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MidCoast Takeover

 
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On The Beat with Liam Sumnicht
 
An important part of the Kansas City music scene, Liam Sumnicht supports the community as drummer for rock band Not A Planet and as co-host of a radio show devoted to presenting local talent. We catch up with Liam and learn a bit more about the man behind the scenes.

The Deli
: How did the drums find you?
 
Liam SumnichtMy parents swear that when I was in the womb, my dad would tap a specific beat on my mom's stomach, and I would tap it back exactly as he had. Aside from that and banging pots and pans as a child (bless my mother for her patience), I started drum lessons in elementary school, right before I was old enough to join the school band. My teachers had me develop my hands for 2 to 3 years before I moved to the kit.
 
The Deli: Other instruments?
 
LS: Nothing major. My stepbrother was in a metal band that was touring stadiums in the '80s, and he let me make noise on his guitars at a young age. My mom played the harp for a living as I grew up, and felt music was an important part of life. Between maybe, 5 and 10 years old, she taught me some very elementary things on the harp and the recorder, as well as how to sing rounds and carry a tune. My family instilled a cool and diverse groundwork for me, which I'm thankful for.
 
The Deli: What type of kit(s) do you use?
 
LS: I play and endorse C&C Custom Drums. My kit has a green sparkle stripe on white background, with white powder coated rims. It looks nice, but more importantly, it sounds great. I have a lot of pride for the company: their quality in new vintage drums, and the waves they are making for our town. It can be a challenge for a business to represent KC nationally or globally. But when my band hits the road to a coast, no matter where we go, it seems like every drummer I run into that sees my kit tells me everything they know about C&C, and how they are planning to get theirs designed when they get one. It's an integral piece of my KC pride.
 
The Deli: Biggest influences?
 
LSMy goal is to play drums to the song. Musicians I've played with have influenced how I play, and drum teachers and producers have taught me a whole stinkin' lot about doing it better. As far as national drummers (or national records with multiple drummers) that have left their mark: Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), John Pike (RIP) (Ra Ra Riot), John Bonham (Zeppelin), Worship and Tribute by Glassjaw, As Tall As Lions by As Tall As Lions.
 
The Deli: Tell us about some of the bands you’ve been in.
 
LSI started in high school with a band called Plain Wight. We were together for several years. That experience taught me a lot about how to be in band, write together, approach the business aspects, and work as a team. When that band's time came to an end, I didn't play with anyone for several months and it started to bug me. So I decided to fill in with as many groups as possible, in as many genres as possible. One of those was The Tambourine Club. That was fun. The main brain behind the project is Bryan Lamanno, and he writes this cool, indie, lo-fi garage rock. After a few months of playing all different styles, I needed one to call my own. Not long after, Not A Planet was formed.
 
The Deli: What is your approach to drumming? Has it evolved much since you started playing?
 
LS: In the beginning, I just wanted to hit hard, loud, and play as many things at once as possible. I still love playing hard and loud, but over time, I've grown to have an affection for the beauty of dynamics and negative space. I think the goal is and always was to make things big. It's just the approach that changes, and learning more about how to do it better.
  
The Deli: Okay, let’s say you get to pick a group of KC/Lawrence drummers to make a drum circle with. Who would they be?
 
LS: You're telling me I get to pick a bunch of drummers to play with? Let's do eight: all kit players, and all with different backgrounds.
Billy Johnson (Shots Fired, many more) to bring the heavy hitting
Josh Enyart (Jorge Arana Trio, Various Blonde) to bring the syncopation
Lennon Bone (Ha Ha Tonka) to bring the dynamics
Aaron Crawford (Flee The Seen, Beautiful Bodies) to bring the speed
Thomas Becker (guitarist, Beautiful Bodies) to bring the party
The Ryantist (Antennas Up) to bring the funkiness
Tim Cote (Me Like Bees) to bring the creativity.
 
I can't imagine what a challenge it would be to keep eight set players of different in the pocket together, but that'd part of the fun.
 
The Deli: You’re not only a drummer; you co-host Homegrown Buzz on 96.5 on Sunday nights. Tell us a little bit about that and who some of your favorite KC bands are.
 
