Messerly and Ewing are always evolving. Having been a band over 19 years, M&E put together a new band featuring a more eclectic guitar driven sound and rhythm section of Sean Rhiney and Bill Donabedian. Mark Messerly and Brian Ewing also spend time working with other local bands including Wussy, Catalog Cowboys, and 7 Speed Vortex. Messerly and Ewing are fully embracing the indie-rock and pop feel that has always been a part of their sound. They are bringing this sound to Bunbury Music Festival again this year!
We caught up with Mark and Brian to talk about Cincinnati and Bunbury!
How did you get involved in the Cincinnati Music Scene?
(Mark) When I arrived in Cincinnati I knew nobody and didn't know where to start. I started showing up at various open mics and at one in Mt. Lookout Square ran into Mr. Brian Ewing. We became friends and began what is now nearly a 20 year partnership.
(Brian) I played in a “band” in high school like everybody else. When those guys went off to college I found myself playing solo acoustic and made the rounds at open mics till I started one myself. Lots of one and two song sets with so many other musicians with the same drive to be heard. A lot of those musicians are friends to this day.
What's your favorite venue to play? See a show?
(Mark) Any venue, any time. Except that one in Clifton. You know which one.
(Brian) Northside Tavern has always been home. We’ve be playing there for a long time and just comfortable to play and see other bands. It’s one of those places where the music seems to be part of the atmosphere not like it is jammed in and awkward.
What's the one thing an out of towner should do, or place they should go, when they visit Cincinnati?
(Mark) Out-of-Towners should go to Steve Chabots house. And they should leave small stuffed animal memorials to the death of reason. And hair.
(Brian) Skyline on Ludlow in Clifton is a good introduction to Cincy. They could walk through Washington Park and Vine St. in OTR on their way.
Any surprises planned for your Bunbury performance?
(Mark) Many surprises! We're going to preview about half of our next record including the first songs written by the band as a whole! We're going to throw in some new festival ready arrangements. With Sean Rhiney and Bill Donabedian as our rhythm section I really feel like we're playing better than we ever have.
(Brian) I just saw that Trojan is going to be handing out “thousands” of vibrators on Saturday while we are playing. Surprises? Yea…there could be a few.
What's one thing our audience can do this week to engage in and help build up the Cincinnati Music Scene?
(Mark) Fans of music in this town should just try and drag one friend to Bunbury or to any of the awesome festivals going on this time of year. Show them that the word "local" is not like utility grade meat.
(Brian) Find a friend that has different tastes in music and challenge each other’s idea of what the good bars and bands in town are. We have a tendency to get a little siloed with in comes to music and not want to get out of our comfort zone. To bands I would say, create unconventional bills. When you are looking for an opener try to find someone that will bring new people to your show and expose your fans to something new and different.
What is next for Messerly & Ewing?
(Mark) After Bunbury we're going to work like hell on the next record and we've begun working with a booking agent to play more regional shows. We are also trying to collectively lower our cholesterol to 185 and individually learn the art of semaphore.
(Brian) I’m really looking forward to starting the next record. As we get ready for Bunbury we’ve been playing the new tunes a lot more. Everyone says this but I ready do think these are the best songs we’ve ever written. I can’t wait to put M&E on the cover of this collection of tunes.
Win a pair of passes to Bunbury Music Festival HERE!