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Indie rock band White Rabbits to hop back onto Columbus stage

Courtesy of Nasty Little Man

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For indie rock band White Rabbits, being on tour was the ultimate inspiration for its recent album.

“We toured for a very long time (for) the previous record and it was a very difficult process … dealing with the ramifications that being a traveling musician can have on your personal friendships or relationships or even on your own happiness,” said guitarist Alex Even. “I think a lot of the lyrics (on ‘Milk Famous,’ released March 6) are sort of on dealing with being gone all the time.”

The band is scheduled to perform 7 p.m. Friday at A&R Music Bar.

Based in Brooklyn, N.Y., White Rabbits is touring in support of its third album “Milk Famous.”

The group formed in 2004 in Columbia, Mo., after Even and guitarist Greg Roberts’ previous band called Texas Chainsaw Mass Choir broke up. It got its name from the song “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane.

“That band broke up and then we asked Steve (Patterson) if he wanted to play drums with us, and that eventually became White Rabbits. We moved to New York in 2005 together and have been hating each other ever since,” Even said, laughing.

Although the band has a classified genre, Even doesn’t feel as though it entirely defines the band.

“I guess the catch-all phrase would be indie rock, but I’m not sure if that really has any meaning left anymore. We play sort of a very percussive strand of rock ‘n’ roll and we just try to incorporate weird sounds along the way,” Even said. “There are lots of drums and two guitar players making lots of sounds.”

Marissa Luther, marketing manager for PromoWest Productions, said that sound works in the band’s favor.

“We love the band,” Luther said. “We’ve had them numerous times at all of our venues, and our music bar is the perfect spot in Columbus to have them. They’re great guys to work with.”

Other Columbus-based music businesses aren’t so familiar with the group.

“I’ve never really listened to them,” said Charlotte Kubat, a manager at Magnolia Thunderpussy, a record store located at 1155 N. High St. “(It) doesn’t look like we sold a lot of their stuff. We carry it, but (it’s) not flying off the shelves.”

However, the band is working on this by broadening its following with bigger gigs, such as its recent tour dates as a special guest on The Shins’ world tour. Even said the tour was an opportunity for White Rabbits to gain fans.

“It was great, they were all very nice and they play in really big venues,” Even said. “It’s fun for us to be able to play for people that have probably never heard us before.”

White Rabbits toured with The Shins on four dates, the last and most recent being on Oct. 11 at the House of Blues in Dallas.

Even said he enjoys playing in Columbus, not only because of the atmosphere, but because of the nostalgic feeling it gives the band.

“Columbus is really fun. All of our shows there have been great as far as I can remember,” he said.

“Also our first manager left the music business a few years ago and went back to law school and studies in Columbus. So every time we’re in Columbus, we get to see him and listen to records and reminisce. I associate Columbus with good feelings.”

Even also said he hopes the show in Columbus gives the audience something to connect with, although it might be hearing something it has never heard before.

“I hope they are given something that they can relate to on a human level. Two groups of people communicating with each other,” he said. “And I hope they hear sounds and songs that they wouldn’t be able to hear elsewhere.”

Tickets for Friday’s show are purchasable for $13 in advance through Ticketmaster or $15 at the door, the day of the show.

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