Local band Lazy Susan and the Bean Bag Boys was just an inside joke between friends long before they were playing shows.
“We were really just sitting around in our dorms freshman year, trying to come up with the craziest band name we could think of,” said Carson Dentinger, a third-year in health science.
Even with an absurd name decided on, the band didn’t officially become active until a year and a half later.
“It was an idea for a long time before it was a real thing, (until) one day they asked me, ‘Anna, would you be the Lazy Susan to our Bean Bag Boys?’”said Anna Weber, a third-year in English and music.
The Bean Bag Boys are Dentinger on drums, Joe Ernst, a second-year in business and Russian on bass and guitar, and Noah Zeitlin, a second-year in finance on guitar. Weber, or Lazy Susan, plays keyboard and sings.
From there, it was a gradual — and casual — move to where they are now. The band members agreed that it started off as nothing too serious, just a group of friends messing around.
“We were kind of just jamming for a while,” Dentinger said. “That’s what the whole thing was for a year and a half.”
The jam sessions paid off. Eventually, riffs were repeated, mixed with some lyrics and turned into songs.
“I knew we had potential to write some awesome stuff,” Ernst said. “It was a variety of sitting down and improving and making sounds into a song.”
Even with the members’ busy schedules, songwriting has remained a true collaborative effort.
“Each one of us has bits and pieces on our phones that we send to each other,” Zeitlin said. “It’s almost like musical mad libs.”
The band’s sound is a combination of band members’ classical, jazz, indie, and 60s rock ‘n’ roll roots, said Ernst.
“One of us will write something that is too jazzy or straight ‘60s, but (when) we put it together, it’s our own sound,” he said.
While Lazy Susan and the Bean Bag Boys has goals for a recorded album, Weber said the band members think they sound better and their chemistry comes out best onstage rather than in a recording booth.
“We have an EP of four songs and our goal is to record the rest of the album this spring,” Weber said. “(But) we’re more about being a live band and playing shows. The guy who did our recording said we’re a live band.”
Dentinger said he believes it’s because of the roots in friendship and jamming together that they have strong onstage chemistry and are able to put on a good show. They have played at house shows and venues around campus such as the Scarlet and Grey Cafe and Kafe Kerouac.
“Our first couple of shows people wanted an encore after we were done with all the songs we knew,” he said. “So we looked at each other and decided to just jam.”
At the end of the day, that’s all the band members can really ask for — to play like they’re back in their dorms, but in front of people who want to hear them, Ernst said.
“It’s really cool to see your friends come out and it’s even cooler to see someone (we don’t know) appreciate us and sing our lyrics,” Weber said. “We just like to have fun.”
Lazy Susan and the Bean Bag Boys will play at the Newport this Friday as part of Buckeye Blackout’s sustainability concert. The show is free to Ohio State students and starts at 7:30 p.m.