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“There’s still new things to come”
Interview and story by Janet Ferguson
“It’s funny being a band for 25 years; is it a marriage is it not? I don’t know,” laughed Doug Druckemiller, long time Indoorfin member.
“Carl (Smith) says it’s 25 years of music and drama and it’s just great that we are still able to be around each other and hang out and play together,” he added.
Along with Druckemiller and Smith, the band includes Rob Layton, Dave Robinson and Sheila Smith.
“Dave is the drummer, Doug plays guitar, Rob sings and plays multiple instruments, Sheila is Carl’s wife and plays bass and Carl sings and also plays several instruments,” Druckemiller explained. “But we kind of all play all the instruments and we mix it up a bit, people like that.”
Druckemiller says over the years, he has seen many bands come and go in the area.
“Lima was different back at the beginning, the clubs were all different. I remember hearing about the Indoorfins the year before I joined and I thought they were amazing. I would watch Carl and he’s pretty animated and a lot of fun. At that time Tony Newman was there and, you can’t get much better than him. The guy is incredible!”
Originally the Indoorfins played in another band called Phaze 9 before reforming into the Indoorfins.
“I came along about a year after that, it was back in the day, everybody knew everybody and I knew everyone in the band. Basically, Tony Newman was going to leave and there was an actual audition that was perfectly nerve wracking. All these guys sitting in the living room with Dave’s mom waiting to go down to the basement and audition,” Druckemiller explained.
As it came his turn to audition the family dog ‘anointed’ him and since that time he has been the self proclaimed little brother of the group.
Druckemiller was born and raised in Lima, like the rest of the Indoorfins.
“They all graduated from Lima Sr. South. We initiated the Rally’s downtown and were on the the ground floor of that, we have been in the Star Spangled Spectacular for years, just a lot of fun stuff and it’s been an adventure.”
In 25 years, they have been a solid Lima regional cover band but have also expanded beyond the region, playing a week in Sloppy Joes in Key West and putting on shows in Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Ft. Wayne and Cleveland. They have played with and opened for a wide genre of groups including Little River Band, Rick Derringer, REO Speedwagon, Eddie Money, Blue Oyster Cult, Quiet Riot, Alice Cooper, Def Leppard, Wang Chung and Vanilla Ice.
Meeting so many other acts have led to some pretty awesome experiences.
“We opened for Vanilla Ice, right when he was offered the Surreal World. He came out and did his song and it was a hard metal bizarre version of the song. His machine that plays all his songs actually broke, so while they were reprograming it, they came to us and asked us to keep playing.”
Adding to the awesome experience?
“Wang Chung watched from the sidelines as we performed Reeling in the Years”.
The Indoorfins also wrote music for the University of Pennsylvania Reading Project for several years.
“They would call and say, can you do a tune, in this style, about this subject material? We of course said, ‘Hell yea!’. And so we did. We did fun tunes, legit stuff, and that led to selling songs to others, like the Bronx Zoo and Amphibian Arc, which got a full page ad in Nat Geo, and videos for the songs as part of the project,” he said.
“To get paid to do all that was awesome.”
A fun fact about The Indoorfins: they go on stage with no setlist.
“Carl goes with the moment, and it depends on the age groups in the audience and what he sees in the crowd. It gets extreme, in one day we can do a wedding reception in Cleveland and that night play the Rally in the square. Then the next week we will be in small group of 25 people playing acoustic. We’ve prided ourselves on playing as a band that is fun and it works. Things change and the whole scene in Lima is different than it was. Another thing is being able to navigate the different trends and we’ve managed to do that in the studio, and through writing and recording.”
He added, “We’re a fabulous band when everything is happening and firing on all cylinders. Thank God, all the other guys are much better than me. They tolerated me. It is a great legacy; we write, record, have the studio and have done some Penn stuff, couple of Beatles tracks, and a lot more things we’re really proud of. We have upwards of 50 tracks in some state or another.”
The Indoorfins are known for the variety of music they play.
“It’s not a stretch for me to say that the formula has been copied again and again, literally down to the song list! It’s been a great ride, about music, diversity, fun and sharing that time with the people we are playing to and for. Carl and Rob put on an amazing show, we say we are the luckiest to have Dave on drums and Sheila totally throws it down. We all mix it up instrumentally, and we all sing. So basically, all bets are off and everything is on the table. And, there’s still new things to come, so it’s a fun and exciting time for the 25th anniversary.”