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MusiPlug Monday: The Fifth House

The Fifth House started out as sibling jams between Julia and Wes Crow growing up. Eventually the brother and sister duo added Brandon Clarkson on keys and guitar to round out the sound of the three-piece rock and roll band from Cleveland, Ohio. With an album, an EP, and some new singles released the group has plenty of original music to listen to on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Their EP “Too Many Dreams” was recorded at Cleveland’s Superior Sound Studios with legendary platinum Producer Jim Wirt. Check out or first run of the weekly Musiplug Q&A and get to know The Fifth House!

Photo: Mick Martinez

Q: Who/what inspires The Fifth House musically?

Julia: "It's a big mix of things, a lot of rock'n'roll but all in different areas. For me personally, Bowie, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Cloves, The Regrettes, pretty much rock'n'roll from all over!"

Wesley: "Many influences, both past and present, but to name a few, B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Johnny Cash, Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Croce, and many others."

Brandon: "I think musically I’m inspired by every musician and artist around me. I think when people ask that question a lot of the time the influencer is someone that’s made it big or some variation of that. The people that inspire me most are the people around me in my every day life."

Q: When did you first start playing music? How long did it take for you to jam together as siblings? When did The Fifth House become a full band?

Julia: "Wesley and I since about 3 and 4, strumming around and screaming into mics our dad set up in the dining room. We started jamming more for real right before middle school, and things evolved into taking music more seriously as a passion and a career. The fifth house became a band about four or five years ago, and the lineup finalized recently in the past two years."

Wesley: "I started singing as a toddler, and picked up guitar at age 9, and formed a band, Pett Crow, at age 12, with my sister Julia joining soon after on bass, and from the end of that band, we reformed as The Fifth House, which we have been a part of for nearly 5 years and counting!"

Q: Starting as a brother and sister duo was there any sibling conflict or do you get along well?

Julia: "Of course we have our sibling arguments, but it normally dissipates with something we do together, bonding over the rest of the life we share. As simple as watching our favorite show and baking cookies, or being in this band together."

Wesley: "We get along great within the band, albeit the standard picking on each other that usually comes with having a sibling."

Q: Some people say Rock & Roll is dead and some say it has just evolved, what’s your take?

Julia: I don't like to think it's dead at all, but it's still present in an ever-changing industry. So you just have to look for the good stuff. It used to be what record labels found underground and they brought it to the surface, which was radio and big concerts. Now it's in an even more DIY place, as it started. And rock'n'roll, while it is a genre, I like to look at the attitude in self-expression to find it. Look past the commercial radio and formulaic, table-written songs. It's about being you, expressing your beliefs, and not letting go of that, and that hasn't gone away!"

Wesley: "I say Rock and Roll is still alive and well, however it's different. I don't feel so much that it has to adhere to the usual stadium rock sound that it's widely measured against, as familiar and awesome as that is, but rather an evolving, freely creative sound that all still invokes that toe-tapping, head-banging, hair-whipping, beer-spilling feeling we all call Rock & Roll."

Brandon: "I think rock and roll is ever-changing. I think any music genre has only every evolved into something new. The very first rock and roll tunes were originally rhythm and blues. That base came to inspire the pop rock groups through the 60’s before it evolved again into the hard rock of 70’s, moving through psychedelic rock and coming into 80’s rock. Today I think we’re doing a culmination of what everyone did before us with our own touch."

Q: What are some goals for the band?

Julia: Write more songs, play more shows! Make it our living and enjoy every bit of it!

Wes: We plan to make a living doing what we do, and hopefully be widely known for it.

Brandon: "For this band I hope to reach a place where we can live comfortably, play shows , have people hear our music and hopefully make them feel good enough to come back for the next show."

Q: Favorite venue to play?

Julia: The shrunken head in Columbus. The best sound and best staff, a great rock'n'roll bar. They really value the bands experience, so shows always flow nice and easy, and the musicians can just focus on being musicians!

Wesley: Shrunken Head in Columbus, however I'll always have a soft spot for the Grog Shop and Mahall's in Cleveland.

Brandon: My favorite venue I’ve played in the band has to be The Shrunken Head in Columbus.

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