LS: A little over four years ago, I started going to a lot of shows, and the talent in the area was glaringly obvious. But, for whatever reason, labels tend to avoid Kansas City. And as the curse of the local band tends to go, if the record label doesn't care, most townspeople don't care. That was frustrating for me, and I wanted to share my excitement for the talent here. So, I stumbled my way onto Homegrown about three-and-a-half years ago, and I’ve been able to share a little love for some of the great area bands ever since. I've got a lot of favorites in many genres, but I've been on a folky/indie, "quiet" kick recently. The bands I'll list here either do that exclusively, or have bits and pieces of it. They are all amazing. Eyelit, The Blackbird Revue, Me Like Bees, Towers, O, Giant Man, Cowboy Indian Bear, and Quiet Corral.
 
Sumnicht will join his band Not A Planet on Saturday, February 16 for the fourth MidCoast Takeover fundraiser at The Brick. The group will be playing at 12:30, along with Rev Gusto, Cherokee Rock Rifle, and David Hasselhoff on Acid. Facebook event page here. You can also catch him on Homegrown Buzz on Sundays at 8 pm on 96.5 The Buzz. Not A Planet was also one of over 40 KC artists selected to play the 2013 MidCoast Takeover showcase at SXSW from March 13-16 at Shangri-La in Austin, Texas.
 
The Deli: What other plans do you have for the bands this year?
 
LS: We just finished tracking our debut full-length record. This is a proud moment for us. We recorded at Black Lodge, fearlessly led by the charming and talented producer, Michael Stout. It's a concept record involving the seven stages of grief, life, death, and reincarnation, and will release in March. Also in March, I'm thrilled to say that we are headed to SXSW to play Midwest Music Foundation’s Midcoast Takeover showcase. What a great thing to be a part of. The work that MMF does for our scene is another piece of my KC pride. And in the coming months, we'll be back out on the road, in our dingy, trusty van, Gertrude, spreading the word of the new record, one city at a time.
 
--Michelle Bacon 
 
Michelle is editor-in-chief of The Deli - Kansas City. She plays with Deco AutoDrew Black and Dirty Electric, and Dolls on Fire. She just finished eating jalapeno bourbon bacon from Local Pig, but is not a cannibal.
 
 
Liam Sumnicht
 
 
Photo by Todd Zimmer
 
 
Not A Planet
 Photo by Todd Zimmer
 
 
 
 
 

 

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Artists on Trial: David Hasselhoff on Acid

For the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring artists playing the MidCoast Takeover fundraiser shows, sponsored by Midwest Music Foundation.

Kansas City boasts a diverse music scene, ranging from its historic jazz foundation to its renowned symphony to rock bands finding national success. David Hasselhoff on Acid has added yet another dimension of versatility with an instrumental psychedelic rock sound that brings in elements of funk and metal. Let’s find out a little more about the four-piece group.
 
The Deli: Down and dirty: 1 sentence to describe your music. What is it?
 
David Hasselhoff on Acid: David Hasselhoff on Acid is a progressive, instrumental PB&J with extra spank and a side of deep space.
 
The Deli: Let’s talk about your upcoming album. What can we expect?
 
DHOA: Our new album Eudaimonia will be coming out in early May. We are about halfway through the process right now. The album will be 7 songs and feature guest appearances by R.L. Brooks from Maps for Travelers on trumpet and Bobby Bayer from Sundiver and Janet the Planet on saxophone. Expect a more powerful and focused Hoff... or as focused as a schizophrenic could ever hope to be.
 
The Deli: What other plans do you have for 2013?
 
DHOA: Our Kickstarter will be up soon. We are relying on the support of our community, not just our local community but the entire music community to help us get to SXSW. We are hoping to be on Middle of the Map fest in April, and will be promoting a CD release show sometime in May. Depending on fan support from Kickstarter, we hope to make it out to our friends in LA and hit a few shows on the way back. Besides that... look for us opening for more national touring acts that come through Kansas City.
 
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you?
 
DHOA: Going out to see shows. Giving those bands your money. Introducing new people to new music and artists in the area.
 
Supporting the local scene is important to us because the KC music scene is tight like family so when we go out to shows we are pretty much supporting friends and family.
 
The Deli: Who are your favorite local musicians right now?
 
DHOA: Parts of Speech and Janet the Planet, Josh Enyart and everything he does, the Arana brothers, Mark Southerland and Snuff Jazz, Mike Dillon, Zach Rizer, Humans...there are so many talented people and great bands in Kansas City. Too many to list here.
 
The Deli: Who are your favorite not-so-local musicians right now?
 
 
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?
 
DHOA: This would never happen, but it would have to be Animals as Leaders, Meshuggah, Primus and Tool!
 
The Deli: Would you rather spend the rest of your life on stage or in the recording studio?
 
DHOA: Half and half.
 
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?
 
