Ohio Knife is a blue-collar, unforgiving, punch you gut rock n' roll outfit hailing from the great midwestern city of Cincinnati, USA.

Utilizing off-the-beaten-path tunings, Ohio Knife's Jason Snell brings raspy, two-toned vocals, with spooky, soulful and trashy guitars, Joe Suer drops the ass-load of low-end drums, Scotty Wood provides the thumping low-end bass, and the professor of 88's, Andrew Higley, delivers all the booming fuzzed-out organ you could ever wish for in rock.

We Are Ohio Knife.

Ohio Knife

Ohio Knife is a punch you in the gut, unforgiving, rock n' roll band hailing from the great midwestern city of Cincinnati, USA. Utilizing off-the-beaten-path tunings, Ohio Knife's Jason Snell brings raspy, two-toned vocals and spooky, soulful, trashy guitars as Joe Suer drops an ass-load of low-end drums and Scotty Wood provides all the thumping low-end bass you could ever wish for in rock.

Photo by Matt Dorman

Photo by Matt Dorman


Booking & Band - jason (at) wehavebecomevikings.com


What People are Saying

"Ohio Knife is big and fuzzy, with those heavy, heavy guitars and voices"
Jim Diamond / Ghetto Records Detroit

"The DDC (Draplin Design Company) Digs Ohio Knife! Turn It Up - Heavy Tunes for Heavy Times"
Aaron Draplin / DDC

"Ohio Knife creates a grease-smeared brand of blues-soaked garage rock with Snell's raw and soulful howl"
Atlas and the Anchor / Dayton Daily News

"Ohio Knife is unified by stripping the music down bringing out the grimy, gut-charged blue collar rock n'roll"
Bogart's Cincinnati

"The outfit is driving with rich vocals, fuzzy guitars, and pronounced melodies"
Mid West Action.com

"Forged somewhere in the ancient fires beneath Mt.Ranier, Ohio Knife is ever-sharp and full of surprises"
Jim Nolan / WVXU Radio

"Ohio Knife is a thousand hurricanes nestled in a box of tsunamis - I love the OK"
Ian Adkins / Nederlander Entertainment

You are going to dig these cuts

Scalp or Be Scalped Album Launch Mix


Elmore Magazine
Cincinnati’s Ohio Knife Shares “Wish I Knew” From Scalp Or Be Scalped
Ohio Knife "Wish I Knew" on Elmore Magazine

Scalp Or Be Scalped, the upcoming album from Cincinnati’s Ohio Knife, isn’t out just yet. But while you wait for what is sure to be a kick-ass rock and roll release from the trio, you can take a peek at “Wish I Knew”. This song is everything that Ohio Knife represents. Raspy and bold vocals meet a hard-rock guitar feel, but don’t let that fool you. Deep down, these guys are full of Midwestern roots and create one-of-a-kind music that meets you in between classic headbanger riffs and sweet, Southern soul.

Jason Snell (guitar and vocals) says, “‘Wish I Knew’ came about as an accident. Joe Suer and I were playing as a two-piece under Ohio Knife at the time (one of our first shows), a bigger show at Bogart’s in Cincinnati. I broke a string on my double-neck Danoelectric guitar, and then went to the other guitar neck on that guitar. I made up this chord progression on the spot, [it] sounded pretty rad, so the song spilled out of that string being broken live on stage. When we went to record it, and flush out the words. I made sure it was all about discovery and wonder, the idea of ‘wouldn’t it be great if we had all the answers…'”

Listen below and get your hands on Scalp or Be Scalped on October 21st.

-Brenda Hillegas

Glide Magazine

Since 2012, the trio known as Ohio Knife have been whipping up hard-hitting rock and roll that stays loyal to the blue collar roots of their home base of Cincinnati. With a sound that comes across as a grittier punk rock Bruce Springsteen meets the Midwestern roots and straightforward punch of Lifter Puller, Ohio Knife make a fitting soundtrack for a rowdy, whiskey-soaked night out with the boys. Jason Snell brings raspy, two-toned howls that would make Lemmy proud while bassist Scotty Wood and drummer Joe Suer provide a pounding backbone to make for some gloriously sleazy garage boogie. The band does it all with heart, letting you know they’re pouring themselves into every note.

All of this can be heard on Ohio Knife forthcoming album, the awesomely titled Scalp Or Be Scalped, which comes out October 21st. Today we are stoked to premiere one of the album’s standout tracks right here on Glide Magazine. “Day and Night” is a piano-driven rocker that hits like a three-minute punch to the gut. The tune moves fast and you’ll find yourself fighting the urge to bang your head and jump around while singing along to the euphoric chorus. You’ll be surprised that this shotgun blast of rock and roll is actually a love song.

As frontman Jason Snell puts it, ”The song ‘Day and Night’ is all about the chase — finding someone, something, and holding on. Every relationship takes time and effort, we wanted to create a tune that was both catchy and rocking, but also a song you could shout out when find yourself chasing that special one on a cloudy day.”


CityBeat -- Ohio Knife Hitting the Raod
Hard-rockin’ Cincinnati crew Ohio Knife is gearing up for its debut full-length release and, as it says on the group’s website, the band is “going big” with the new album. The trio (singer/guitarist Jason Snell, drummer Joe Suer and newest member Scotty Wood on bass) is taking pre-orders now for the album, Scalp or Be Scalped, at its website (ohio-knife.com). The vinyl release features cover art by noted graphic artist Art Chantry, who has previously designed covers for bands like Mudhoney, Soundgarden, The Sonics and even Cincinnati Garage Rock heroes The Mortals (he was also art director for Seattle’s legendary music publication, The Rocket).

