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Members of The Talk Show Hosts pose for a photograph. From left to right: Will Ruff, David Seymour, Jayce Yutzy, Molly Brannigan, Dawson Buchwald and Zach Baker Provided By: Henry Pausch

The ‘Talk Show Hosts’ combines college rock, party music for Athens audiences

The cherished tradition that is college rock started in another city named Athens over 500 miles from Ohio University’s campus — Athens, Georgia. The phenomenon that later became a genre took off in the ‘80s and ‘90s, with bands like R.E.M. and Pixies leading the movement. 

Athens is home to many bands that fall into college rock’s modern form — Roman Candle, Uncouth and The Fibonacci Fellas are all popular examples. The approaching Milliron Fest brings another group for Bobcats to enjoy: The Talk Show Hosts.

The Talk Show Hosts formed last spring and have performed a number of house shows since, according to rhythm guitarist and junior studying music production David Seymour. Seymour said the band’s formation was a very natural occurrence.

“It (the band) initially started out really just as a group of friends,” Seymour said. “We just all got together because we just all really like playing music together.”

Lead guitarist Zach Baker, a senior studying music production and contemporary musical and digital instruments, also emphasized that the band is a great creative outlet for him. He was previously in a band in high school and wanted to continue performing when he got to college.

The group’s name is a unique feature of the band and was picked just as naturally as the band was formed, vocalist and sophomore studying music education Molly Brannigan said.

“We all brainstormed and we just wrote them (name ideas) all on a board,” Brannigan said. “And everybody was kind of just like, okay, that has a nice ring to it.”

The name has also led to creative concepts beyond just the band’s music. Members don black dress attire when performing, and they are even planning on incorporating their name into new elements of their stage show.  

“We're thinking of having a little bit where we bring up some audience members and having a little mock talk show where we can sit there and talk with them and sort of engage with that as a little sort of fun thing,” Seymour said.

Members of the band take inspiration from musicians across the genre of rock ‘n’ roll. These inspirations can be seen in The Talk Show Hosts’ performances and original songs, Seymour and Brannigan said. Seymour cited influences like Mick Mars, Eddie Van Halen and Metallica, while Brannigan pointed to alternative rock influences.

Baker cited similar rock influences like Van Halen, but also instrumental and jazz guitarists.

“I’m always looking for new guitarists to steal from,” Baker said. “People like Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass are amazing guitarists and make great music.”

Previous performing experience has been incredibly helpful for each of the individual members. Many of them are in OU’s Marching 110 can play on stage more comfortably, Brannigan said.

“We're very expressive and very out there and stuff like that,” she said. “We’re kind of used to doing very big, flashy things. So that's really funny, and it's really fun to see people's reactions.”

Instrumentation is a major part of the band’s music during their performances, the members agreed. Although it has a heavier sound, they still want you to dance and have fun while listening to their music.

“We want to play butt-shaking music … we want people to dance with people,” Seymour said. “We want people to really enjoy the music that they're hearing and be able to just have a good time with it. It's not so much we want to stick to a specific genre or anything. We just want to play good music that people enjoy to hear and we also enjoy playing.”

While the trials and tribulations of a college band may not be as extreme as Fleetwood Mac’s or Guns N’ Roses’s backstage drama, there are still conflicts. However, The Talk Show Hosts always maintain their bond.

“We're just a bunch of friends just making music together, and I think that's really important,” Brannigan said. “And I think that recently, we've had to kind of come back to that as our roots are. The bottom line is no matter what, we are just a bunch of friends making music together.”

The Talk Show Hosts will be performing Friday at 10 Milliron St., Apartment 2B, starting at 7 p.m.


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