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Kansas City music

On The Beat with Matthew Hayden

Matthew Hayden is one of the coolest, most laid-back drummers in Kansas City. He makes up an important third of Molly Picture Club, and this week he talks to us about his approach to the group, as well as other projects he has going on. Catch the beat right here!

On The Beat is a weekly interview brought to you by drummer Sergio Moreno (of Hillary Watts Riot and Alacartoona), and features some of the many talented drummers in the Kansas City area.

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On The Beat with Matthew Hayden


It seems we can't get enough of Matthew Hayden these days, but that's because he's doing a lot of cool stuff. Hayden and his Molly Picture Club cohorts are this week's Artists on Trial, and today we get to spend a bit more time with him.

The Deli: First things first—how did the drums find you?

Matthew Hayden: My dad was a drummer, so when I was young there was always a drum set around. He would jam with friends in a special room dedicated to music in our house growing up. We referred to it as the band room.

The Deli: A lot of drummers talk about locking in with their bass players, but Molly Picture Club doesn't have a bass player. What do you listen for?

Matthew: When we started MPC the idea was to make pop tunes with an electronic element. I had programed electronic music for awhile but had never incorporated it into a live setting before. After the writing process we had to figure out how to perform these tunes. We decided to embrace technology and use a laptop running Ableton Live with some backing tracks, mostly bass and some electronic elements. Mike [Tipton], our guitarist, plays very rhythmically; I lock in with that and the track. Plus, as a drummer you certainly have to listen to the vocal lines to determine your dynamic approach and changes.

The Deli: It takes a great deal of talent and coordination to run backing tracks and play drums, but you make it look like a walk in the park.

Matthew: So far it has seemed to work pretty well. When we first started, we were kind of doing MPC on the side as we were all working on other projects. We practiced for 6 months before we ever played a show. During that time we figured out how we could make it work. This is my first project incorporating that aspect so I am still learning and trying to figure out new ways to do it. Sometimes it can be tough because I can never really tell how we sound at the front of the house, from behind the kit, but usually the response is positive. With backing tracks you rely on the sound man a lot to get the mix right. Also, it can be easy to lose the groove if you're not feeling the tune. I am huge on dynamics so when playing with a track you must have good dynamics to control the mood or how a song feels. We have been playing for over 2 years now so we have definitely had some fuck ups, but for the most part it's been pretty smooth sailing.

The Deli: Besides keeping MPC on time and on groove, do you have any other musical projects?

Matthew: Yeah, I have been playing drums in a Talking Heads tribute band called Found A Job. It's tons of fun. The music is right up my alley, incorporating funk, rock, pop and African rhythms. Plus, playing with a big group of people is always fun. As of now we have seven members and we're adding a second guitar and a sax/accordion player.

The Deli: Studio or live?

Matthew: I am sure everyone says this, but I enjoy both. Recording with friends has always been an important part of my creative process, so I decided to build a studio in my house. It's convenient to be able to walk downstairs and be creative anytime I want. Since it's soundproof, I can bang on the drums or crank a bass at 5:00 am if I want to. On the other hand, performing music you have been working on in a live setting is pretty incredible. Just getting that vibe from everyone on stage and all the people in the room, when everyone is feeling it, it can be pretty exhilarating.

The Deli: Obligatory question: favorite drummers?

Matthew:Zigaboo, Ray Barretto, Steve Jordan, Clyde Stubblefield, Stewart Copeland, Bernard "Pretty" Purdie, Steve Gadd, Tony Allen, Jack De Jennette, Keith Carlock. Oh yeah, and Tommy Chong. He was a drummer, too.

The Deli: What keeps you happy when you're not drumming?

Matthew: I like to make music, for sure, but I also make other things. I am currently enrolled in a sculptural welding class at the Art Institute.  I also support a lot of art and cultural events in KC. Oh yeah, and traveling the world… "El mundo es mi ostra."

The Deli: Oh, I know what that means! Well, thank you very much for your time!

Matthew: Thanks. Paz y música.

Dude, this is America. Cut it out. Just kidding, amigo.

If you like dancing and if you like good music and if you like Matthew Hayden (and, really, who doesn't?), then be sure not to miss him in action with Molly Picture Club at the recordBar this Saturday, September 22 and then again at The Riot Room on October 4. You can also find him with Found a Job at recordBar on October 30.

--Sergio Moreno

Sergio is a drummer drone for The Hillary Watts Riot and a contraption set buffoon with Alacartoona. He wishes he could get paid to practice meditation, do yoga, and drink white tea all day long. But in the meantime he earns his keep making greeting cards in Spanish.

