The Common formed in 1994 following the breakup of The Gloryhounds when Jimmy Sizemore decided to put together a power pop act that he would front. He recruited former high school pals and band mates Chuck Brooks (bass) and DeWaine West (drums) to fill out the lineup. The trio performed around Muncie, bringing high-energy power pop to the local crowds.
Upon returning from a year living in Chicago, former Gloryhounds drummer Ryan Roberts took over drum duties. Jim then added Mike Hayes as 2nd guitar player and vocalist, swiping Mike from his older brother's bar band. The current lineup of The Common finalized in 1995 when Steve Hayes, who had been lead singer and 2nd guitarist for The Gloryhounds, took over bass duties. This lineup has been together for 25 years as of September 2020.
With this lineup in place, The Common got busy on their first CD of original material. They released "Forget About Tomorrow" in 1996. Primary recording for that release happened at the All-Nite Production Room in Muncie with Allan Hays engineering. They followed up in 1999 with the self-recorded "A Liar's Dozen," with engineering and mixing handled by yet another past Gloryhounds band mate, Jeff Chandler.
As the 90's gave way to the 2000's, The Common shifted their base of operations from Muncie to Indianapolis. The group started the new decade with by touring in California and followed up the next year by performing on the east coast. They also returned to the studio to re-record older songs and a few new tunes at The Pop Machine with Eric and Marc Johnson at the helm. The group took a sabbatical in 2002 to portray "The Angry Inch" in the Phoenix Theatre's production of "Hedwig & the Angry Inch." That production won "best local theatre event" honors from both the Indy Star and NUVO that year.
The Common were at the peak of their powers in the early 2000's, becoming regular fixtures on Indy's music scene. The band dropped their 3rd CD, "Rock & Roll People," in 2004 letting their appearance at the Benchmark Records Battle of the Bands finals serve as their release party. The band chose The Engine Room to make that record with Jim Kuczkowski recording. The band's fourth record followed in 2005, the faux-live album "Rock & Roll People," recorded live-in-studio at Echo Park in Bloomington by Kevin Loyal. Jessica Benge, the band's Hedwig cast mate and frequent collaborator, also appears on that record.
By the late 2000's the four members were all married, some had started families, and all were working career jobs. That meant band activity slowed, but didn't stop. The group released a short run of self-produced singles in 2006 and started appearing regularly at the yearly Tonic Ball fundraiser. The band also picked a Punk Rock Night award in 2009 for "Best Performance" thanks to their Queen tribute set at the PRN Halloween show.
As the 2010s arrived, the members of The Common began to branch into other projects. Jim and Steve helped found The Cocaine Wolves with Mike Schull and Matt Amos formerly of The Retreads. Both appeared on that band's debut "Royal Feast" in 2010. Jim remains a member of the Wolves and helped write and record their 2019 follow up, "Second Scorching." Jim also recorded and released a set of songs in 2015 under the project name "Fort Exile" with Mike, Brian McKenna, and Greg Mrakich participating. Mike also launched an acoustic act called "The Lightweights" with his nephew, Jon Hayes. The duo recruited Steve and Ryan to help with their 2018 record, "Promises & Prayers."
Twenty-five years in, The Common remain committed to being a band in whatever way they can. In 2020, during the height of quarantine, the group. began revisiting unreleased and unrehearsed songs from their catalog via remote recording projects. The first release came in May 2020 with a single called "Stare Too Long," recorded with the assistance of drummer Bennett Williams. The band plans to continue writing, recording, releasing, and possibly even performing live until they literally can't do it anymore.