Young, loud, but not snotty

Photo credit: Judi Alvarado Photo credit: Judi Alvarado

PUBLIC brings upbeat vibes to South Park Tavern

 By Zach Rogers

One minute, you’re playing in a battle of the bands competition at a local bar. The next you’re making phone calls, getting in the studio and expanding your sound in ways you never thought possible. Such is the story of PUBLIC, a young band hailing from the streets of Cincinnati. After getting discovered at a local competition, the band got picked up and received the chance every band wants: to record in a studio. The band soon recorded their debut EP Red, and has since been hitting the road on a tour that includes a pass through Dayton’s South Park Tavern. Recently, the band took some time to explain how it all happened and what’s in store for their bright future.

The story behind PUBLIC seems pretty incredible. Is it true you were discovered in a competition while still in high school?  

Well, we entered a Battle of the Bands contest back home but were eliminated pretty quickly. After that, we got a call from another guy in Lebanon who asked if we wanted to enter in their competition. So we said yeah, and we were actually a late entry, but that’s how it happened. One of the judges was the head of the Counter Rhythm Group, the company we work with today, and we connected with him after the show. – PUBLIC

How does it all feel now? Would you consider it all a stroke of good luck, or something more? 

It feels like something we needed to get out of the way. It was a good experience to go through the process of inviting people, hoping we get the vote and everything else that goes into a battle competition. It helped us rally support from people that cared about our music, and their support really does impact how we grow as a band. We’re all pretty firm in believing that everything happens for a reason, so it wasn’t luck. We got eliminated from the first battle pretty quickly and took it hard as a band that was just getting started. Afterwards, we developed a new mentality of determination and we worked really hard in that second battle to recreate ourselves, and as a result we ended up winning and getting to where we are now. – P

After getting discovered, what came next?

We had some phone calls with Brian Penick, who is the head of the Counter Rhythm Group. We got involved with him and his business and then started to map out what to do next and how to go about being an active and progressing band in Cincinnati. – P

Your music is pretty upbeat. Does this reflect the ideals of each individual member, as well as PUBLIC as a whole? 

We all bring a different feel to the music, that’s for sure. One of the most important things for us is to have fun and enjoy what we’re doing. That’s the reason we do this in the first place. So yeah, I guess you could say so. We definitely love what we’re doing. – P

What was it like recording your Red EP? 

Recording our EP was a great experience. As a band, we had focused so much on our live performance, and we had a lot of ambitions for recorded material that we just never had the opportunity to do anything with. Being in the studio let us explore our sound in a controlled environment where we could venture into our music and find out what we really wanted it to sound like. It was recorded at Moonlight Studios in Fairfield, Ohio with a guy named Eric Tuffendsam. He was great to work with. He helped us organize and find our sound in the studio. – P

Do you find it intimidating being so young in a competitive, changing music industry? 

We’ve come to enjoy our age. At almost every show we play we’re the babies, and that’s just something we enjoy now. It definitely makes us stand out a little bit. While the industry is evolving, being young makes us feel more open to the changes and the way things are moving.   – P

What’s next for PUBLIC?

Right now we’re just focusing on our internal works as a band, trying to tighten our performance, and always writing. We’re starting to play out of the Cincinnati area now, and just pressing on as we have been, trying to get our music out to the people. – P

Care to offer any advice for an up-and-coming band that might be in the same position you were in?

We certainly still have a long way to go. It’s tough being a local band starting out and trying to make a real name for yourself. The thing that we’ve had to always remember through everything is to just enjoy it all; the highs, the lows and everything in between. And also to always be open and embrace the change and growth. Even when you think you have your sound, your image and everything else figured out, you may be surprised at what you have become in a year or even a few months. – P

PUBLIC will be performing Friday, Dec. 21 at South Park Tavern, 1301 Wayne Ave. Also on the bill is Speaking Suns. Admission is $5 for all ages. Doors at 9 p.m. For more information, visit 

Reach DCP freelance writer and intern Zach Rogers at

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