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Matthew Hayden

Photo by Chad Cogdill

Molly Picture Club - Molly Picture Club





Artists on Trial: Molly Picture Club

Looking for dark disco with a tinge of sexuality and a double dose of David Byrne? Look no further than the three-piece Kansas City group Molly Picture Club. This week we sit down with all 3 members to find out their views on gun control, Nickelback and disco balls.

The Deli: Gun to your head, 1 sentence to describe your music. What is it?

Molly Picture Club: Matt: Gun in your ass and I’d tell ya.

Mike: Why the fuck do you need a gun, dude?

Aniko: Giant exploding disco balls from the future are cooler than guns any day.

The Deli: Tell us about your latest release or upcoming shows. What can we expect?

MPC: Mike: We’ve been writing pretty consistently since May, so I think you should expect new songs to be coming up either at shows or somewhere on the Information Superhighway. We want to keep evolving into the next version of ourselves and I think the songs we have in the cooker show that natural progression of us becoming more aware of what we’re doing.

Aniko: We've been in the sandbox, just playing with whatever toys we find. We want to open our insides to experiment with cool sounds, conceptual ideas, sweet-ass dance grooves, and basically just shake off any preconceptions we may have made about ourselves. Wow, that sounds super pretentious! I just mean that we're trying to stay free in what we do, have fun, and hopefully people will like it, like we like it. In September, look for new songs, new ideas, and a surprise or two here and there.

Matt: New song, fall shows, blah blah blah.

The Deli: What does "supporting local music" mean to you?

MPC: Matt: It seems pretty simple; If you want to be supported, then you better support me and we will all be happy with lots of people at everyone’s shows. It’s a community thing. You grow the tomatoes, I’ll grow the peppers, she will grow the onion and he can make the salsa. It works together.

Mike: Every band in the world was a “local” band at one point, with the exception of Nickelback, who came straight from Satan’s asshole.

Aniko: Well, Satan's asshole is sort of a "locality"... but I digress. I think supporting local music means getting away from the egosin other words, give it your all and don't be trying to always compete for local darling status. Look at what cool stuff people are doing, and let yourself be inspired. Clap for the other team if they just pulled off something crazy, even if that made your shit look just a little less shiny. Then, go and put on the kind of show you'd want to go to. Every time you play, whether it's to a big crowd or just your band mates and the bartender dude. KC represent!

The Deli: Who are your favorite "local" musicians right now?

MPC: Aniko: I can always trust Cherokee Rock Rifle to rattle me to my core, and Actors and Actresses to soothe my savage soul afterwards.

Mike: I really dig what Parts of Speech has going on, always interested in what Amy Farrand is doing, The B’Dinas, Ghosty, and I’m intrigued at what Soft Reeds could pull off on their next album.

Matt: I like the Snuff Jazz crew, Go-Go Ray's projects, London Transit, Hearts of Darkness, Sons of Brazil, and Miles Bonny.

The Deli: Who are your favorite not-so-local musicians right now?

MPC: Mike: Metronomy, Handsome Furs, Turnpike Troubadours, Louis Armstrong.

Aniko: Lately, I've been digging on Metronomy, RJD2, Hard-Fi, St. Vincent, Gogol Bordello, and on and on it goes.

Matt: Donald Byrd, Afrolicious, Antibalas, Freddie Hubbard, Jorge Ben, Gil Scott Heron, Cedric Im Brooks.

The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy bill to play on?

MPC: Aniko: Hmm. There are lots of musicians on my fantasy list. With this band, I would melt over a bill with Metric, David Byrne, Daft Punk, LCD Soundsystem, and the Gorillaz. It'd be a super duper dance party!

Mike: David Byrne, Brian Eno, Polyphonic Spree, Wolf Parade, and Tiny Tim.

Matt: David Byrne would do for sure. David Bowie, David Gilmore, Fernando David.

The Deli: Would you rather spend the rest of your life on stage or in the recording studio?

MPC: Matt: Love recording and will definitely do that forever, but playing live is a special experience as well.

Mike: I don’t think I’ll ever not be on stage. I’ll be 60 and playing Talking Heads covers in a diaper. I've already got the Facebook invite up.

Aniko: 60 seems early for a diaper. I hope to still be just discreetly peeing my pants while playing at that age. But seriously, both please! I am in love with being in the studio and I absolutely love playing shows. That's like trying to choose between your two babies. I guess who you love just a little bit more depends on the day.

The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?

MPC: Mike: Wow. That’s the most awesome question I’ve ever been asked. Charlie Parker for revolutionizing jazz, Bob Wills for bringing country swing, jazz, and pop together, Michael Jackson because he was fucking Michael Jackson, and Ringo Starr as long as he has a moustache.

