Five graduates of the all-male LaSalle High School -- all best friends and roommates -- started a band in 1997. What would they stake on their success? Only everything.
The band Only Everything is Chris Mouch, lead vocals, Jim Klosterman, lead guitar, Zach Long, rhythm guitar, Dan (Spike) Strasser, bass, and Adam Eilers, drums. They decided on the band's name while "looking for a name that incorporated a lot of different styles," says Klosterman. Only Everything seemed to say it best.
According to Klosterman, each member of the band has different influences and tastes in music. All of their backgrounds and preferences have come together.
The members of this band agree that one of the unique qualities that stands out to fans is Mouch's voice.
"He's known for the soul in his voice," says Eilers. Mouch says that playing in a cover band before Only Everything made it difficult for him to grow as a singer because he was always trying to sound like someone else.
Now that he's had some formal training -- he attended Northern Kentucky University working on a bachelor's degree in music -- and been able to focus more on original songs, he's begun to realize his vocal potential.
According to Eilers, this band's music appeals to a more mature audience, because there is a lot of meaning in their lyrics.
"Our songs are definitely not bullshit. When you listen to the radio, you hear things that are over-produced and people writing songs that are just meaningless," says Strasser. "We write music that means something to us."
Actually, most of their songs are about relationships -- usually relationships-gone-wrong. After all, as Mouch says, "What else is there to write about?"
In fact, the guys joke that the person in the band who is most depressed at the time does much of the writing.
Only Everything's first CD, Break the Monotony, was released in 1998. According to Klosterman, the CD is basically a concept album that shows the influences of bands that have done concept albums like Pink Floyd and Metallica. It's a story of a man's passage through a failed relationship.
"We didn't want to write the three to four-minute Pop radio song," Long says. In fact, one of the tracks is an instrumental; something they say is rare for a local, original band.
One track from that CD, "Change," has a video coming out in the near future; it is currently being edited by Shockwave Audio. Soon, they say, you'll be able to see about the first minute of the video on their Web site, www.only everything.com.
The guys say their manager, Jerry Woodruff of RoX Entertainment, handles all of the booking and promoting, and that, they all agree, really makes a difference.
"It's so hard for all of us to focus on writing music, practicing, and doing everything we have done, that it's almost necessary to have someone that's going to promote you when you're not around," says Mouch.
The members of Only Everything have varied daytime lives and jobs. For them, music is a second occupation. Actually, Long says, "It's our second job, but we're wanting it to be our first." Eventually, these guys want to make music their priority. According to Long, "the best day of my life will be when I can quit my job and just play music."
"It's a labor of love right now," says Strasser.
"We want to make as big a name around here as we can and then start branching out a lot more," says Mouch.
Strasser says one big motivator is that a major label is currently looking at the band. He says that has been pushing them to work harder to perfect their sound.
Only Everything began playing Jefferson Hall every other Wednesday on May 2. They are working with several other local bands on a music festival for early July in hopes of promoting original music in Cincinnati and raising money for a charity (possibly VH1's Save the Music). Currently, they are looking for sponsors and will announce specifics soon. ©