Artists on Trial: Maps for Travelers

 (Photo by Todd Zimmer)

For the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring artists playing the MidCoast Takeover fundraiser shows, sponsored by Midwest Music Foundation.
Maps for Travelers is a collective of four veteran Kansas City musicians who have toured around the country with a heavy indie rock sound. The band has shared the stage with national acts like Fucked Up, The Jealous Sound, Just Like Vinyl, and others. We find out a little about the band’s upcoming debut LP and its influences.
The Deli: Down and dirty: 1 sentence to describe your music. What is it?

Maps for Travelers: Four guys paying homage to the most crushing alternative post-rock bands of the ‘90s while putting our own story and sonic point of view on it, with trumpet somehow in there too.
The Deli: Let’s talk about your much anticipated upcoming LP Broken Antlers. What can we expect?
Maps: This record has collectively been one of the most stressful records of all of our musical careers. We have fought for every note, every idea, every beat, and every lyric to be a true picture of who we are and what’s to come. From dynamic chaos to chilling, vibed-out soundscapes, we feel like we are covering it all. Most people that have listened to it say that we have cut out all the fat and focused all the sounds into a powerful work of music. We hope many will agree. This record is made to see live; we put all of these songs through the ringer of playing live and really tuned into being honest with ourselves about how the energy of every moment felt to all of us on stage as we are performing. Every song except for an interlude and an outro have undergone that intense scrutiny and, at the end of the day, we just love it and are excited to share it with everyone we can.
The Deli: What other plans and goals do you guys have this year?
Maps: Release this record, tour in support of this record, do some splits with some of our favorite artists. Make a video or two for a couple of these songs. And tour more and start to look at making another record in 2014.
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you?

Maps: Supporting local music to us means that we go to other bands’ shows even when we aren't playing. Getting interested in what others are doing and encouraging the community of musicians to strive for their best. Being in a band can feel very competitive at points and we are trying to do the opposite of that; music is subjective. Everyone has a place and we are looking for people that feel the same way we do and are willing to take it to the highest level and create an even more engaged local music scene. That’s our take on it. We want to encourage people in general to support more, and by working together with other local musicians, we can create our own awesome community to launch out from here and come home to.
The Deli: Who are your favorite local musicians right now?

Maps: Right now we are really loving Cowboy Indian Bear, Clairaudients, Bears and Company, The Casket Lottery, Jorge Arana Trio, Radkey, The Dead Girls, Sundiver, The Slowdown, In The Grove, Wise Guy, Regret, The Informer, The Architects, The Calamity Cubes, honestly we could go on for a minute! So many bands just playing so well right now! We are super pumped on being from KC.
The Deli: Who are your favorite not-so-local musicians right now?

Maps: Title Fight, Caspian, Junius, La Dispute, Native, Local Natives, Now Now, Russian Circles, O Brother, The Life and Times.
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?

Maps: Quicksand, Hum, Failure, Thursday, Nine Inch Nails.
The Deli: Would you rather spend the rest of your life on stage or in the recording studio?
Maps: The stage, granted we can look like our awesome selves for the rest of our lives! Performing is where it’s at for us, the interaction and the rush you get from playing and really just bouncing all that energy around. There is no substitute for that anywhere!
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?

Maps: This is nearly impossible to cover the pillars for us, so many and for so many different reasons. We will just pick the closest to our generation that really have pushed on us to strive for nothing less than everything we have.
Jeff Rickley (Thursday): He started a movement that changed our whole decade of music for us.
Walter Schreifels (Quicksand): We wouldn't be doing what we are doing without him laying the foundation for our style of music.
Allen Epley (Shiner, The Life and Times): Just an amazing songwriter and someone from here that has shown the way for a lot of us Kansas City musicians.
Darryl Palumbo (Glassjaw): Just collectively, Maps For Travelers has come together so much over his band’s music and the way he put it all out there and commanded such an incredible band. We constantly are referencing Glassjaw tracks when writing music together.

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

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

Maps: Tell someone you love them today, hug a friend, and dont be scared to get in the pit and always help the fallen get up.
Maps for Travelers is:
Zach Brotherton – vocals, guitar
RL Brooks – vocals, guitar, trumpet
Kevin Medina – bass
Derek White – drums
You can see Maps for Travelers this Saturday, February 2, where they will be playing the second MidCoast Takeover fundraiser at Riot Room. The group will be playing at 11:15, along with Various Blonde, Drop A Grand, and Six Percent. Tickets available here.
--Michelle Bacon