Here’s how the members of Old Dominion met

Old Dominion is at the top of the country charts and on the cusp of winning best vocal group and best album at the 2020 Academy of Country Music Awards (via Taste of Country). But things weren’t always so glamorous for the five-member band based in Nashville. With writing credits for artists like Dierks Bentley, The Band Perry, and Kenny Chesney, it took these talented artists years to get the recognition they deserved. 

As guitarist and co-founder Trevor Rosen explained in an interview with Billboard, “We couldn’t get signed to save our lives. It was either quit, or just go build a following by ourselves, get some momentum and some traction, and basically force a label to want to sign us.” And that’s exactly what they did. Twenty years later, lead singer Matthew Ramsey, guitarist Trevor Rosen, drummer Whit Sellers, bassist Geoff Sprung, and guitarist Brad Tursi are the superstars you know and love (via One Country).

These guys have been through it all together, and with roots that trace back to high school, it’s no wonder they’ve grown together as artists and friends to persevere in an industry that makes longevity a difficult goal to achieve (via Billboard).

Old Dominion has strong roots in Virginia

While in high school in the early ’90s, Ramsey and Sellers were on rival marching band drum lines in Virginia. When describing his bandmate, Ramsey said of Sellers, “He was always way better than me. I decided to pick up guitar” (via The Roanoke Times). Sellers stuck with the drums, and studied music at James Madison University, where he met Geoff Sprung, a bass player also from Virginia. Brad Tursi, a Connecticut native, was never a country music fan, although he would make fun of his dad for loving the genre. He met bandmates Sellers and Sprung while also a student at James Madison University (via Heavy).

Trevor Rosen had already moved to Nashville from Michigan in the hopes of making it big in Music City. And in 2003, he met Ramsey, who already had ties to the other band members, although they each made their way to Nashville completely independent of each other. When reflecting on their success so many years later, Rosen describes the experience on the band’s website, stating, “It’s so incredible to be able to sit in your room with your instruments and your bandmates and feel that chemistry and follow it wherever it goes.”

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