Local band releases new album following sumer of touring

Kelsey Palmer and Kelsey Palmer

After a summer full of touring and the releasing their debut album, local band Indian Opinion has returned to Bowling Green for a string of live performances.

The group, whose music is a mix of rock, jazz and funk, formed last year when a group of Bowling Green State University students continuously played together and received recognition that they sounded great.

The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Mark Dylan, while Benji Katz plays the bass. JP Stebal plays the drums alongside Billy Gruber who plays percussion. Hiroki Kato plays the saxophone and Connor Mancini plays the trumpet.

Indian Opinion spent much of the summer on tour at different bars in cities across the U.S. When they were not on tour they wrote their own songs and produced their first album “116”.

“116” was released on August 10 via SoundCloud and their Facebook page. It is dedicated to everyone who used to come to their house shows at 116 Summit and their shows at bars.

A friend of the band and BGSU alumnus, Ben Shepler, recorded the album at his studio in Toledo and was very pleased with the results.

“A tribute to their musicianship is the fact that the songs were live tracked, meaning they played each song together from start to finish. Their music is so unique and bridges so many genres; I couldn’t be happier with how the album turned out,” Shepler said.

The album artwork, designed by senior BGSU visual communication technology major Nolan Ritter’s digital media brand Integrity Aesthetics, consists of the 116 house and a field. A disposable camera took the picture of a house, then Ritter added his creative touch.

“The tie-dye in the windows was created to give more visual unity, but I felt that it represented their sound and attitude in a good way,” Ritter said. “ The field of lupine was created because it was late spring at the time and BG has several large fields that thrive around spring.”

“116” begins and ends with “Talkies,” Katz’s spoken words created to represent an audible Snapchat of their year. The album continues onto “Better Days,” “Cali Dreams,” “Characters Welcome” and “Frost.”

“‘Cali Dreams’ is definitely the single of our album. It’s all about how we are in such a transitional period of our lives, just trying to seek early ambition,” Katz said.

Their song “Characters Welcome” summarizes all of the types of people and nights the house shows at 116 consisted of. “Better Days” and “Frost” are meant to describe struggles in life and the better days ahead.

Since the release of their album, Indian Opinion has been writing more songs and creating music for the community through their performances at Grumpy Dave’s, Howards and Clazel.

“We want our album to inspire people to do creative things and to get our music out there,” Dylan said. “If we receive gigs from the album then awesome, if not, we just want people to hear our music. In the end, we would love to be on a record label but until then we want to inspire creativity.”

With an album release, tours, bar performances and the creation of more music in the future, Indian Opinion has strong desires of continuing their passion for music by playing at the Black Swamp Arts Festival here in BG on September 12.