As a part of the local music scene of Bowling Green, Kentucky, rock band Heavy Chase definitely stands out. Comprised of members Micah James Rigdon on vocals, guitarists Jason Sadler and Jared McKinney, and brothers Tom and Sean Elwood on bass and drums respectively.
Heavy Chase was found in the beginning of an end. Rigdon, Sadler, and McKinney initially were playing with a band called Karmadons that eventually broke up after the loss of a drummer. The set back, however, did not prevent them from continuing to play music. In the summer of 2011, Rigdon, Sadler, and McKinney, decided they needed to figure out a way to continue making music the way they wanted. After several auditions, the almost formed band decided to convince Lexington, Kentucky musicians, the Elwood brothers, to move to Bowling Green and join what would become Heavy Chase.
“We auditioned around and talked to people but we didn’t really find anybody that we were pleased with. I went to college with Tom and his brother Sean and had played with their band for like maybe two weeks,” said Sadler.
Sadler must have been incredibly enticing because his pleas worked and the Elwood brothers moved to Bowling Green.
“He made it sound super appealing. He said this was the best music town ever and it turns out it kind is,” said Tom.
“I tricked them into coming down here and that is how it happened,” jokes Sadler.
Once the band members were rounded out, they began writing brand new original material that was uniquely theirs. However, choosing the name of their new band proved more difficult than anticipated for the group. Rigdon admits that trying to figure out a name was one of the more painful processes for the group. After throwing out dozens of names, they finally found one that stuck and they all liked.
“None of us are very serious people so when we had to come up with something serious it just didn’t work,” said McKinney.
Like the band Lost River Cavemen, Heavy Chase comes from the surprisingly booming local music scene of Bowling Green, Kentucky. In other music scenes, local bands struggle to become known, to stand out, to gain fans, but in Bowling Green, every band has something unique that draws people in. Heavy Chase has found their own place in the scene that no other band can rival.
“The music scene in Bowling Green is more of an approach than a sound,” said Sadler.
“I think we do pretty well not really sounding like any body else. That is sort of the niche of Bowling Green. You have Lost River Cavemen and nobody sounds like them, or Schools and nobody sounds like them. Instead of there being a Bowling Green sound, everyone has their own individual take on [the scene] and I don’t think we sound like anyone else in Bowling Green,” said Rigdon.
The small college town with the huge music scene may seem overwhelming to other bands, but the town also offers something other cities or scenes seem to lack: camaraderie. All the bands support and help one another because at the end of they day they are all friends and they are all doing what they love: making music.
“Everybody seems to make music the same way. We are all bored, hanging out with friends, drinking and smoking and just playing music,” commented Sadler.
Tom also adds, “That is the cool thing about Bowling Green, that I have noticed coming from Lexington and I’m sure Sean encountered some ridiculous things coming from LA, in a lot of music scenes there is always like the ‘Don’t go see that band, come see our band,’ or ‘Don’t buy their merch, buy our merch,’ here, though, it is just like ‘yeah we are all friends.’ Everybody supports everybody.”
Heavy Chase and the members have always supported the other bands in the area whether it is just showing up at their shows or throwing elaborate house parties where local bands can come together and play. Though Tom jokes he would like to play at somebody else’s house for once.
When it comes to writing the actual music for the band, the members of Heavy Chase work together. The lyrics or the musical writing doesn’t rest on one individual, rather the group take it on as a team. You can hear evidence of this collaborative team work on every track as every aspect works together flawlessly.
“It is pretty collaborative. Someone will come in with a riff or something and we all just go off that,” said Sean.
This week sits as a high point as they release their first EP entitled, Spinning in Circles. McKinney comments that the track list on the EP includes “the ones that represented our sound the most as a whole. It has a little bit of this and a little bit of that.”
The EP includes the following 5 tracks:
- Spinning in Circles
- X’s and O’s
- Hold On
- Stealing all the Color
Another high point for the band was the release of their first music video earlier this year for the title track off the EP, “Spinning in Circles.”
“We did put a video out and the most expensive part of that was the sparklers. We got those for free too,” said Rigdon.
Tom joked, “That was the most expensive part. The free sparklers.”
The future for the band is wide open at this point. They aren’t picky on what they do next as a band but would like to just play more shows and play new venues.
“I would love nothing more than just to pile in the van for a few months, sleep in terribly uncomfortable places and just play every night,” said Tom.
Lead singer, Micah Rigdon’s voice is distinctly addictive. The title track off the EP, “Spinning in Circles,” showcases his sultry voice as he sings with intense emotion and impressive range. Followed by other tracks on the EP such as “X’s and O’s” and “Stealing All The Color,” it is impossible to not get caught up by the unmistakable energy of their music.
It is easy to see (and hear) why the band fought hard to gain the Elwood brothers in their lineup. Sean and Tom are able to skillfully and intuitively play off each other as well as fellow band members to create a sound that cannot be mimicked or replicated by anyone else.
Jason Sadler and Jared McKinney round out Heavy Chase, adding the final touches to the quintet that is so devotedly loved by fans. It would be hard to imagine the band without them and frankly I wouldn’t want to.
The five song EP, Spinning in Circles, is a rare gem in that every song is unequivocally worthy of multiple listens. The EP leaves you wanting more from the band as you put the album on repeat once more.
Their live show is just as powerful as their EP recordings. The stage presence of every member of Heavy Chase results in a show that you don’t just see and hear but you also feel. It is easily apparent from the beginning that all five members love the music they are making and feel passionately about what they have created together. In the several times, I have seen this band live, never have I been disappointed. Whether it is a small indoor venue or a crowded performance at a bar, you will not regret it. I promise.
I can’t wait to see what else these talented, handsome, and incredibly nice guys have ahead of them.
In the two videos below you can watch the official video for “Spinning in Circles” as well as a live performance of “Stealing All The Color” live at The End in Nashville, Tennessee.