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Odd instruments, raw style add up to success for Columbus band

Courtesy of Illumine Photography and Design

This is part of our weekly series titled “Columbus’ Own,” where we profile a local band every Thursday.

Success in the music industry often hinges on getting noticed and William the Accountant is pulling out all the stops … and ukuleles … and didgeridoos.

The band is scheduled to showcase its sound in its debut album release show at Kobo Live March 9. Doors open at 9 p.m.

William The Accountant has performed in local venues like Skully’s Music-Diner and Woodlands Tavern — a venue the band has adopted as its “home” in Columbus.

So why is William The Accountant worth mentioning in a sea of local bands trying to get exposure? It’s the sincerity.

In an industry that often breeds greed, William the Accountant holds honesty as a virtue in its music and the members’ everyday lives.

Drummer for the band, Chris Murphy, referenced ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons’ statement that honesty is contagious.

“Everybody can trust an honest person,” Murphy said. “Everybody wants to trust an honest person. Everybody gravitates towards honesty and honest people.”

The five-membered band uses feedback from guitar amps, a didgeridoo (a wind instrument of Aboriginal origin), a saxophone and a ukulele as some of the instruments contributing to its raw form.

William The Accountant was formed in Columbus in 2009, but the band has lost and gained members.

Murphy joined William The Accountant six months ago, but the band’s visible camaraderie on stage and off is not staged.

Band members Kevin Luce (vocals and guitar), Kevin Bednar (bass), Andrew Hahn (saxophone), Zachary Tamplin (guitar) and Murphy are all connected either through high school, college or work. Luce and Murphy work at a learning center that specializes in educating students with autism and Asperger syndrome.

The name, William The Accountant, is a spinoff of Frank Zappa’s “Willie The Pimp” and Tom Waits’ “William The Pleaser,” in his song, “Lucinda.”

The “William” of William The Accountant is Luce’s father, who is an accountant.

William The Accountant easily goes from facilitating quick guitar riffs and drum cadences in one track to exhibiting melodic, Caribbean undertones in another.

The band labels its music as falling to multiple genres, such as alternative and jazz. But these generalizations of sound just scratch the surface of its musical aptitude.

“Especially trying to get influence of jazz, guitar and different things like that, I was listening to some ragtime guitar to kind of expand my horizons,” Tamplin said. “I feel like for me, as a guitarist in this band, I need to bring a lot to it. I need to look at some of these other styles that I just didn’t grow up listening to.”

Tamplin originally played bass in the band, but after taking time off for “soul searching,” he returned to assume the role as lead guitarist. Tamplin is working to bring Mongolian throat singing into the collaboration.

The band has the ability to transform each song on its set list into a genuine call for human emotion.

“From an emotional standpoint … you can listen to some songs or hear some songs and you can tell this is a good outlet for their anger.” Bednar said “I guess when I listen to (our) music I don’t feel like it’s an outlet for anger or any kind of negative emotions. I definitely feel like there is a lot of positivity that comes out … I think it’s just rhythm.”

William The Accountant interweaves unconventional philosophies in its lyrics.

In its debut album, “Strophes,” the band encourages listeners to understand and interpret facets of life and the universe in its own way.

“There is a theory of how I think I like building up people and encouraging people, and I kind of work off of that,” Luce said.

In “The Poet,” written as the first song of the band’s first album, the lyrics suggest there is no set meaning to its songs.

“As long as you’re finding good in it, then it’s yours,” Luce said. “That song, ‘The Poet,’ is about you and it’s for you. And so it’s the thought that we think about all the time, especially in live performances, it is not just our band. Here’s something and hopefully you can take something from this and bring your own to it.”

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