On Dec. 30, progressive local Groove Pop/Rock band Homunculus is getting back together for the first time in four years for a reunion show that, thanks to the recent turn of events at the Southgate House, will serve as the penultimate concert at the famed Newport venue (at least in its current, beloved state). With band members scattered around the country, the show is a true rarity that is likely to be packed considering Homunculus’ regional popularity in the early ’00s (advanced tickets are recommended; click here to get yours).
Formed in the ’90s in Bloomington, Ind., where members met while going to college (singer/keysman Ben Doepke was the only native Cincinnatian), the band’s successful run lasted eight years and included plenty of touring across the country, which, combined with the magnetic appeal of their music, helped them build a large, supportive grassroots fanbase. The band called it quits in 2004 as other interests pulled them in different directions. Bassist Adam Schoen recently answered a few questions for CityBeat about what the members have been up to, what fans can expect from the show and why they decided to make the event a benefit for The Wellness Community.
CityBeat: How long's it been since the last Homunculus show?
Adam Schoen: Our last show was for the Chris Walker benefit show at the Southgate House (Dec. 29, 2007; check a video from the show below). As we are all long time friends of Chris and Carole Walker, we didn't hesitate making plans to play when she got a hold of us to support the cause. Despite the band being in different states, and no plans to play together, we made it work and it was a fantastic night all the way around.
CB: What is everybody doing now and where are they?
AS: Kevin currently lives in LA playing with the band Everyday Animals. He also teaches audio production at a local college and is collaborating with many musicians in the area writing music for TV and film.
Ben currently lives in Cincinnati and works for Seek helping corporations to think more creatively. He has three wonderful kids, travels often and enjoys good coffee.
Cupcake lives in Cincinnati, is a father of two beautiful girls, a full time drum teacher, owner of www.nowdrum.com and is hired to play the drums by many local bands for live shows and recording projects.
Matt (an original member) lives in Indianapolis and plays in numerous bands in the area, including Coolidge. When he's not developing code by day, he's riding his motorcycle somewhere awesome and loving on his dogs.
I relocated back to Cincinnati after living in Washington DC for a few years, started (my) own affordable website design and marketing solutions company — WeGo Unlimited — (have) a fantastic 6-year-old son, and play bass with for algernon and Jason Ludwig (Noctaluca).
CB: Why did you split up in the first place?
AS: During the last year or so of the band, Homunculus had been working on a ton of material for a new album. As a collective group, we were all noticing that everyone's desired musical direction was changing a bit, among other things. We parted musical ways on the best of terms and just realized it was time. The band had been together for many years, amassed an extremely large and loyal fanbase throughout the country, and accomplished some terrific feats — we just realized it was the right time to call it quits.
CB: What can fans expect from the show?
AS: First, they can expect a fantastic opening act. Our great friends in The Newbees will open the show, performing their Beatles tribute set which includes a live string ensemble. They are a terrific original band and quite possibly the strongest Beatles tribute group around.
Homunculus is comprising a set that mixes tunes from their entire catalog, including some songs never before released or heard in a live setting. We fully expect a large and vocal crowd excited to all be together at a great venue.
CB: Tell me how you decided to get involved with the Wellness Community and donate some proceeds to them from the show?
AS: The Wellness Community, like so many other wonderful non-profit organizations in our area, does amazing things, specifically providing free support services to people affected by cancer (that includes loved ones as well). The band had been asked to participate in many benefits over the last several years by various groups that we wished we could do, but unfortunately, based on the fact that we all don't live in the same area, we were unable to schedule them. It took us a very long time to find a date that would work for everyone and when we finally nailed it down, we wanted to incorporate a charitable cause. Gig goers will have the opportunity to donate directly to The Wellness Community at the show and 100% of all CD sales will go directly to TWC, in addition to a portion of the door. The Southgate House has been gracious enough to also donate to the cause and we are very thankful to them for hosting this event and participating in the charity. (Learn more about The Wellness Community here.)
CB: Will you reunite more in the future?
AS: While it's impossible to say for sure, we are certainly hopeful. As mentioned, it's really hard to schedule these things. This will be only our second show in eight years. But our fanbase is tremendously supportive and we have seen it grow over the years to include many people who were never able to see a live show (which was a vital part of our existence for such a very long time). We hope that people will come out to see us perform with The Newbees, help The Wellness Community and just have a fantastic night all the way around — prepping them for what we hope is a stellar new year for all.