Maps for Travelers

Album review: Maps For Travelers - Change Your Name

How often is it that you find a punk band that can reach a diverse audience as Maps for Travelers has? The band, recently signed by No Sleep Records, put out its debut full-length release Change Your Name. And I will attest to the album’s ability to have at least one track that can—and will—grasp you.
The No Sleep newbies, who are now in the company of great punk acts like Balance and Composure, The Wonder Years, and Kansas City natives Coalesce and The Casket Lottery, have been working on Change Your Name for over a year. The wait is finally over, and the album is nothing less than magnificent.  
At face value, this is just another Kansas City-bred punk album, but closer inspection reveals more. The little cogs of the massive sound machine that is Maps will bring to your attention their sheer talent. Several intricate parts make this four-piece more than your average Midwestern emo/punk band.
Sparing no time, they hit you hard with the unbelievably heavy “Good Life” and “Life on Repeat” straight out of the gate. These first two tracks carry the essence of what Maps is about. Mingling hearty, clean vocals and tones with angst-ridden yells pushes the sound to something more post-hardcore.
A change of pace hits on the third track “Matter of Time.” The tempo slows and though there are no screaming vocals, Zach Brotherton’s singing picks up a scruffy sound. The angst still lingers here as well. But promptly as the album continues, the hard-hitting sounds return.
Beyond being great at the heavy stuff, Maps makes a decent slow jam. The majority of “Swoon” is tuned down. The closing statements of the album, “All Your Friends” and “They’re Learning Fast” will help bring your adrenaline down. The slow jams are soft and soulful. Carrying the same intensity as the previous tracks in the album, they hit just a bit more gently.
The lyrics are raw, the vocals are clear, the music is heavy and excellently executed. Whatever your genre of choice may be, something on Change Your Name will resonate in your head.
Maps For Travelers was signed by No Sleep Records back in July. Change Your Name was recorded and tracked at Black Lodge Recording, Element Recording by Joel Nanos, and Massive Sound Studios by Paul Malinowski. It was mixed by Jason McEntire at Sawhorse Productions (St. Louis) and mastered by Trevor Sadler at Mastermind Productions (Charlotte, NC).
This Friday, September 20, you can party with the guys from Maps and Radkey, as they play The Rendezvous in St. Joseph at 9 pm. Facebook event page. Their next show in Kansas City will be on Friday, October 11 at Czar with Restorations and Noah’s Ark Was A Spaceship. Ticket link. Facebook event page.

--Steven Ervay 

Steven Ervay is super rad. 

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On The Beat with Josh Enyart

(Photo by Jorge Arana)
Josh Enyart has played with some of the most eclectic bands in Kansas City, and isn’t afraid to tackle any genre of music. From his work as a former member of chaotic dance rock outfit Pixel Panda to the heavy rock styles of Maps for Travelers, to his current work in the jazzy and heavy rock bands Jorge Arana Trio and Various Blonde, Enyart is an unstoppable rhythmic force in this city. Find out more about him and catch the beat right here!
--Michelle Bacon
On The Beat is an exclusive feature from The Deli Magazine-Kansas City that showcases many of the talented drummers in the Kansas City area. 

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On The Beat with Josh Enyart





On The Beat with Josh Enyart


Josh Enyart is one of the most eclectic drummers in Kansas City, proven by his time with bands like Pixel Panda, Maps for Travelers, and currently, Jorge Arana Trio and Various Blonde. We catch up with Josh to learn more about him and his massive collection of drums (see photo).

The Deli: How did the drums find you?

Josh EnyartWell, back in ‘95 at Hocker Grove Middle School (Brett Southard and Justin Tricomi were also in the same grade as me), a friend of mine would play guitar by himself all the time and I would just hang out and watch. so I got a job as a carny for fun services, saved up enough money to buy a drum set in ‘96 and I started my life as a habitual worker/drummer. That is pretty much all I have been doing since. Work and drums!

The Deli: What type of kit(s) do you use?

