Not A Planet * Josh Berwanger Band (album release) * Akkilles
And Costume Contest
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Having experienced the highest highs and lowest lows involved with chasing his musical dreams for the better part of two decades, Berwanger found himself at a crossroads—should he finally hang up his guitar for good or should he soldier on, pulling together his best tunes and working with a group of friends to make the best music possible? Luckily, he chose the latter. “There’s this part of me that really wants music to be normal again. I don’t even know what I mean by that exactly, but I know what normal isn’t—designer outfits, fireworks, crazy gimmicks. I don’t know how to relate to that. I want to make rock and roll. I want to make something honest.”
Such sentiments make sense coming from a guy who, as a child, used his first communion money to buy Motley Crue’s Shout At The Devil on cassette. On his new record, Strange Stains, Berwanger manages to balance what have always been his primary influences—the spirit and ethos of classic rock with the kind of pop sensibility and knack for hummable melody that made The Anniversary such a great band back in their heyday. Tracks like “Time Traveler” and “I Can Feel the Moon” rank among some of Berwanger’s loveliest (and catchiest) tunes, while “Baby Loses Her Mind” is the kind of sing-along jam that wouldn’t have been out of place on a classic FM radio playlist.
For the recording of Strange Stains, Berwanger joined forces with old pal (and original drummer for The Anniversary) Michael Hutcherson, who brought not only brought the rhythm to the record, but a wonderful familiarity as well. “Josh and I met in 1996 while playing in local Kansas City pop punk bands,” recalls Hutcherson, “I am honored to be making music with Josh again. For all that’s changed in our lives over the years, we’ve still got a symbiotic musical relationship. No questions, no egos, just rock and roll. “
The new record—which also features additional playing from The Breeders’ Jim Macpherson—speaks not only to Berwanger’s tenacity as a musician, but also to his sense of humor as well. Even though his musical path has been strewn with a few left turns (and a couple of cliffs), he has always retained his ability to turn lemons into sweet, sweet lemonade. Regarding the origins of Strange Stains, he has this to say: “I started dating a girl and she said the only way she would continue to date me was if I got a job in corporate America that involved sitting in a cubicle. I said a quick ‘Fuck No’ and instantly started writing this new album.”
Berwanger’s songs are born out of love, heartbreak, fear and frustration. They sound as big and open and honest as a Kansas skyline and speak to the struggle, unique to someone trying to slug it out in the music business for most of their adult life. Berwanger is, any many ways, a visceral statement about what it means to keep doing what you love—even when it feels like you are doing so against all odds.”It’s an honest and truly sincere rock and roll record,” he says. “It’s a record that speaks about love, heartbreak, idiots, and continuing to pursue what you love to do, no matter how hard that shit is.”-T.Cole Rachel
“...Step into the cage, the spectacle, the few, the proud, the strange...” writes Nathan Corsi, the guitarist, singer, and wordsmith of Not A Planet. Corsi’s carefully crafted and emotionally charged lyrics sync perfectly with the swirling harmonies sung by Liam Sumnicht (drums) and Bill Sturges (bass). The songs unabashedly culminate in a blend of 60’s pop, east coast indie and the blues of the north.
An Akron, Ohio native, Corsi’s musical tastes and influences grew in the same fertile soil that reaped rock and roll innovators like the James Gang, Devo, the Pretenders and the Black Keys. Moving to Kansas City, by way of New York, Corsi met local music-enthusiast poster child and 96.5 the Buzz radio personality, Liam Sumnicht in 2010. With their powers combined, they immediately booked their first tour while Sumnicht simultaneously navigated Corsi throughout the KC music scene.
Extensive touring to the east coast and back in the belly of their (t)rusty van, “Trudy”, Corsi and Sumnicht were accompanied by various and sundry bass players while their bond as bandmates and fellow artists grew stronger. Ripe and ready for a permanent solution, in the winter of 2012, they welcomed a bundle of joy, William “Pretty-Boy” Sturges, with open arms. William’s unmatched joie de vivre made him a natural fit for NAP. A skillful stylist, Sturges’ bass became the glue that bound Not A Planet’s signature sound. Their first release, the NAP Sack EP, was seven tracks gleaned from a scrapped full-length recording. Latecomer, Sturges’ bass tracks were overdubbed, and the songs remixed by Producer Michael Stout of the Beautiful Bodies.
The joy of connection and creating original, honest art compels the trio to bring a dreamscape collaborative to their audience. Once again working alongside Stout, the Not a Planet debut LP concept album explores life, love, grief and the powerful visions of our collective nocturnal dream world.
Pleased as punch to have been in the top five nominated for “best indie rock song in 2012” by the Independent Music Awards for their song, Turn Me On (NAP Sack EP), Not A Planet has shared the stage with amazing bands like ZZ Ward, Seawolf, Free Energy, Maps and Atlases, Bright Light Social Hour, Ha Ha Tonka, The Dirty Heads, Flogging Molly and Antennas Up.
GENRE: Indie Rock
MEMBERS: Nathan Corsi, Guitar/Vocals
Liam Sumnicht, Drums/Harmony Vocals
William Sturges/Bass Guitar/Harmony Vocals