MPMF Preview: Don't Ask Great Caesar Why

Great Caesar aims for the heart with a vulnerable blend of brass, voice, and indie-rock, drawing from acts like Arcade Fire and Beirut to create music that confronts the things that really matter: love, legacy, and the complexity of human relationships. 

The NYC band’s 2014 debut phenomenon, Don’t Ask Me Why, combines art and activism in a video that juxtaposes the civil rights movement of the 1960s with today’s fight for sexual equality. Supported by figures as varied as Russell Simmons, Deepak Chopra, Arsenio Hall, and Superbowl champion and LGBT advocate Brendon Ayanbadejo, the video has already challenged hundreds of thousands to take a stand for love and equality.

Don’t Ask Me Why is available now via all major digital outlets, and will appear on CD as part of a forthcoming EP produced by Griffin Rodriguez (Beirut, Modest Mouse, A Hawk and a Hacksaw).

Great Caesar is comprised of John-Michael Parker (vocals, guitar), Adam Glaser (bass), Tom Sikes (trumpet), Mike Farrell (guitar) and Stephen Chen (saxophone, also of San Fermin).

We chatted with Mike Farrell of Great Caesar prior to the MPMF show Friday September 26th at Memorial Hall at 9:15! 

Give us some background on Great Caesar…
Great Caesar is a chamber rock band based out of Brooklyn, NY. We combine a brilliant brass section with soulful vocals and textured guitars to create an anthemic sound somewhere in the vein of bands like Arcade Fire, Beirut, or Broken Social Scene, but wholly our own.  

What can one expect at a live Great Caesar show?
Our shows are visceral experiences-- the songs come to life in a way that the recordings can't duplicate. We've been playing together for years, and the chemistry between us and the energy we all put forward on stage makes any Great Caesar show a pretty special experience. It's been amazing and challenging to play every day on tour; by the time we hit Midpoint we'll probably sound the best we ever have. We love playing live, and it's definitely what we're best at. 

How did you come to pick your band name?
The extreme short of it is that it's an inside joke from high school, when we had to read Julius Caesar in sophomore year English class. We've always liked the sense of power and regality it conveys. The only downside is that it's tricky to spell! 

What is next for Great Caesar?
We're touring through October, which will culminate in the release of our self-titled EP on October 7th. After that we're going to hole up for a few months and finish writing our first proper LP that should be out early 2015. Maybe we'll fit in another tour before then, who knows! All of our upcoming dates can be found at  


Explore MidPoint Music Festival

Head into the city this weekend to experience MidPoint Music Festival: Cincinnati's three-day indie festival. MPMF greets us this Thu-Fri-Sat for the 13th time in Over-the-Rhine and Downtown Cincinnati. This is one of the most exciting events in the city for indie rock fans (and us). MPMF has a...