With guitarist Frank Cassidy, bassist and keyboardist Hunter Brookbank, drummer Karthik Raturi, and guitarist and lead vocalist Sam Smith, the local Cincinnati band TasteFull is made up of students from the University of Cincinnati (UC). While balancing school, the group released their debut studio album, “Radha,” on April 9.
TasteFull started working on “Radha” around the same time the COVID-19 pandemic began, forcing them to stop the creation process. The pandemic presented many challenges for the band, leading Smith and Cassidy to take semesters out of school to focus on their music.
“I’m just taking a little time, I can’t stand COVID,” Smith said. “I am in music and sound production [at UC], and I lost a lot of access to all the UC labs, and this stuff has really frustrated me a lot. ”
These problems meant that the album had to be recorded over a long period of time.
“The actual recording process took a while, we started recording in November 2019 and we released the first single, ‘Oxygen’ in April 2020,” Raturi said. “Obviously after that COVID hit and it all hit the fan. A year later we finally ended up releasing the album, but during that time we spent a lot of time picking up the songs and trying to ‘make the most of it. of what we could. ”
The group credits their chemistry with how they were able to overcome these obstacles in the development of the album. Their link has been present since the initial creation of TasteFull.
“In the summer of 2018, we were invited to a jam session that Sam was hosting,” Cassidy said. “We had a sound system, we didn’t know these guys at all, but we were invited because we had a sound system. The four of us met and we played for about three, four hours of in a row, without ever having known each other. “
After meeting, the group scoured many potential names before settling down with the name “TasteFull”.
“All these names we used to throw at each other, we kept asking ourselves, how are we going to be successful as a group with these names? and then Karthik said, ‘we needed something tasty.’ And we were like, TasteFull, that’s it, ”Cassidy said.
As TasteFull is a local band, they have performed at various venues in the Cincinnati area. The group credits these shows for helping them grow in their profession.
“We really tried to blend in with a lot of other bands,” said Brookbank. “We’re surrounded by a lot of great influences that we’ve had the opportunity to play with in the past.”
“We’re really finding an outlet in the Cincinnati breweries because they’re one of the first things to reopen,” Cassidy said. “They’re going to have a lot of young people on the art scene. They’re willing to spend the money on local stuff, which in this case is beer.”
When it comes to influences, the band uses the music itself to continue their long-standing bond.
“It’s about making music. Music does best when it’s in a group. Groups only succeed if they all support each other,” Cassidy said. “There are certain pockets of music emerging from certain regions, and we want there to be a Midwestern rock scene.”
There’s no stopping now for TasteFull as they seek to expand their audience and emerge as part of the Midwestern rock scene.
“Our short term goals really contribute to the Cincy scene. Then we want to play at festivals, go on tour and expand our reach beyond Cincinnati,” Cassidy said. “We’re currently writing our second album, and there’s no shortage of content. We have a YouTube channel coming up, clothes on the way. We want to be a brand as much as a band.”
TasteFull’s debut album “Radha” is now available for streaming on all platforms.