIYD: Queens of the Stone Age, JEFF the Brotherhood, Fidlar. (MB)
OHIO KNIFE DOUBLES DOWN IN DAYTON
By Justin Kreitzer
Emerging Cincinnati indie rock band Ohio Knife is led by vocalist/guitarist Jason Snell, drummer Joe Suer and keyboardist Andrew Higley – all formerly of indie favorites The Chocolate Horse and Readymaid – along with bassist Scotty Wood. Together they create a grease-smeared brand of blues-soaked garage rock with Snell’s soulful howl on their promising debut EP, Ohio Knife Is OK! released in early 2012 via Detroit-based Fountain Records. Since then, they have performed at such high-profile events as SXSW in Austin, Texas and, recently, the Bunbury Music Festival in their hometown, Cincinnati. The trio will bring their rumbling rock n’ roll show to Dayton twice in August, with a performance at Peach’s Grill in Yellow Springs Friday, Aug. 9 and Thursday, Aug. 15 at Canal Street Tavern in Dayton.
In anticipation of their upcoming shows, Snell and Suer were interviewed by the Dayton City Paper to shed some light into the band’s lofty future plans, their festival experiences and more.
The Chocolate Horse were the darlings of the Cincinnati scene but disappeared after three albums – when Higley moved to Nashville and played with Ben Folds and Brendan Benson – during which you formed Ohio Knife. What signaled the change in style and moniker?
The Chocolate Horse has never really broken up. [It’s] on a long vacation, as I really wanted something really simple, down, dirty and sweaty. I wrote 15 tunes pretty quick with Joe and Andrew as he was still living in Nashville. Our first show was a venture to SXSW, and from there, things have been erupting. Style-wise, it was time to pull back with all the colors and flavors … and it was time to really start [to] throw down some rock n’ roll. – Jason Snell
After recovering from my neck injury around 2011, I slowly started playing drums again on Jason’s heavier-sounding, guitar-based tunes and we came to the conclusion that these songs were super fun and needed an outlet. I think Jason found an article about a company called Ohio Knife that had recently closed down and we thought it was a cool sounding name for the “stab you in the gut” sounds we had just produced. – Joe Suer
You have played some of the big outdoor festivals like SXSW and recently, the Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati. How was that experience and how did the crowd respond?
It’s been fantastic. If we could make a living playing festivals, I would! [The] crowds have been awesome, super-supportive and hopefully it only grows as we continue to rock. – J. Snell
We’ve had great audience feedback experiences at the festivals we’ve played and would like to play more festivals. It’s a great chance to play in front of brand new potential fans – open-minded music lovers that will take a chance on actually listening to new bands. Plus, we’ve met other great bands from around the world with whom we hope to work in the future … SXSW was Ohio Knife’s planned introduction to the world and unlike any other festival we’ve done. – J. Suer
Your debut EP has garnered great praise. Are you currently working on new material for a full-length album?
First off, thanks! We think it’s a great intro, alas, we have written many more songs since, and feel we’ve focused the sound and the direction. The new songs are just waiting for a good patron of rock n’ roll to help us deliver to the world. – J. Snell
Yes, we just finished mixing six demo tunes this past weekend. So far we are very happy with the results of this first batch and there are about six more tunes in various stages of recorded completion that we will continue to focus on now that we’ll have bassist Scotty Wood of Murder Junkies, and Andrew as part of the permanent live band. – J. Suer
Will you play any of those new songs during your shows in Dayton?
Totally, [the] last time we played Dayton, was [at] Canal Street. We were Ohio Knife, [but] playing under a different name, [as] sort of a surprise show with our friends Buffalo Killers. [I] cannot wait to get back up to my hometown. – J. Snell
Absolutely, “I Wish I Knew” is a great newer tune that we’ve been doing lately. It […] turns people’s heads our direction and gets us warmed up and feeling good. It’s been a while since we have played Dayton and this might actually be the first show billed as Ohio Knife. – J. Suer
What can we expect from your live show?
Loud, sweat, booze, beats and straight up ripping. – J. Snell
You can expect some down and dirty rock n’ roll music to be played. That’s for sure. – J. Suer
What does the future hold for Ohio Knife?
[To] continue playing, bring Andrew back into the fold and get someone interested enough to put out the first full-length. The coordinates have been set to rock, we’re working hard, trying to navigate it, paying dues and throwing down. Our time will come. – J. Snell
In the distant future, Ohio Knife will achieve total planetary media domination. It may seem a lofty goal to some folks, but we shoot for the stars. – J. Suer
Ohio Knife will play Friday, Aug. 9 at Peach’s Grill, 104 Xenia Ave. in Yellow Springs, and Thursday, Aug. 15 at Canal Street Tavern, 308 E. First St. For more information visit ohioknife.com.
Reach DCP freelance writer Justin Kreitzer at JustinKreitzer@DaytonCityPaper.com
Cincinnati, OH festival Bunbury Music Festival is returning for its second year from July 12 - 14, 2013. The lineup was just announced and it includes MGMT (who were also just announced for Firefly Music Festival), The National (who were also just announced forBonnaroo and have a huge Brooklyn show coming up), Belle and Sebastian and Yo La Tengo (who just announced a tour together, which includes a Prospect Park show),Camera Obscura, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, Savoir Adore, Bear Hands, Oberhofer, We Are Scientists, Chairlift, Cake, Tegan & Sara, Tokyo Police Club, Devotchka, Those Darlins, Buffalo Killers, Sky Ferreira, and more.
Tickets for the festival are on sale now. Full lineup below...
Friday, July 12
Walk the Moon
Tegan and Sara
Tokyo Police Club
Red Wanting Blue
We Are Snapdragon
Alone at 3 AM
Looking forward to Bunbury!? We are too - Check out Ohio Knife on the Ampitheater Stage @3:30pm.
Check out BunburyFestival.com for the full lineup.
Win Some Swag Courtesy of Fountain Records!
Ohio Knife is coming to town June 12th to play a free show at the Garden Bowl with New Swears. Everyone knows that the Garden Bowl at the Magic Stick has some of the coolest FREE shows around. They book bands a few times a month to come and play for anyone who wants to watch. These showcases are an excellent opportunity to see up and coming artists.
Ohio Knife is out promoting their latest release on Fountain Records, called “Ohio Knife is OK!” Fountain Records would like to give you a chance to win a prize pack including the 12 inch which is a limited edition first pressing on color vinyl as well as a Fountain Records t-shirt of your choice. To enter, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us that you want to win the Fountain Records prize pack and include your full name in the email. We will draw three winners the day of the show and they will have a little gift waiting for them when they get to it. It's that easy! Take a second and listen toOhio Knife and then enter to win.
You can find out more about Fountain Records on their website here. Good luck!
10pm @MOTR in OTR join Ohio Knife and Halvsies for a colossal throw down to celebrate Yusef's coming of man. Special guests tonight, Mr.Scot Torres on the ivory!