Christopher Robin might seem like a fitting name for a band whose members have known each other since early childhood, but it actually has nothing to do with the “Winnie The Pooh” character.
The band’s name is a tribute to a middle-school math teacher named Christopher Robin Lisi, who served as a role model for the young members of the band.
“At the beginning of every year he always told students to try something new,” said keyboardist Quentin Pruneau, a third-year in construction systems management. “He always encouraged us all to play music and expand our talents. So I think part of his influence taught us to push ourselves, and us all loving to play music brought us together.”
The four Columbus natives have come a long way since they first played Red Hot Chili Peppers songs together in Dominion Middle School’s talent shows under the name The Ice Cold Banana Peppers.
“I think I was playing cowbell or something ridiculous like that,” said vocalist and guitarist Aaron Payne, a third-year in architecture.
Years later, the group has played at venues like The Basement and Skully’s Music-Diner and has ventured from its Red Hot Chili Peppers roots, now drawing inspiration from bands like Young the Giant and Hippo Campus.
Bassist and vocalist Mounir Lynch, a third-year in health promotion and education and Spanish at University of Cincinnati, said he dislikes the ways music is often labeled and finds it difficult to classify Christopher Robin’s genre.
“I think we’re just a really good melodic kind of alternative rock kind of sound. We’re all really good at the instruments we play,” he said.
The group dynamic works because each member brings something to the table, Pruneau said. He said Payne has a strong understanding of music composition; Lynch has the best ear; and Dylan Matthews, a third-year in health promotion and education at Cincinnati, is well-trained and a “stellar” drummer.
Pruneau’s strength, Lynch said, is his dedication. Perhaps the most outgoing of the group, Pruneau spreads the word about shows and encourages people to listen to the group on Spotify.
Despite the fact that Pruneau and Payne go to Ohio State while Lynch and Matthews go to Cincinnati, the group remains committed to working together to create new music.
“I think it’s pretty impressive what we can do considering the situation we’re in and how little time we have together,” Lynch said.
If all goes as planned, Christopher Robin will release a new album by the end of this summer.
Although only five of the 13 songs the band hopes to have for the album are finished, Payne said he is optimistic the remaining tracks will come together.
“If we really have a pretty clear vision and we’re actually able to put the time in at that particular moment, [a song] can come together in a day or two,” he said.
The album will feature rerecordings of two songs from the group’s self-titled EP.
“Heart Beats Faster,” a crowd favorite, and “Poste,” one of the band’s favorite songs to perform, will be reworked and rerecorded to incorporate the band’s slightly changed sound, which features synth and one guitar instead of two.
The band also will rerecord its single, “Sleepwalking,” in order to keep a consistent recording quality throughout the album.
The band hopes to continue playing as long as all members remain in the area, but with graduation looming in the not-so-distant future for its members, the fate of Christopher Robin remains uncertain.
“We’d like to get as much done as we possibly can before this comes to an end,” Pruneau said. “We don’t know when that is, but we all know it’s coming so we’re just trying to work together and make as much happen as possible.”
Christopher Robin will headline a show at Skully’s Music-Diner at 1151 N. High St. on March 4 at 7:30 p.m. Ticket information will be available at a later date.