There is an expectation when you first hear sweet love songs like “Song to Emma” and see lead singer Will “Harsh” Hoag’s outrageous sunglasses, sparkly belt and unforgettable Elton John esque boots. You might just assume they are the next want-to-be boy band but, this group of best friends has proven to be so much more.

The alternative pop rock band, Cousin Simple, never ceases to bring the energy to the crowd and create an atmosphere that makes you feel like you have known the guys forever. The group consists of front man, Will “Harsh” Hoag, Mitch Whittaker on bass, ukulele, and keyboard, Luke Hamrock on guitar, Ryan Ulibarri on guitar, and last but not least, Joel Lorenz on drums.

Mitch Whittaker, Will “Harsh” Hoag, Joel Lorenz, Ryan Ulibarri, Luke Hamrock
Photo Credits:John Ferreira

Cousin Simple had their first ever performance at Battle of the Bands in February of 2017, and after committing a couple early morning practices before school every week, spray painting tshirts, and begging friends to come to the show, Cousin Simple won. Since then, they have been performing at venues all around the 614 area including food truck festivals, the Big Room Bar and The Basement, along with shows in Nashville, Cleveland, and Chicago. During this time they have released one full length album, “And We Would Never End” along with 4 singles. With the release of the new single “Star Destroyers” which discusses Hoags struggle with breaking old habits and reaching for help from those around him, fans are eager to see what the band has in-store for the upcoming “Star Destroyers” music video and next album.

With inspiration from artists like Mick Jagger, Van Mccann from Catfish and the Bottlemen and Freddie Mercury, you can see where the group gets their funky style, making them a fresh new take on the Columbus music scene.

With goals to soon play at Newport Music hall, it is no surprise the band is performing bigger and better shows every month. This summer alone, Cousin Simple has played shows with Vans and SJC drums along with performing at What? Fest this past week. At every show, it seems that the guys bring more to the table, making each experience one to remember and keep you coming back for more. Along with their unique sound and stage presence, their “goofy” personalities make new and old fans alike fall in love with the band. After every show you can find them hugging everyone in sight, handing out setlists and never declining a picture with a listener. 

And who could forget about Pierre? If you have not been to a Cousin Simple show you might not know who the infamous Pierre is. Pierre is a gold mannequin first used to display tshirts at the merch stand that has become sometimes more popular than the group itself. When Pierre did his very first crowd surf this summer, Hoag admitted that he was a little nervous fans might take Pierre home with them considering he has become some sort of mascot for the band. 

Along with performing at Wonderbus music festival August 17, fans can also mark their calendars for September 3rd for the next Cousin Simple show. With all this time in between shows fans have to wonder what they have up their sleeve and what is to come from the band for the rest of 2019.

Photo Credits:John Ferreria