As fun as it can be — and with a headliner like Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals, Springfest promises to be a blast this year — the University Programs Council event can also tend to be overwhelming. With dozens of student musicians and other local performers on the lineup, it’s difficult to decide who to see and who to skip.
Inning wants to make that choice a little easier. A recently formed student band, they’ll be playing a set on the South Lawn at this Friday’s event, alongside such student groups as Sorority Boy and the also freshly-created This is following performances at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar and the Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative — and if their success so far is any indication, the band will continue to land gigs at larger and larger venues.
Arts and Entertainment had the opportunity to sit down with three members of the four-person group — third-years Marshall Perfetti, Ever Hernandez and Evan Frolov, Inning’s creator — to discuss the band’s brief history, its promising future and the passions of its respective members.
The first part of the interview was dedicated to the band members describing their personal backgrounds in music. Perfetti, the band’s bass player, has a high school background in jazz music, while Hernandez, a guitar player for the group, grew up playing in a local church group. Frolov had a little more to say about his musical roots.
“I started piano when I was 14, and played in some bands in high school as a drummer,” Frovlov said. “I just recently started producing my own songs for Inning, and writing them on the guitar.”
He went on to describe Inning as initially a summer project of the previous year, one which he wanted to introduce in a “live setting.” Frolov pieced the band together through acquaintances — he knew Perfetti and Hernandez from working together, and the fourth member, fourth-year drummer Tyler Brown, was childhood friends with Frolov.
Frolov did much of the talking throughout the interview, and as the questions progressed and more was learned about the band, it became clear why — not only is he responsible for Inning’s creation, Frolov is also largely the reason it has thrived so far.
And the band has certainly thrived. Frolov mentioned one of their most impressive achievements yet — a feature on an official Spotify playlist.
“About a month ago, I put out our first record,” Frolov said. “It’s an EP called ‘D.C. Party Machine E.P.’ I put it online and sent it to some people and that ended up getting us on a Spotify playlist called ‘Fresh Finds’ that showcases emerging artists.”
Frolov attributed much of Inning’s success to his tireless work as the band’s publicist. He described this work as sending their EP to bloggers or other influential voices who might be interested in the genre of music, emphasizing that to do this sort of work for a student band is “super important.”
Despite having nearly 25,000 monthly listeners on Spotify — and for some student musicians, even having a Spotify is enough of a challenge — and a track featured on “Fresh Finds,” Frolov said that the local presence at shows was still relatively modest.
“As for our audience … it started out just as our friends but it’s growing now,” Frolov said. “Friends of friends are starting to take interest in us.”
Alongside the concept of local concertgoers, Frolov described the experiences Inning has had so far with fellow local musicians, citing their recent show at the Bridge PAI.
“So we recently played a show at the Bridge, with a group called Naomi Alligator — they had pretty acoustic music,” Frolov said.
He also seemed genuinely eager to be playing in a lineup with other student musicians at Springfest.
“I know Sorority Boy will be there, and Alice Clair will be there too,” Frolov said. “And Soju Blue! I’m excited to see them.”
When asked to describe the sound of their band, Perfetti and Hernandez actually had more to say than Frolov. Both Perfetti and Hernandez said Inning’s music could be called “indie” and “dream-pop,” but both also stressed that the band was working on “diversifying.” Frolov used the opportunity to talk about the band’s future sound as opposed to their sound on “D.C. Party Machine EP.”
“There are more songs I’ve been writing that have kind of been dirtier …” Frolov said. “I’ve had fun hitting a different kind of note — a different kind of feeling.”
This segued into a discussion of Frolov’s musical influences. He said that he was a big fan of The National “lyrically,” calling them “really honest” and describing their lyrics as “everyday talk.” He also commended Beach House for their ability to “create a mood” and praised Parquet Courts — in Frolov’s words, the band “where the dirtier part comes through.”
All band members present again spoke up when asked to summarize the vital core of Inning — what they wanted the student body to know.
“For me, it’s the fact that everything feels very organic,” Perfetti said. “We just meet up on Sundays, we play, we rehearse … I’m just playing with my friends, and it feels genuine to me. I hope that transmits over to the crowd.”
Hernandez had similar sentiments.
“It’s just something natural to me,” Hernandez said. “I enjoy it. It’s not like it’s being forced or anything like that.”
Again, Frolov had little to say on the subject, mentioning only that in the “five-song EP, there’s kind of a song for everybody.” He needn’t say anymore — he had already painted an image of the band as a hopeful upstart, one which promises great things to come.
Inning will play on the South Lawn at 7:30 p.m. Friday.