DHOA: Our bass player's main influence is Flea, so he would be up there. Abe and Chino from the Deftones because we are all huge Deftones fans, and Beethoven because he's the shit!
 
The Deli: All right, give us the rundown. Where all on this big crazy web can you be found?
 
 
The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?
 
DHOA: Everything is not always as it seems. Question everything. Laugh as much as possible and see as much local music as you can. We rely on the community. Thank you for listening.
 
DHOA is:
Phil Wolf – guitar
Erich Thomas – bass
Zach Legler – drums
Brandon Bamesberger – guitar
 
You can see David Hasselhoff on Acid this Saturday, February 16, where they will be playing the fourth MidCoast Takeover fundraiser at The Brick. The group will be playing at 11:30, along with Rev Gusto, Cherokee Rock Rifle, and Not A Planet. Facebook event page hereDavid Hasselhoff on Acid was also one of over 40 KC artists selected to play the 2013 MidCoast Takeover showcase at SXSW from March 13-16 at Shangri-La in Austin, Texas.
 

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On The Beat with Josh Enyart

 

Josh Enyart is one of the most eclectic drummers in Kansas City, proven by his time with bands like Pixel Panda, Maps for Travelers, and currently, Jorge Arana Trio and Various Blonde. We catch up with Josh to learn more about him and his massive collection of drums (see photo).

The Deli: How did the drums find you?

Josh EnyartWell, back in ‘95 at Hocker Grove Middle School (Brett Southard and Justin Tricomi were also in the same grade as me), a friend of mine would play guitar by himself all the time and I would just hang out and watch. so I got a job as a carny for fun services, saved up enough money to buy a drum set in ‘96 and I started my life as a habitual worker/drummer. That is pretty much all I have been doing since. Work and drums!

The Deli: What type of kit(s) do you use?

JE: I have a couple, and each one has had a pretty specific role in each band it was used for. In Jorge Arana Trio, I use a Mapex Saturn series (Manhattan sizes) with an auxiliary Sonor Rosewood 16" floor tom. This is one of my favorite setups!

The DeliBiggest influences?

JEThat question has an odd answer; I missed out on a lot of music culture. Until 1993 we lived overseas (my parents were missionaries) so we got back to the States and I was introduced to Nirvana and Pantera—talk about culture shock! Spirit Fest and The Gadjits were how I was introduced to the live music scene.

How about this, the bands i saw in concert most: Fear Factory, The Urge, Primus, 311, Lake Trout, Drums and Tuba, anything Mike Dillon! Tons of heavy shit back when Adam Mitchell in The Esoteric (love that guy)! In all actuality I would say all the people I have played with have been some of the biggest influences on my drum style. Yeah, definitely! I've had the pleasure of playing with a lot of great musicians. These are the people who helped shape my playing style.

The Deli: Tell us about some of the bands you’ve been in.

JEThat is a long list, so I will name a few. Nocturne Noir, kind of a black metal meets J-Rock heavy sound. Savitar: Middle Eastern-based Mars Volta sound. Pixel Panda: anxiety-driving chaos dance rock. Latin: vocal-driven modern alt rock. Maps for Travelers: heavy indie rock. Capture the Flag: electronic bass dance indie. My current groups are Various Blonde: vintage expressive rock, and Jorge Arana Trio: punk jazz, as described by Jorge.

The Deli: Wow, that’s quite an eclectic list. Is there any style you wouldn’t play?

JEI have also played in country and pop bands. There isn't anything someone could put in front of me that I wouldn't try because you can learn from every style, and that keeps me growing as a musician.

The Deli: Okay, let’s say you get to pick a group of KC/Lawrence drummers to make a drum circle with. Who would they be?

JEThat’s a long list! Separating by genre? Style? Taught or rough on the edges? It would totally depend on what was trying to be accomplished. But one of my top configurations would most likely be Sam Sartorious, Blair Greens, Nick Organ, Justin Tricomi, Drew Little, and Alex Thomas. This is a group I am trying to get in my basement!

The Deli: Anything else you want to share with us about your technique?

JE: I would like to become a jazz drummer. That means I have work to do.

The Deli: What other plans do you have for the bands this year?

JEI bought a van, and this year, and the Jorge Arana Trio is planning on spreading our Gospel throughout the land. We and Various Blonde will be playing the MidCoast Takeover in Austin for SXSW. As far as other projects are concerned, I do have an idea I might start working on, but the trio is my top for sure!

Enyart will join Jorge Arana Trio on stage tomorrow, Friday, February 1 for the second MidCoast Takeover fundraiser at Czar. Then, go to Riot Room on Saturday, February 2, where he’ll be with Various Blonde for the third fundraiser.

