Courtesy of Jessica Frances
If Skrillex, Umphrey’s McGee and Kanye West had a baby, it would be named Audaxis.
Audaxis, a Columbus band that combines electronic music such as dubstep with live elements such as hip-hop and rock music, is scheduled to perform at midnight Friday at Kobo for the Hot 17 Showcase and at midnight Saturday at Scarlet and Grey CafÃ©.
The band formed when singer Ken Connolly, rapper Theo Saker, DJ Karl Hoffner and drummer Taylor Moss wanted to combine the experience of going to an electronic music event with a live concert.
“Instead of being the DJ and raging out, we could be singing, rapping and interacting with the crowd,” said Connolly, a fourth-year in operations management. “We have live drums too, so that adds another group element to it.”
The band started recording Autumn Quarter last year and touched on many genres, Connolly said.
“It’s a mix of house, dubstep, mombahton and hip-hop,” Connolly said. “Really anything with electronic elements with rock and rap elements.”
Connolly said the band likes to take music that doesn’t usually have a human element and add one into it.
“The idea is to take genres that are really instrumental, that kind of turns people off and add lyrics to it,” Connolly said. “The idea is if you follow us, you can sing along and you know where the drops are.”
Connolly said artists and acts such as Skrillex, WERD, Alvin Risk and Example inspire the act’s music.
“For a long time, music was all about the bleeps and heavy bass, and now a lot of people are starting to add pop hooks and rap over top of it,” Connolly said.
The band wants to be more relatable than most modern music. Instead of singing and rapping about money, it talks about real-life issues.
“It is about being in college, growing up and the obstacles that you run into and getting through them,” Connolly said. “Having good times and bad times.”
Audaxis feeds off audience interaction and drumbeats to create an energetic and intense stage show.
“We have people come up on the stage, jump all over and run around,” Connolly said.
Jim Beres, a third-year in electrical engineering and president of the Ohio State B-boy club, said the crowd helps ignite the band’s energy.
“They feed off the crowd, and since their music is upbeat and intense, they go hard live,” Beres said.
The band released its first EP, called “Enter Audaxis,” online in March.
“We have been writing a lot, but school is very difficult to balance with all of this,” Connolly said. “We have actually just been picked up by a small label called Americonium based out of Columbus, so we have about four new songs that we have been working on.”
Band members said they hope to release a full-length album soon.
“We will start working with more producers and hopefully we will release a full-length album instead of an EP,” Connolly said.
The band has played Skully’s Music-Diner and Circus hoping to gain more of a fan base.
“Skully’s was pretty much all of our friends, but then we went to Circus and none of our friends went because it was Sunday, but everyone that was there we didn’t know and they said they liked it,” Connolly said. “By summer we hope to have a solid fan base in Columbus, and start moving out of the city a little bit.”
The organizers of BootyBass Sundays, a weekly dance night at Circus, said they would like Audaxis to be a monthly staple at its events.
“They are probably one of the most entertaining shows I have seen,” said Steven Dalrymple, who throws BBS and works with My Best Friend’s Party productions and Imperial Forces. “I love their music personally, and they know how to get people out.”
Connolly said Audaxis is excited to play Kobo and Scarlet and Grey this weekend because it will have the opportunity to play to a campus audience as well as the band’s friends.
“We haven’t really played campus yet,” Connolly said. “It will be nice to do something more campus-centric where it won’t be as hard for our friends to go.”
Fans of Audaxis know the band is very passionate about its music.
“I know each of them loves music more than they probably love food,” Beres said. “Ken works just about every day and would do anything to get his music out in the open, and Theo knows what it takes to make it.”