Locals Only: : Room on Fire

After more than a decade and several lineup changes, The Green Room returns stronger than ever

Mar 10, 2004 at 2:06 pm
Green Room

Cincinnati's The Green Room has been playing in various incarnations for over a decade. If you haven't heard them yet, as the tagline on their Web site asks, "What are you waiting for?"

The current lineup — Ohioans Christopher Glandorf (vocals/bass), David Wesenberg, (guitar) and Todd Hanson (drums) and French transplant Fredrix Michaux (guitar) — has been together since February of 2003. The original Green Room formed in the summer of 1993.

"The band I was in broke up, so I was looking for people to play with," Glandorf tells me. "I found Dave in a Classic Rock band in Amelia. They were playing 'Sweet Home Alabama' and shit like that. Then we got the drummer Kevin (DeMorest)."

They continued with a few different lineups, including four different drummers, throughout the '90s, eventually taking a hiatus in 1999. The group turned a corner in 2000 with Glandorf's chance meeting of Michaux. He showed up at one of Glandorf's infamous after-hours parties and the two hit it off.

This led Glandorf to add Michaux on guitar and re-form the group.

The result of this new combination is a stylish Brit Rock, a refreshing change from so much of the "Garage Rock" that has been in the forefront of Cincinnati's Indie scene in recent years. Michaux was just what The Green Room needed to really find their sound. An excellent guitar player, Michaux adds a powerful new element to the group.

When asked to describe the band's sound, Glandorf says, "It's dark, moody, Euro-style Rock. It's not very rootsy." Laughing, he adds, "In fact, you get fined $10 if you play a Blues riff at practice."

The band's songwriting efforts are entirely collaborative. "A lot of the songs I came in with at the beginning sounded pretty good, but since they've been through Dave and Chris' process, they sound 10 times better," Michaux says. "We really learn a lot from each other."

The fruits of their labor can be found on two upcoming CDs — a four-track maxi-single called This Heavenly Dream, to be released on Thursday, and a full-length album, Waiting, to be released in April.

Waiting has been over two years in the making. When asked if this is where the album's title comes from, Glandorf laughs, and says, "Could be. But actually the title is the theme of the lyrics — people waiting for the position they want to be in life, but it never occurs."

They have been recording the album themselves in Wesenberg's home studio.

"It's taken forever because we realized that we could do it ourselves and we're very hard to please," Wesenberg says.

"That gives us the freedom to really control the artistic side and the actual sound of the final album," Michaux adds. "A lot of local bands are really limited by money, basically, and what we are trying to do is have the highest quality sound and mixing and do it by ourselves. I think you can do it, but it takes a long time. I'm just glad we don't have to pay for our recording."

"Yeah, I think the reason some local CDs aren't what you hoped they'd be is they're spending $50 an hour, and they don't have the luxury of going back and redoing things," Glandorf says.

Though perhaps not fans of everything they hear locally, the Green Room does have plenty of love for their hometown scene.

"I think it's really a good scene now," Michaux says. "There are so many places you can go — Main Street, Short Vine, Northside with the Tavern and The Comet. There are so many good bands now, too, like the Giant Judys and Ruby Vileos. They really have intensity and stage presence."

The Green Room has that intensity as well. Check them out this March — they are well worth the wait.

THE GREEN ROOM (cincygreenroom.com) play Thursday at Northside Tavern and March 19 at the Southgate House for the "Red Light On" Plush celebration.