--Michelle Bacon  

Michelle is editor-in-chief of The Deli - Kansas City. She plays with Deco AutoDrew Black and Dirty Electric, and Dolls on Fire. She owns an Australian cattle dog and a Corgi. The Corgi is the dumbest (but also quite possibly the most adorable) animal she has ever owned.

 

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Josh Enyart


Photos by Jorge Arana

 

 

 

 

 Jorge Arana Trio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Artists on Trial: Maps for Travelers

 (Photo by Todd Zimmer)

 
For the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring artists playing the MidCoast Takeover fundraiser shows, sponsored by Midwest Music Foundation.
 
Maps for Travelers is a collective of four veteran Kansas City musicians who have toured around the country with a heavy indie rock sound. The band has shared the stage with national acts like Fucked Up, The Jealous Sound, Just Like Vinyl, and others. We find out a little about the band’s upcoming debut LP and its influences.
 
The Deli: Down and dirty: 1 sentence to describe your music. What is it?

Maps for Travelers: Four guys paying homage to the most crushing alternative post-rock bands of the ‘90s while putting our own story and sonic point of view on it, with trumpet somehow in there too.
 
The Deli: Let’s talk about your much anticipated upcoming LP Broken Antlers. What can we expect?
 
Maps: This record has collectively been one of the most stressful records of all of our musical careers. We have fought for every note, every idea, every beat, and every lyric to be a true picture of who we are and what’s to come. From dynamic chaos to chilling, vibed-out soundscapes, we feel like we are covering it all. Most people that have listened to it say that we have cut out all the fat and focused all the sounds into a powerful work of music. We hope many will agree. This record is made to see live; we put all of these songs through the ringer of playing live and really tuned into being honest with ourselves about how the energy of every moment felt to all of us on stage as we are performing. Every song except for an interlude and an outro have undergone that intense scrutiny and, at the end of the day, we just love it and are excited to share it with everyone we can.
 
The Deli: What other plans and goals do you guys have this year?
 
Maps: Release this record, tour in support of this record, do some splits with some of our favorite artists. Make a video or two for a couple of these songs. And tour more and start to look at making another record in 2014.
 
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you?

Maps: Supporting local music to us means that we go to other bands’ shows even when we aren't playing. Getting interested in what others are doing and encouraging the community of musicians to strive for their best. Being in a band can feel very competitive at points and we are trying to do the opposite of that; music is subjective. Everyone has a place and we are looking for people that feel the same way we do and are willing to take it to the highest level and create an even more engaged local music scene. That’s our take on it. We want to encourage people in general to support more, and by working together with other local musicians, we can create our own awesome community to launch out from here and come home to.
 
The Deli: Who are your favorite local musicians right now?

Maps: Right now we are really loving Cowboy Indian Bear, Clairaudients, Bears and Company, The Casket Lottery, Jorge Arana Trio, Radkey, The Dead Girls, Sundiver, The Slowdown, In The Grove, Wise Guy, Regret, The Informer, The Architects, The Calamity Cubes, honestly we could go on for a minute! So many bands just playing so well right now! We are super pumped on being from KC.
 
The Deli: Who are your favorite not-so-local musicians right now?

Maps: Title Fight, Caspian, Junius, La Dispute, Native, Local Natives, Now Now, Russian Circles, O Brother, The Life and Times.
 
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?

Maps: Quicksand, Hum, Failure, Thursday, Nine Inch Nails.
 
The Deli: Would you rather spend the rest of your life on stage or in the recording studio?
 
Maps: The stage, granted we can look like our awesome selves for the rest of our lives! Performing is where it’s at for us, the interaction and the rush you get from playing and really just bouncing all that energy around. There is no substitute for that anywhere!
 
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?

Maps: This is nearly impossible to cover the pillars for us, so many and for so many different reasons. We will just pick the closest to our generation that really have pushed on us to strive for nothing less than everything we have.
 
Jeff Rickley (Thursday): He started a movement that changed our whole decade of music for us.
 
Walter Schreifels (Quicksand): We wouldn't be doing what we are doing without him laying the foundation for our style of music.
 
Allen Epley (Shiner, The Life and Times): Just an amazing songwriter and someone from here that has shown the way for a lot of us Kansas City musicians.
 
Darryl Palumbo (Glassjaw): Just collectively, Maps For Travelers has come together so much over his band’s music and the way he put it all out there and commanded such an incredible band. We constantly are referencing Glassjaw tracks when writing music together.

