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Group pushes to semi-finals in battle of bands

TJ Steele plays the drums in the three-man band, Closer to Clarity, from Connersville. The band made it to the semi-finals in the Greater Cincinnati Band Challenge.

By LEANA CHOATE - lchoate@newsexaminer.com

A small rock band from Connersville has made a name in one of the area’s largest battle of the bands events.

Closer to Clarity has made it to the semi-final round in the Cincinnati Band Challenge at the Blue Note in Harrison, Ohio. 

Josh Brown, Simon Moriarty and TJ Steele make up the three-man band. Brown plays guitar and handles vocals, Moriarty plays bass and helps with vocals and Steele plays the drums. 

All three have grown up in Connersville, and have been interested in music since a young age. 

“I attended local shows as a teenager and have been playing the drums since I was 13,” Steele said.

Brown learned how to play the guitar at the age of 13 and Moriarty has been playing the bass since 2006. 

Each admitted they first got interested in music from from their parents.

“Both of my parents were big into music, so hearing it all the time got me into it and made me want to learn to play,” Brown said.

They write their own music and have their own unique sound that has been influenced by rock bands such as Chevelle, Deftones, Seether, Thrics and Incubus.

“We do play a few covers as well, but we are an original band,” they said.

The band, which came together in 2016, and has become more like family than band members.

“As far as playing in Closer to Clarity, it’s become a tighter-knit group,” Brown said.

Playing in the band seems to be about more than just creating music to some of the members.

“My favorite thing is forgetting about everything except the music, it’s an escape from reality. I enjoy that we’re learning and building to be better as a whole,” Moriarty said.

The semi-final round takes place Friday, March 29, at the Blue Note. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30. The competition finals show will take place April 20. The winner will take home a cash prize.

Closer to Clarity can be booked at booking@closertoclarity.com.

For calendar listings of entertainment and attractions in the area, see Looking Ahead on Page A3.