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Terry Bobb (drummer) and his brother Eustace Bobb (bassist) started The Ark Band in 1987 after leaving Irie/Identity, another Columbus-based reggae band. Today their band consists of Mark Hunter (lead singer and rhythm guitar) and Kohl Fixari (lead guitar), and Sam Anderson (keyboards). They were joined by Paige Anderson on trumpet for this performance.

Hold On
“Hold On” is a song that encapsulates the theme of “troubling times” according to Terry. The band performed this original song at the WOSU TV Studios.

 

The Way I Run
“The Way I Run” tells the story about Mark’s life from his perspective. Similar to how cars run on gas, he says that he wants to share the story behind what fuels his identity.

 

I Wish
“I Wish” is an original song by The Ark Band and was performed in the WOSU TV Studios.

 


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Meet The Musicians

The Ark Band

L-R: Sam Anderson (keys), Kohl Fixari (guitar), Terry Bobb (drums), Eustace Bobb (bass guitar), Paige Anderson (trumpet), Mark Hunter (lead vocals, guitar)

Interview with Terry Bobb

Terry Bobb, drummer of The Ark Band, tells us the story behind a roadside emergency during a tour, the band member who’s most likely to get lost in a new city, and the one item he’d bring if he was stranded on a deserted island.


Interview with Terry Bobb (drummer) and Mark Hunter (lead singer and rhythm guitar)

The Origin Story
Terry: The band started in 1987 after parting ways with the group, Irie/Identity, a Columbus-based reggae band. My brother Eustace and I played in a couple other local bands before deciding to start The Ark Band in 1987. The current band members came along in spurts. Mark, the lead singer [and rhythm guitar], and Kohl, lead guitar, have been with the band for about 15 years. Sam, the keyboardist, is the newest member coming on about 3 years ago.

How did you come up with your band name?
Terry: We can’t agree on it. My brother and I have two different versions of how the name came about. I remember my version being that reggae music is so powerful and spiritual that it would need a vehicle to carry on Bob Marley’s work. So we decided on “The Ark” being the carrier. Eustace’s version is that at the conception of the band, we had two brothers, two white kids, two black guys, and two girls. Which would make a lot of sense why we would call it The Ark Band.

Give us the lowdown on your sound
Terry: Reggae is the sound of freedom. Reggae is a Caribbean music created in Jamaica. The drums and the bass are the heartbeat of reggae music. The other instruments add color and flavor to the music to create the dynamic sound of reggae.

The band has performed in various states and internationally. What is it like traveling together and do these experiences surface within your music?
Terry: The band has performed in all 48 states and some international countries. Traveling together depends on the crew at the time. Some happier memories, some not so happy. But the current crew, which has been together for a number of years now, has been the most peaceful and joyful crew to tour and travel with making the experience a pleasant one. Some of our songs do come from road memories and others are from our life experiences. Fortunately, The Ark Band has always had multiple songwriters so our material complements each other.

Mark: I started writing music when I joined the band and one of our songs, “Babylon Awaits,” is directly inspired by a commute we regularly made to Chicago. We travel together as one unit where, with little instruction, each member plays their role to the benefit of the whole. The goal is always to return to our loved ones at home in one piece, and keep peace as a running theme throughout our travels.

How do you feel during these difficult times and what are some ways you deal with the uncertainty and fear surrounding COVID-19 and has it inspired any new songs?
Terry: Me personally, I don’t dwell on the fear of COVID-19. We all follow the rules and precautions that the governor has laid down in order to stay safe and healthy. For me, no inspired songs yet. Not sure about the rest of the fellers⁠—let’s hope they do.

Mark: Oddly, I have not been moved to write any songs during the current situation. As far as the band goes, the future is uncertain since, as Mr. Terry Bobb says, our job is to bring people together—and currently the vibe is about keeping people apart.

I generally feel calm in this storm. A lot of the concerns from the pandemic were present in my life before anyway. As an artist, there are financial concerns. As a Rasta, there has always been some degree of social distancing of society from my lifestyle. There has always been some sense of “I have to survive on my own two feet and not depend.” So at the feet of the same faith that has seen me through life so far is where I lay COVID to rest.