Howard is a band formed in 2014 in Indianapolis, though its roots stretch back to a little-known group called The Spin, from 2002. Essentially, Howard is looking to provide a good excuse for its friends to get together in the Indy area and have some drinks, with a focus on original tunes.
Originally formed in 2002 by longtime friends Matt Mays and Matt Salsbery, who had played as an acoustic duo and in another band throughout college at Ball State and Indiana University, respectively, The Spin was primarily a rock band based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The band originally included Salsbery and Mays, with Will Barnhart on bass, Vincent Jackson on drums, and Steve Banik on keys. Between 2002 and 2003, The Spin played a number of shows in and around Indianapolis, including a performance on race day at the Indianapolis 500, an opening slot at Live Nation Rib America Festival, as well as numerous side-stage performances at the Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre VIP Lounge and Birdy’s. The band self-produced an ep, On the Line, which is fair.
After Salsbery left in late 2003 to travel and attend law school, the band continued with the addition of the outstanding vocalist Jessica Benge and lead guitarist Chris Null. Focusing on a bluesier and funkier sound, the band enjoyed several successful years playing in and around Indianapolis, while also experiencing some membership turnover as lives changed and other opportunities arose.
Although years passed since the original formation of the group, the band stayed in touch, remaining good friends, and in Spring 2011 two reunion shows were held with Mays, Salsbery, Jackson, Banik, Null, and Barnhart performing.
In November 2013, Mays, Salsbery, Jackson, and Barnhart, along with Scott Emerson (Lead Guitar), Bill Mallers (Keys), and Joe O’Connell (drums, member of 3:1) played a set of Grateful Dead tunes at Tonic Ball 12, an annual Indianapolis event benefitting Second Helpings.
In 2014, the last gig under The Spin name was had at Fountain Square Brewery, at their annual Hop Your Face Festival, with Mays, Salsbery, Jackson, Barnhart, and Banik performing alongside Matt Wilson (Lead Guitar) and Nancy Moore (vocals).
With the exception of Banik, who lives in Wisconsin, this version continues on presently as Howard, largely because although not a single member of the band had ever really liked the name The Spin, not a single member ever had the energy to change it. Until now. So here we are.