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Artists on Trial: Antennas Up

Artists on Trial: Antennas Up

(Photo by Gene Smirnov)

For the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring artists playing the MidCoast Takeover fundraiser shows, sponsored by Midwest Music Foundation.
Antennas Up has found local and national success since its formation in 2008, touring with bands like Girl Talk, Flogging Molly, Company of Thieves, and others. The four-piece band has played official SXSW and CMJ showcases, and its music has been featured in ads and TV shows. In 2012, the energetic synth pop band released The Awkward Phase, which spent over 10 weeks on CMJ’s Top 200 list and was lauded by critics. We talk with lead vocalist and bassist Kyle Akers about what Antennas Up has going on right now.
The Deli: Down and dirty: 1 sentence to describe your music. What is it?

Kyle Akers: An electro pop-rock band from Kansas City that fuses post-new wave guitar hooks with vocoder synths.
The Deli: Tell us about what Antennas Up has going on. What can we expect this year?
Akers: Right now we're working on music videos, booking tours around the Midwest and up to New York, and always writing and recording. Keep your eyes on our Facebook and Twitter for announcements as they come.
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you?

Akers: I'm a big fan of sharing other bands accomplishments, songs, videos and anything else cool that local bands are doing on the Internet. It feels great to help spread the local bands we love to our fans. Everyone in KC benefits when the listeners get more opportunities to find out about all the other great bands around here.
The Deli: Who are your favorite local musicians right now?

Akers: Hidden Pictures and Not A Planet always hit me in the right place. I'm really anticipating the new Republic Tigers album too. It's going to be a monster, I hear.
The Deli: Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the upcoming MidCoast Takeover fundraisers?
Akers: Honestly, I am just excited to see so many great lineups all focused around supporting a huge showcase of Kansas City and Midwest music. It's a great way to show off what we can do here in KC at one of the biggest music festivals around.
The Deli: Who are your favorite not-so-local musicians right now?

Akers: I've hit a rash of female-vocal led bands that have been tugging on my ears recently, most noticeably this band called HAERTS. They've got a song called "Wings" that you have to go listen to right now.
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?

Akers: Well, if we could totally throw out the idea of making a cohesive bill, right now it'd have to be Prince, Electric Light Orchestra...wait. I really think just playing the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction for George Harrison performance of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" would do it for me.
The Deli: Would you rather spend the rest of your life on stage or in the recording studio?
Akers: On stage. Although the day-to-day necessities of life would probably be harder to come by on a stage than in a studio.
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?

Akers: This question worries me, because it's asking me to pick the four most important people in music history, and I think that's an impossible task. I'll just take the easy road and pick The Beatles. We all know that the project would only get about 1/5 of the way done and run out of funding anyway. It'd just be a mountain with four mop-top haircuts on it.

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

Twitter: @antennasup

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

Akers: You can spend all day long researching and learning HOW to do things, but that can only get you so far. Just go out and do things. I'll quote Adventure Time: Sucking at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.
Antennas Up is:
Kyle Akers – lead vocals, bass
Jon Ulasien – guitar, keys, vocals
Bo McCall – guitar, vocals
The Ryantist – drums, vocals
You can see Akers and his crew this Saturday, January 26, where they will headline the first MidCoast Takeover fundraiser at recordBar. Antennas Up will play at 12:15, after a lineup starting with She’s A Keeper, Drew Black and Dirty Electric, and Molly Picture Club. The band 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.

--Michelle Bacon


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