You vs. Yesterday at Bob’s


You Vs. Yesterday’s (l-r) Cody Collins, Kramer Welker, and Michael Murray

By Tim Walker
Images by Ryan Ferdelman

 

It has been said that the definition of a “musician” is this: someone who puts $5000 worth of gear into a $500 vehicle, then drives 100 miles to play a $50 gig.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that unsigned local bands are the lifeblood of the contemporary music industry. If you think about it, local indie bands and musicians exhibit one of the purest expressions of a person’s desire to play music and to entertain others. Working for tips, or for door money, the passion and effort they expend in learning their craft, in getting comfortable on a stage, and in figuring out how to keep an audience engaged, is what live music is all about. Any group, in any genre, has to start somewhere, learn how to make those connections. Most musicians get that early start by playing in venues around their hometowns for very little money. They deserve our support.

Blind Bob’s in the Oregon District is one of those venues, and You vs. Yesterday is one of those up-and-coming local bands. A trio of area musicians, for the most part—they sometimes add a bass player—the band will be performing at Blind Bob’s on Saturday, Jan. 6 with three other bands: Life in Idle from Kettering, and two bands from Columbus, The Forty and Heavy Things. The cover charge is $5 at the door, and the show is for ages 21 and up. Blind Bob’s is located at 430 East Fifth Street in Dayton’s Oregon District.

“I think this will be our fifth time at Blind Bob’s, and we usually draw a pretty good crowd,” says Cody Collins, a member of You vs. Yesterday for over a year. Collins, who alternates between bass and guitar while also providing background vocals, is enthusiastic about the upcoming show. “We’re the headliners, even though we’re playing in the middle of the bill,” he continues. “And we’ll have Brandon Walls joining us on bass for most of the set. It’s really going to be a good show, with four great bands.”   

The core trio of You vs. Yesterday consists of: songwriter Kramer Welker, on lead vocals and guitar, who grew up in Troy and graduated from Piqua High School; bearded Cody Collins plays bass and guitar, and he lives in Englewood; and Vandalia’s Michael Murray plays drums. Kramer Welker describes the band’s music as power pop, and has charted the group’s development since his days as a teenager, practicing guitar for hours at a time in a local park.

“Our first EP was very pop punk,” says Welker. “I wrote it in high school, and [I] recorded the tracks right after I graduated. But our new EP that just came out, “How’s That for Honesty?,” is definitely more in the direction that I want to take the group. We had a pianist at the time who’s no longer with the group, and that really helped us find that sound. All of that kept me a little more interested—it’s a bit more alternative, more of a pop rock sound.”

The band’s music is available on Spotify and iTunes. When asked about the band’s musical influences, Welker laughs. “The other two guys in the group listen to a lot of metal, but it’s kind of funny. I grew up on early 2000’s Warped Tour music: Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco. Older stuff like The Promise Ring and Sunny Day Real Estate. But I also listen to Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, ‘80s stuff—I just started taking in as much as I possibly could, and then I turned it into my own thing.”

“I come from a family of musicians,” continues Welker. “You vs. Yesterday has been playing together for four years—we didn’t really go public with anything until 2014—but I was writing and practicing and figuring out which direction I wanted to go back in 2013. The reception we’ve received has been really crazy and really cool. I’m actually the only remaining original member of the band, but I write everything. This new record we’re working on might be a little different now that I’ve got some guys behind me that I can really trust, who have the same vision as me. The two EPs that we have out now I wrote, and there are other musicians on them who have since moved on.”

With a new sound and a solidified line-up, You vs. Yesterday seems poised to climb up the ladder of musical success. The upcoming show at Blind Bob’s is your chance to see the band now, so you can later say, “I saw those guys before they were famous.”

On Saturday, Jan. 6, You Vs. Yesterday will be performing with Heavy Things, The Forty, and Life in Idle at Blind Bob’s 430 E. Fifth St. in the Oregon District. The show, which is 21+, is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. and there will be a $5 cover charge at the door.

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Tim Walker
Tim Walker is 51 and a writer, DJ, and local musician. He lives with his wife and their two children in Dayton, where he enjoys pizza, jazz, and black T-shirts. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Walker at TimWalker@DaytonCityPaper.com

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