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Members from Columbus native band Swell Tides perform during the Fashion Meets Music Festival on September 5. Credit: Courtesy of Katelyn Evans

Columbus’ Own: Swell Tides rise to local music scene

Not many bands get to play a music festival as its first official gig. Columbus band

Swell Tides got the opportunity to play at the Fashion Meets Music Festival on a stroke of luck.

“I did a lot of volunteering for the Fashion Meets Music Festival over the summer and one of the bands dropped out. I knew the owner of Fashion Meets Music Festival, and he knew I was in a band, so he asked me to help him out to fill the spot,” drummer Max Crowder said.

Crowder, lead singer and guitarist Jordan King and guitarist Michael Miyoshi, all second-years in college, have been collaborating musically since they were in 11th grade at Manchester High School in Akron. At that time, King and Miyoshi had already been playing together for two years, and Crowder wanted in on the action.

“Jordan and Mike would always leave to go practice or jam and I always got so jealous. I wanted to do what they were doing. I wanted to have fun,” he said. “I chose drums, probably because I like hitting stuff. Mike taught me a basic beat, and then I went out and bought a kit on Craigslist, and I took it and ran with it.”

When King went to Kent State for college and Miyoshi and Crowder to Ohio State, they assumed it would be the end of their collaboration. King started recording tracks on his own.

“I wanted to keep writing music, and I thought if I couldn’t find anyone to play with, I’d just record the tracks myself,” he said.

Having worked on the content for about a year, King decided to call on his friends so they could put together a band and play the songs live. They had all worked on their own music, but were able to pick up right where they left off.

“We’ve been writing songs for a long time together. I could see us progress from where we were. I think both of our styles had progressed in slightly different directions, but I could pick up on what he’s doing just by listening to it,” Miyoshi said.

But the band still needed a bass player, and it was Crowder who suggested that bassist Brady Costigan join in about a month ago.

“I’m the baby of the band,” he said.

But it didn’t take long for Costigan to fit right in with Swell Tides.

“At first, I was overwhelmed because there were a lot of songs that I had to learn. Then I just kept listening to them through and through and they’re super catchy, super fun and super energetic. I really liked it, it was clear and crisp,” he said.

When put under the gun to come up with a name for the project, King chose Swell Tides, inspired by the surf undertones in the music and his love of the ocean. The rest of the members share a love for the ocean as well, but not many people can say that they’ve actually lived in it like Costigan can.

From first through eighth grade, Costigan lived on a boat off the East Coast of the United States with his family.

“It really isn’t as isolated as you’d think it would be. There are strong communities down there,” he said. “There’s local music all throughout the Bahamas, traditional island music, which is super cool; I love it.”

When asked about interests outside of music, the members talked about their mutual love for snowboarding and also more low-key activities.

“I think puzzles are way underrated. They’re way more fun than they get credit for,” King said.

“I used to be really into sudoku,” Costigan added.

Crowder expressed his love for photography, and Miyoshi for sci-fi movies.

“Star Wars is my absolute favorite movie series,” Miyoshi said. “I have a theory about what the plot’s going to be for the entire new trilogy.”

The band tries to exude that energy in its music.

“I try to write music that’s fun and not so sad and downer-ish all the time,” King said of the tone of their demo. This message is apparent in one of the tracks, “Telephone.”

“Often times, people like to complain a lot. I think in an ironic, hypocritical way I’m complaining about people who complain a lot,” he said. “People like to come up with excuses for why they’re sad, and I just tried to challenge that with this song.”

The band has made copies of a nine-track self-titled demo that it plans to give out for free. Its music can also be found on Soundcloud.


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