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Hero Jr. closing in on Columbus with Ohio State ties

Courtesy of Katie Moon

Some of the members of Indianapolis-based rock band Hero Jr. already have close ties to Ohio State and the city of Columbus, and they’re about to get even closer – to the music scene, that is.

Two members are dating members of OSU’s synchronized swimming team, and one is a former kicker for Michigan State football who played his first game for the Spartans in the Horseshoe.

Hero Jr. is scheduled to perform 9 p.m. Friday at Café Bourbon Street.

Matthew Haughey, the band’s 26-year-old drummer and a native to Bridgman, Mich., emphasized the band’s close relationship with the Columbus area.

“We have got some good, committed, passionate fans out there. It is becoming a home away from home and we appreciate all the support,” Haughey said.

Hero Jr. plans to release its debut album “Backup Plan” Oct. 23 and has been on a promotional tour for it for more than a month.

“We are hoping to get more national recognition,” Haughey said. “We have a high-quality product and want to get a good buzz going about the band.”

Lead vocalist and Haughey’s older brother Evan Haughey, does most of the managing for the band.

“The biggest challenge right now is finding a band and city to team up with and do some shows with,” Evan Haughey said.

However, when Evan Haughey can book the band’s schedule, he doesn’t shy away from overloading it with shows.

“We have definitely vamped up our touring. We do a lot of weekend warrior stuff,” Evan Haughey said. “We’re doing about 200 shows a year.”

The band offers a free MP3 download of its track “Naked” on SoundCloud and plans to tour until Christmas before working on new material.

“Touring is 100 percent the most fun thing right now,” Evan Haughey said. “Seeing the country is a wonderful experience. We love being on tour.”

Thus far onstage, Hero Jr. has had the opportunity to open for bands it considers successful.

“We recently got to open up for The Offspring. That was our biggest show (so) far,” Evan Haughey said.

The band hopes to tour through Columbus several times over the next year. After its show Friday, the band is slated to make a return to Columbus Nov. 4 at Scarlet & Grey Cafe.

Kyle Sowash, the promoter for Café Bourbon Street, said booking Hero Jr. isn’t a typical show for the venue.

“Café Bourbon Street has a reputation of a punk bar, but we do not like to limit ourselves based on genre,” Sowash said. “It is a small club that can maybe fit 125 people, but we are hoping a lot of people come out and drink a lot of beer.”

While both brothers have ties to OSU, coming to Columbus has an additional meaning for Matthew Haughey. He played football for Michigan State in 2005 and OSU’s Horseshoe was the first place he dressed for.

Wherever the tour takes them, Evan Haughey said one of his favorite aspects of touring is remaining close to his brother.

“We get along really, really well and have been close our whole lives,” Evan Haughey said.

Matthew Haughey added, “We have always been close and it’s like we are never growing up, and I’m cool with that.”

Tickets for Friday’s show are for ages 21 and up and are purchasable for $5 at the door of Café Bourbon Street, located at 2210 and 2216 Summit St.

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