Quintet bridges alt-rock gap
The band recently completed its first album.
By JOHN BENSON
Taking from the past to create the future is nothing new in the music world; however, up-and-coming Columbus-based band Embassy is hoping its recipe will change rock radio for the better.
Formed four years ago, the quintet -- C. Todd Nielsen (vocals/guitar), Mike Seminari (vocals/guitar/keys), Trevor Connor (guitar), Andy Timple (drums) and Andrew Rausch (bass) -- bridges an alt-rock gap with impunity.
"We've been together for about four years now and we describe our sound as kind of Coldplay meets Pearl Jam," said Nielsen, calling from Columbus. "Maybe a more rocking version of that sound, melodic rock. We do a lot of harmonies and are a lot more vocally based. We do have some piano rock songs and keyboard sounding stuff that's a little bit more toward Radiohead."
As for what truly makes Embassy stand out in 2007, he said, "Really, it's the songwriting. It's catchy, but it's not cheesy and that's intensely important to us. We write songs that stick in your head but the lyrics are also something you can take with you and relate to your life rather than a cheesy clich & eacute; you've heard over and over again."
The time of reckoning is near for the five piece, which recently wrapped up the recording of its debut effort, "The War of Art." The album features fan favorite "Gravity," which will be appearing in the upcoming Playstation "MOB 2007" game. In fact, it's that track that landed the band a publishing contract with Sony/ATV Music. Once the album is complete, Nielsen hopes to receive a major label deal, which in turn will allow the band to tour extensively.
Timing is right
Nielsen feels the timing of Embassy's debut effort couldn't be better.
"The last few years there's been so much crap out there, pop and that kind of stuff but rock is starting to make its way back to mainstream radio with Nickelback, Hinder and some of those bands," Nielsen said. "So it's a good time to be in a rock band."
While the members of Embassy made their Youngstown debut a few years ago with a forgettable date at Nyabinghi, the group feels its Saturday show at The Cellar is truly the beginning of something special with the Mahoning Valley. More importantly, Nielsen believes Embassy speaks Youngstown's language.
"The thing about good songwriting is it applies to anyone and everyone," Nielsen said. "Everyone likes a good song and the way we kind of relate to the blue-collar side of things is our bass player and drummer are from smaller Ohio towns. They are blue collar and that finds its way into our music. Our shows are about putting your beer up in the air, guitar solos and all of that stuff."
He added, "Our shows are for anyone who likes straightforward rock, where good musicians play the songs correctly, the vocals sound correctly. It's just high energy, and you'll take the songs away with you. You'll remember them."