When someone introduces themselves as a ‘band from Ohio,’ what do you think of? Probably not a small rock band from Cincinnati, formally known as PUBLIC. However, PUBLIC is here to encourage you to change your mind about that. Band members John Vaughan, Matt Alvarado, and Ben Lapps formed PUBLIC while still in high school. This began the journey to where they are now, signed to Island Records with viral TikTok hit, “Make You Mine.” With a tight-knit, dedicated fan group from the very beginning, PUBLIC’s music brings a new level of authenticity to their indie-pop infused rock songs.
The road where they are now, was not an easy overnight success story, however. Especially with how accessible music is today, reaching people through all the other noise can be a process. PUBLIC, however, is in it for the long haul. Being a band from Ohio has also been a fundamental part of the formation of PUBLIC. While some might resent being so far removed from the major music hubs like Nashville or LA, PUBLIC mentions that once they started to view being from Cincinnati as a positive instead of a negative, that’s when things began to shift for them.
Lead singer John shares: “I think I kind of resented that for a while when we were younger because I was like, ‘Oh there’s nothing here, we don’t have an industry hub here in Cincinnati.’ But now, I’m actually really glad that we started in Ohio. There just wasn’t as much going on there, so we were forced to become unique and it didn’t feel like an area that was too oversaturated to be a band, which I think can happen with bplaces like Nashville or LA. That’s what is nice about Ohio, it gave us room to build who we are.”
Alvarado, the bassist, also adds: “Yeah, without knowing what other areas are like, being from Ohio a lot of the bands stick together in the same scene, with some of the most die-hard fans I’ve ever seen. We were also super fortunate to come up at the same time as WALK THE MOON and twenty one pilots to kind of pave the way for a rock band to come into existence.”
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