Indiana & The Byrds
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Indiana & The Byrds

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Indiana & The Byrds @ Froggys

Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

Indiana & The Byrds @ Union Theatre

Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

Indiana & The Byrds @ The Boom Boom Room

Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

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This band has not uploaded any videos



We first heard about Indiana & the Byrds from our friends the Inner Party, and since that time we’ve seen their name popping up all over town. While we haven’t had an opportunity to see them live yet, we’ve heard a lot of good things about their live show, and the songs on their myspace page sound pretty sweet.

You can catch these guys at George’s on December 11th with Earth Society and the Family Dogs for $5.

So, y’all know how this works by now. Here goes.

Fayetteville Flyer: What are you listening to lately?
Indiana & the Byrds: Cold War Kids, Margot & The Nuclear So & So’s, Conor Oberst, The Racontuers

FF: So how’d you guys start playing together? How long ago?
IB: We’ve all been playing together in some form or fashion since 2002. This particular endeavor was started on April Fools Day of ‘08. No joke.

FF: How do you perceive the “scene” in Fayetteville?
IB: Way to many metal bands. Disgusting. Or…annoying rather. Other than that I think people are really waking up and realizing how much talent there really is in not just Fayetteville but Northwest Arkansas. But we still need that first band to break through and go world wide while still based out of Fayetteville. I think one of the hugest problems we face is that of musical trends and fashions finding us a little late. We hear stuff and are like, “holy shit, this totally rules,” when people on the coasts were checking it out a year ago. On a whole we’re just a little behind when it comes to music and are always playing catch up.

FF: Where did you guys record your EP?
IB: We recorded Danger, Danger in the 12 x 12 green cell that is Rob’s bedroom at 822 E Broadview.

FF: Any good studio stories? Any magical accidents?
IB: Yeah, Jason was taking a shower while we were mid session and we decided to bust in on him with a mic. Rob ripped the shower curtain down and start beating him with it like it was some magical war staff. Jason totally wasn’t happy with that.

FF: Best pizza in town?
IB: D’s slices at 2:05AM when you are completely sh!t faced is the best pizza ever. Duh.

FF: Who is the best band in Fayetteville right now?
IB: Tough question…here goes: Apt. 5’s new recordings sound fu@king amazing…or at least the song I heard on Local X the Sunday before last. The Family Dog’s are a hard act to follow because they put on such a killer, energetic live show. A Good Fight has the best stage presence of any locals I’ve seen. Its hard to pick just one so draw straws or something out of those three.

FF: Ice skating. What’s the point? Right?
IB: There is no point. Unless your going 40MPH sandwiching some dude between you and the wall and then laughing at him when he comes up missing teeth. You totally feel like a man. Especially when that dude is some 12 year old boy at the Jones Center that was dropped off by his mom and didn’t even know you were playing hockey. Game on. I was always afraid of tripping and someone skating by would slicing my fingers off with their skates. Is that possible?

FF: If you had to change your band name right now, what would your new band be called and why?
IB: I bought a pearl snap shirt for 2 bucks from a thrift store on our way to play Springfield the other day and there was this badge sown inside that said Property Of Wayne Pendergast like people had been stealing his shirts and he wanted to have proof that they were his. Like stenciling your band name all over your gear. It was totally weird. I have a feeling he died though because there was like 15 of those shirts with the same badge. So as homage to him: The Waynes.

Thanks dudes.

- The Fayetteville Flyer

- Brian Washburn

The Northwest Arkansas area is synonymous with blues. From Bikes, Blues & BBQ to the blues driven bands found on Dickson, it’s hard to listen to much music around NWA without hearing a blues influenced guitar riff. However, modern blues has taken on a new tone and the Fayetteville based Indiana and the Byrds are taking that tone and their relentless work ethic, and giving NWA a listen.

“Bands here always talk about going to LA as something you have to do. You don’t have to go there, you have to go on the road,” said singer Rob Lee who cites The Raconteurs and Jack White as major influences. “You have to work your way up, but luck is part of it. You can tour and do everything, but you still have to be good and honest.”

