I had the opportunity last week to speak with Megan Freeman, a senior at Groove U music college in Columbus, about their capstone project, which includes several local bands and is culminating with an EP release later this month! I love this creative idea, especially during the pandemic.
Jesse Jester: Tell me about The C-Bus Sessions project.
Megan Freeman: Well, Groove U is a two-year school. It’s basically a music entrepreneur college where you can learn several aspects of the music industry, including video, live sound, and the music business itself. That’s what I do! But for our capstone project we had a team of eight people, including audio production, live sound, videos, and so forth. We decided to create The C-Bus Sessions.
The idea was that we would get 10 local bands and have them play a song on a COTA bus. I was able to partner up with COTA and get the ball rolling back in January. Then we were going to have each of them record the song in studio, and release it as a compilation album in April.
What gave you the idea to do this as a project?
MF: We were trying to think of something to do that hadn’t been done before. We had a lot of great thoughts about how we could do it; for instance having the band ride with us to their favorite coffee shop or record store.
Wow, that sounds wild! With the bus moving through the city?
MF: Unfortunately, because of the liability side of things, we had to have them play in a parked bus. But each of the bands wrote a new acoustic song for the project!
That’s fantastic! Who were the bands that ended up playing?
MF: Well, unfortunately because of COVID we were only able to record six of them playing, and get seven of the songs recorded in studio. We also had to put the album release on hold as well. But, we were able to get Henodus, Kevin Stokes, Courtney from Work, Current Events, Girl Fox and Spirit of the Bear recorded on the bus, and were able to do a song in studio with Cvnvdv (pronounced liked Canada). We were also able to do little interviews with them before they played their song.
ED. You can find all of the videos here.
How did you end up finding such an intriguing mix of bands?
MF: We did a lot of searching on social media, reaching out to different bands to see if there would be any interest. Once we landed the first band, others started falling in line. Word of mouth really helped too! Unfortunately we had to cut it short because of COVID.
COVID has definitely interrupted a lot of plans, especially in live music.
MF: Yeah, we were definitely bummed out that we couldn’t do any more actual bus sessions. Because we weren’t able to do a release party, we did a live-stream with three of the bands (Henodus, Kevin Stokes and Cvnvdv), but we really wanted to do something more.
What did you all come up with?
MF: We decided to do a drive-in concert, and then to fill up the rest of the album we took two songs and did remixes for them.
Tell me more about this drive-in show.
MF: Courtney from Work and Girl Fox were the bands who agreed to have their songs remixed, and will be headlining the shows. It will be a two day event, August 5-6 at Coffman Park in Dublin. Girl Fox will have Thomas and the Work-Men opening for them, while CFW will have Paper Lung.
That’s quite a lineup!
MF: We are hoping that it will have a festival-esque feeling to it, with such an eclectic lineup! As much as we were hoping to feel the energy of an actual concert, I feel like it’s really cool to be ahead of the curve on the changes in the industry. Who knows how long it will be before we can have actual live concerts again?
No kidding. How much is the show?
MF: It’s actually going to be free! You can reserve your tickets here. And it will be a family friendly event, just remember to wear your mask if you’re going outside of your car.
Free is always good. When do you plan on releasing the album?
MF: The EP will be released on August 26, with the remixed singles dropping the day of the shows (Aug 5 and Aug 6). It’s kind of backwards releasing the remix before the album, but we’re kind of living in a backwards time!
Haha, too true. What are your plans after the album releases?
MF: Well, we obviously want to promote it after the fact, but that is our capstone project. After that we get to graduate!
Awesome! What kind of grade do you think you’ll get?
MF: I hope we get an A!!
With all of the preparation and hard work that Megan and her team put into this effort, I can only assume that they will get a stellar grade.
Megan also wanted to make sure to give a shout-out to the rest of the members on the project that made it all possible -Breanna Romer, Abby Davis, Peyton Jeffers, Innes Miller, Joey Woodruff, Dom Pishotti, and Reed Davis.