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jodie platz

The Few, The Proud, The Strange: An interview with Not A Planet

Not A Planet is a band that has been heightening the KC music scene since 2010. The band’s devoted fans and passion for creating powerful music has allowed them to tour the United States and produce its first full-length album, The Few, The Proud, The Strange, in 2013. Not A Planet’s tour manager, Jodie Platz, coordinated and joined this interview, which took place in their practice room at her home. 
The Deli:  What conflicts in your life have inspired your lyrics?
Nathan Corsi: My experiences as a kid made me feel like I had a lot to prove. I have really supportive parents. I went to a conservatory for a year before I dropped out. A lot of great writers had troubled childhoods, and I think I had a more troubled adulthood that causes me to write the way I do. I got mugged when I lived out in New York City, a month and a half after I moved there. I’d gone out there with a bag and a guitar playing in subways and small venues. I ended up in KC because my family was here,and it was a chance for me to recoup until I found my home, and then I found my band here.
The Deli:  What could make the KC music scene better?
Nathan: Where are the people coming out to the shows? There are amazing bands here. It’s a tragedy that so few people are at the clubs Monday through Thursday. There are shows that don’t go too late for people who have to work and most places aren’t charging covers.
Bill Sturges: There are so many beautiful, amazing, crazy things going down every single night in Kansas City,and it just takes what one step out the door to find it.
Liam Sumnicht: I agree people need to come out more. I also think typically people don’t care about what’s happening in their own backyard unless other people care. It’s caddy of me to say, but people will pay attention when they know people in LA like [KC music]. It’s natural.
The Deli: Why should people see Not A Planet live?
Bill: We lay it down. We try to remove all barriers so [the audience] can enter into a different world. Because the reality you experience during the week doesn’t play into the show. There’s an energy that we try to put in, and we accomplish it. We put everything we have on the table. Come watch us crumble and rise again.
The Deli: How often are you are tour?
Liam: We do around 100 shows a year. We have been out for weeks at a time to Florida and the East Coast. And regionally we’re out almost every weekend.
Bill: Anywhere from St. Louis, to Manhattan, to Joplin, to Wichita, to Oklahoma.
Nathan: [Not a Planet] only plays in Kansas City about once a month, not including cover shows.
The Deli: Wait. What cover shows?
Nathan: We have a separate cover band with the same members. It’s called Ragged Heirs. We try to keep it upbeat and timely. We play…
Everyone: Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Foster the People, Kings of Leon, Bo Diddley, Robert Johnson, Tom Waits, all the stuff that grooves a little bit.
The Deli: Does touring hinder producing new material?
Nathan: It makes it hard.
Liam: But it also keeps you in good shape musically. It’s a double-edged sword. It keeps you on your toes, but takes away time from being able to write music.
Bill: In our lives we find things that we have to do, and the things that we love. In this room, we all understand that sometimes for the things we love, we have to carve out time. Two weeks [on tour] is beautiful because you get your feet wet. Three weeks is a marathon. We’ve talked to people like us who have been out for two months or longer. It gets treacherous at that point; it’s almost survival mode.
The Deli: What’s your favorite kind of audience?
Liam: The audience that gets it. When you can connect with people, that’s the most amazing and beautiful part of playing live.
Bill: I started playing music because I got the goose bumps sometimes in [high school] band and stuff. That’s the music reaching out and touching your soul. That’s why we continue to do it.
Nathan: Mostly I’m in it for the money and the women. [laughs]
The Deli: Speaking of money…
Bill: We make so much money.
Liam: Rollin! Sometimes at night we just pour our hundreds into a bathtub and all crawl in and take a bath.
Jodie: We go to McDonald’s and don’t order off the dollar menu.
Nathan: We get on a diving board to jump into our pool of money and swim around in it.
Bill: But in all seriousness, none of us have ever made money off of Not A Planet, but Not A Planet makes money; I’ve never had to pay [out of pocket] for gas, or vans; I’ve traveled across the US for free.
Nathan: Not A Planet is self-sustaining. It has paid for us to make records and go on tour, which costs thousands of dollars.
The Deli: Jodie, what’s your role in Not A Planet?
Jodie: Tour manager, director of media, photographer. I field the shows and make sure the band is on time. I do so much sometimes I can’t remember it all. It’s a full-time job. I came on about 2 years ago. I saw them open for another band I was working for at the time, and I was hooked. I was supposed to move to California, but I moved back to KC and wondered what I was going to do. I remembered [Not A Planet], and two weeks later I was with in the band and going to Florida.
Are you working on a second album?
Nathan: We’re working on music. A second album is a twinkle in our eyes right now.
Not A Planet is:
Nathan Corsi: guitarist, singer, wordsmith
Liam Sumnicht: drums, vocals
Bill Sturges: bass, vocals
Jodie Platz: tour manager
--Hannah Copeland
Hannah Copeland is a UMKC business student and self proclaimed "Fun Engineer". She books concerts for local bands every month, is working on an e-commerce music merchandise start-up, and is a lyricist and singer for her electronic band, Hunter Gatherer. She cannot wait to graduate next spring and work in radio broadcasting, music promotions, or bartending in South America. You can contact her at HeyHannahCopeland@gmail.com.
Not A Planet takes the stage again this Saturday at VooDoo Lounge, alongside St. Joseph’s Eyelit and Joplin’s Me Like Bees. Show starts at 9 p.m. Facebook event page.

