Pomegranates chart growth

By Larissa Gula

Pomegranates, with supporting act Hot Garbage

Garfield Artworks

4931 Penn Ave.

Oct…. Pomegranates, with supporting act Hot Garbage

Garfield Artworks

4931 Penn Ave.

Oct. 20, 8 p.m.

Tickets: $6


Smashing Pumpkins, take note: At least one other band is bold enough to claim a fruit as its title.

Pomegranates, a Cincinnati-based act of college-aged men, adapted the name because it was “the idea that was least embarrassing” at the time, according to drummer Jacob Merritt.

“Pomegranates have a mythology and a cleansing process. The imagery fit our music,” Merritt said.

Pomegranates’ music, which Merritt described as dreamy pop, reflects the tastes of the individual band members, with heavy influence from groups like Pink Floyd and the Talking Heads.

Merritt and vocalist, guitarist and keyboard player Isaac Karns formed Pomegranates in 2007. As their old band separated, Merritt and Karns continued playing together, recruiting another vocalist and guitar player, Joey Cook. The group’s first recorded work, the EP Two Eyes came out four months later. Soon, the band was signed to Lujo Records.

By the time their first album, Everything is Alive, debuted in 2008, the members had settled into a new lifestyle, and a lineup change had brought vocalist and guitar player Daniel Lyon to the band. Lyon said he’d been involved in several other groups at the time, but the Pomegranates were refreshingly dedicated.

“In January I decided to come down again and start writing with them after a falling out with the other players [in other bands],” Lyon said. “This is definitely a lot more serious than any other project.”

Merritt has been involved with the music scene since he began playing in high school, finding pleasure in music composition.

“I like the idea of creating something that other people appreciate and somehow makes their lives better one way or another,” Merritt said.

Currently on the road, the band are releasing a third album, One of Us, at the end of October. The album makes frequent references to relationships back home.

“I think with this last album, everyone felt like it was mostly personal experience,” Lyon said. “I think a lot of beliefs come into this. I think there’s quite a number of love songs as a result of us having serious girlfriends.”

Karns, a member of the Pomegranates since its inception, noted that the band’s albums have become less story-based.

“On our last album [Everybody Come Out], we had a few songs we released we could tie together with a narrative,” he said. “In some ways it was easier to write because it was plotted out. Lyrically, we’d fit songs to the narrative.”

The Pomegranates’ third album, however, was not conceived with a blueprint of any sort. Though Karns sees the album as painting a clear portrait, any narrative listeners might infer is unintentional.

“As far as writing, that was a big difference,” he said. “We didn’t have a destination point with the new one. We just wrote. Last time we had a start and a finish and we filled in the blanks.”

Ever industrious, the band is already thinking about producing another album.

“We’ve written a song that we have yet to record and release, but we play at shows, that we’re happy with,” Karns said. “I think we’re all excited to write again. I think we’re always trying to write songs and not take long of a break. We may not use all the songs, but it keeps us going.”

When their tour ends, the members of Pomegranates will all return to day jobs in cafés and restaurants. Most of the members live in Ohio, with the exception of guitarist Joey Cook, who lives in Northern Kentucky.

“When we’re home between extended touring we have to work really hard,” Karns said. “When on the road it’s fun and rewarding, but it’s still hard work.”

Band life for Karns is “halfway between a career and a hobby” — it doesn’t pay the bills by itself. Karns has envisioned working on a farm or in a bookstore but doesn’t see these as “lucrative choices” that could ever replace music.

“I’m happy to do something that I love and share it with people even if it is hard work and not the best money,” Karns said. “I think we all agree it’s worth it.”