Interview – Ledges

These fill in the blank responses come from alternative/indie band, Ledges. This 5-piece is from Akron, Ohio and consists of Andy Hoffman (vocals, guitar), John Merkel (guitar), Alex Hoffman (percussion, keys), Will Hess (percussion), and Matt Gregory (bass). Their ambient sound is influenced by artists including Foals and Manchester Orchestra. Ledges has a show tonight, December 19th, at Mahall’s in Lakewood so check out their responses and think about heading out to the show.

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The meaning/story behind our name Ledges is….Well when we started working on the Indian Summer EP we knew that we wanted to come up with a new band name b/c we had changed our sound quite a bit. So we went through a process that lasted for months where we came up with dozens of names. We sort of got in this rut where we were trying too hard, and one day we were talking about this place we hang out in the national park called the Ledges. Our friend Alan was with us and he was just like “Dude, just make your name LEDGES.” The idea grew on us and we just kinda went with it because we were sick of talking about our new name.

We met each other….A few of us went to high school together, Alex and Andy are brothers…..so they met when Alex was born….and we all attended and played music together at the same church during high school. We’ve all been really good friends since then.

The pickiest eater in the band is….Well it might be Andy or Alex if we had to pick one, but none of us are really that picky. We can for sure tell you who the LEAST picky eater is….It’s John…He will literally eat anything and we don’t necessarily mean that in a good way, we’re talking he’ll eat the cold nasty scraps of chipotle that you dribbled on the table 30 minutes earlier.

The most OCD member is….This is a tough one. We’ll have to say John but closely followed by Andy. John is really particular with anything regarding guitars or tech. He’ll sit there cross-legged for hours just tweaking knobs on his pedal board, which makes his stuff sound great. Andy is just sort of OCD with life in general.

For fun we like to….We enjoy just sitting on Andy’s Porch (it’s a great Porch) and hanging out after band practices. We also enjoy outdoor adventures, occasional rock climbing and watching movies such as Spinal Tap and Star Wars but only Episodes IV-VI.

We’re currently listening to….

  • From Indian Lakes new album Absent Sounds and Corey Kilgannon’s EP The Hollow (Andy)
  • The 1975 (Alex)
  • Night Beds and Delta Spirit (Will)
  • Kendrick Lamar (Matt)
  • Circa Survive’s album Descensus (John)

We find inspiration from….The journey through faith and doubt, relationships, etc.

One thing we want you to remember while listening to our music is….That it was made in a basement haha. But really just to remember that it was a raw and organic process and not all of our songs follow a traditional Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus progression. The structure of the song is based on what the song is about. The title track kind of sounds like 3 separate songs put together but that was intentional because it’s about a journey through a certain set of emotions and that didn’t fit into a classic song structure.

The member(s) who does most of our writing is….It’s really a group effort but a bulk of the recent songs have been from ideas from Matt and Alex. It’s a cool situation b/c we have a few great song writers in the band so rather than make it this weird thing where one person does all the writing, we just play each other’s songs. Someone shows up to practice with an idea and we work it out. 90% of the time it turns out way different than the original author expected, but that’s what we like about the process. Each song has a little bit of everyone’s creativity in it.

The Indian Summer was recorded in….We recorded drums at the Audio Kitchen, a studio in Akron. Everything else we just did ourselves at Andy’s house in a period of like 10 days. Will in addition to being a great drummer, is a fantastic sound engineer so even though we were recording in the basement of a house with scraped together equipment we still got some really great sounds. For what it is, we are really happy with how the EP turned out!

Something we learned from creating The Indian Summer is….To be intentional with what is on the record and have that down before you record. We’re really happy with the way that everything turned out for an EP recorded in a house, but there’s a lot that we would do different and we’ve learned a lot from that.

If we play another band’s music it’s….We don’t really ever cover songs.

Our craziest or most memorable gig was….Probably a house show we just played the day after Thanksgiving this year. Our friend Gaurav put on this show at his place in Akron. There was like 60ish people there, so it was fairly crowded in the living room. Anyways we played our set and it was the most energy we’ve ever felt from a group of people. People were belting the lyrics to our songs and it was this really weird moment where we realized these friends and friends of friends that listen to our music don’t just listen to humor us, they actually like the music. We played through the set and people were moving around and yelling their heads off, and we got “encored” but didn’t have another song prepared so we played through the progression of a new song we wrote b/c it’s kind of dancy and while everyone was dancing and carrying on, some random dude came up to the mic and started doing freestyle vocals and it was actually awesome! It was a night we will all remember for sure.

Our last meals would be….

  • A really good authentic mexican burrito (Will)
  • Drunken Noodle from Tree Country (Andy)
  • Any food you put in front of him (John)
  • Uncle Rico from Zubs (Alex)
  • Decide/cook his own meal in the moment because he’s a good cook (Matt)

In the next six months you should expect….We’re hoping to write material and put together the demos for some new songs. You can expect a new single at the very least, but we’re in the process of writing/recording a new album so hopefully we can buckle down and get that done.

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– Victoria

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