OK. Pop quiz. Why would a band from Cincinnati want to call itself Crosley when none of its members has that name?
The band's bassist, Joel Knueven, answers that question for those of us who didn't know that Crosley Field was home to the Cincinnati Reds until 1970.
"We thought it would be cool like if for some crazy chance we ever made it out of Cincinnati, people would know we were from Cincinnati because of the name Crosley, like Crosley Field," says Knueven. Crosley's loyalty to their hometown goes far beyond their name, though.
"We also try to support the local music scene," says Paul DeNu, Crosley's lead guitarist. Among other things, the four-man band has organized a "Pop Ticket" show every other weekend where local music enthusiasts can see a selection of their favorites. The Pop Ticket has included local bands like Pebbles Overflow and The Stapletons. The members of Crosley say they are excited that Cincinnati has such an abundance of talented musicians.
"I'm not horse-shitting when I say that I'm excited about this scene," says Kneuven.
"We've got a really strong scene right now. We've got a lot of great bands here, and we've got the attitude that we'll give whoever a boost over that wall that we can, because if they get over that wall and make it someday, they might throw us a rope."
But who's to say that Crosley won't be the band over the wall, doing the rope throwing? Crosley is a relatively new band — they played their first gig in late 1999 — but they've already done a four-song demo CD and are working on their first full-length CD.
Drummer Bill Donabedian says the band already has about 15 original songs, and they are working on at least another 15 right now.
Vince Knueven, who plays rhythm guitar and adds the voice to Crosley, says they hope to have a CD release party before Thanksgiving. After that, they'd like to start playing outside Cincinnati. Actually, they're already planning to play way outside Cincinnati: Next spring they'll play in London. For now, though, Crosley enjoys a large following from a broad Cincinnati audience. The band members say they have fans from high school age to their parents' age.
They all agree that their strength is in their songwriting. And actually, that's really the key to how the band started. Crosley was born after a songwriters night at Allyn's Café where the Knueven brothers, Joel and Vince, met up with Donabedian. Joel and Vince had previously played with The Coffeelds, and Donabedian was the original drummer for Simpletons.
The missing piece of the puzzle was DeNu, who was "a lead guitarist with no band."
Now that they have established themselves on the local music scene, Donabedian says, "We feel really good about the songs that we're writing. I think the last hurdle we have is to get a little better at just playing."
"We all write songs for the band, and sometimes we'll collaborate. Sometimes Joel has written lyrics, and Vince and I have worked on music," said Donabedian.
"And I make brownies," says DeNu.
Fans can purchase the EP, She Believes, at any Crosley show for $4. Some local radio stations, including WVAE (the Wave), Xavier University's public radio station, WVXU, and 97X are airing songs from this demo.
Local music enthusiasts might also recognize the band as the occasional backup for solo artist Swarthy when he plays live.
While a serious band on its way up, Crosley also has a sense of humor. According to Vince, they included a note in their press kits suggesting that, if you don't like their CD, it also makes a great drink coaster.
CROSLEY will be playing on August 3 at the Southgate House with Pebbles Overflow and The Stapletons. You can also check out their very informative Web site at www.crosleyrocks.com.