-Mike Breen

Photo by Jesse Fox / CityBeat

Photo by Jesse Fox / CityBeat

A Knife to Remember

Local music veterans focus and sharpen sound with new project, Ohio Knife

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Jason Snell approaches music and art with an open, collaborative spirit. Sometimes, it’s to his own creative detriment. 

In the late ’90s/early ’00s, Snell fronted Readymaid, an Indie Rock ensemble that featured six eager-to-contribute players and instrumentation that expanded to include trombone, French horn, various keyboards and seemingly whatever else the musicians could get their hands on.

After Readymaid, Snell started The Chocolate Horse, a warmer, more organic project, with Readymaid’s keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Andrew Higley. The group eventually turned into a band version of a Transformer — the open door membership policy meant that the Horse could play in different configurations depending on the venue and scenario. 

Snell’s communal approach to these projects resulted in collectives that ultimately ended up having too many moving parts and became increasingly more difficult to manage. At the end of both projects, Snell was determined to start something new and without so many cooks in the kitchen. Post-Readymaid, The Chocolate Horse started that way, but gradually grew into something different and less manageable. 

“(The Chocolate Horse initially) was all about getting away from having 10 people in the band, which makes it hard to get a song finished because there’s just so much going on,” Snell says. “Doing (Chocolate Horse) after eight years, it became the same thing. We could never get a drummer to show up. Trying to bail people out of jail. We had different opportunities come up and someone wouldn’t want to do it or whatever. 

“But it’s fun for me to play with other people and see what happens,” he clarifies. 

Snell (who’s also a graphic artist) decided to try again and form a band with even more of a laser focus. To keep it unfussy, he was determined to keep membership numbers down, re-teaming with drummer Joe Suer (Readymaid’s drummer and part-time Chocolate Horse timekeeper) and Higley to form the volatile, efficient Ohio Knife. Higley records with the band — he’s currently a professional studio musician in Nashville, Tenn., working with artists like Brendan Benson and Ben Folds — but Ohio Knife is essentially just Snell and Suer, especially live. 

So far, the duo configuration is working out well.

“Working with Joe and getting (Ohio Knife) off the ground, it was just so easy,” Snell says. “It seems like we get together and write four songs in an hour, just because we’ve known each other for a long time.”

With The Chocolate Horse fading into the background without much fanfare, Ohio Knife seemingly exploded out of nowhere. The group’s first real booking was a journey to last year’s South By Southwest in Austin, Tex. 

Though not booked to officially showcase at the event, Ohio Knife worked with Cincinnati brand consulting firm Landor on the collaborative “SXSW Unleashed” project, which involved documenting the entire journey on film and grabbing attention with gimmicks like handing out free acoustic guitars to festgoers. Ohio Knife’s warm-up show in Cincinnati right before the Austin trip was the group’s live debut. 

“It was a lot of fun and it gave us the drive to say, ‘You know, this Ohio Knife thing is pretty cool.’ You can just set up in the street and just do it and it’s lean and mean,” Snell says.

After more than a decade of playing in larger ensembles, Snell says another welcomed side effect has been his own increased focus on his performance, playing and singing. Where once he had a full arsenal of sounds to hide behind, with Ohio Knife, Snell’s driving guitar playing and raspy, strikingly soulful singing are front and center. 

“Stripping it down to two people, you have to be on,” Suer says, noting Snell’s noticeable improvement as a performer and musician.

Ohio Knife’s recorded debut, a quick and dirty four-song EP titled Ohio Knife is OK!, was picked up by Detroit label Fountain Records. Where The Chocolate Horse was formed to explore the slower, fluid side of Snell’s songwriting, Ohio Knife is OK! shows that this duo was designed to rock. Snell says he looked to some of the seminal ’90s bands he grew up on for inspiration. 

“I grew up on Soundgarden and Nirvana and I thought, ‘What if that sound was done by a two piece?’ ” Snell says. “That stuff’s really melody focused, no matter how big it is. That element is stronger than ever (in Ohio Knife’s songs). I need that in my music.”

The band is planning on recording again soon, most likely at the local Candyland facilities. Putting out a record is the big goal this year, as well as some regional touring. 

But when that touring starts, how much bigger will Ohio Knife be, member-wise? Despite his insistence that Ohio Knife’s two-piece set-up is ideal, Snell says the band will be larger as soon as this Friday’s New Music Showcase at Bogart’s. 

“We’re going to have some special guests for that. Two might become doubled for that night,” he says, hinting at a couple of musicians joining the band onstage. 

As he’s talking about the show, Snell seems to catch himself backtracking on the duo dedication.

“I don’t want to get things going!” Snell says with a huge laugh. “I’m trying to learn from past things!”


The Upstart: Jason Snell, Ohio Knife

EVAN WALLIS | TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 2012 / Soapbox Media

Ohio Knife is made up of former members of Cincinnati favorites, Chocolate Horse. After its recently debut, Snell created the Down Showcase and hosted bands from Detroit, Los Angeles and Cincinnati, all in the name of Rock.

Can you describe your time at SXSW in 5 words? Spicy, Rock and Spicy Rock. 

What's your best moment so far? It's three o'clock and we are on schedule at the Down Party. 

Any big takeaway you'll bring back to Cincinnati? Yeah. It's awesome to just get out of town with a bunch of friends and play a party down in Austin with all the buds. We're all here from Cincinnati having a good time, I think that's what I'll remember most about it all. 

Anything unexpected happen? We got a flatbed truck and I didn't think that was going to happen. On Friday we are going to have performances on a flat bed truck and give away 100 guitars. We can do it in a couple different places now that we got the flatbed truck, and I think that is going to be a great moment and even unexpected for people at SXSW.

Plans for next year? Oh yeah, let's do it again. This event with Landor has been great, and it's not even done yet. Next year will be awesome as well.