Native to Columbus, Ohio, The Graphics have recently begun their journey as musicians by forming their alternative/indie rock group in 2015.
Within the last year, this self-sufficient band has managed to debut their first album, Over and Over, book themselves gigs all over the area and even pack in about 100 people for their first live show.
I had the pleasure of catching up with three of the four members, Zane Abraham (lead singer and guitarist), Jack Corbett (bassist) and Jack Westerheide (guitarist) to talk about their budding musical careers.
The Indie Sound: What’s the story behind the name The Graphics?
Jack Corbett: There were a few other good ones!
Zane Abraham: So basically, we thought “okay, we want to be band,” but for some reason the hardest part about that was coming up with a name, so we’d just rattle off hundreds…
JC: Yeah, it was a group chat with everyone spouting off all of these different names.
ZA: This was the one we thought sucked the least.
JC: We hope other people will think that too.
TIS: How did you guys all meet and what sparked the interest to form a band?
JC: I met Zane in kindergarten.
ZA: Yeah, we’ve been friends for a long time.
JC: We were in orchestra together.
ZA: So it started out in fifth grade, me and him (JC) decided to learn instruments. He picked up the bass and I picked up the guitar, and we would play “Seven Nation Army” for hours.
JC: Until we were tired and our moms tucked us in.
ZA: We met our current drummer in eighth grade, and we basically played Blink 182 covers for about 4 years. When we got to college we were done with that; that had to be over. Then, the winter of freshman year we were like “wait, why don’t we actually do something?” and then we got him (pointing to Westerheide).
Jack Westerheide: I went to their open mic night!
ZA: We used to do open mic nights around Columbus.
JC: The first couple of times we would take our acoustic guitars and walk from campus all the way down to Park Street.
ZA: Park Street Tavern … which is the worst of all the Park Streets. But we realized this was cool, let’s do this.
TIS: This is kind of a cliché question, but what artists have influenced your sound the most?
ZA: Well we’re all kind of different actually, which is cool. He likes a lot of classic rock (pointing to Westerheide).
JW: Yeah, any 80’s heavy rock you can get, that’s me.
ZA: Yeah, like AC/DC.
JC: For bass, I like Interpol.
ZA: Yeah, me and the drummer both like the same sort of stuff, the more indie/alternative rock sound our band has. Bands like The Big Gigantic and Two Door Cinema Club.
TIS: So you guys a fairly new band, having only formed a year ago. What do you think your biggest challenge was as far as getting organized?
JC: Besides thinking of a name!
ZA: Well, our drummer goes to OU, so that makes things harder. But we practice a lot and we’ve actually had a lot of shows lately. That keeps us going. It was really hard for us to transition from playing covers we could learn in five minutes to sitting down and saying “okay, how are going to make our own thing?” But once we started, it ended up being pretty easy. We work really well together.
JW: We know what each other is like outside of the band too, so that definitely helps.
ZA: There’s good chemistry.
TIS: Is there anything challenging about trying to crack into the Columbus music scene?
JW: We’re still trying to find more people to make connections with.
ZA: Definitely still a work in progress. Right now we book everything ourselves but we’ve started to meet people that can help us with that and making more contacts, which is such an important part of it.
TIS: So your album Over and Over came out a couple months ago … what was it like debuting your first finished product as a band?
JC: It was nice. It was stressful building up to it.
ZA: All summer we were working on songs, and we said we’d be done before the summer was over. Then before we knew it, it was two weeks before the end of summer, and we only had the drums done for half the songs. It was kind of like a sprint, but once it was done it was really cool.
JW: Yeah it’s awesome. Where we recorded it, and where we practice is actually in the littlest room ever in Zane’s house.
ZA: Yeah we recorded everything ourselves! Our first show in Columbus was also our album release show, and we played at the High Beck Tavern in German Village.
JW: It used to be sweet when our parents went to college.
Z: Yeah, like 30 years ago it was the place to be. When we told our parents we were playing there they were like, “no way!” The turnout ended up being around 100 people, which was really cool.
TIS: This may be a little soon, but what are your guys’ plans for the future? Can we expect another album from you?
ZA: Yeah, I mean, already we can listen to the album we just pick out the flaws and parts that we want to build upon, which I think is a good thing. I think we’re ready to start making it better.
JW: Yeah now we just need to start perfecting our sound, not necessarily make it better but add more to it, make it more complex.
ZA: We need to take it to an actual studio is what we need to do. We also want to start playing at other places, like actual venues. We’d love to be able to play at A&R or The Basement, open for anyone. We’re ready. No one else is ready, but we’re ready.
You can experience this band for yourself Saturday at the Shrunken Head.
The Graphics are also currently being featured on CD102.5, Columbus’ alternative radio station. They clinched a spot in the top ten finalists for CD102.5’s local holiday showcase. Head over to cd1025.com/local and help them to win an opportunity to open for Band of Horses at Express LIVE! on November 23.
Over and Over is available on SoundCloud, iTunes, and Spotify. I highly recommend checking these guys out!