Sam Lasko and Nathan Sloan are filled with talent and ambition — two qualities you need in abundance in the music industry.
The Kent residents and Theodore Roosevelt High School alumni are part of a young music production and promotion company based in the Tree City. Their goal is to grow beyond Kent and Northeast Ohio by taking a somewhat different approach to the music business.
"My frustration with this scene has been that there's a lot of musicians around here," Lasko said. "There's a lot of artists and there's a lot of talent in Kent. But it seems a lot of people don't know how to organize it and get it out in the most succesful way."
The fledgling production company is called MIDWID, which is short for "Makin' it Do What it Do." They are the self-labeled grunts in the organization, which includes other Kent residents Andrew Pernetti, Ryan Hood and Parker Maimbourg.
For MIDWID, the group isn't necessarily out to break record deals for local bands, but they are there to offer consultation on everything from connecting musicians to recording, social media promotion, online presence and even selectively booking local shows.
"Let's say you come to us and you don't have much on the plate yet," Lasko said. "But you have some acoustic songs. We might hear a use for you. We do artist development too."
"It all starts with the material," Sloan said.
Not surprisingly, that's where it started for MIDWID.
Their work may not be done in a plush, electronics-filled studio, but listening to the self-titled first release from God and His Gun makes you think it is. They do have a small office above Main Street downtown, but like much of the group's work it's all accomplished through partnerships.
"This is just getting off the ground, so there's a lot of stuff that needs to come," Lasko said. "It's all going to be about putting out constant, good music."
The album from By George will be released Aug. 2 at The OutPost, where other MIDWID bands will perform in one of the group's larger shows.
While MIDWID is content-centric, Sloan, 18, and Lasko, 19, view their work as both a brand and a movement.
This summer Sloan is planning a move to Los Angeles where he hopes to push MIDWID and its grass-roots musical construction. Lasko, Pernetti, Hood and Maimbourg will continue to promote the effort from the Midwest through online media with several albums already in the works.
"We think we can get a lot of people to see what we're seeing and believe in it," Sloan said. "We're all kind of kids with a lot of will power and minds around us that can make this happen."