A tale as old as time: a few lifelong friends from a small town start making music for fun together, they start to develop a fan base, they buy a van, they start releasing music, and before they know it, they contemplate quitting their day jobs.
Known for their unique blend of folk, rock, and roots music, The Ohio Weather Band is one such group that falls into a similar category. From their humble beginnings, the trio has gone on to open for a range of diverse and massive artists from Bon Jovi to Sierra Ferrell, and are planning much more for 2022.
Their newest single/video, “Try For Me” is out now, which is a soulful, whimsical ode to being a little too late on changing the course of a selfish relationship. The song features the talents of Lee Turner, the keyboardist/organist from Darius Rucker’s band, and it was produced by Jim Stewart at Superior Sound in Cleveland. “Try For Me” is set to be on the band’s upcoming full-length album, which is scheduled to be released sometime in late winter/early spring.
We had the opportunity to ask The Ohio Weather Band a few questions about the single and video, opening for such big acts, and much more.
So how did The Ohio Weather Band come to fruition, and can you explain how you landed on the band name?
We’re all from the same small town of Alliance, OH, and we grew up together. I was playing out solo for a while, and was looking to add additional players. We jammed a few times and decided to stick with the new combination, playing shows as the trio.
The name of the band comes from our song “Ohio Weather,” which was one of my solo songs that was on a solo EP that Derek and Ray played on. We later re-recorded the song as The Ohio Weather Band.
I see you recently dropped your new single, “Try For Me,” which touches on being a bit selfish in a relationship and realizing a little too late. Does this stem from a personal experience from one of you guys, and if so, was it difficult to write?
Yeah, it’s a personal experience. And I think this is something a lot of people experience. You’re always ready to course-correct when it’s too late. The challenging part is realizing you need to correct the course and then do so in the moment. It wasn’t difficult to write from an emotional standpoint. You know, songwriting can be therapeutic. It feels good to express what you’re thinking and feeling through song. Even if it ultimately doesn’t change the real-life situation, it’s a nice way to let some stuff out.
Does the band usually write songs based on personal experiences?
Yes, for the most part. If it hasn’t been something I’ve experienced personally, it comes from a personal point of view. The new record shares a lot of personal experiences and thoughts. And honestly, I think that’s one of the key elements for great, relatable song. If it’s happened to you, it’s likely happened to someone else as well. That makes for some good connection between writer and listener.
What was it like to have Lee Turner on the keys and organ for the new single?
He’s incredible. We would just shoot off mood words or general direction and he’d come back with a perfect part for the song. He’s super kind and professional. He was a major part of this album.
The lyric video for “Try For Me” is very vintage and VHS home-video like. How might the making of this video differ from previous ones, and how does it correlate to the song?
Well, first of all, this is the only DIY video we’ve released. It was nice to have 100% control of the feeling, visuals, and direction. We’ve always thought “Try for Me” emitted a feeling of nostalgia. It’s a song about reflection, looking back. The vintage vibe of this video was an easy call to make. It was fitting. All the shots are things we experienced day to day and it was fun to showcase those types of things to people in a creative way that supported the song.
I see you’ve opened up for a number of acclaimed and diverse artists ranging from Charley Crockett to Bon Jovi, which is no small feat. Can you tell us about some of the memorable highlights and which ones stand out the most to you?
Yeah, it’s awesome, honestly. We always have our ear to the ground, trying to find opportunities to play with artists we’re fans of.
To be a fan of these artists to then share the stage with them and even befriend some of them is such a cool experience. We’ve been asked to do a number of these shows and we’ve just sent cold emails to get on others. It’s always worth the shot. What’s most memorable is probably what you’d expect. You know, you start playing songs in a basement or garage then one day you’re playing songs in an arena. It’s wild.
We’re super grateful for all of these opportunities.
Is there a venue that you’ve played that is maybe near and dear to your hearts for one reason or another? And which venue do you eventually dream of playing?
Musica in Akron, OH, is one that’s near and dear to us. It’s in our hometown and one of the best places to see or play a show around here. We’ve released all of our albums there and have seen plenty of great shows there as well.
Another venue that we love is Kimbro’s Pickin’ Parlor in Franklin, TN. It’s a venue that’s run by great people who love music. They’re always super welcoming to us and are always down to have us when we’re coming through the area.
We’d love to play the Ryman in Nashville someday. It’s a beautiful venue with a great history of awesome players. We’ve seen great artists there and they’re always bringing in some of the best.
What does success as a band or songwriters mean to you?
The best part about being in a band is being able to share stuff that you create with others. And it’s a bonus when those people actually like it. We’d just like to continue to do that, supporting ourselves, traveling, and continuing to make friends along the way.
What might fans expect from The Ohio Weather Band as we begin to navigate 2022?
Well, there’s a new record on the way. That’s been the focus for a while now. It’s some of the best stuff we’ve ever made. We’ll continue to play out and hopefully, we’ll pick up some new fans and opportunities. We’ll be doing some traveling and we’ll be releasing videos to support songs on the album. We’re always working on something and are looking forward to sharing that with everyone. We’ll be grinding.