Show recap: The Clementines' EP release show at VooDoo, 5.9.14

(Photos by Jodie Platz)
Last Friday, The Clementines celebrated the release of their EP Someday/Over (see our review), a follow-up to their self-titled debut album released last summer. This time, they threw a big party to commemorate the occasion at VooDoo Lounge, with special guests The B’Dinas and Katy Guillen & the Girls.
The B’Dinas kicked off the party with an exuberant set, bringing with them enough quirkiness to create a light, jubilant mood as the audience filtered in. Each member showed off his/her own individual talents throughout the set, often switching off instruments and lead vocal duties from song to song.
This is a band that rides on the strength of its musical prowess, maintaining an intricate prog rock/blues sound without sounding busy or overwhelming. At times, The B’Dinas boasted impressive four-part vocal harmonies. Toward the end of the set, when Peter Lawless switched over from bass to saxophone and took over lead vocal duties on “That’s Not What She Said,” the group unleashed a musical fury that filled the large room.
With gilded anticipation, The Clementines took to the stage with a confidence and performance that lived up to the quality of their new album. With a bevy of new material, the group played for about an hour to a receptive crowd.
Guest violinist Kristin Chow sat in on a few songs, adding another powerful dynamic to a band that is most noted for the strength and soul of Nicole Springer’s voice. But since adding drummer Aaron Derington to the mix last fall, The Clementines have brought new elements to their overall sound. Tim Jenkins mostly played electric guitar for Friday’s show and switched to mandolin for a few songs, contributing flourishes to Springer’s voice as well as a necessary bite to the music. Travis Earnshaw’s bass lines provided a foundation and a bounce to each song.
For one of their final tunes, “Your History,” the band’s former drummer [and Katy Guillen & the Girls’ current drummer] Stephanie Williams guest starred while Derington moved over to keys—reminding us that this band is a far cry from its beginnings as an acoustic duo of Springer and Jenkins, and is further testament to its growth as musicians and performers. “I felt [our performance] was very inspired by all of the support there and truly was a celebration of completing an EP that we’re super proud of,” mentioned Springer.
Though The Clementines were the evening’s celebrated act, Katy Guillen & the Girls headlined the show and kept the audience on the dance floor. They’ve added new material to their set as they prepare to release their debut full-length album in the fall. As always, Guillen’s guitar playing was simultaneously brutal and captivating, matched by Williams’ fierce and flashy but deliberate, on-point drumming (and a new kit to boot) and Claire Adams’ booming bass scales.
Since taking fourth place at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January, the trio has honed its performance into that of a band fit to play about any midsize/large venue in the country—a giant feat for a group still young in its career. This showed on Friday evening, as VooDoo provided the high-end production necessary to augment their roaring sound and a professional, flawless performance. KG & the Girls will be traveling in the coming months, playing the Montreal International Jazz Festival in June, Daytona Blues Fest in October, and taking a 10-day tour of Sweden in November.
The Clementines and The B’Dinas will be playing together again at The Brick on Friday, May 23. You can catch Katy & the Girls next at BB’s Lawnside BBQ on Saturday, May 31.
--Michelle Bacon
Michelle is the editor of The Deli KC and does rhythmic stuff in The Philistines, Drew Black & Dirty Electric, Dolls on Fire, and Lucky Graves. She also writes for Ink. The rest of the time, she is a hobo.

Jodie Platz is a concert photographer, and also doubles as the tour manager for Not A Planet.

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Not A Planet Runner Up in The Deli KC's 2013 Best Emerging Artist

Congrats to Not A Planet, The Deli KC’s #3 pick for 2013 Emerging Artist!
Not A Planet has garnered well-deserved attention with its unmistakably catchy pop sound, complete with pleasant vocal harmonies and a garage rock edge. Frontman Nathan Corsi’s vocals are passionate, theatrical, and soulful all at once, weaving together the trio’s cohesive, sincere indie rock approach. Corsi, along with bassist William Sturges and drummer Liam Sumnicht (see our 2013 interview with Sumnicht), command each stage they play with exuberance, finesse, and finely crafted songs.
In mid-2013, Not A Planet released its debut LP concept album, The Few, The Proud, The Strange (see our review). The trio has opened up for big names like ZZ Ward, Flogging Molly, and Maps and Atlases, and returns on tour this month to introduce more audiences to its infectious, energetic sound.


Not A Planet will be heading out on tour this month, but you can catch them when they return for their first KC show of the year at The Riot Room on Friday, February 28, with Me Like Bees and The Electric Lungs. Facebook event page.

--Michelle Bacon

Michelle Bacon is editor of The Deli KC and plays bass in The Philistines and Dolls on Fire, and drums in Drew Black & Dirty Electric.

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