MAPS FOR TRAVELERS Feature Interview

Substream Magazine: You guys seem to be amongst several names leading the way in the Kansas City scene. The last few years it feels like a city that’s been a hotbed for great indie artists. What’s the secret?

RL Brooks: Thank you! That’s really kind of you to say! We feel very fortunate to be a part of a city that is on people’s musical radar. It’s hard to say what the exact secret is, but there is a great spirit among KC bands. All working together, and pushing each other to obtain a higher level of music; whatever genre it may be. We also have a rich heritage of musicians here; Shiner, Season to Risk, Paw, Appleseed Cast, The Get Up Kids, Coalesce, Casket Lottery, Architects, The Life and Times and so many more…. All these guys and gals are still slaying KC, or around playing in other projects. So this heritage of creativity still exists and keeps the scene true to its roots. Another interesting thing about the KC music scene is how close we are to Lawrence, KS. Between both cities we have a dozen long time venues, production companies on top of their game; a wide array of radio stations; and people who are genuinely interested in music. It humbles us everyday to be apart of it.
SM: Change Your Name is your first proper release since 2010. Though you’ve released singles since then, what have you been waiting for?

RLB: We were kind of wondering the same thing! Honestly, life just happens and all of the sudden three years just whip by. This project was never quite intended to be what it has become. Each of us had trudged through some deep waters with other projects, and weren’t quite sure where this was going or what the collective vibe was going to be. We busted out the gate with our debut EP Regress/Progress, and it was a snap shot of four completely different point of views. Then when we really tried zeroing in on a more polished sound with some singles, it didn’t completely fulfill us. Through member changes, and some time just writing and giving it time, it was like someone lit a match under us and we started to really burn. We started to hone in on our distinctive sound, and it just kept growing and growing. We just all looked at each other one day and just knew this had to move forward! It’s been awesome and Change Your Name is our first real launch into the depths of this.
SM: No Sleep is quickly becoming a solid label with a knack for finding musicians who seem to have that romantic feel of high school music nostalgia. Where do you find MFT fitting into their roster?

RLB: For us, No Sleep feels like home because of the amazing community that surrounds it. Chris has done an amazing job building his label, and running it right. Through the past and present artists involved with No Sleep, kids have come to know a wide variety of great music he pushes. We spent some time on the road with Casket Lottery, and they had nothing but great things to say. As well, Kevin our drummer, works with the band Now, Now and nothing but loving words about No Sleep came out of that camp. It felt like a family that we could connect with.


Where we fit in…We definitely are paying homage to older bands like Quicksand, Poison the Well, and Hum; even parts of American Football. We’ve heard people say they hear Cave In in us as well. So we feel at home with No Sleep in the sense that it does have a nostalgic charm to it, a respect to the past if you will.



SM: The record hits on 8/27. What’s the plan for the fall and winter?

RLB: We’re shooting for Fall and Winter touring. For us, the live show is where it’s at. It’s where you can really get a glimpse of what we are all about. We will be releasing a video for one of the songs in late September, early October as well. As always we are writing new material, so we will probably be working some of those tunes into sets along side playing tracks off Change Your Name.
SM: Thank you for taking some time out to speak with us. Is there anything
else you’d like to add?

RLB: Thanks for taking the time to ask us some questions, and getting to know us. Anytime you guys are in KC hit us up! If we are home we will take you out for some amazing BBQ, and catch some great music any night here in Kansas City!


Maps for Travelers

Interview by Jameson Ketchum