Preview: Room & Board Tonight at Rumba Cafe
Aurally stimulate yourself with a dark indie wave performance at Rumba Cafe from Room & Board. R&B singer and guitarist, Jonathan Hape, enlightened me on their latest album, which also happens to play in my home quite frequently.
Briana Henry: Let’s start with how everything happened. I read that you formed a band randomly and then you had a practice and then by Wednesday you were opening for So Many Dynamos?
JH: Yeah, it was a really unique opportunity because I had it booked for a solo show. And then at the last minute, I was recording with my friend Nick, who contributes to the albums, and he was saying that, “Hey, I like the songs you’re writing. They’re more straight forward and less out there”, and I got really mad at first and then I was like, well let’s form a band around that. Then we decided on Sunday to form a band, wrote six songs, practiced them Wednesday and played that night.
BH: That’s insane.
JH: And then it got reviewed in Columbus Alive and I was just like, Chris why would you write about my band that’s only existed for a day? But he said that it was actually more entertaining than any off the other solo stuff I’d done before. So I was like okay that’s cool, I’m okay with that.
BH: There are a couple of songs I want to talk about. “I Wannawannawanna” is my favorite song on the album. Usually I don’t really like songs that are two minutes long, but this one I really enjoyed. But how did you get to that final product?
JH: What’s interesting about that, is that I wanted something that was a little more late 70s punk, but very new wave and dark and strange while still having blues riffs. Lyrically it started as a kind of a selfish whiny song about the things that I want. And then the second verse is was more mocking that first verse. And then the last one is very serious because I switched from considering myself a Christian to very much considering myself Hindu. We literally learned it the day we recorded it. It was only vocal take we used.
BH: That’s really cool. There’s another one… usually I memorize these things, but it’s something and something…and we’re gonna talk about it…
JH: Oh, “Bliss and Moan!”
BH: Yeah, that’s it! Let’s talk about that.
JH: Okay, well that’s definitely my favorite track on the record, and we don’t play that live…
BH: Why is that?
JH: It was a song that we couldn’t get right ever. And that song took like 20 takes to record. And that made me frustrated because I thought the band didn’t want to play that song because it’s a very personal song for me. So when they were like, “We don’t want to play this anymore”, I took it very personally. But it really wasn’t. It was like, “we really can’t hang with this song yet, let’s keep practicing.” And then I took a long time doing harmonies because I wanted that to sound exactly right. Lyrically, definitely my favorite on the record. It’s just how I feel philosophically about life and my relationships.
Stand out tracks include ” I Wannawannawanna”, “Bliss and Moan”, as well at “Treeghost and Turnaround.” Check out Room & Board and The Heavy Handed tonight at Rumba Cafe for only $5. Rumba Cafe is located in Clintonville at 2507 Summit St.