Thee Now Sound

Megan Eidelbach
About an hour west of Columbus, there is a town not necessarily well known for its music but more for being the birthplace of Western writer Zane Grey. The town is Zanesville, and though some believe that if you blink, you might miss it, there comes out of there quite a few aspiring artists and a even more great bands! I have been residing in this town off and on for five years between travels, and decided to surround myself with the sounds of the different musical talents, to see if any would appeal to the greater public, or in the bigger cities. I spoke to one of these bands, Thee Now Sound, whose members share some artistic pursuits in common, and each have their own style and way of life.. but yet meld together to create a fabulous punk/grunge sound that borders between being inspired by Sonic Youth and other well-known bands such as Mudhoney and Nirvana. The members, Dustin Rouan (formerly of Lemming and Pen15- on guitar and vocals) , Andrew Knopp on drums, and newcomer Megan Pillar of Columbus as bassist , form a unique brew of punk, grunge, and metal sounds to supply the greater Ohio area with a sound of gritty rock that it all so often desperately needs. I asked them questions as to how their sound manifested, and how it erupted into the volcanic sound that is “here in thee now”.

AO: So, you guys are pretty known around the Zanesville, Ohio area, for playing venues such as Jocko's Tavern on Linden Ave (a popular bar for metal and rock bands and their patrons), and places outside of town, such as in Columbus. What has been your favorite venue/show and why?

Dustin: We’ve played everything from fields to bars and each has its good and bad points. Playing the Ravari Room was special to me. It meant a lot to me to share the same stage where I have seen the Evil Queens, Nebula, Burning Brides, and Fu Manchu.

Andrew: My favorite was King of Clubs in Mt. Vernon. We played with Charlie Hustle, always a favorite to play with. The venue was a small room, almost garage, outside of the bar. Great crew at the bar and awesome sound.

AO: To those who may not have heard your band play, what would you describe your sound as and list some of your influences.

Dustin: It’s hard for me to really describe us. We all three have a pretty wide taste in music but we were recently describe as “a little bit of Mudhoney, a little bit of Black Flag, a little bit of Nirvana, and a little bit of Black Sabbath, and that’s a good thing.” Who am I to argue?

Andrew: Loud, fast, garage, punk. My influences are NOFX, The Misfits, Motorhead, etc.

Megan: I always ask other people. I dunno. Melvins meets the Stooges.

AO:Of all the songs that you guys have written and played together, which song is your favorite (this can be each band member's favorites, or one that all of you enjoy playing together more than the other.. and why this song is special to you.)

Dustin: I always love playing our closing song. I like the punch to it and it seems to be a fan favorite. It’s always nice to end a set with everyone having a good time.

Andrew: Our warm up song. It rocks!

Megan: Bar Bend Blues. I dig it. Dustin’s lyrics kick arse.

AO: What are your goals as musicians or as a whole? Who have you opened for, or has opened for you?

Dustin: We are trying not to look too far into the future but right now we are working on releasing a few EPs this summer, get some shirts out, and play around the eastern U.S. We’ve have a chance to play with some great bands like Charlie Hustle, Citizens Brigade, and the Beggars.

Andrew: We just want to play and goof off.

Megan: Whatever happened to playing for fun?

AO: How did you guys meet and decide to form a band together? Were any of you in bands before Thee Now Sound, or is this your first experience playing in a band?

Dustin: Well, I actually had a band prior to this. Some of the songs we play are from that band. (the band he is speaking of is Pen15.) We’ve all been in other bands before. Andrew and I got together a few years back, when he moved to Ohio with his girlfriend (an old friend of mine). He and I played in my previous band. In 2010 we changed the name of the band and started taking on a lot more shows. Our bassist couldn’t handle the load and was burnt out so Megan has stepped in to fill his shoes.

Andrew: I had not played drums in a few years. I was looking to get back into it and Dustin was looking for a beat monkey.

Megan: Talked to Dustin for a while via the Interweb, finally got together with them. First practice we talked about Tolkien and the zombie apocalypse and how f*cked the government is. Band of hyperparanoid nerds. Seemed like a good fit.
I played in various bands—Say it with Flowers, The Missing Teens, Drag Strip Hookers, Rag Rage, Valentich Disappearance, then these bastards.

AO: For those again that haven't heard your music yet, do you have a Facebook page or a band page in which people can hear samples of your music, and do you have a CD out yet together.. or have you been signed yet?

Dustin: We have a demo that we did and an old CD from the prior band that you can get at shows or online. We’ll have some EPs available soon. You can find samples of us around the Interweb at the following sites:

AO: How do you survive while pushing to make your band known? (i.e. jobs you may have or if you go to college, etc.

Dustin: I don’t think you’ll find a more diverse job field, and yet it couldn’t be more “heartland” sounding. I work in a family-run quilting business while Andrew is a farmer and details cars in his off time. Megan doesn’t hold a day job but has done several movies.

Andrew: I detail cars, raise chickens and grow pumpkins on a farm out in Hopewell, OH.

Megan: Teach acting to some students. Do some films. Food stamps.

AO: Other than music, what are some of your hobbies and interests? Do any of these have any part in your songs or lyrics?

Dustin: I do graphic design which I’ve used on some of our fliers, shirts, cover art, etc.

Andrew: Maybe.

Megan: Writing. I write a lot. Recording everything for posterity’s sake it seems. And puppies. Acting has always been in there. Death of the Dead — check it.

AO: Do you have a schedule of where you may play next? Do you have any new music coming out that fans should be aware of?

Dustin: You can keep up to date with where we are at on We will also be recording three new EPs over the next few months.

Megan: I think we’re coming up with a bunch of great ideas, it’s just a matter of getting all this chaos cohesive like a good blood pudding.

AO: How do your families and loved ones feel about you making music such a high priority in your lives? Who gives you the most support and why?

Dustin: I think my family had to learn to support it. I’ve always been stubborn and it turned out that their lack of support was really just a phase they were going thru while music was something that just didn’t turn out to be a phase for me. They all support me now and take an interest in it.

Andrew: My girlfriend. Her and I play music together a lot so she is very supportive.

Megan: No way I would be doing this without the support of my family and friends. They are always brutally honest and 100% supportive. I realize how lucky I am to have them. Hi Mom! Hi Dad!

AO:Have any of you overcome major obstacles in your life that led to you possibly writing of these experiences in your songs? If so, which songs, and what obstacles did you overcome?

Dustin: I put a lot of myself into my music. When I write about medical issues, love loss, mistakes, religion, culture, society, war, it’s all coming from experiences I’ve had. I don’t take for granted how well I cope with what I’ve been through or where I am in my life but I’m not going to pretend to have it harder than anyone else.

Megan: These dudes are the most supportive band I’ve played with. We’ve shared some trials, at separate times, but the understanding and respect is there. The common sense of humor is grand!

Thee Now Sound will be appearing at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus on April 30th. I strongly suggest checking them out! You may even think you are back in a time warp back to the early grunge days of the 90's- and that is definetely a fun time an old-timer like me surely can appreciate!