In an attempt to shine light on local music, The Lantern’s “Columbus’ Own” is a weekly series that profiles a new Columbus band or artist each week.
When the members of local band Boxing meet in the basement of drummer Logan Stake’s apartment on Hudson Street for practice, singer and guitarist Nic Wade describes it as their own fortress of solitude.
“It’s where things make sense,” he remarked to bassist Benjamin Ridgway.
Stake, Wade, Ridgway and guitarist Nick Bardus have been making sense and making music together for roughly 12 years, on and off. All went to the same high school in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Wade one year ahead of the rest. The three younger members formed a band that originally played what they call “dance punk” under a different band name.
Members laughed and groaned at the memory.
“We had some really bad stuff in the beginning,” Bardus said.
But the experience is not counted as a loss.
“We grew as musicians,” Ridgway said. “We wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing now if it wasn’t for those days.”
When Boxing originally came together, it had a different bass player. When the original bassist left the band, Ridgway stepped in because of the high school connection.
The members of the now “rock ‘n’ roll, but still poppy” band maintain a diverse taste in music, citing influences ranging from Motörhead to Shania Twain, Black Sabbath to Fleetwood Mac.
“We have a lot of influences, but I imagine a lot of people would listen to our set and not hear any of that,” Wade said. “But I like it.”
Another prominent influencer of Boxing was Ridgway’s brother, Matthew, who had an extensive CD library that filled rooms of their house. Ridgway said he had been listening to local bands in the Columbus music scene since he was 12 years old thanks to his brother. When his friends wanted to start a band, Ridgway said he felt he was ready.
“But then I thought I should probably learn an instrument,” he said.
Ridgway, a left-handed player, started by playing his brother’s guitars upside down and strumming upward. He later got a bass guitar for Christmas.
Stake started out playing the keyboard, but when the guys needed a drummer for their three-person outfit in high school, he quickly exchanged the keys for a drum set.
None of the members of Boxing have had formal music lessons.
“We all were self-taught, and we all learned through playing together,” Stake said. “Ten years later, we just can connect on this level and it works and makes sense.”
Ridgway added that the comradery in the band is a key aspect for him.
“Not to sound like a d—, but I feel like I could be making music anytime. I’ll probably always be making music,” Wade said. “But I like doing this because I’ve known these dudes since I was 13. Especially now that (Ridgway) is in the band, it just feels like hanging out with dudes I’ve hung out with my whole life.”
Boxing’s two EPs, “Cuss Yeah!” and “BRUNCH//SNOOPERS,” were self-recorded in a house with help from their friends. The longest song the band has is “Ten,” coming in at just one second over three minutes.
“I don’t know if we necessarily do it on purpose, it just happens,” Bardus said. ”We’ll be in practice and we’ll have like four or five ideas going, and someone will be like, ‘We’re getting way too into this,’ and so we’ll chop 45 seconds right off the get go.”
Wade sees it from a “less is more” perspective.
“We feel like we have to get people’s attention, so why go long?” he said.
Boxing, as a whole, hopes to approach music humbly.
“I just like it, to be honest,” Wade said. “I don’t really care what people think about it in that way.”
Ridgway echoed Wade’s sentiment.
“I want it to be real, but I want to have fun,” Ridgway said. “It’s a really good mesh, we trust each other and it’s comfortable. We can just tap into each other’s wavelengths. We know what we want out of each other when we’re playing.”
Boxing’s music is available for purchase on its Bandcamp. The band’s next show is Saturday at Ace of Cups opening for Florida-based band Frameworks. Doors open at 8 p.m and admission is $10.