Band of the Week: Between Home and Serenity

Concert Preview

Meet the Band: Ian Ver (vocals), Anthony Dargaj (guitar), Adam Kraft (guitar), Brian Weir (drums), Mike Mealey (bass)

Rockin' the Suburbs: Band members all attended the same high school in North Olmsted. They played in various bands before forming Between Home and Serenity in 2003. "Once high school ended, most people went to college," says guitarist Anthony Dargaj. "We were the last people living in town who still played music, so it made sense to put a band together." The band released its first full-length in 2004 on Less Avenged Records, a small Seattle label. It pressed 5,000 albums and sold every copy from that pressing.

The Rust Records Years: When the band signed to locally based Rust Records at the end of 2004, it had already created a buzz in the region. It went back into the studio to rework the songs from its initial release, working with producers Brian Patrick in Youngstown and Dave Holman in L.A. "[Holman] beefed up the songs," says Dargaj. "We were 18 or 19 years old at the time and that was our dream — to be signed to a label." The band finished recording its second album, but the label went belly up. "We wrote the songs in a week, and it was a bit heavier but it never got released," says Dargaj, adding that the band doesn't regularly play those songs live. The band then played its final concert in 2006.

Don't Call it a Comeback: When the local metal band Gatlin played its anniversary show earlier this year at the Agora, the Between Home and Serenity guys thought about reuniting so they could be one of the opening acts on the bill. "We're all friends," says Dargaj. "We just have different bands. But we recently got more serious about it, and a few months ago it started picking up steam. It's been a lot of fun. We watched old videos to see how we did transitions. The songs sound tighter now even though we haven't played them in years. We have no idea of what the turnout will be for the show. We're just looking forward to having a good time, and we know friends and family will be there."

Why You Should Hear Them: One of the band's biggest singles, "Tranquility" commences with a gritty guitar riff before settling into a melodic groove. Well-placed screams balance the soaring vocals and chug-a-lug guitars. It typifies the band's sound. "All those descriptions are difficult," says Dargaj. "Every week there's a new label. We just try to play rock 'n' roll and mix it with screamo or post hardcore."

Where You Can Hear Them:

Where You Can See Them: Between Home and Serenity performs with We Were Kids, Day Dreamer, Aurora and Atlas Uncharted at 7 p.m. Friday, March 27, at the Agora Ballroom.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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