The Ongoing Concept is not only the name of the band, it is a perfect description for a group of artists who believe that the possibilities are endless. As each new day brings challenges, Dawson Scholz (guitar/vocals), Kyle Scholz (vocals, keyboards), Parker Scholz (drums), and T.J. Nichols (bass) respond with innovation, creativity, and hands on ingenuity. Nothing quite defines the genre of music they play, so I will simply call it good music that energizes and enthralls a vast range of music lovers.
DIY is getting exactly what you want. The Ongoing Concept knows what they want and are not afraid to research, learn, or use their hands to achieve their goals. Their creativity and ingenuity shines through in every project they undertake. In making their own drums, they started by cutting down a tree, even though they were told that drying the wood enough to make it usable can take years. But The Ongoing Concept was not put off and determined a bank of microwave ovens would speed up the process. Dawson said, “It (wood) is very dense when you cut a tree”. It was a long, drawn out procedure to dry the wood using microwave ovens. Dawson explained, “You had to do it slow. You could do it on high speed, but you could only do it for six minute intervals, then you had to slowly get down to like, twenty or thirty seconds”. Kyle added, “I had to actually measure all the boards out and find the volume of them, because I didn’t want to over-dry them. I found the density of dry wood in that particular tree and went from there”. How long did it really take? A long time. Kyle and Dawson agreed that although they would probably build their own drum set again, they will not be milling the tree. The artists of The Ongoing Concept are well known for their pioneering approach to problems making them the very best group to tour with. The day before the show in Kent, Ohio, their tour-mates van broke down and they stayed up most of the night to help fix it, getting the vehicle back on the road and to the next venue on time.
It is important to look inward. From their first album, Saloon, the song lyrics from “Failures and Fakes” say, “You got no trouble finding sin in my eyes/But all that changes when it seems like it’s your neck on the line” pointing out that many people can rush to judgment. Often people are caught up in trending issues and forget to look at all sides of a problem, or different points of view. It can be easy to point out faults in others, while very difficult to admit our own shortcomings.
Music is unlimited. The Ongoing Concept brings their hands on approach to their music as well. Dawson remarked that most heavy music is perceived to be a guitar, bass, and drums, but he can see a trombone, piano, or harmonica and wonder what new sound that could add. As a result, the music of The Ongoing Concept is as compelling as it is indescribable. The songs move through all genres and design a performance second to none. The drums built with tender loving care sound richer, fuller, adding a multi-dimensional beat. Non-musical elements, including spoken word passages, introduce musical stories that draw you in and captivate your imagination. The Ongoing Concept admits that they are having fun and do not apologize for not caring what it looks like. From my side of the stage, it was thrilling. Dawson and Kyle weave their vocals in and out of music that is ever-changing, with surprise pauses and shifting tempos. Participation was required as Kyle jumped into the mosh pit, never missing a word of the lyrics, while he danced and sang from the middle of the pit. The audience was invited in as T.J. handed over the bass to a willing fan, who proceeded to play the rest of the song while T.J. sang and danced with the crowd.
Signed to Solid State Records, The Ongoing Concept has just released their new album, Handmade, this month. Video for the single, “Unwanted” features a set built by the artists, who also filmed, produced, and performed in the video. This is one live show I would recommend to anyone who loves any genre of music, because once you see the show or hear the music, you are instantly a fan. Look for more to come from The Ongoing Concept while they continue to tour and write new music this year.