By: Kelan McLain

The University of Cincinnati’s Bearcast Media Fall Fest 2021 was a stunning success, thanks in large part to efforts of the Bearcast Team and the stunning local lineup we had. TasteFull, one of the most dynamic bands in the Cincinnati music scene, sat down with me to talk about their band and the future of music in Cincinnati.

Welcome gentlemen, thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview. So, everyone is local. Give the readers your story. How you met, etc.

“Yes, we are all Cincinnati-born and raised. Sam Smith and I (Hunter Brookbank) grew up in Hartwell near Wyoming, and Karthik and Frank both come from the Loveland/Kenwood area. We all met at a house party one night in 2018 at Same’s house. We had a band set up, and without knowing each other, the four of us found our way to our instruments and proceeded to jam for ~3 hours. A week later we got together and began assembling what would become our first song, La Llorona.”

What are some of the benefits and perks of the Cincinnati music scene that you guys have enjoyed?

“There are so many things to be said about the Clifton/Cincinnati music scene, but I would definitely say one of the greatest perks is the solidarity that all of the bands have together. We are all great friends behind the scenes, and we all work together a good amount to put on the events that we do for the community. The most recent one being a charity event at Bellevue called Rocktoberfest. There’s a huge amount of talent in the area, and it’s really only a matter of pooling our resources and getting organized to truly see how much of an impact we can continue to make.”

What was the biggest obstacle you faced trying to craft your sound?

“I think the biggest obstacle was probably syncing up enough as a unit to perform our songs to the standard that we want them to appear live. We tend to write fairly in-depth songs with a lot of intricate parts, and it took a while for us to grow enough as musicians and to ‘glue’ as a band enough to perform our songs to our level of expectation. We push ourselves hard in that regard and we think it pays off in the long run in the shows we bring to our audience.”

Tell the readers what some of your influences are, both musically and aesthetically, and how would you describe your band’s style?

“TasteFull is certainly a potpourri of influences, but a few standouts would definitely include Rush, The Who, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and grunge bands such as Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam. Classic and Psychedelic rock are our roots, but we really seek to incorporate more. Hints of jazz, reggae, punk, blues, soul, even country…it’s all there.”

What’s your favorite thing(s) about doing live shows?

“Definitely meeting the people and sharing the energy. Nothing compares to the deafening sound of the collective scream after each song and seeing everyone mosh and dance to our music reminds us why we do it. It’s really that energy that inspires us onstage when we’re playing. It’s a give and take, and afterwards is so great to meet all the faces, both old and new, and get feedback. There’s always great people who bring a great atmosphere at our shows, and that’s something we’re really proud of. We owe it to them.”

Tell us about some upcoming shows and projects you guys have planned…maybe there’s a new album soon? Tell us about that and the direction you’re heading in going into the future.

“For the past year we’ve been heavily performing our debut album “Radha”, but the thing about TasteFull is we are writers at heart. We are probably backlogged with about three albums worth of material to choose from at this point. It’s only a matter of what we choose to release. Coming up, we are recording two new songs we’ve been performing live for some time, a soul song called “A Brighter Day” and the skiffle-esque “Carousel”. Our music is definitely headed in a new direction with our future music, but one that does not stray from the main core of what fans know TasteFull to be.”

Where do you guys see yourselves in five years? Ten years?

“Well, that’s a difficult one…in five years can definitely say that national touring will hopefully have occurred, and we hope to be signed to a label. We hope to have released at least close to an album per year, but it could be less depending on how in depth we decide to go with production (and we plan to go hard). Within ten years all I can say is that we will hope to have cultivated a brand that both supports us and makes a greater impact on the communities we are thankful to have been a part of.”

Last question…do you have any advice for our audience? Maybe some young musicians looking to follow a similar trajectory as you guys…what inspiration and advice would you give them?

“Absolutely – firstly, pay attention to the people around you. The people around you can shape the rest of your life, and you never know where it can possibly take you. Specific to music, start playing with people. Play with people as soon as possible and as much as possible. Music is a collaborative art and playing with people is how you really learn what it’s about. After that, keep at it, stay hungry, stay motivated, and stay inspired. Don’t close your eyes or heart to the world around you. I think that’s key to remaining inspired in music. Write something honest, something true, and be passionate about it. After that, working hard will be as easy as it is necessary.”

Great advice. Thank you so much, and the best of luck to you in the future.

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