Interview by Scott Preston
Formed in early 2005, One Under has quickly become the newest emerging musical force to come out of Ohio. The sextet is comprised of former members of Ekoostik Hookah, The Shantee and The Ark Band and is forging a sound incorporating elements of Roots Rock, American Jazz, Progressive Rock, Afro-Cuban Latin and Pure Funk Back Beat. This combination manifests into a danceable and energetic show that keeps people on their feet. One Under and it’s members have appeared at festivals including Bonnaroo, Wakarusa, Sierra Nevada Reggae Festival, Grateful Fest, Tabfest, the Recipe Family Cookout, Harvest Fest, Schwagstock, and Sunshine Daydreams. Recent college appearances include Dennison University and James Madison University as well as support slots for bands such as Particle, Hot Tuna, The Samples, Oteil and the Peacemakers, Rusted Root, Keller Williams and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and CJ Chenier. With incredible improvisation, solid grooves and strong lyrical content, One Under is continuing to reach new and diverse crowds wherever they play. (source – oneunder.net
One Under has also been nominated for a 2008 Jammy Award in the “New Groove” category be sure to goto www.jammys.com and vote for One Under (their category is at the bottom of the page)
Cincy Groove: So how does it feel to be nominated for a Jammy Award?
Johnny Polansky: It really is fantastic…we’re all extremely proud of the nod. I know it can be cliche’ to say “it is nice to just be nominated” But it really is. If you (reader) haven’t had the chance to go vote, we certainly would appreciate yours in helping bring the prize to Ohio.
Seth Kafoure: It feels amazing to be recognized for something we all have been working so hard at, and to see how many fans voted and encourage us is staggering and touching!
Ed McGee: It is an honor to be nominated for a Jammy. Just to be listed with some of these other fine bands is welcomed reward, let alone being in the running for the actual Jammy after all the hard work we’ve been putting in as a band.
Cincy Groove: What other bands has everyone been in?
Johnny Polansky: Robb was in the Shantee, Cello the Ark band and so on and Seth was in Toast and a band called Cellovision with Mike. I’m not sure who Ed played with before…..I’m kidding I know he played in Local Color. I’ve been in a good deal of bands over the years from reggae and jazz to rock and funk. As well, I’ve played and sat in with tons of other bands both locally and nationally. I’m now able to look back upon the body of work my career has produced and be super proud of moments with all of the bands I’ve shared the stage with. Some more than others. There was band out of Czechoslovakia that was kind of a drag, but that was just because we had to eat goat most nights on the road.
Seth Kafoure: I have worked with Cello in a few bands now, before OneUnder, we worked in Cellovision and Big Soul Kiss together. Before that, I played in a band called Toast and played some freelance gigs
Mike Iannicello: I’ve (Cello) have been in The Ark Band which is a Columbus based reggae band, I co-founded Shakerman which was a 5 piece band that covered tunes as well as did originals.
Ed McGee: I have been in The Eagles, Phish and Van Halen, but only for one show each and this was during dreams I was having.
Cincy Groove: How is the new cd coming along? is there a title? any collaborations on the cd?
Johnny Polansky: We are chugging along on the cd. It’s always a process, but in my eyes a very fulfilling one. My suggestion is for the CD to be called “Hey Ladies”…I am kidding again. We don’t even have a working title other than “The CD” right now. It is in it’s iearly and we are just getting some basic stuff tracked but the energy it off the charts I think. With the last CD we really did it essentially in less than 4 weeks total. This one we are going to take a little more time with and let it develop with a somewhat different process.
Seth Kafoure: It is definitely a work in progress but we are all very excited and pumped to get one (A CD) out and have some new stuff for the fans.
Ed McGee: I have never been more excited about a new CD as I am this time with this new CD. The collaborative efforts are becoming more intricate and exciting and the new tunes are seething with energy.
Cincy Groove: When and how did you all end up getting together as One Under? Who came up with the band name?
Johnny Polansky: As the story goes, Cello was just about to move to California. We had toyed around with playing together for years since I moved to Columbus and first met him in 94. We talked about it and gave it a whirl. We called a few of the other cats and felt like we had something to go on right away. Cello and I came up with the name. Lots of people speculate in the origin, but we will just leave it at that.
Seth Kafoure: Like I said, I have played in a few bands with Cello as well as sitting in with Johnny Polanski and Ed McGee when they were in Ekoostik Hookah a couple times. Cello and Johnny have been close for quite some time, so when they were starting the band, it was a “Right-place, Right-time” kind-of thing. They are also the two that came up with the Band Name.
Mike Iannicello: We got together in early ’05 and I believe JP came up with the name. How we got together, well to make a long story short JP and I wanted to put something new together and we did.
Ed McGee: One Under came together in the Spring of ’05, our first show being 5/5/05. The name refers to someone who has been unintentionally ejected from a white water raft.
Cincy Groove: Who designs your tour posters?
Johnny Polansky: I’ve done pretty much all of them this year but Robb has designed some and Pat did some when he was in the band. It’s something I’ve been enjoying much more recently as a different creative outlet. We’ve had a few other guys do posters in the past that just didn’t fit our style. A little to cartoon -like sometimes and some were just a little creepy that we didn’t even use. Overall there has been several people do posters over the past three years and it’s been nice to have a variety of the visual ideas the music of One Under inspires in other artists.
Cincy Groove: How does the band feel about file sharing? the trading of live shows?
Johnny Polansky: I’m all for it. I can think of no other way you can get your music out to so many people so quickly. I used to be a little weirded out by it, but that ancient way of thinking has come and gone.
Mike Iannicello: When the issue of file sharing and the whole internet boom first came up my feelings may have been different but i pretty much embrace it now. The business has changed obviously. Perhaps it is putting more emphasis on the live show. I know as a consumer I don’t buy as much music as I used to. I download or I check out a live show.
Cincy Groove: Who put together the Live in the Valley dvd?
Johnny Polansky: Well Kevin Smith actually got the ball rolling and it wouldn’t have happened without him. We all collaborated somewhat on the creative output. I did the layout and video editing, Cello and Robb as well as Kevin did some mixing but everyone had an opportunity to give their input to the project. We very pleased with what we were able to accomplish on such a tight budget.
Only Falling – One Under, 5.12.2007, Cabin Fever
Upcoming One Under tour dates:
for complete show details visit oneunder.net
4.25.2008 – Stanleys Pub, Cincinnati, OH
5.2.2008 – Cabin Fever, Legend Valley, Thornville, OH
5.9.2008 – Peachs Grill, Yellow Springs, OH
5.15.2008 – Founder’s Brewery, Grand Rapids, MI
5.17.2008 – Tony’s, Newark OH
5.30.2008 – Nelsons Ledges, Garrettsville, OH
6.6.2008 – The House of Crave, Columbus, OH
6.7.2008 – The Winchester, Cleveland, OH
6.13.2008 – Mickey Finn’s, Toledo, OH
6.14.2008 – Docksider’s, Erie, PA
6.20.2008 – Summer Solstice Party, Stanley’s, Cincinnati OH
7.19.2008 – Tabfest, Mendon, OH
7.25.2008 – 10,000 Lakes Festival, Detroit Lakes, MN
7.26.2008 – Hoxeyville Festival Hoxeyville, MI
8.8.2008 – Shammy Bash, Frontier Ranch
8.15.2008 – The Verve, Terre Haute, IN
9.6.2008 – Kent Stages, Kent, OH
9.19 – 9.20.2008 – Harvest Moon Festival, Legend Valley, Thornville, OH
9.27.2008 – Harvest Jam, Sterling, NY