Bands, like sports teams, need the right personnel to succeed, but when it comes to a group adding a new musician to its starting lineup, the criteria can be much more subjective than quantitative.
“You’re not going off stats; it’s not like there’s a rating system,” Come Wind drummer Ben Roth says. “There’s a lot of chemistry that’s involved with making music.”
Roth believes that “the best bands are the guys who are the best friends,” so when it came time to fill the void created by singer-guitarist Nick Sayre’s departure circa summer 2013, the northeast Ohio rock band looked to familiar faces within its local scene.
First came guitarist-singer Jon Robinson. About six months later, Roth says that he, Robinson, singer-guitarist Aaron Troyer and bassist Tal Miller added fifth member Trevor Burke on bass in order to play gigs after Miller became an auxiliary keyboardist, guitarist and percussionist.
“The first couple of shows we did with the new lineup — sure, it didn’t feel as natural as it does with guys that you played with forever, and I think it came through in those shows,” Roth admits. “I think the thing that helped us the most is that the more you’re around someone, the more you feel comfortable with them. We just worked hard and kept at it, and we feel very comfortable now.
“We always try to communicate among the five of us that we’re going to take this as it goes. We don’t expect anyone to fill any shoes or to act a certain way. Just be real and honest in how you perform, and hopefully our relationships will grow.”
Come Wind’s Kickstarter campaign for its debut album, Move in Place (released independently in late 2015), was brutally honest in that the band listed the anticipated costs for the project. And for the sake of comparison, Come Wind also broke down the expenses related to its 2012 EP, Grow My Roots.
Roth says his band “got a little bit of backlash” at first in response to the projected goal of $15,000. Previously, Come Wind launched what Roth calls an “icing on the cake” crowdfunding campaign to raise about $1,000 for Grow My Roots.
“So when we came back with Move in Place and asked for [so much more], I think that’s what mainly caught people off-guard,” he says. “We added up the numbers from last time and doubled them: It cost us about $7,000 to make that EP. If anything, the total [for the album] was low because we used figures from three years ago.”
In the end, Come Wind raised more than $17,000 via its latest Kickstarter campaign, which ended in January 2015. The band then used the funds to track the 12-song Move in Place in April 2015 at Glow in the Dark Studios in Atlanta with producer Matt Goldman, whose studio credits include albums by Casting Crowns and The Devil Wears Prada.
“We were very concerned about transparency,” Roth says, referring back to the recent Kickstarter campaign. “Obviously we wanted to raise the money and make the record, but not at the cost of any of our fans thinking that we used them. We never wanted anyone to feel exploited at our expense. We wanted people to be very aware of where the money was going and what we were using it for. Making a record isn’t cheap, man.”
— By Chris M. Junior
Photo by Matt Day