JE: I have a couple, and each one has had a pretty specific role in each band it was used for. In Jorge Arana Trio, I use a Mapex Saturn series (Manhattan sizes) with an auxiliary Sonor Rosewood 16" floor tom. This is one of my favorite setups!

The DeliBiggest influences?

JEThat question has an odd answer; I missed out on a lot of music culture. Until 1993 we lived overseas (my parents were missionaries) so we got back to the States and I was introduced to Nirvana and Pantera—talk about culture shock! Spirit Fest and The Gadjits were how I was introduced to the live music scene.

How about this, the bands i saw in concert most: Fear Factory, The Urge, Primus, 311, Lake Trout, Drums and Tuba, anything Mike Dillon! Tons of heavy shit back when Adam Mitchell in The Esoteric (love that guy)! In all actuality I would say all the people I have played with have been some of the biggest influences on my drum style. Yeah, definitely! I've had the pleasure of playing with a lot of great musicians. These are the people who helped shape my playing style.

The Deli: Tell us about some of the bands you’ve been in.

JEThat is a long list, so I will name a few. Nocturne Noir, kind of a black metal meets J-Rock heavy sound. Savitar: Middle Eastern-based Mars Volta sound. Pixel Panda: anxiety-driving chaos dance rock. Latin: vocal-driven modern alt rock. Maps for Travelers: heavy indie rock. Capture the Flag: electronic bass dance indie. My current groups are Various Blonde: vintage expressive rock, and Jorge Arana Trio: punk jazz, as described by Jorge.

The Deli: Wow, that’s quite an eclectic list. Is there any style you wouldn’t play?

JEI have also played in country and pop bands. There isn't anything someone could put in front of me that I wouldn't try because you can learn from every style, and that keeps me growing as a musician.

The Deli: Okay, let’s say you get to pick a group of KC/Lawrence drummers to make a drum circle with. Who would they be?

JEThat’s a long list! Separating by genre? Style? Taught or rough on the edges? It would totally depend on what was trying to be accomplished. But one of my top configurations would most likely be Sam Sartorious, Blair Greens, Nick Organ, Justin Tricomi, Drew Little, and Alex Thomas. This is a group I am trying to get in my basement!

The Deli: Anything else you want to share with us about your technique?

JE: I would like to become a jazz drummer. That means I have work to do.

The Deli: What other plans do you have for the bands this year?

JEI bought a van, and this year, and the Jorge Arana Trio is planning on spreading our Gospel throughout the land. We and Various Blonde will be playing the MidCoast Takeover in Austin for SXSW. As far as other projects are concerned, I do have an idea I might start working on, but the trio is my top for sure!

Enyart will join Jorge Arana Trio on stage tomorrow, Friday, February 1 for the second MidCoast Takeover fundraiser at Czar. Then, go to Riot Room on Saturday, February 2, where he’ll be with Various Blonde for the third fundraiser.

--Michelle Bacon  

Michelle is editor-in-chief of The Deli - Kansas City. She plays with Deco AutoDrew Black and Dirty Electric, and Dolls on Fire. She owns an Australian cattle dog and a Corgi. The Corgi is the dumbest (but also quite possibly the most adorable) animal she has ever owned.


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Josh Enyart

Photos by Jorge Arana





 Jorge Arana Trio









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

Chevy Music Showcase highlights local talent

Chevy has chosen to highlight the KC music scene with a short documentary series, focusing on 8 local bands and sponsored by local Chevy dealers. Starting May 30, the documentaries will air Wednesdays on KCWE between 9:40-9:50p during Entertainment Tonight and again between 10:40-10:45p during The Office. On Thursdays, episodes will air on KMBC between 11:29-11:34p during The Big Bang Theory and again between 12:58-1:03a during Jimmy Kimmel Live!. On Fridays, episodes will air on KMBC between 12:58-1:03 a.m. during Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

Here's the schedule:

And here's a video from Maps for Travelers, the first band featured in the series!