Matt: Easy. James Brown (USA), Bob Marley (Jamaica), Fela Kuti (Africa), Jorge Ben (Brazil) of course.

Aniko: Joan Jett for being a bad ass chick, one of the guys from Kraftwerk, and let's be honest, no one can really tell them apart, for being pioneers in electronic music and also from another planet, ditto for mutha-f'ing Michael Jackson, and Mozart because inside of me lives a giant nerd who played violin since she was little tiny nerd.

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

MPC: Just Google “Molly Picture Club." We’ve got that market cornered on the web. We're all over the web, in your face, and behind your neighbor's bushes.

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

MPC: Mike: Don’t fart in an elevator.

Aniko: Make sure you have a box of disco balls with you, wherever you go.

Matt: "I am the Walrus."

Molly Picture Club is (L to R above):
Aniko Adany
Matthew Hayden
Michael Tipton

This Saturday, September 22, Molly Picture Club will be throwing a big dance party along with London Transit and La Resistance at the recordBar. The show will be interactive, with an overhead projector allowing the audience to draw on the band while it plays (Facebook event page here). Don't miss it! The group also recently formed Talking Heads' tribute Found A Job, and they'll be performing with other special guests at the recordBar on Tuesday, October 30 (Facebook event page here).

--Zach Hodson

Zach is a lifetime Kansas City resident who plays multiple instruments and sings in Dolls on Fire and Drew Black and Dirty Electric, as well as contributing to many other Kansas City music, art, and comedy projects.  He is very fond of edamame, treats his cat Wiley better than he treats himself, and doesn't want to see pictures of your newborn child (seriously, it looks like a potato).

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Album review: Folkicide - The Genocide is Mean EP

(Photo by Leah O'Connor)

With the very first chord struck in a melancholy minor tone, you can place a safe bet of what you are getting yourself in to. The next thirteen minutes of your life will be consumed by a capivating acoustic attack on the establishment. Of course we all love occasionally raging against the machine, but the outstanding level of grace and finesse portrayed by Folkicide in The Genocide is Mean EP remains incomparable.

The 5 songs included on this EP explore the glass half-empty side of the human condition. There is an overwhelming sense of pessimism that embodies the album. The mellow, acoustic chords and simplistic drumming raise the distinct vocal sounds to a pedestal. It becomes clear that the guitar and percussion are simply there to follow the lyricswhich are the true center of attention in all 5 songs.

Bold statements like "I worship the devil," in "Black Metal" and “Power to the people, a recipe for evil,” from "Power to the People" accurately depict the EP’s tone. It seems as though Folkicide is offering up an alternate way to think about lifeperhaps in a form that is easier to swallow.

Catchy lyrical hooks find themselves anchored in the brain, almost forcing you to think of the deeper meaning. Before long, you will find yourself singing along with Folkicide, raging along side him in his journey to discover what is wrong (or right) with society.

The Genocide is Mean was recorded by Chubby Smith at his Magical Tractor Shed in Perry, Kansas. The EP was released in July. Songs performed by Folkicide on guitar/vocals, and Zach Turner on drums. Folkicide recently released a video for one of the tracks on the EP, "Unleash The Young." Watch it and read our take on it at the link here. You can see Folkicide perform on Friday, Saturday 28 at The Riot Room for Schwervon!'s CD release party with them and The Lucky.

--Steven Ervay

Steven is intern for The Deli Magazine - Kansas City and Midwest Music Foundation, and he's awesome! 

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New video: "Holidays Are Nice and Warm" by The Empty Spaces

If you just haven't received enough kisses in your day, The Empty Spaces' brand-new video, "Holidays Are Nice and Warm," is sure to provide you with plenty in 2 minutes and 45 seconds. Along with a healthy, carefree dose of melodious pop. Follow the band's exploits attempting to get kissing booth smooches in Westport. Guaranteed Optimus Prime helmets, lampshade drumming, and most of all, fun. Video directed by Micki Hadley.

Listen to tracks from Party Line at the band's page on here at Golden Sound Records.

"Holidays Are Nice and Warm" is on the band's EP Party Line, released earlier this year by Golden Sound Records and was The Deli KC's July CD of the month. The trio will be playing next at The Brick on Friday, September 21 with Shy Boys and Desodean. Facebook event page here. They will also be at the Plaza Art Fair on the Ink stage at noon on Saturday, September 22.

The Empty Spaces are (L to R above):
Mat Shoare
William Brent Wright
Ross Brown

--Michelle Bacon

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