The members of On Guard are not new to the realm of One Spark. They rocked out on stage at the crowd-funding festival during its inaugural year.
The dedication and enthusiasm of On Guard is electrified through its music and into the audience. With the help of One Spark, On Guard plans to raise money to tour nationally and spread an energetic vibe to an even broader audience.
All five members bring their own musical background and inspirations to the table, ranging from indie pop to heavy metal. On Guard became the end result. It brings a little bit of everything to cater to a veritable audience.
“We’re not indie rock and we’re not alternative rock,” said vocalist Nick Klimchak. “I guess you could say we’re indie rock alternative.”
Despite their different musical backgrounds, many of their inspirations tend to overlap along with similar tastes in music. Each brings forth their own twist to make up On Guard’s soulful expression.
“We’ve been compared to Incubus and I sometimes hear that in our melodies,” said guitarist Jairo Lobusta. “Nick brings a really awesome element, too. He sings his heart out and not a lot of bands are doing that these days. He’s really soulful.”
Despite having jobs and activities outside of music, every Wednesday night all five members meet at Warehouse Studios to collaborate on new, innovative projects and practice their harmonic rhythms for upcoming shows.
Klimchak and drummer Alex Lingafelt started the band in November of 2012 and managed to take the Jacksonville music scene by storm since. Adding to the group guitarist Jairo Lobusta and Aaron May on bass, On Guard has successfully released its self-titled EP and shot its first music video within the past year. In January 2014, guitarist Chad Kotce joined the group to allow Klimchak to focus primarily on vocals.
On Guard is more than just the name of this band; it’s a lifestyle for its members. One that didn’t start off as easy as they’d hoped.
“It was a lot of sitting around and not being satisfied with anything,” said Lobusta. “We had a lot to get ready for and a show coming up and then it hit me. We’re On Guard. It’s the sense of being ready. We just have to keep on keeping on.”
As for the future, touring seems to be a prominent desire for the band. Over the past year, the band has performed shows in the uprising urban core of Jacksonville and in Orlando. On Guard plans to travel around Florida playing shows and hopefully grow its fan base outside of the First Coast until May, when they hope to make it a national tour.
“We’re hoping to use One Spark, the crowd-funding festival, to help pay for it,” said Lingafelt. “Last year we were able to pay for our merchandise and our EP with the money we got from One Spark.”
Be sure to check out On Guard’s solid lineup of upcoming shows within the next couple months leading up to One Spark, including April 5 at Roc Bar. To find when and where to see On Guard, like its Facebook page and check out its website to stream its five song EP.
This story was reported by Ignite Media, an independent news bureau created by University of North Florida students.