Anonymous Bosch is a curiously named Cincinnati trio. I'll give you a hint: The band's name has nothing to do with spark plugs. Unless your knowledge of art history is as limited as mine, you probably correctly connected the name to the 15th-century Dutch painter, Hieronymous Bosch, whose artwork you'll find scattered throughout their album covers and Web site.
If you haven't heard the band yet, you'll probably notice, when you do, that there is a noticeable absence of comparisons to be made. They don't really "sound" like anyone.
"There's a lot of influence that flows in and out of this band with the caliber of musicianship here," says Twinkie, the band's drummer. "It's really hard to put a finger on it and, personally, I feel that it's a good thing, because it doesn't pigeonhole us into any particular style."
On the other hand, as lead singer and guitarist Chaines says, "It's a good thing to be hard to define, but it's also bad, because people don't know how to market you."
So here's Chaines' best guess: "It's Pop-Rock, but there's this little progressive element to it. From a radio standpoint, it would probably fall under Modern Rock"
"We're really trying to be good songwriters first and everything else second," says Chaines.
In part, that might be why they say their audience largely consists of other musicians. Although they feel they have a mostly college-aged audience, Twinkie says other musicians seem to be attracted to the technical aspects of their music.
Currently, Chaines, Twinkie, and bassist The Captain are recording their third CD at Band Wagon in Cincinnati. Hang Yourself High is a concept album about autoerotic asphyxiation. According to Chaines, they decided to do a concept album to create a more "cohesive piece of art." He says concept albums generally give songs more depth, because they are all related; that, and it makes the album "less disposable."
So why this particular concept? As Twinkie says, "Why not?"
Although they agree that a concept album can be risky business, they also know it is worth it. "I think that it's ambitious, but if you can pull it off, it's very cool," says Chaines.
One thing is for certain, though. They are taking their time on this album. According to Chaines, the band's first two albums, Union: Partition and Bicoastal were rushed, and they are trying to avoid that with their next album. "We're taking our time on the pre-production to really get a nice feel for everything," he says. "And we're going to try to have a more refined and live feel."
Of course, anyone who's spent time in the studio knows that it's expensive to achieve that feel.
"The toughest time is trying to get the perfect, beautiful, emotional, spiritual take on what you're trying to say, but you're looking at a microphone and you're saying, 'God, this is two or three hundred dollars a day,' " says Chaines.
So, as Twinkie says, the trick to working in the studio is "planned spontaneity."
All too often, bands dwell on the negative aspects of being a local band in Cincinnati. This band is different. Having been based in other major cities, including Los Angeles, Chaines says Cincinnati is a blessing because of the widespread support of local music.
"All in all, I think this whole move to Cincinnati has been really good," says Chaines. "It's been really productive, the band's stronger than ever and it's a much more supportive music community here, I think."
According to Twinkie, "If you've never played outside of Cincinnati, you don't realize how good you have it."
Chaines and Twinkie shared a few of the biggest peeves they encountered while trying to make it in the "bigger" city: competing with thousands of other bands, instead of just hundreds; trying to get club owners to return calls (which they say hasn't been a frustration here; paying rehearsal rent up to five times what they pay in Cincinnati); and putting up with the cutthroat nature of the competition you get in major metropolis scenes.
"I think this a great place to be a band," says Chaines
ANONYMOUS BOSCH will play at Sudsy's on June 1. Watch their Web site www.anonymousbosch.com for news of their new CD release.