Friendly Faux was on Ohio State’s campus for one day, according to lead singer Geoff Spall.
None of the band members have attended OSU, rather they each attended a different school, but students might recognize them from their set at Buck-i-Frenzy in the summer of 2014.
“We finally got all set up and our first song we crashed in and everybody looked over like, ‘What the hell?’ and then twenty seconds later they just turned back to their cell phones,” said bassist and vocalist Charis Yost.
Spall, Yost and drummer Brandyn Morit met in high school in Delaware, Ohio, and Friendly Faux has been a part of the Columbus music scene since 2012.
They described themselves as unabashed, no-frills rock.
The members fell into their respective instruments naturally.
“Me and Geoff started jamming out in the early 2000s and he was just a better solo-er, so I was like, ‘Alright, I’ll go on bass,’ and I love it now,” Yost said.
Morit said he used to enjoy playing guitar and drums until he lost his finger after it was shut in a door, which compromised his guitar career and made him “drummer by default.”
In their upcoming third album, “Abandon Ship!” the trio shared writing responsibilities but agreed that an appropriate description for the lyrics is “an exploration of darkness.”
“It’s deeper. The other (albums) only scratched the surface and with this one we spent a lot of time getting right. We had a crazy year of moving from a lot of practice spots, we all moved from places we lived. Lives fell apart and were rebuilt,” Spall said.
It’s the moving of practice spaces that inspired the title of the album. When their usual space was flooded in the spring of 2015, they shouted, “Abandon ship!” as they tried to save all of their gear from being ruined in the water. Luckily, the band was able to save the gear.
Having been in the scene for three years now, Morit said that the band has outlived numerous local bars. He and the other members agree that charging cover is detrimental for business of the bar and the bands performing.
“Bars around here want to charge a cover of five or more dollars to come in and see a band you’ve never heard of, so they just go to another bar where they can get in for free,” he said.
Spall added that the cover charge makes it more difficult for new bands that haven’t built a fanbase to book shows, as they may not get enough people to pay to see them at first.
“Some people don’t have credibility, and it’s hard to gain that right away,” he said.
Yost said he believes that fans will support the bands they care about monetarily, but that shouldn’t be a requirement.
“It’s like a small business. If you enjoy that business you want to put money back into it so it keeps on going,” he said.
Still, the band worries that there aren’t enough resources in Columbus to really make it.
“We have a lot of friends and people that we like here, and I think we all share similar interests and similar goals. Whether or not they can be achieved in the Columbus environment, I don’t know,” Spall said. “Maybe Columbus is just too far removed from places that are more popular, where rock ‘n’ roll is more popular.”
Morit added, “There’s a bunch of great bands but nobody with the money or connections to take it outside of the city.”
The Friendly Faux members said they agree that a hopeful part of the local music scene is Worst Kept Secret Fest, which was founded by Spall.
“That’s a real thing. People show up there and they watch every band. There’s not a bunch of cell phones out. That’s actually a really fun time that’s a giant party with everybody respecting each other and having a good time, and it’s free,” Spall said.
The Friendly Faux’s next album will be available to stream and download on Bandcamp.
The band will be sharing an album release show with a previous Columbus’ Own feature, The Cordial Sins, this Saturday at Big Room Bar. Doors open at 7 p.m. and admission is $5.