Courtesy of Family of the Year
The Boston Pops Orchestra and Ben Folds once offered the opportunity of a lifetime: the opening spot for their fall 2009 concert.
Out of 700 submissions, Family of the Year, a Los Angeles-based indie-folk quartet, won the contest.
The band is slated to play Saturday at The Basement at 7 p.m.
Drummer Sebastian Keefe said he and his bandmates were thrilled to get the call hearing they’d won the contest.
“First, we were like holy s—,” Keefe said. “And immediately we (realized), ‘Oh wow, we got to practice for this.’ It was definitely an honor to be chosen, (and that was) one of our first few gigs.”
Since then, Family of the Year has opened for bands like Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Grouplove.
Keefe said he and other members frontman and guitarist Joe Keefe, keyboardist Christina Schroeter and guitarist James Buckey have developed a close bond, amplified by the fact that two of the members are brothers.
Sebastian Keefe said that strong connection influenced the band name.
“We wanted to reflect our communal living at the time,” Sebastian Keefe said.
The band’s music, he said, is influenced by many genres that span decades.
“We’re huge fans of every classic era of pop music: ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s,” he said. “(We’re also) huge fans of what (music scene) we’re a part of. We like a lot of folk, rock, hip hop, reggae, really different (genres).”
The band released its first album, “Songbook,” in 2009.
That same year, the bandmates started their own label, Washashore Records. They have released four EPs and two albums, “Songbook” and 2012’s “Loma Vista.”
In addition to forming their own label, the members were initially supported through independent fundraising efforts.
“That really led into how we did our band,” Sebastian Keefe said. “It’s exhausting to run a band like that for awhile. But it’s a really good way to engage people.”
Marissa Luther, marketing manager for PromoWest Live, said the band came to Columbus this past fall and she believes they have established a steady fan base here.
“I think so far they’ve built a good following in Columbus, I like them,” she said. “They’ve just started to get radio airplay, it’ll be good show for them.”
Luther said The Basement is the ideal venue for newer bands.
“We like to start out smaller bands in smaller venues, like The Basement, then the Newport (Music Hall), and hopefully later on they’ll get big enough to play at the LC (Lifestyle Communities Pavilion).”
Stephanie Roe, a fourth-year in strategic communication, said she is a fan of both Family of the Year and The Basement.
“I like them (Family of the Year), they have a nice vibe to them. They put on a good show,” Roe said. “The Basement is a good venue, even though it is small, it lets you get up close and personal to the band.”
Last time Family of the Year was in Columbus, Sebastian Keefe said the band hung out at a nearby basketball court.
“We usually go to clubs,” Sebastian Keefe said. “There was a basketball court right outside (the venue). I’m usually hanging outside, shooting b-ball hoops, chilling with a few beers.”
As for the show itself, Sebastian Keefe jokes that it will be quite a spectacle.
“(It will be) a huge pyrotechnic show … Joe (Keefe) will be going around in a giant, inflatable ball. We’ll be handing out glow-sticks and throwing confetti,” he said with a laugh. “I’m kidding, right?”
Tickets for the show are available for $10 in advance through Ticketmaster or $12 the day of the show.