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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








Album review: The Dead Girls - Fade In/Fade Out

(Photo by Rachel Meyers)
It doesn't seem too premature to consider The Dead Girls’ latest effort Fade In/Fade Out a strong contender for best local pop album of the year.
The four-piece power pop group, who also cites classic, heavy guitar rockers like KISS and Thin Lizzy as influences, is releasing its first full-length album since 2010’s Out of Earshot. Though they also released a 7” single in 2012 (She Laughed A Little), the new LP has been highly anticipated by fans and the band itself.
“We started recording FIFO in 2009,” said guitarist and vocalist Cameron Hawk. “We were putting the finishing touches on Out of Earshot, and then went in to track drums for a few new tunes. We were thinking like, ‘Man, we’re gonna be done recording this new album even before Out of Earshot comes out!’ Now, here we are, three-and-a-half years later. It’s the story of our lives, really.
That said, this album is well worth the wait. FIFO was produced by Chris Cosgrove, who has been an integral part of The Dead Girls’ recorded sound since producing Out of Earshot and their previous EPs Te Quiero and Hair Trigger. According to Hawk, Cosgrove helped push this recording in a stronger direction. “He was very set on having really different guitar sounds for every song; some of this extra layering resulted in more than 70 tracks on a few songs. Virtually every guitar track features a different amp, guitar, setting, or all of the above. Also, Chris had this wall of amps for us to choose from, so it was pretty much a guitar player’s heaven.
Layered guitar sounds are evident throughout the album, weaving masterfully between a big entrance in lead-off track “Never Erased” to a soft, crisp acoustic guitar progression in the sincere track “Sing It Soft.” In the same vein, the songs gracefully transition from energetic to heartfelt. The contrast between Hawk’s and co-writer/vocalist/guitarist JoJo Longbottom’s songs is enough to create variety on each track, but the sense of what makes a Dead Girls’ song remains intact.
According to Hawk, all of the songs on this album are written separately by him or Longbottom. “JoJo and I will write songs on our own and bring them to the table through demos we record at home,” noting that each composition undergoes an intense collaborative scrunity by the band. “We’ve found a system that really works for us, and we’re getting better at it all the time.”
On songs like “The Beast Inside,” you hear the punk vocal stylings of Longbottom, which also maintain a smooth, accessible higher range. On the other hand, Hawk’s voice leans toward a purer pop tone like Alex Chilton with a slightly gritty rock ‘n roll edge. With their songwriting and Thin Lizzy-style dueling guitar attacks, Hawk and Longbottom construct nearly flawless pop songs with the help of a booming rhythm section from Eric Melin and Nick Colby. Some of album’s songs are structured like standard, quality pop songs; yet there’s a secret touch that comes from each member contributing his own part. Colby throws in gripping bass lines in addition to establishing a sturdy foundation to propel each track. Melin complements Colby (they’ve been together since the days of Ultimate Fakebook), punctuating each chug with a solid beat. He precisely attacks the skins on each track, and initiates crucial breaks that give songs an extra bite.
Flaming Lips’ drummer Kliph Scurlock, a friend of the band’s (he recently filled in at a gig for a sick Melin), mastered FIFO. The element of adding another ear to the recording process—especially from someone familiar with the group’s sound—also shaped the overall sound of the album. “’I Feel You’ (a nearly seven-and-a-half-minute song) was actually split into two tracks originally, but Kliph helped us understand that it should be a single song.Sometimes, one person will see something not even five other people can see,” said Hawk. With all of these elements, Fade In/Fade Out demonstrates a work of pop mastery from a group of true musicians.
Fade In/Fade Out will be released for digital download tomorrow, Friday, February 1, on The Dead Girls’ Bandcamp page. The group will be celebrating the release with a show that evening at Replay Lounge with The Depth and The Whisper. On Saturday, February 2, the boys will celebrate on the other side of the state line at recordBar with Gentleman Savage and The Casket Lottery.The Dead Girls were 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.
--Michelle Bacon

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The Deli's Emerging Kansas City Artist of 2012: #2 - Making Movies

Making Movies has figured out how to create a musical formula to success, combining popular musical genres and constructing a sultry but rhythmic and cohesive catalog. With a focused musical direction and a distinct flair about them, the band’s style marries Afro-Cuban and other Latin-influenced music to indie rock. Making Movies has made itself known around the country with an energetic, engaging live show that’s captured the attention of multi-genre listeners. The four-piece has opened for artists such as Delta Spirit, Fun, Neon Indian, and Los Lobos. Its latest LP, A La Deriva, was recorded by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos fame. (The Record Machine)

Making Movies is:
Enrique Chi – vocals, guitar
Diego Chi – bass
Juan-Carlos Chaurand – percussion, keys
Brendan Culp – drums
Making Movies’ next KC performance will be at The Riot Room on Saturday, March 2. Javier Mendoza and Shy Boys will be opening for the group. Mark your calendars now.


--Michelle Bacon 

The Deli's Emerging Kansas City Artist of 2012: #3 - Schwervon!

(Photo by Lippe)

There has been a wellspring—some might say an oversaturation—of male/female duos popping up around the US in the past few years. They come in a variety of genres, but often the end result is the same: the music lacks a full quality, or one of the performers is exceedingly more talented than the other, causing the music to fall flat after a few songs. Fortunately, the charismatic duo Schwervon! avoids the pitfalls that many others make. Matt Roth and Nan Turner established themselves in the NYC scene, playing with groups like The Vaselines and Belle and Sebastian, and touring around the US and Europe. The two moved to Kansas City last spring, and have been embraced by the local music community, especially with their release of their latest LP Courage (see our review here) in September. Schwervon!’s knack for hook-laden ‘90s pop melodies with a lo-fi garage punk/indie rock edge, combined with a natural chemistry and an appropriate tinge of sweetness, has quickly made them a fan favorite. (Olive Juice Music)

(Photos by Todd Zimmer)

Schwervon!'s next performance will be at recordBar on Wednesday, February 20 with Cher UK and a special guest. Facebook event here. Schwervon! 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.

Schwervon! is:

Matt Roth – vocals, guitar

Nan Turner – vocals, drums


--Michelle Bacon

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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