MEET THE BAND: Anthony Doran (lead vocals and guitar), Kevin Trask (bass and backing vocals), Chris Szuch (drums)
LETTING THE GOOD TIMES ROLL: Doran was in a band 10 years before forming You're Among Friends, and Trask joined that band at the very end. Right before the group was to play a show at the Red Parrot in Lorain, the lead singer quit. Doran, the band's guitarist and songwriter, knew all the lyrics and stepped into that role. The group soldiered on as a trio, eventually rechristening itself as You're Among Friends. "The band name reflects what we think about playing music together," says Doran. "We think of it as a way to have a good time. We drink a few beers and then just have fun with it."
CELEBRATING AN ANNIVERSARY: The group put out a self-titled album in 2007, retooling songs from the previous band that Doran and Trask played in. Though the group will revisit some of the songs for its upcoming 10th anniversary show, Doran says he doesn't necessarily identify with the tunes. "It's hard for me to play songs I wrote when I was 17 or 18," he says. "But that early album and band was a stepping stone." For the anniversary show, the band also plans to play some new unreleased songs. "We can't wait to finally have some recordings with Chris Szuch on drums, though," says Doran. "He's our fifth drummer, but he also seems to be the best fit that we've had musically and personally." In addition, a keyboardist will make his debut with the guys and join the group for a few songs. "There's always someone leaving and joining the group," says Doran, "but that keeps it fun."
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: The band took some time off in the early 2010s and didn't play for four years. "There wasn't a falling out; it just happened," says Doran. "We started to have kids and had a lot going on at that time. Before that hiatus started, Kevin's younger brother passed away and then when my younger brother passed away, we reconnected and bonded over that. [Last year's As We Watch the Years Go] brings that experience into it." The disc's baseball cover art is a tribute to their brothers, who both liked the sport, and the album is dedicated to them. While tragedy informs the content, the songs comes off as mid-tempo rock and blues numbers that have an uplifting feel to them. Album opener "Years Go" features a twangy guitar riff and gruff vocals as Doran sings, "We'll be taking it slow/as we watch the years go." "I wrote songs that were angrier when I was young," he explains. "As I get older, I try to draw from the positive side of things."
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: facebook.com/yaftheband
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: You're Among Friends performs at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27, at Wilbert's.