Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Upcoming Philo CD Release

by Dave Schaefer

Philo is throwing a party at Skully’s on Saturday. A few hundred of the local band’s closest friends will be there with them, buying them drinks and shouting congratulations. The occasion: The release of their long-awaited full-length, Self Destructive In Dark, Part I.

Philo is made up of Corbin Thomas (vocals/guitar), Shawn Huff (drums), Ryan “Butch” Butcher (bass), and Ryan Wilder (keys). How they all got together to form Philo is a complicated story, so here’s the condensed version: Corbin was brought into Mahoney by Shawn, but then lured away into Cringe where he met Ryan and Butch. Just as Shawn was about to be brought into Cringe as the drummer, Ryan and lead singer Tom Cline quit the band. So Corbin and Butch brought in Shawn and started Philo. Well, sort of. They were writing songs, but didn’t have a singer. After two years -- yes, two years -- of looking for a vocalist, Corbin reluctantly took the mic. And somewhere along the way, Ryan showed up again.

And now they have a debut CD.

The album was recorded at Spider Studios with Ben Schigel whose worked with the likes of Chimaira, and Drowning Pool. It’s well known that Schigel creates rock stars.

After Schigel had his way with it, Philo sent the tracks off to Roger Lian at Masterdisc in New York for mastering. After finishing the project, Lian called Corbin and told him how much he and his crew enjoyed working on it. “And that rarely happens here,” said Lian, “That we get unsigned projects that we enjoy doing.” High praise from someone whose resume includes everyone from Rob Zombie and GWAR to Smashing Pumpkins and Archers Of Loaf. Rumor has it that the disk is currently being looked at by Victory Records.

Only Ryan and Butch had prior experience with recording a full-on CD. For Corbin and Shawn, the full-production recording process was new, so I asked Corbin what the most difficult thing was that he encountered during the project.

“I wasn’t a singer before we released this album. I still don’t consider myself one. I’m just the dude who yells into the mic because we couldn’t find anyone better. This was tough in the studio. I wanted to sound a certain way. I had to discover myself in there and I’m still in the process of discovering myself every day. The whole experience of laying vocals has extreme ups and downs. At some points I felt like ‘wow I might be able to be a singer,’ other times I wanted to walk away in frustration and tears.”

Only a few locals make it into the national spotlight and this CD has all the earmarks of something that has a better-than-average chance of making it outside of Central Ohio. Still, Corbin gives the Columbus music scene high marks.

“I love the scene,” Corbin told me. “It’s great. There’s lots of talent out there and you meet so many great people.”

But he also had a critique. “It’s a tough road, though, no lie -- marketing your way through all the other music and events. One thing people need to pay attention to is working together. It seems that too often events collide with each other. There should be some way to focus each show’s demographic so instead of 30 shows that could be better, there are one or two big, badass shows that everyone talks about for weeks. That’s why we’re standing together on December 1st with our friends from stores inside the community that fit the music lifestyle. That’s why I picked the bands I did for the CD release. We’re shooting for something big.”

Any surprises for the show?

“I think Shawn was telling me he wanted to crowd surf in the nude covered with peanut butter.”

Let’s hope he’s kidding. But when you’re at the merch table buying Self Destructive In Dark, you might also want to pick up some antibacterial wipes. Just in case.

Philo CD Release Party
w/ Bullet Jones, For The Drive, and Cordova
December 1, 2007
Skully's Music Diner

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