According to Cincinnati CityBeat:
The seeds of Indie Rock crew Near Earth Objects were planted when singer/guitarist Devin Clarke and bassist/keyboardist Leland Davis got together to jam while in high school (they’d been friends since middle school). A few years later, they decided to get more serious about starting a group, landing Richard Inman to play drums and taking on the name
Near Earth Objects. The trio took its time developing material and chemistry before making
its live debut in late 2013.
Last summer, Near Earth Objects released its first recorded effort with the four-song EP
Situational Awareness, which showcased the group’s progressive, occasionally psychedelic
style, marked by an engaging stream-of-consciousness fluidity. The band’s imaginative
arrangements were on full display on the EP’s opening epic “Introduction to Feeling Something,”
as well as the closer “Serotonin Drift,” which sounds like David Bowie and Pink Floyd
writing a winding Math Rock/Post Rock ballad for Secret Machines.
More recently, Near Earth Objects added a fourth member — Daniel Walton — to provide
cello for the band as it continues work on its first full-length. On the great album track “My
Mind,” Walton’s presence is felt in the billowing, sophisticated atmospherics he adds to
the proceedings, a perfect compliment to the group’s expansive sound.
According to Near Earth Objects:
Devin Clarke picked up a guitar at fourteen. It was a junior-sized acoustic, enough to start learning, but his mind quickly turned towards electric. He then got a Washburn Lyon and a little lunchbox amp for his fifteenth birthday. A universe of music opened up to him, and he started out by teaching himself how to play his favorite songs.
Devin and Leland had been friends since middle school, but they did not start playing music together until sometime in their junior year of high school. A series of short-lived bands
formed, usually by bringing together different combinations of friends. Though the bands never played outside of basements, Devin learned more about his instrument, bought pedals,
and later, an Ibanez.
After about a year of college, and a year of no band projects, Devin and Leland sat down to try another shot at writing original music, mainly because it was fun, but there were also
aspirations to do something with what they wrote. The Ibanez was traded out for an Epiphone, and they started looking for a drummer. At a temporary county job, Devin met Richard.
They shared similar views on making music, and less than a year later, the band formed.
Richard Inman went to his first music festival when he was sixteen. But even long before that, he’d been passionate about seeing live music, and he’d always been very open
about the music he liked. He helped high school friends book shows, did metal vocals, and played around on guitar and bass in multiple not-so-serious bands. Then, at around
twenty-two, he bought his first drum set at a garage sale. His passion for music took off on a new path.
Over the years, Richard has worked to surround himself with music. He filled a room in his basement with synths, drums, guitars, and recording equipment. With a few partners he
started a music blog. He went to school to study audio video production. To this day, he enjoys locking up in a room and playing for hours.
When Richard met Devin, they talked music and quickly became friends. They talked about jamming sometime and did so for the first time about a month after those talks. The jams turned into Near Earth Objects.
Leland Davis was forced to play piano when he was ten years old. Over a few years, he grew to love playing it, and even studied jazz piano for a time. Because Leland’s father
had been a lifelong guitarist, music equipment and instruments had always occupied the basement. This gave him access to all sorts of music outlets. He wrote in MIDI programs,
played keyboards, tried at drums, and played a little guitar and bass.
When Leland and Devin began forming bands in high school, he mostly played keys, and sometimes drums. But something clicked when he and Devin sat down with just guitar and
bass. The bass was a lot of fun to play, though he barely knew how; he’s learned a lot since then. Leland started out on a ¾ size Gretsch, and soon upgraded to the Squire Jaguar he plays today.
Leland had met Richard only a couple times before they had their first jam. But it was clear to Devin, Richard, and Leland that from early on, NEO’s sound was both intriguing and unpredictable. They spent a couple years developing their chemistry, and then landed their first show at The Comet in Cincinnati.
Daniel Walton picked up the cello in fourth grade after hearing a local string program present the instrument in his elementary school gym. According to his mom, he ran out of the gym and rented his first cello without waiting for parental approval; that enthusiasm has stayed with him ever since. He played in classical settings through high school and college, becoming first chair of the Centre College Orchestra at age 18 while earning a degree in music.
Once he left college, Daniel began to explore less traditional applications for the cello. At grad school in Urbana-Champaign, he played for a psychedelic disco recording project, a country-rock cover band, a post-rock four piece, and even an old-school metal group. He soon outfitted his instrument with an electric pickup, letting him compete with the roar of guitars and drums.
Daniel moved back to Cincinnati after grad school and met up with the other three members of NEO when looking for a new project. While the band had initially wanted to use him for a track or two, the musical direction that emerged soon led to Daniel joining the group as a full-time member.