Columbus music in 2018 and beyond: Backyard Sticks
Words: Ryan Getz[EDITOR’S NOTE: We received this interview on February 22nd of this year, so some answers to these questions may be slightly dated.
The Columbus Music Commission (“the CMC”) is an entity that we’ve been getting to know a bit more in recent months. In their own words, their mission is as follows: “The Columbus Music Commission connects music makers, music commerce, and community to engage in creating, performing, and promoting great music.”
Tuned Up’s vision has quite a bit in common with the CMC, and we are happy to be partnering with them with a series of interviews that gets back to our roots while also looking into the future. Every artist featured is one that Tuned Up has been fortunate to meet over the years and who we’ll tell anyone we meet to check out.
One of those artists is Backyard Sticks (Instagram page here for your reference). Backyard Sticks, made up of Andrew Comers and Sara Austin, are an exciting new folk duo that have already have the support of loyal friends and beyond. They write fun, straightforward songs that are smart and engaging. Their chemistry is real. The banter is entertaining. And, they’ve been doing a fun live mashup that I’ll keep a secret on this blog—catch them live at a show to find out what it is!
Backyard Sticks have accomplished a lot with just two voices and a guitar thus far, hence our choice to feature them in our Columbus Music Commission sponsored series. Keep an eye on the Columbus Music Commission page and Instagram to learn about special events, how artists can take advantage of the city’s advocacy of the Columbus scene, and more.
Time to get to know Backyard Sticks a little more! Enjoy guitarist and vocalist Andrew Comers’ responses to our Q&A below:
Tuned Up: How has living in Columbus benefited you as a musician in the past year?
Living in Columbus has been beneficial to Backyard Sticks, because it’s a city full of so many opportunities and incredible artists. I grew up on the South-East side of Columbus and have fallen in love with the way our city operates and with the people who live here. And watching the music scene grow has inspired us to stay here and grow our brand.
What makes Columbus unique among music cities, from your point of view?
Columbus is unique because it’s a city full of artists and dreamers that have chosen to help each other accomplish our own personal goals. The community of musicians that we’ve surrounded ourselves with have helped so much to build us up as a band and encouraged us to keep working hard to be the best band we can be.
What was the last local show you attended? What did you like about it?
The last show I [Andrew] attended was Ex-Nihilo and Shiny Penny at Rumba Cafe. I loved the atmosphere and range in age groups that came out to support the bands. The whole crowd was engaged in the music, and it made for a killer show.
What can we expect from you/your band in 2018?
Backyard Sticks’ main focus this year is to play shows. Last year we started as a band and only played four shows, and this year we’ve already played four shows between January and February and are booking three more for this Spring. We’re currently taking March off to record a new EP called Colorblind that we’re very excited about.
What shows in Columbus are you stoked about attending this year? Why?
Sara and I are both excited to attend Steadfast Music Festival to support our friends from Shiny Penny; they always put on an electric show!
Tell us about a memorable show you played in Columbus, and what made it such.
I think our first show last July was the most memorable show we’ve played. Our good friend John opened up his house to us and to Edward + Jane for a house show, and over seventy people showed up to support us. It was insane, but so incredibly good.
What excites you about being a musician in this day and age? What can be improved upon?
The thing that excites us most about music in 2018 is also our biggest challenge. Social media has provided our generation such a unique opportunity to connect and share, and building connections online has become such a daily routine in all of our lives. While this can be a great way to build our brand, we’ve found there are so many bands/musicians/artists now, that standing out among the rest can be a seemingly impossible task at times.
What would you like to see develop further in the Columbus music scene in 2018 and beyond?
I’ve always thought that Columbus needs an event similar to a Battle of the Bands concept where all of us can meet for one massive night of music that keeps the audience interactive and allows us to connect as artists with each other and to a new audience.