Taylor Young and John Pedigo formed The O’s in 2008 and have released three albums since then. (Photo courtesy of the artist)

Taylor Young and John Pedigo formed The O’s in 2008 and have released three albums since then. (Photo courtesy of the artist)

The O’s never set out to be a local band, but that doesn’t mean their hometown hasn’t been instrumental to their indie circuit success.

Before Preston Hollow native Taylor Young grabbed an acoustic guitar to craft rock-infused folk tunes with fellow Dallas musician John Pedigo, their resumes included stints in several local bands like Polyphonic Spree and Young Heart Attack.

Since then, The O’s have traded high-intensity alternative for a raw, low-key sound often compared to folk sensations Mumford & Sons or The Avett Brothers. But the duo says they weren’t hopping on a bandwagon when they formed in 2008. It just was the most pragmatic way to continue recording and touring without watching their bank accounts dwindle from the high cost of tour buses and elaborate equipment.

Their sound has been simplified, but The O’s are a culmination of the band’s previous projects, Pedigo says. He and Young make a conscious effort to record each song how it would be performed live, and they also have a knack for multi-tasking with multiple instruments.

“It’s like our legs and our arms are other individuals,” Young says. “We really have a 10-person band with both legs and arms and brains included.”

Young’s lifelong interest in music is a typical tale fueled by MTV music videos and childhood boredom.

“If you look up a little video — ‘Here I Go Again’ by Whitesnake — that’s when I was like ‘Man, I think I want to be a part of this,’ because there was loud music and cars and girls,” Young says. “I was stuck at home with a babysitter watching MTV a lot, and I think that guided what I wanted to do with my life.”

Both Young and Pedigo never outgrew their aspirations of becoming rock stars, although Young jokes that being a rapper could have been more lucrative. They spent their free time performing and watching local bands in Deep Ellum during the late 1990s, when Young attended Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas while Pedigo was a student at Woodrow Wilson High School in East Dallas.

“It went to its dark ages in 2003, but it’s revamped,” Pedigo says. “It’s a pretty cool time in Dallas, because the city’s growing incredibly fast. Deep Ellum is basically a Starbucks away from being the coolest place in town.”

The duo has watched Dallas progress in between national and international tours, and they’re content with the area’s ever-changing dynamic.

“I think everybody expects that these days,” Pedigo says. “It’s a certain thing people want. They want craft beer and artisan bread and local chickens.”

The support and praise they’ve received here has allowed them to tour nationally and internationally, and that’s what makes them inclined to stay.

“It’s a wonderful place to call home,” Young says. “I was born, raised and slightly educated here. People are always like, ‘Why don’t you move to Austin or Denton, where all the music people are?’ and I’m like, ‘Man, I don’t only like music people.’ ”


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