Band Erie to play at Frankie’sWritten by Matt Liasse | | email@example.com
On Jan. 4, 1981, a passing play was called during an American Football Conference divisional playoff game.
With less than a minute left, the ball was on the Oakland Raiders’ 13-yard line and the Cleveland Browns were down by two when Browns quarterback Brian Sipe called a timeout. Coach Sam Rutigliano called a pass play and told Sipe to “throw it into Lake Erie.”
Sipe tried to throw the ball to tight end Ozzie Newsome; however, it was intercepted in the end zone, putting an end to the Browns’ season. The Raiders went on to win Super Bowl XV.
Local band Throw it to Erie stands as an ode to this event in Cleveland sports history.
“Three of the members have lived in Cleveland and we’re all huge Cleveland sports fans,” said singer/guitarist Timothy David Richissin. “It’s kind of like a tongue-in-cheek thing. It’s the dumb shit luck that most guys can have and [we] play into it a little bit.”
The band pays tribute to Ohio in more ways than one. They call their sound “Ohio rock ’n’ roll.”
The band consists of four local college-educated guys “living in a dying industrial town,” Richissin said. He added that he and his bandmates listen to a lot of punk rock, which meshes with personal experiences to influence their sound.
“We were all told to go to college and to get nine-to-five jobs and go catch the American dream,” Richissin said. “We all found out real quick after graduating college, some of us grad school, that the American dream is a little harder to get than everyone told us. … That sort of subject matter and that kind of anger … we felt it was an appropriate time to create the type of band we did.”
Richissin called Throw it to Erie an “oxymoron” of a band.
“We’re guys playing Americana punk music but have nine-to-five jobs,” he said. “The reason we play [that] is because of the situation we’ve been put in by our nine-to-fives.”
The band will release its seven-track EP “It’s Good to be Alive” on June 15. Some tracks include “Needles and Wax,” “Sharks” and “Champagne.”
The EP was produced by Little Elephant Recording, which is co-owned by band member Brian Gross-Bias.
As Little Elephant Recording, started in 2011, Gross-Bias and partner Rob Courtney track, mix and master music for a flat rate.
They recently started Little Elephant Live, a video series that features bands playing live in their living rooms. Throw it to Erie is featured in one of the videos on littleelephantlive.com.
The band is planning a limited run of 100 copies, and when those are gone the EP will only be available on iTunes and bandcamp.com.
The 100 copies will be all screenprinted, hand-numbered and packaged with four different colors to choose from. The band will celebrate its EP at a release show 9 p.m. June 15 at Frankie’s Inner City, 308 Main St. The event is free for those 21 and older and $3 for anyone younger. Fellow bands will perform, including J.W. Carlson, Gold and Shi***Neighbors.