Rock n’ Roll High School
Self-ish seeks rock glory


Cassidy Foley

C. Foley

An under-the-radar rock band from Kings High School is slowly progressing to the top of the local rock scene.

Starting almost three years ago, the band Self-ish formed when lead singer Forest Hager, a former Kings student, contacted Kings Junior Chris Davis to drum for a song that Hager was singing for a small show. Later, Davis and Hager realized that they liked the sound they were making, and wanted to continue on.

Thus, “Self-ish” was born. And ever since that fateful meeting between two young musicians, the band’s trajectory has been moving in more or less one direction: up.

With Hager on lead guitar and vocals and Davis on drums, they were in desperate need for a bassist. After going through two bass players, they finally found a permanent member of the band: KHS junior Jimmy Bustetter.

Self-ish clicked as a three-piece band, honing their sound over the last year as a mixture of post-punk and rock (think Green Day meets Blink-182 meets The Misfits). The band performs covers, but also composes their own music.

Soon, Self-ish was playing small gigs all around Greater Cincinnati, even at some premiere self-ish1venues like The Underground, The Thompson House, and Madison Theater.

On Dec. 13, as most high school students were preparing for semester exams and looking forward to the long winter break, Self-ish found themselves performing at The Underground in Fairfield in a Battle of the Bands competition against three other local groups.

It was the semifinals, and Self-ish won.

Now, Self-ish will appear in the finals on Feb. 1 at The Underground. Success could bring them the big break many bands only dream of. In addition to a cash prize, of $3000, Self-ish will also find themselves in the hunt for a record deal.

“We don’t really know what’s going to happen,” Davis said. “There has always been one or two really good bands we’ve been against. We lost at this spot last year, so there’s always a chance of that.”

The band will compete against War of Change, The Monument, and the Dugongs, three bands that have always given Self-ish a run for their money.

Win or lose, Davis said the band is embracing the competition as an opportunity to be heard.

“If we win this, we can get merchandise and an album in the works. We just want to get our stuff out to people.”

Kings community members who would like to support the band in the Feb. 1 competition can buy tickets at the door. The band also has a Facebook page here.

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