Everyone has to start somewhere, and for bands such as Radiohead, U2, Green Day and Rush, it was high school. Columbus band Inner Mikey is no exception. The teens are looking to rise up the ranks in the music scene.
“I’m about to turn 18 at the end of the month and I’m not scared but it’s like really weird cause I feel like I’ve always been the young kid. My dad has been taking me to shows since I was 13,” said Michael Shuman, guitarist and lead singer for Inner Mikey.
Shuman, bassist Allie Kauff and drummer Dylan Reese met in the Art College Preparatory Academy, a Columbus high school with an emphasis on the arts. Shuman came up with the name during a class, when the teacher asked students to find themselves an alter ego. The band was officially formed in the summer of 2016 and has since released an EP titled “5 Inner Mikey Songs.” Since then, the band, whose oldest member is 18 years old, has been playing its self-described “happy punk music” all around Columbus’s punk houses.
“We’ve been to Legion of Doom, one of the oldest punk houses,” Reese said. “There we saw some sick bands playing the loudest music I’ve ever heard. They were banging on their instrument shouting in a microphone. They just don’t give a f—.”
The band members said they struggle with finding gigs, fight with their neighbors about their rehearsals and have to explain to their parents what it is exactly they’re doing, just like any high school band.
“We got this song which is called ‘Bad Parents’. One day my notebook, in which I have all my songs, was in the dining room and my Dad decided to open it up.” Shuman said. “He read ‘Bad Parents’ and thought it was about him, and I had to explain what the song was.”
But at the end of the day, Shuman’s parents came around and watched the band perform “Bad Parents” at one of the punk houses. The three young punk rockers said they don’t feel don’t feel as though other bands looks down on them though. The Columbus punk community welcomed them with open arms.
“We’re surrounded with people who make music. So to our immediate community it’s not much of a surprise that we’re young and making music. But outside of it, yeah people are surprised,” Shuman said.
Inner Mikey’s tracks are spontaneous, energetic and rarely last more than 2 minutes. This is because it just “feels better,” Shuman said.
No one can tell what the future holds for the band, but for now Shuman has one simple goal in mind.
“I have no idea what I’m doing when I’ll graduate. I gotta figure that out,” he said.