The Deli: All right, give us the rundown. Where all on this big crazy web can you be found?


The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?

Maps: Tell someone you love them today, hug a friend, and dont be scared to get in the pit and always help the fallen get up.
 
Maps for Travelers is:
Zach Brotherton – vocals, guitar
RL Brooks – vocals, guitar, trumpet
Kevin Medina – bass
Derek White – drums
 
You can see Maps for Travelers this Saturday, February 2, where they will be playing the second MidCoast Takeover fundraiser at Riot Room. The group will be playing at 11:15, along with Various Blonde, Drop A Grand, and Six Percent. Tickets available here.
 
--Michelle Bacon
 
 
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Behind the Scenes with The Latenight Callers

For the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring artists playing the MidCoast Takeover fundraiser shows, sponsored by Midwest Music Foundation.

 
It’s 11 a.m. on a Sunday morning, which for this reviewer typically equates to a dog on each side and blanket after blanket piled upon my bed. Instead, I’m braving the brisk winter air of Midtown to talk with a band whose name is acutely contradictory to my being awake.
 
If you don’t know them, you have to wonder what The Latenight Callers are really like, especially during the early morning hours (relatively speaking). You also might be wondering what the band’s new recording sounds like. To provide a quick perspective: the four members (Ms. Ellen [O’Hayer] was unavailable for comment that day) were awake and pleasant, and the upcoming LP leaves nothing to be desired for this skyrocketing Kansas City group.
 
I met with Ms. Julie, Mr. Mac, Mr. Nemeth, and Mr. Combs at Weights and Measures Soundlab, where they’ve been tracking with veteran engineer (and musician) Duane Trower (currently of Olivetti Letter; formerly of Season To Risk, Doris Henson, Overstep).
 
 
“The character of Duane’s gear helps us portray the character of the band, in the essence that everything is out of another time,” said baritone guitarist Krysztof Nemeth. Trower boasts an array of obscure, vintage gear, as well as equipment he’s built himself, which the band believes help keep its sound as unique as possible.
 
Unlike the band’s previous two EP recordings (The Latenight Callers and Easy Virtues). the full-length will be mixed by Trower (who mastered Easy Virtues) instead of recorded by Nemeth. Keyboardist/electronic sound guru Nick Combs mentioned that Trower seemed to be the perfect fit for the band’s upcoming album. “We needed someone that wouldn’t make us sound precious. With Duane’s own experience as a musician, we knew he’d give us the heftier sound we’ve been looking for.” Recording in a studio has given the band the freedom to explore its music, most of which will be new and some of which will be re-recorded from the first EP.
 
 
The new full-length, still untitled, seems to be more of a collaborative effort than previous recordings, with tracks built by each individual member to serve each song. The Callers’ first EP was written, produced, and performed by Nemeth and frontwoman Julie Berndsen, before the other three members were added to the mix. After 3 years, the band has gained a collective maturity and a strong foothold in the local scene, and the new tracks show that each member knows what element to bring to write a song that is uniquely The Latenight Callers.
 
Berndsen noted, “Everyone has the goal of creating a cohesive song, but we had to really think about… does each piece complement the particular song?” Berndsen and O’Hayer recorded their vocals in a session after each instrument had been laid down, which, according to the group, enhanced the emotive aspects of each track.
 
 
“With recording, we have to step back from our individual roles and look at it from a distance to gain perspective of what our audience will recognize and respond viscerally to,” said Nemeth. Combs added, “Instead of just one person’s vision, it’s all five of us. We’re listening to the arrangements and orchestration instead of just thinking about ‘my part.’”
 
With plans to release this album in the spring and big shows in the works, 2013 promises to be another tremendous year for The Latenight Callers. Stay tuned.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Editor’s note: Bassist Gavin Mac was available for comment, but settled upon curling up in the studio’s comfortable leather couch and settled in for a long winter’s nap. Left-handed bass players are prone to hibernation at this and all other times of year.
 
The Latenight Callers will be performing some of the songs from its upcoming album this Friday, February 1, at Czar Bar, for the second MidCoast Takeover fundraiser show. The Callers will headline the show, playing at 12:00 a.m. after Jorge Arana Trio, Eyelit, and Tiny Horse. Tickets are available here. The band will also be performing at the MidCoast Takeover show at SXSW on Saturday, March 16 at Shangri-La in Austin, Texas.
 
Photos by Randy Pace. Please do not use without permission.
 
--Michelle Bacon
 
 

 

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