What started as a solo project for Lee turned into a full band project when he recruited friends from previous bands and the local music scene to round out Indiana and the Byrds — Lee, guitarist Eddie Mekelburg (who is also a member of the Air National Guard), guitarist/pianist Clay Prater, bassist Jason Mitchell and drummer Noah Taylor. But while other bands in the local music scene try to diversify their music through sound or vocals, Indiana and the Byrds are attempting to do it through the array of musical instruments they try out, including the piano, egg shakers, harmonica (provided by Taylor’s dad) tambourine and even an attempt at a mandolin.

“Being creative sets us a part from the rest of the scene. We don’t do the same thing or sound the same throughout our songs,” Lee said.
The band does fuse different genres, such as blues, soft rock and rock on their debut EP “Danger, Danger” which will be released at their EP release show tonight at Dickson Theater. The six-song EP, takes on subjects from school shootings to ex girlfriends to the legalization of marijuana, which the band says should be 110 percent legal. While the EP offers energetic songs mixed in with softer tunes, the band says their live shows is where the real energy kicks in.

“The live show is extremely energetic. We feed off each other and we can get crazy,” Lee said. The band will even pump out a 30-song set if the show is right.
“It’s the energy [of the live show], not the tempo [of the songs] that matters,” Mekelburg said.
Even though the band does think there are some really good bands in the local music scene, they believe Fayetteville’s biggest festival — Bikes, Blues & BBQ — should take the opportunity and give exposure to more local bands, while also booking modern blues bands.

“The Allman Brothers were good in ‘75, but now it’s 2008. I am glad Thanks For Nothing was featured [in the festival], but I wish more bands were,” Lee said.
“The main thing is to have fun. Let’s be honest, a lot of times we’re playing in a bar. People come to have fun and if they have fun then they will come back,” Lee said.
Lee does admits, though, that the band has progressed in the midst of having fun.

“Our writing abilities are tighter and we are writing together and being more collective,” Lee said. “We’re starting to pick up on things and becoming a lot smoother.”
Indiana and the Byrds plan to release a second EP by next March.

Final Thought: While Bikes, Blues & BBQ does bring in a substantial amount of people yearning to hear old school artists such as ZZ Top and The Allman Brothers, it could definitely include a few modern bands, as well. Who wouldn’t want to hear The White Stripes, The Raconteurs or even Kings of Leon in Fayetteville? - Free Weekly

- Kody Ford

Indiana & The Byrds, an up-and-coming band from Fayetteville, recently released their Danger, Danger EP, a collection of dirty, Southern blues-rock that doesn't fail to please. Featuring Rob Lee (vocals, acoustic guitar), Eddie Mekelburg (electric guitar), Jason Mitchell (bass), Clay Prater (electric guitar, keys) and Joey Noga (drums).

They have quickly made a name for themselves around northwest Arkansas and souther Missouri. They describe their sound as "modern aggressive blues rock" a moniker that is quite fitting.

The band is most comfortable when deconstructing the traditional music structure. "The Lunger" mixes competing harmonies to create a dissonant vocal style that contradicts the dominant guitar riff.

"Dressed 2 Kill" takes My Morning Jacket reverb and blends it with echo.

"Open Fire" uses a similar set up only with a dark guitar riff running through the song. Though it may seem different on paper, the band definitely pulls it off. Their willingness to go against the grain shows an adventurous musical
spirit that sets them apart from their contemporaries.

The band's influences cover the gamut. Lee is into blues, acoustic music while Mekelburg prefers metal. Prater is a Red Hot Chili Peppers fan and the other two are just along for the ride.

Though many members have been playing together for years, Indiana & The Byrds first began playing together on April 1st, 2008. Finding a practice space has been an obstacle for the band. Originally, they played at a house in the middle of Fayetteville but after many police warnings, and finally a citation, they were forced to Tontitown, before the changing noise ordinance forced them all the way to Hunstville. Now they are finally on track and plan to tour in the coming months to support "Danger, Danger" and another EP they are currently recording. An LP is in the works for next year as well.

