The Floorwalkers started in 2001 with Jonathan Elliott (vocalist) and Ben Meinhold (bassist). The pair attended high school together and played for various events around Cleveland and eventually met Theo Perry (lead guitar) during The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus program.
After high school, the group moved to Columbus to pursue the college scene and eventually built up a following. Today, they are joined by Todd Hamric (keyboards), Josh Heber (drums), and Jesse Barr (guitar) as well.
Nothing to Lose
“Nothing to Lose” is a soul-pop dance song that references ‘70s horn bands like The O’Jays, EW&F (Earth, Wind & Fire), and Tower of Power. According to Jon, “it was fun to pen a tune that was just about the importance of letting go of one’s inhibitions every once in a while, and enjoying a solid party with good company.”
“Happiness Runs,” according to Jon, “is a quasi-cover by legendary songwriter Donovan. It was an absolute joy to recreate and put The Floorwalker spin on it.” The band took a few of the lyrics from the original and gave it an unrecognizable twist with the inspirations of soul and gospel. Todd laid a groovy bedrock of key parts which gave the band a foundation to build onto and highlight the message from the original song: “you can have everything, if you let yourself be”.
“Your Way” was originally composed, written, and recorded by Theo as a demo to show the band. The members immediately fell in love with the song and began fleshing it out. The song combines elements of classic rock with ‘60s soul and it touches upon themes of togetherness, unconditional support, and letting loved ones live their lives the way that they want.
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Meet The Musicians
From left: Theo Perry, Jonathan Elliott, Ben Meinhold, Josh Heber, Todd Hamric, Jesse Barr
Interview with Jonathan Elliott
Jonathan Elliott, vocalist of The Floorwalkers, tells us about his favorite memory filming the music video for “Pool of Petals” in the Columbus Museum of Art, the band member who’d most likely survive a zombie apocalypse, and his preferred superpower.
The Origin Story
The band started somewhere in 2001, a space odyssey from now. Jon and myself went to high school together. Started playing for school events, Battle of Bands and small dive clubs in and around Cleveland. We met Theo shortly after that on The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus. We had an opportunity to play, write, and record a couple songs outside the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
As we neared the end of our high school days, we decided to move to Columbus for the college scene which turned out to be a wonderful and supportive artist community. Through playing regularly and working on songs and records we built a following.
How did you come up with your band name?
Around the time we moved to Columbus in 2004, we needed a new name for the group. While reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Hunter S. Thompson book, I happened across a reference to floorwalkers. I dug it. It’s common. It’s relatable. We all walk the floor. It’s immortalized in countless classic country and folk songs. We all caught on and it stuck.
Give us the lowdown on your sound
I put our music under the American Music column. We like to say Rock ‘n’ Soul. We love all varieties of music. I think we just hope to share our amalgamation of the favorites.
Your YouTube channel has a mix of vlogs, live performances, and music videos. Who is behind the videos and are there plans for any new ones?
Actually, we had a live concert and video in the works for this past Earth Day but due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, it has all been put on hold. Our original guitar player, Kerry Henderson, is our video guru. He’s responsible for much of our vlogs and music videos. He moved out to LA a number of years ago and is crushing it now.
How has COVID-19 affected the band, and how are you all handling the situation?
Like everyone, we are trying to adapt. We have some remote recordings in the works right now. We had to cancel a recording session we had booked at the end of March 2020, so we’re trying to make the best of the current situation from our home studios.
What are some ways people can help support their local musicians from home?
Our website is still up and running, TheFloorwalkers.com. We have all our merchandise and music for sale there. We’d love to snail mail our gear to anyone and everyone.
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