Roman Numerals

Artists on Trial: Roman Numerals and Thee Water MoccaSins

Steve Tulipana has been one of the commanding forces of the Kansas City music scene for years. As a member of several prominent local bands and a co-owner of recordBar, Tulipana has more than made his mark in the community. Two of his bands, Roman Numerals and Thee Water MoccaSins, will be appearing at Middle of the Map Fest next week.  
The Deli: Down and dirty: 1 sentence to describe your music. What is it?

Steve Tulipana: Roman Numerals: Post-post-punk.
Thee Water MoccaSins: Electro-psych fractal pop.
The Deli: What other artists are you looking forward to seeing at MotM?
The Deli: It always amazes me to watch either of the bands perform since Billy Smith (Smith lives in NYC) isn’t in town often to rehearse. How do you make it work?
ST: We’ve all known each other a very long time and have very similar tastes so yeah, I guess it just gels easily.
The Deli: It’s always a big celebration when either band has a chance to play in town. Do you guys have any releases coming up?
ST: Roman Numerals: Probably not, though I wish there was a proper release for the last stuff we did.
TWM: Most definitely. Still hoping to release our album (From the Rivers of Missouri and The Banks of Fear, The Deli KC’s #1 album of 2012) on vinyl. I just finished a new “found footage” video I should be releasing any day now.
The Deli: Anything special planned for either of the bands for MotM?
ST: Roman Numerals is playing with our original drummer Pete LaPorte. We’ve not played with him in about 5 years. We’ll also be playing material from the first record, which we haven’t played in a long time. Probably will be some Joy Division tunes thrown in there too.
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you?

ST: It’s second nature to me. It’s vital. It’s air and blood. Without it I’m dead.
The Deli: Who are your favorite local musicians right now?

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

ST: Moonface, David Bowie, Frank Ocean are all on constant rotation right now.
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?

ST: See above.
The Deli: Would you rather spend the rest of your life on stage or in the recording studio?
ST: Stage. I hate the studio; too boring for me.
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?
ST: Kerry King, Dave Lombardo, Tom Araya, and Jeff Hanneman. Because it would be wicked hilarious and awesome.

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?

ST: Kansas City needs more weird. Get creative. Don’t chase trends. Express.
Roman Numerals is:
Pete LaPorte – drums
Shawn Sherrill – synth
William Smith – guitar, vocals
Steven Tulipana – bass, keys, vocals
Thee Water MoccaSins are:
John Bersuch – drums
Mark Hoffman – euphonium
Liz Kinninger – backing vocals
William Smith – guitar, vocals
Steven Tulipana – bass, guitar, keys, vocals
Wade Williamson – keys, guitars
Both of these bands will be playing at Middle of the Map Fest next week, and since they don’t play often, you won’t want to miss them. Thee Water MoccaSins will be playing Thursday, April 4 at recordBar at 11:00 pm, and Roman Numerals will be playing on Saturday at 5:00 pm on The Outdoor Stage.

--Michelle Bacon 


On The Beat with Ryan Shank

(Photo by Michael Byars)

Ryan Shank has been a member of three important and stylistically diverse KC bands: The Golden Republic, Roman Numerals, and Be/Non. We get a chance to talk with him before he reunites with The Golden Republic for a special New Year's Eve show. 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 Ryan Shank




On The Beat with Ryan Shank



More than many other local drummers, Ryan Shank has evolved his craft over the years, in many successful Kansas City bands. He was a founding member of The Golden Republic, an indie rock band that eventually spawned The Republic Tigers and Soft Reeds; moved in to the mathematical rhythms of the Roman Numerals, and is a current member of the sonically complex Be/Non. Shank will be celebrating a reunion show of The Golden Republic at recordBar on New Year’s Eve, and we find out more about his technique and experience in the local scene.
The Deli: How did the drums find you?
Ryan Shank: A lot of people will find this odd, but I started playing when I was 16 at my church. Their drummer was awful, and I thought “I could do that.” Playing in church actually taught me a lot about dynamics and feel.
The Deli: Did you play any other instruments before?
RS: I played the trumpet in 5th grade for a couple months. You got to pick which instrument you learned by where your last name fit alphabetically. Unfortunately, my last name is Shank. I wanted to play drums, but honestly I probably wouldn't have stuck with it. I was a hyper kid. Needless to say, I don't remember much about the trumpet. Spit valves are disgusting, though.
The Deli: What type of kit(s) do you use?
RS: I used to play a Gretsch Broadkaster kit. I used it on tour with The Golden Republic, but I sold it a few years ago. Lately, I've been borrowing kits. I use Brodie [Rush]'s kit for Be/Non shows. I finally ordered a new kit, though. It should be done before the new year's gig. C&C, of course.
The Deli: Biggest influences?
RS: The obvious drummer influences... Bonham, Moon. I was actually hugely influenced by a guy who played for Matthew Sweet named Ric Menck.
The Deli: Who are your favorite KC/Lawrence drummers?
RS: Bill Belzer from Ghosty is my favorite drummer in KC. He knows how to play for the song, but puts something interesting in there when it needs it. Dave Conarroe from The Good Foot is also great. Solid. Super solid. Also, Nick Organ is a great drummer.
The Deli: How has your drumming style changed or evolved since The Golden Republic into the Roman Numerals and Be/Non?
RS: With The Golden Republic, I was a one-trick pony. I've tried to broaden my outlook and playing in general. The Golden Republic was kind of sloppy, Roman Numerals was more mathematical and square-patterned (does that make sense?), and with Be/Non it's a lot more diverse. I'm still a "less is more" kind of player, but my mind is open to more ideas. Since my Golden Republic days, I've played in several cover bands. It's actually changed my playing a lot. We started rehearsing for our new year's gig last week and the songs just sound different a good way. We've all come a long way in our playing.
The Deli: You've been part of the KC music scene for several years now. What advice would you give to a drummer just starting out?
RS: Go see local shows any chance you get. Talk to the other bands. Eat Sunday brunch at recordBar. Buy me a drink.
The Deli: You have your hand in a lot of projects. Any particular ones you're looking forward to for next year?
RS: I'm really excited about the new Be/Non stuff. We're working on a lot of new and not-so-new material that people need to hear. I can't wait to finally play a new kit.
Shank will join his Golden Republic bandmates (Ben Grimes, Kenn Jankowski, and Harry Anderson) for a special New Year’s Eve show at the recordBar. They’ll be joined by Thee Water MoccaSins and a very special guest. Champagne toast and party favors will be included. Tickets are $12 and available at this link.


--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. In 5th grade, she dressed up as a computer programmer when everyone had to dress up for their dream job. She is not a computer programmer and never would be.

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Ryan Shank

Photo by Michael Byars

The Golden Republic
 Photo by Lindsey Fisher
Roman Numerals
Photo by Todd Zimmer