On weeknights in Oxford, students passing down South College Ave might hear a rehearsal from one of the newest local bands in town: Michael's Last Vision (MLV). Dylan Lake, Izzy Jankovich, Zach Ballman, Brian Kottman, Zach Whit and Wyatt Miller decided to start a cover band a few months ago with the hopes of making original songs in the future.
While a lot of planning goes into performances, they can be very rewarding to the bands who have put so much effort into making their music. MLV has its first performance planned for later this semester, and I, for one, can’t wait to see how far it goes.
Picture this performance: drums, guitar, piano and vocals in an off-campus garage with string lights hanging on the ceiling. Everyone is gathered around listening to the band, all dressed up for the show. The band throws a great performance, and everyone is supportive. Then, the band goes on to make more original music and establish a place for themselves. This is exactly what Lake and Jankovich had to say about their goals.
“Short term, we want to have a small concert to test the waters,” Lake said. “In the future, we’d like to have multiple concerts in Oxford and play some songs that we love and maybe some originals for the great people of Oxford, Ohio.”
Lake assured me that his show this semester would be totally awesome. While planning performances and rehearsals can be a lot of work, starting the band is the hardest part. I asked Lake what made him want to start a band and what inspired him musically.
“I’ve always loved music. My older brother put me onto his musical tastes when I was really young,” Lake said. “I would plug in his iPod onto my Xbox 360 and just listen to the songs that he downloaded for me over and over while playing video games.”
Lake said his brother introduced him to grunge bands like Nirvana and Alice in Chains, as well as heavy metal bands such as System of a Down and Slipknot. His music tastes eventually diversified.
“It wasn’t until later that I started listening to other music,” Lake said. “And I started picking up guitar specifically because I played The Last of Us 2. And rewatching Scott Pilgrim vs The World made me want to start a band recently and perform that kind of music.”
Most of Lake’s inspiration for the band was his older brother and the music he would listen to as a kid. We agreed that the music we listen to as a kid often shapes what we like to listen to as an adult.
This nostalgia is what led the band to create a wide variety of music rather than limit itself to one genre. MLV plans to start with covers of their favorite songs and then move to original music in the future.
“So creating albums is kind of just a pipe dream right now,” Lake said. “But if I were to ever make an album of songs, I’d want it to be an amalgamation made up of every genre of music that I like. I would want every song to be different and not tied to any specific genre, kind of like Brockhampton.”
He detailed the different sounds he wants to experiment with.
“One would be Nirvana-inspired grunge, which I’ve been getting heavily back into, then a Her’s-esque song, and then metal, punk, and everything else in between that I like,” Lake said.
The band plans to offer a diverse selection of genres to attract a wide variety of listeners. By offering something for everyone, members hope to get people interested in MLV.
Typical ways to raise awareness include social media, flyers and fundraisers. Lake explained that MLV hasn’t thought too far ahead in terms of advertising, but they plan to take a more more-of-mouth approach.
“I’d say [we plan on] playing a lot more and telling friends to invite their friends and their friends’ friends to our shows,” Lake said, “and trying to network with other bands in the area and perform in front of more people.”
Lake said that he also wants for the band to "throw a rager of a concert in the lobby of the Farmer School of Business at some point, with mosh pits and everything."
This really goes to show that the best part of making a band is being able to have fun with friends. This band is a tight-knit group, which is reflected in their music.