My name is tyler and I wanted to start a band. So I picked a name, a logo, and recorded songs in my basement. I really had no idea what I was doing, all I know is music did something to me. What I knew is I needed help bringing these songs alive on stage. Then I met Josh. The kid with no plan B. he lived and breathed plan A, music. And I liked that he beat the crap out of his instrument.
Then we played shows. All kinds of shows. It never really was discussed. We just knew we had no choice but to play with much conviction for 5 people as we would for 5,000. We wanted our shows to be more about the others than to be about ourselves - creating an unpredictable but always beautiful dance with the people in the crowd. Honesty and authenticity works. And it turned out, people wanted to be a part of that.
9765. Turns out it doesn’t take a million likes to get the music industry’s attention. On Nov 19, 2011, we played in front of a sold-out hometown show for 1700 of our most dedicated fans at Columbus, Ohio. A few years of hard work materialized into one night. Our fans were the first local fanbase that ever sell the place out to that capacity. I don’t know exactly how it happened, but after that night, people from the industry were asking a question: what’s going on in Ohio?
The next three months were the craziest months of our lives. Out of nowhere, a dozen labels were interested with our small local band, taking us completely off guard. We had questions: will we lose creative control? Will we be turning to something we are not? Can we keep doing what we are doing the way we are doing it? Are we selling out? Encouraged by these questions, we signed with a record deal with Fueled by Ramen. A record deal.
Tonight, 5 months later, we are back in Columbus to announce the news to the people who deserve to hear it first. But it’s just the beginning. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for us and our fans. And to them we say, we never got a big break. You created our big break. Thank you.
So if you are perusing your dreams, perusing what you are passionate about, I hope this story encourages you. And if you know someone who is, encourage them with this: Don’t give up. Push through the droughts. Channel the inevitable disappointment back into your craft. Break molds. Think. Create. But most importantly, stay alive. And in the meantime, make it about the others. That seems to work. Stay strong. Live on. And power to the local dreamer.