Most high school bands play in their garages or their basements, but Obvious Anxiety, formally known as Pretty Garbage, gets the chance to be one of the featured bands to perform at Greenstock. The band Obvious Anxiety has been together for two months and consists of three Howland Seniors: Jake Mandel, lead vocals and guitar, Ryan Baker, drums, and Zeke Setzer, bass and vocals.
The band had an interesting start. Ryan and Jake were in a band with three other guys who seemed to want to control the whole thing, so the two decided to become a duo. Shortly after that they realized they needed a bassist; that is when they found Zeke, who also was looking for a new band. Ryan describes the band as a collaboration of the best of the two bands. They decided to start a band because music is something they are all passionate about, and love doing. "In a way we are all show-off's on the stage because we love doing it," says Ryan.
The band has struggled to pick a name they like. They started out as Pretty Garbage, but soon changed it to Obvious Anxiety because it was catchier and sounded less like a garage band. They also thought about Shady Lane because it sounded better and would have been easier to market. In the end they chose Obvious Anxiety because they liked that one the most.
From left: Zeke Setzer, Ryan Baker, and Jake Mandel from Obvious Anxiety play at the Bazetta Christian Church Talent show. Photo by Ali Gray
So far the band just plays songs from popular bands, such as Blink 182, Fall Out Boy, Green Day, and Jimmy Eat World, and many others. The band at this current time is not playing any original music because they are focusing on their performance for Greenstock. The band has a few original songs, but none that are ready to be performed.
Since the band only plays cover music at the moment they play every genre from pop to rock to emo to punk to alternative. They describe it more as playing a little bit of everything.
The band came up with their set list by putting together all of their favorite songs and using some of their biggest musical influences. Zeke stated that all of his inspiration comes from the band Blink 182, while Jake says his comes most from Sir Paul McCartney. Ryan says he can find inspiration in any kind of music he hears.
The band plans to continue playing together even though all the members are graduating from high school this year. Zeke and Ryan are staying local and going to attend Youngstown State University in the fall. Zeke is undecided on his major, but Ryan is going to be attending the Dana School of Music. Jake is attending Ohio Northern University, but says he is planning on coming home as often as he can so he can play with his band. The group even joked around about the road trips they would take to go get Jake from college.
The band's first live appearance was at Bazetta Christian Church. They participated in the church's talent show that featured dancing, skits, and music performed by young kids to senior citizens.
Obvious Anxiety will be playing their second live show on Friday May 18th at the Amphitheater in downtown Warren. The band is one of the four featured bands with a time slot. The band will take the stage at 5:00 and will end their set at 5:45.
So far Obvious Anxiety does not have any other gigs coming up. They are constantly looking for more shows to play so they can get their band out there.