Locals: The Kyle Sowashes calls in reinforcements for the raucous Everybody

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The Kyle Sowashes titled its latest long player Everybody, a fitting name for an album that features contributions from nearly all of the 20 or so members who have rotated through the group during its decade-long existence.

“It was a little bit [nostalgic]. Stories were shared, like, ‘Remember that one time in New York we played and Sean Gardner lost the toll booth stub so we had to pay 20-some dollars. Yeah, thanks for that,’” said a laughing Kyle Sowash, 36, who joins longtime bandmates Dan Bandman and Justin Hemminger (both have played with the Sowashes for roughly nine years), among others, for a record release show at Ace of Cups on Friday, May 1. “We’ve got people that stepped in to tour with us, and people who used to be in the band but moved to Cleveland or Texas or Utah. I wanted to try and have everybody.”

Fittingly, the raucous album, which has a heaping dose of guitar-driven, mid-’90s indie-rock interwoven in its D.N.A. (it’s little surprise to learn Sowash grew up absorbing the likes of Superchunk and Archers of Loaf and Guided By Voices), delves heavily into the various changes that have taken place over the last 10 years, with songs centered on aging rockers struggling to connect with younger music fans, and a curmudgeon pining for the days when they still played real rock ’n’ roll on the radio.

“I just write what I know — or what’s been happening to me — and obviously what’s been happening with me on this record is age,” said Sowash, who maintains an irreverent, tongue-in-cheek tone throughout the album. “You look in the mirror and you see the white hairs in your beard and the wrinkles under your eyes. I didn’t used to be this bald, either.”

It’s a tone that shifts significantly as the frontman talks about the void left by the loss of band member Brett Helling, who contributed a bulk of the album’s bass tracks prior to his February death at the age of 36.

“We all obviously miss Brett terribly, and it kills us that he's not here to celebrate the release of our record with us,” Sowash said. “The people that have been involved with this project over the past 10 years are considered family, and when one passes on it's obviously devastating.”

Rather than disbanding, a fate Sowash said Helling never would have wanted for the group — “It’s hard to continue on when someone passes away like that, but at the same time I don’t think he would have wanted us to stop,” he said — the bandmates soldiered on for the same reason they always had: It’s in their nature.

“We do it because it’s what we do,” said Sowash, who grew up in Englewood, a northern suburb of Dayton, and also plays in Washington Beach Bums and Animal Cubes in addition to fronting his namesake group. “I get to play in a band with my best friends ... and I don't take it for granted for a second.”

Photo by Meghan Ralston

Ace of Cups

9:30 p.m. Friday, May 1

2619 N. High St., Old North


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