The band is confident about the coming months and feels that their chemistry, will help them continue to succeed. They said, "We aren't afraid to yell at each other or relate what we think. We are all best friends. The greatest thing about us playing together for so long is we really feed off each other at live shows. We can get buck wild. Beer goes flying....shit gets broken. I think Rob is on over a dozen kazoos since April."

For more information visit
or e-mail - Nightflying Magazine

---Kody Ford

Fayetteville's Indiana & The Byrds are proving to be one
of the most promising bands in Arkansas. They've evolved
exponentially since their last release Danger, Danger.
Vocalist Rob Lee's gravely howls reverberate troughout the record but the melodies are much stronger than their
previous work. Songs like "The Way We Use" feature a
sing-a-long chorus, big drums, and infectious guitar riffs.
The title track blends a minor key riff with a lonesome acoustic guitar and explodes in a powerful chorus.

Evader shows a more mature Indiana & The Byrds. The band plays stipped down rock 'n' roll that still sounds unique. The production quality is top notch for a self-funded, independent group. At this rate when they release and LP, they might just be one fo the best bands to come out of the Altered State. - Nightflying Magazine


Self-Titled (Acoustic) LP - 04/01/08
Danger, Danger EP - 10/16/08
Evader EP - 04/11/09



Although Indiana & The Byrds didn't take on their current form until the spring of 2008, its easy to tell that these boys have been playing together for a while. Incorporating a wide array of influences, spanning from one spectrum of the genre gauntlet to the other, may seem like a daunting task, but the group's chemistry and originality allows them the flexibility to tastefully encompass many styles into their sound. Every note of their live show is delivered with a vibrance seldom equaled by their peers and that is sure to connect with any audience.

In 2003, founding members Rob Lee (Vocals, Acoustic Guitar), Clay Prater (Electric Guitar, Keys), and Eddie Mekelburg (Electric Guitar) first got together as the Fort Smith trio One Less Than Two. The band only mustered a handful of shows but they did manage to make their first attempt at recording and came away with a six song demo. Outtakes from those sessions can be found on Indiana & The Byrds' EP "Evader."

In early 2004, Rob left One Less Than Two and headed out west to drum in Long Beach's street punk band Clit45. Clit45 disbanded in 2006, but Rob did have the oppurtunity to play hundreds of shows in many cities across the U.S. and Canada. He also drummed on the band's 2006 disc "2, 4, 6, 8.....we're the kids you love to hate." (BYO Records). Meanwhile, back home, Eddie found himself helping in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans as a member of the National Gaurd and in 2007 served a one year tour overseas in Kuwait. Clay finished a Bachelors of Biology at UA Fort Smith and moved all the way to Maine.

Fast Forward to 2008.............

The only thing our boys had worked on together in four years was Eddie and Rob's 2005 collaboration of Fallen Line in which a 4 song demo was recorded. Now, with Eddie back from war, Clay back from Maine, and Rob honing his vocal skills on various projects the time was right to start another band. Using Rob's third solo full length, an 11 track acoustic disc, as a foundation the band quickly recruited long time friends Jason Mitchell (Bass Guitar) and Noah Taylor (Drums). Taking their name from one of Rob's deceased relatives, Indiana Byrd, the quintet found instant success as it began to play regionally and in October of 2008 released their EP "Danger, Danger." It featured two brand new songs from the group, including the crowd favorites 'Burn Victim' and 'Open Fire.' It also contained four recordings from the acoustic disc except this time with the full band.

Shortly after the release of "Danger, Danger" the band traded in Noah's simplistic style of drumming, which catered so well to the acoustic disc, for Dallas native Joey Noga's active assault on the skins, which embraced the new direction the group wanted to take. Since then, the band has released the first single 'The Way We Use' off their upcoming EP "Evader" and has had a great response. Look for that EP in late March / early April '09 and a lengthy summer tour in support of both EPs to follow. After that, the band plans to get back in the studio and record their first full length together with all new material.