Local band Johnathon McCombe making presence known


Courtesy of Johnathon McCombe

Local lo-fi and jank rock band Johnathon McCombe.

Madelaine Vikse , Lifestyle Editor

DeKALB – Local lo-fi and jank rock band Johnathon McCombe are making their presence known with their unforgettable high-energy performances.

The band consists of Johnathon McCombe, the rhythmic guitarist, singer, songwriter, recorder and producer, Drake Henning, the bassist and music producer, lead guitarist Nicholas Kelly and drummer Roberto De Leon, an NIU graduate student and a member of the DeKalb band Live Wire Brass. 

Johnathon McCombe was recently featured on local NPR radio station WNIJ, where they did not disappoint with their live studio performances. Each member delivered a passionate, high-energy performance as they performed their original songs “Not Meant To Be,” “Stuck Inside,” “Midnight,” “Me and You,” “Baby Move On” and “Anna.” 

“A lot of the songs and the lyrics that I try to write are really relevant to people our age right now, and I feel like it’s easy listening. I feel like you can listen to it and kinda say, oh, well, I kinda felt that too a while ago,” McCombe said. Artists Mac DeMarco, Alex Calder, Travis Bretzer and Makeout Videotape serve as inspiration for McCombe, while Zomboy, Metro Boomin, Tame Impala as well as underground hip-hop inspire and influence Henning.

The band has been releasing music since 2019 but was officially formed between February and March of this year.

McCombe, who is a junior and communications/media studies major at NIU, became interested in music when he was young, and he got his first guitar around 6 years old.. In his first year of high school, he recognized his talent and started to take music more seriously. 

Henning’s father received a master’s degree in bass performance and conducting from Northwestern, which inspired Henning to pursue a career in the musical field. 

“I kind of witnessed the development of these last few projects of the last two years, and I was actually part of the process of not recording but engineering it. So these songs are really special to me, and I feel really honored to be playing them,” Henning said.

Although there are no set dates for any upcoming local performances, the band is working on setting some up in the near future. 

“We are going to be getting some shows out here in DeKalb, so I’d say for people that want to come out, we’ll have a fun time for them,” McCombe said. 

Listeners can find Johnathon McCombe’s music on Apple Music and Spotify. There are also videos of the band’s live performances on the WNIJ Northern Public Radio website as well as the band’s Instagram.