Highbinder votes Toledo ‘best crowd’Written by Julie Ryan | | email@example.com
Click here to see the FOX Toledo profile on Highbinder.
Highbinder can’t be labeled a specific genre. All four members, who have been together for six years — Andrew Clark, Jon Kuhlman, Adam Keeler and Nick Grifka — fight against being typecast.
“The thing about this band is that we never pigeonhole ourselves. When people ask us what genre we are, it’s a hard question and all I usually say is ‘rock,’” said Kuhlman, lead vocalist and songwriter. “We’ll do a heavy song, a reggae song, maybe a country song — and we’ll do it all in a row.”
But each of the members agreed that writing a song for the Song of Toledo contest was one way to show their hometown love.
“I’ve lived here my entire life, except for I did four years in the Navy, and I tell you, absence really does make the heart grow fonder,” Kuhlman said. “I have been all over this nation and around the world and I’ve never found anywhere else I fit in. Toledo always felt like home and it bothers me when other people trash-talk it.”
Each band member calls Toledo home. Although Andrew Clark lives across the border in Lambertville, Mich., he said he spends most of his time in Toledo.
“I’m not going to remember jack squat about Lambertville when I’m 80 years old and in bed. I’m going to remember the stuff I did in Toledo,” Clark said.
Clark said the line “If you don’t like it, there’s a train station,” in their Song of Toledo finalist entry, “Frog Town Stomp,” is true.
“It might not be the most positive view, but seriously, if you don’t like it, stop complaining and go somewhere else. Because once you get there you’re going to hate that too and realize that Toledo really is an OK place to be,” Kuhlman said.
Kuhlman wrote “Frog Town Stomp” in late March, after reading about the contest, and collaborated with Keeler to write the music. The band recorded the song in a few hours at Abe’s Studio.
“That was very quick,” Keeler said. “Jon came in with the song already written and we just hashed it out.”
All four band members have work aside from Highbinder, and Keeler and Kuhlman are also fathers. On stage, they strive to be a band that follows the “code of conduct” and care about their fellow Toledo bands.
“Somebody’s got to set the example, especially for the younger bands,” Kuhlman said. “Toledo has got a really great scene. People don’t always go out and see the bands, but the bands see the bands, and the older bands take the younger bands under their wing.”
Follow the band at www.myspace.com/highbinder.