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Members of Mungbean (left to right): Ian Goldthwaite, Emma Swysgood, Sean Gleeson, Colin Giacalone, Max Joseph

Now in its sixth season, Broad & High is launching a new local-music series called Broad & High Presents. We invited Columbus band Mungbean to our studios to record the series’ debut performance, featuring Mungbean songs “Waking Up,” “Slow Motion” and “Aimed at You.”

Afterward, we sat down with the members of Mungbean to learn more about the band’s growth and what’s on the horizon.

—Emily Thompson

Broad & High Presents: “Waking Up” by Mungbean

Meet the Musicians

Emma Swysgood
Vocals

From: Sunbury
Fave local venue: Rumba Cafe

Influences: “I think it’s definitely a combination of … Beach House, Mr Twin Sister. Grimes is great. Hiatus Kaiyote. I love Bjork. And it’s also super awesome that we listen to so many female-fronted electronic bands. Sylvan Esso is amazing, you know.”

Sean Gleeson
Guitar, vocals

From: Powell
Fave local acts: Souther, Montezuma (including Vinny Valentino of Souther) and Fables

Fave local venue: “I’m going to say Brothers Drake because every sound guy there is amazing, and Tony Rice is the man.”

Influences: “Grimes was huge for starting this band. She’s a Canadian producer – amazing.”

Ian Goldthwaite
Keyboard, synth

From: Dublin, Ohio
Fave local act: Campbell

Influences: “I’ve been listening to a lot of electronic music over the years, so I’m really into synthesizers sounds, which is cool because that’s what I get to play in the band. … I listen to a lot of soul and funk and other kinds of dance music. So it’s fun to try to fit interesting things into, like, simple rhythms I’d say, things you’d want to dance to. Oonce, oonce, oonce.”

Colin Giacalone
Bass, synth

From: Dublin, Ohio

Fave local act: “Hugs and Kisses is probably one of my all-time favorite Columbus bands. They do, like, theatrical performances on stage. I remember being in high school and going through my brother’s iTunes and finding them, like, what the crap? And then seeing them for the first time, like, a year ago, I think.”

Influences: “I always try to think of favorite bands, and all I can think of is Pavement. Or whenever I’m in the car and try to put something on, all I can think is Pavement. But I think, electronic-wise, probably Animal Collective.

But it’s kind of cool playing in this (band) because I’m not a hugest electronic fan. It’s not, like, my first, go-to music genre. Playing in this is really cool because it’s an opportunity to try this stuff out, and I get to explore new music with these fine young lads and lasses.”

Max Joseph
Drums

From: Grandview
Fave local venue: Ace of Cups

Fave local acts: “Way Yes was a big one for me. They’re kind of like Animal Collective. Domes was huge for me. I saw them at [Worst] Kept Secret Fest, and it just blew my mind.”

Influences: “A big influence for me in the past five years and just how I approach music has been the Beach Boys, like Brian Wilson, just how he writes music and production and playing. I guess Beach House, too, along the beach theme. Wild Nothing was a big pivotal band for me when I was, like, 18, 19.”

Broad & High Presents Web Exclusive: “Slow Motion” by Mungbean

Fill in the Blank

If you like ___, you’ll like Mungbean.

Emma: If you like sitting in a bedroom by yourself with headphones on, staring at the ceiling. That’s what came to my mind.

Sean: Fields.

Ian: Clouds in the sky.

Max: Low wages and long hours.

When we’re not performing, we’re ___.

Max: Outside.

Ian: Not me, though. Recording.

Emma: When we’re not performing, we’re probably just hangin’ out.

Sean: Having a good time.

Emma: That’s how so many practices get derailed.

___ is Central Ohio’s best hidden gem.

Colin: Bourbon Street Cafe on Summit.

Sean: The taco truck outside of The Bottle Shop.

Emma: The cats inside of 14-O, and then the burrito truck outside.

Sean: It’s literally a Mexican food truck that has a Mediterranean food truck logo. So you think it’s Mediterranean, but it’s actually the best Mexican food.

The best food in Columbus is ___.

Emma: I really like Strongwater. I work at Land-Grant (Brewing Co.). And then Land-Grant has Ray Ray’s barbecue. So between Strongwater and Ray Ray’s barbecue, I’m, like, set on food.

Max: Mazah in Grandview. It’s a Mediterranean place.

Emma: Pierogi Mountain. That’s the hidden gem of Bourbon Street – Pierogi Mountain is in there.

Max: Johnnie’s bar in Grandview is a good hidden gem. It was built into a house, and it’s a bar.

Pineapple on pizza is ___.

Emma: Amazing.

Sean: We are all fans.

Emma: That’s how we know we’ll make it as a band! We all like the same pizza. [Laughs.] I think if you don’t like pineapple on pizza, you just haven’t given it a chance.

Broad & High Presents Web Exclusive: “Aimed at You” by Mungbean

On the Band Name

Sean: So when we were doing that show at [Ohio University], [our friend] was like, “I’m making a poster. What’s your guys’ act name?” We’re like, Mungbean Dream …

Emma: She didn’t tell us that she’d shortened it. She started printing it, and then she sent us a mockup of the poster. And she’s like, “Mungbean Dream was too long, so I knocked off the ‘dream.'” And we’re like, OK.

But we also didn’t think that it would ever really be a thing. Like we said, that first show was no-pressure, experimental, whatever.

Sean: Now, we’ve just kind of associated the sound with that band name.

Emma: It’s still one of the worst band names. It really is. You tell people what it is, and they’re like, “What are you saying?” You’re like, Mungbean. And just the combination of consonants and vowels – people never hear you.

Sean: Once you get it, though, you don’t forget it.

Emma: We were going to change it, too. At the end of last year, we were like, “We’ve got to change this band name, man.” …

I remember asking people, too, thinking it would be a really resounding, “Yes, you should change your band name.” And everybody was like, “No, keep it.” And I was like, “Oh, OK, then fine.” It’s stuck now.

Sean: I’m happily stuck.