“There’s some unexplainable aspect of life that is only brought forth by playing music with other people, a synergy that can’t be faked,” senior John Hoehn said. “There are no barriers with music, or at least there should not be.”
Hoehn said he always of playing music. Piano, guitar, accordion and ukulele — Hoehn said he will play whatever he can get a hold of.
In 2014, Hoehn and freshman Matthew Garner formed the dorm-room band, “The Australian Moose Opera (AMO)” with two others. They formed the band out of necessity, Garner said, because they were musicians looking for an outlet.
After the fad faded, the duo teamed up with freshman James Mosely and senior Tyler Huss under a new band, “Justus and Jury,” but the band name did not feel quite right.
After hearing the name “Keith” mentioned on a TV show as “the ugliest, most-worst man’s name ever,” and remembering naming his opponent “Keith” in his “Pokemon” video game, Mosely said he motioned to change the band’s name to just that — “Keith.”
Hoehn said a poll of potential band names, including “Keith,” was conducted on Twitter to determine the most likeable option. Hoehn said he requested that an exclamation point be added to “spice it up,” forming the name, “Keith!”
According to Garner, the four students have performed three times as “Keith!” with crowds up to 100 people. The band has performed during a social club function, Smiles Day and an auction for the Elliot Foundation, an organization dedicated to education and prevention of suicide.
Inspired by the bands “Cage the Elephant” and “The Black Keys,” “Keith!” plays music from various genres including rap rock, alternative rock and classic rock. The band also takes different genres of music and turns them into rap songs, according to Hoehn.
“I love the performance (part of being in a band),” Hoehn said. “(I enjoy) bringing a whole bunch of people into the same head space and bringing smiles to people or watching them jump up and down.”
Garner said “Keith!” would not have been possible if not for Harding bringing the students together on one campus.
“Harding has given us the chance to meet each other, and through our own development, both as Christians, and as young adults, we were able to create something that has already gone beyond ourselves,” Garner said. “None of this would be possible without the wonderful people that we go to school with.”