Courtesy of Jordanne Renner
This is part of our weekly series titled “Columbus’ Own,” where we profile a local band every Thursday.
Bonneville has been trying to break into the Columbus music scene since its members started college at Ohio State more than a decade ago, and it is finally getting the recognition it was seeking.
“We have been working at it for a while, and it’s not easy to try and break through, but we are just going to keep doing it because we love it,” singer Ryan Pitts said.
The band’s latest single, “Feel It,” was voted No. 1 on the CD101 Five Spot May 1.
“That song sums it up, in my opinion, the direction we are going and the attitude just in general of our band musically right now,” guitarist David Miklos said.
With lyrics such as “In every heart / There plays a beat / That plays inside of all of us,” the message of “Feel It” is about music, movement and the band’s connection, Pitts said.
“It is sort of about the inherent feeling inside most humans,” Pitts said. “When you hear rhythm, you just want to move and it can’t be explained.”
Drummer Nick Frye said seeing this inherent feeling is easy when the band plays “Feel It.”
“There is a video on YouTube of us playing that song for the first time at Skully’s, and you can see the audience really well there, and sure enough, people were dancing and getting into it,” Frye said.
The band opened for a Portugal. The Man concert at Newport Music Hall April 25 to a sold-out crowd.
“It was a dream come true,” Pitts said.
A few of the band members said 2012 has been a year of milestones. Since January, Bonneville has played with local bands such as Phantods, Ghost Shirt, The Receiver and Two Cow Garage. It has also created connections with CD101, which makes for greater opportunities to play more shows, Frye said.
“I think that it is a good time for music, and I think that we are lucky to be part of a time where people can appreciate everything,” Miklos said.
Miklos said the band’s live performances are intense but fun.
“It’s melodic and fun, we try to write fun music,” Miklos said. “We want people to have as much fun as we do playing for them.”
Inspiration comes in many forms for Bonneville, including from bands such as Wilco, Spoon and Reptar, but doesn’t play to just one kind of music.
“I try to write songs about life experiences obviously, or just feelings,” Pitts said. “It’s rock, it’s pop, it’s alternative,”
Bonneville produced several albums before college, but it considers the 2010 album “Drawing Maps” its first.
Its latest release, “Amy’s House,” was released in December and was written when Pitts was living in a girl named Amy’s basement.
“‘Amy’s House’ was different for us because we actually tracked it live, and we had never done that before,” Frye said.
“Come On Come On” off “Amy’s House” has been played on CD101.
“It’s like a sarcastic song, like when a girl tells you something, and you are like, ‘Come on, seriously,'” Pitts said.
Miklos said he thinks “Come On Come On” is becoming a “big single” for the band.
“Amy’s House” was originally meant to be an EP, but the band had more than three songs it wanted to use on the album.
“We just had trouble just leaving it at three songs,” Frye said. “The main thing that we added that created the style of ‘Amy’s House’ was that we included more piano in it.”
Synth player Daniel Pritchard, a 2011 OSU alumnus in photography and high school friend of the band, recently joined the group.
“We all grew up in Dayton, so it is not hard to find people that we would like to play with,” Frye said.
Frye and Miklos have known each other since they were in first grade, when they were arch (or art) nemeses.
“We were actually rivals because he was good at art and I was pretty good at art too, so I would always see our stuff hanging up and be like, ‘That Nick Frye,'” Miklos said with a laugh.
They met Pitts when they started jamming in middle school. Pitts was writing his own material and the other guys invited him to join the band.
“We have been best friends ever since,” Pitts said.
The band members said fans should expect to hear new songs in the coming months, and that it was going to try to make a music video.
“There will be dragons in it,” Miklos said.
Bonneville is scheduled to perform at 10 p.m. Friday at Circus. Tickets are $5 and the show is open to ages 18 and up.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
An earlier version of this story stated in the 22nd paragraph that the name of the guitarist is David Milkos. His name is David Miklos.