NKU student band gains fame in indie scene

Northern Kentucky University’s Indie rock trio “Abigail” has more than earned its dues, according to NKU sophomore Jay Hays, who doubles as the band’s lead singer and guitarist.

Abigail, which recently received the honor of opening for metal heroes Dillinger Escape Plan on March 6 at Radio Down, has worked its way up the totem pole of Northern Kentucky bands since its inception three years ago.

“I think this is recognition for the hard work our band has put into the scene this past year and a half,” Hays said.

“We have helped touring bands coming through Cincinnati, we have helped clubs out, and we have never really complained.”

Take a quick look around at any of Abigail’s shows and it is easy to understand how far the band has come.

They started playing in front of small crowds at various church festivals just two years ago.

But now the band’s buzz has caused the attendance at their live shows to boost and brought a healthy following out from the woodwork.

Recently, more than 170 fans showed up to watch Abigail’s intense live show, during a local showcase at Radio Down that featured Mint 6 Ten along with Abigail.

Junior Nick Wagner’s incessant pounding on the skins drove the crowd.

Hay’s poured emotional lyrics from his lips.

All the while, sophomore bassist Tom Ryan took in the scene nonchalantly from stage, barely swaying to the music as the band made its way through a half-hour set.

The band recently sold out of its second release, “The Saltwater” E.P.

Abigail has made great strides.

They are now awaiting another shipment of CDs to sell at shows in order to raise money for a 2004 summer tour.

The band members, along with being full-time students, all work 20 hours a week at various jobs.

They need the money to help cover the cost of recording and repairing damage to equipment.

“It definitely teaches you how to be responsible,” said Hays. (Responsible not being an expected description of a band’s life lessons.)

“Things are really turning around for Cincinnati’s punk scene – in a good way,” said Hays.

“If we keep it up, and the scene keeps getting better, and some major labels start paying attention to the area; I hope to see us get picked up by one of them.”

If things don’t work out, Hays said that he wasn’t going to stop school or stop thinking about a career.

One thing is certain: Abigail has enjoyed a higher level of prominence since its first tour this summer.

Abigail will appear at Radio Down in Covington, Ky on Saturday, March 6 with Dillinger Escape Plan and Cincinnati hardcore/edge band Death Through Adam.

The show starts at 8 p.m. and the cost is $10.

Adam Rosing is the head writer for www.cincypunk.net, formerly www.cincypunk.com.

The site recently returned to the local music scene on Feb. 7, 2004 after being down since Nov. 30, 2003.

To check out more of his reviews, interviews, articles, and photographs go www.cincypunk.net .