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Audiodacity: The next big thing 

click to enlarge SEAN MOLIN
  • Sean Molin

It's late on a Saturday afternoon and it has already been a slamming weekend for the members of Audiodacity.

Friday night was a rager and later tonight they're planning on heading to the Doghouse Sports Bar in Brownsburg to jam with Big Daddy Caddy. But first, band practice.

The sextet, all longtime friends from their days in the Wayne Township Metropolitan School District and Ball State University, are crammed in the basement of the the Northwestside house shared by lead vocalist and trumpet player Ben Jarvis, drummer Adam Woodgett and guitarist-saxophonist Jason Ehizokhale (they call it the B.A.J. Mahal). Along with guitarist-trumpetist Cody Herring and William Skirvan on baritone sax (bassist Tommy Grant isn't present and is in the process of leaving the band), Audiodacity is fleshing out a new song by Jarvis. It starts all suave and amatory, but then the horns come out and it descends into a marching band riot before jumping off the rails. It's not quite ready for public consumption, but it's getting there.

"For every song we've written, it's just kept evolving," says Ehizokhale a few moments later, upstairs in the living room. The band is gathered around with beers. Woodgett tries to find a music station on TV to negate the family counseling atmosphere of this interview. He switches to alternative rock from Christmas music after a chorus of protests.

Audiodacity has been a band almost two years now, the genesis of which was at Ball State. Like most musicians, their start was inauspicious. There was that coffee shop in Muncie, where Jarvis and Herring worked, that let them play gigs. The regulars, who skewed a bit older, didn't exactly take to Audiodacity's blend of ska rock and rap.

"Everyone hated our music," remembers Jarvis. "We had to turn everything way down because it echoed so bad in there. And they had a smoothie machine running right next to us the whole time."

It improved slightly once everyone had made their way back to Indianapolis. Audiodacity served as the house band for the now-closed Winner's Circle bar in Speedway, with an open-mic night every Wednesday. Ehizokhale described it as "mandatory practice."

"It gave us a chance to keep playing and playing," he says. "That's how we got good."

"Yeah, because no one would come out and it would just be us for four hours," clarifies Woodgett.

Audiodacity did score a Behind the Music-worthy story from that period. During Brickyard 400 festivities a couple years ago, a couple at the Winner's Circle who had been trying to conceive decided to be carnal in their car during Audiodacity's set. They had a daughter nine months later.

"They came back to the Brickyard this year, and the mom was crying and asking us to sign stuff," says Ehizokhale. "She told us, 'We finally have a child and it's thanks to you guys.' It's baby-making music I guess."

Audiodacity signed up for Birdy's Battle of the Bands last year. With only covers in their repertoire, they quickly began writing original tunes. Nothing, including their marching band backgrounds, seemed to be off-limits.

"We're not a band that says no," says Jarvis. "Any idea that comes up, the response is usually, 'Let's try it and see how it sounds.' We make decisions based on what we hear instead of what we think it's going to be like in the future."

That approach earned them third place in the Birdy's contest. This year Audiodacity finished second in that competition, but they also won Indy's Next Big Thing by radio stations Q95 and X103. The latter earned them an opening slot for GROUPLOVE at the Egyptian Room in Old National Centre.

If no musical style (except country) is verboten to the band, neither is where they play. They've brought the horns and heat to the hippies at the Mousetrap, the punks at the Melody Inn and the metalheads at Visions and the Rock House Cafe.

"When we get on stage, our first thought is just to rock people's faces off and entertain them," says Woodgett.

Audiodacity consider themselves part of a new guard that's reinvigorating a long-dormant Indianapolis music scene. Not only are more acts and venues popping up, but audiences are becoming more dependable.

"The local music scene is so beautiful right now, and I'm proud to be part of it," says Woodgett.

The band also believes local musicians are offering more diverse sounds now too. Audiodacity, for their part, are proud to be doing something that isn't easily categorized.

"People ask us all the time, 'Who do you think you sound like?',"says Herring. "We can't really put our finger on it."

Adds Woodgett, "We're like chameleons -- we change our skin constantly."

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