AGENT CONTACT: Dain Estes
2008 was looking to be a great year for the newly formed Antennas Up. They had a dynamite debut CD that was about to be released, the band was touring actively, and on their way to being the next band to make waves out of Kansas City. As the Pitch Weekly wrote about the band at that time, â€śThe sound is brimming with radio-ready hooks and fresh production ideas. It sounds a lot like Jamie Lidell or Jamiroquai, if they'd grown up in the '90s and absorbed more Beck and Radiohead.â€ť
Critics, agents, and record label reps who received early copies of the first album were impressed. People were talking and things were about to start happening, but before they had even sold their first CD or played their first CD release party, everything fizzled. To everyoneâ€™s shock, their singer, Lonnie Coleman, quit the band on the day the album was green-lit to be printed, citing not only creative differences, but also that playing in bars and venues conflicted with his freshly-renewed conservative values.
Refusing to let more than a year of writing, recording and planning the release of the album, Antennas Up called up ten different singers from bands around the country including Ha Ha Tonka and Company of Thieves to sing one song from the album. They played the CD release show with all their musician friends supporting and singing for them and the CD was released. Even more overwhelmingly positive reviews came in. The band charted at #128 on CMJ's charts and was one of only four unsigned acts in the CMJ Top 200 the week of the album's release.
And after that night, the remaining members of Antennas Up sat down and devised a way to rebuild.
â€śWe never hesitated,â€ť said guitarist Bo McCall. â€śRyan (drums), Kyle (bass and now vocals) and I had been touring and writing music together in different band for almost 7 years. Lonnie was in the band for less than a year. He was the lead singer on that album, but creatively he had only written vocal melodies to a couple songs and no role in any of the songwriting. The majority of the creative input for the album fell collaboratively on the rest of our shoulders. His departure was not going to end what we had all worked a good part of our lives to make happen.â€ť
After a good amount of soul-searching, Ryan and Bo convinced Kyle Akers that he was ready to step up and take over the vocal responsibilities, â€śIt was a process, switching from bass and backing vocals to being the lead singer. I never thought of myself as the lead vocalist. It was not a job I asked for, but I could not let everything we had worked so hard for just end. So I practiced, and we took the new show on the road.â€ť
Soon Kyleâ€™s hard work paid off and the band was revived, but for the better. Fans and critics alike warmed to the new version of Antennas Up. It was like the band never lost a beat. The band toured hard on the success of the debut album for two years, sharing the stage with the likes of Girl Talk, Electric Six, Ha Ha Tonka, Matt & Kim, Flogging Molly and Company Of Thieves, performing at over 30 Universities and being selected for an official showcase at South By Southwest in 2010. Music from the debut album was featured in the best-selling iPhone app 'Tap Tap Revenge 3' and the band was selected as the 'Best New Band In Missouri' in Boston Phoenix's 2010 annual 50 Bands, 50 States edition sharing company with fellow Missourian bands Ha Ha Tonka and Somebody Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, selections from year's past.
Now the band is transforming again. In the Summer of 2010, the band took to a cabin in the Maine woods for 30 days of isolation and songwriting to hone in their voice for a new album. Their new full-length is being produced by The Ryantist (engineer and co-production â€“ Ha Ha Tonka's Death Of A Decade), mixed by Mike Cresswell (mixing engineer - Lyrics Borne, Blackalicious, General Elektriks) and mastered by Bob Power (engineer and producer - Common, Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, Citizen Cope). It is a sound departure from their self-titled debut. The songs are more evolved, merging solid, post-new wave guitar hooks with elements of indie-pop rock and electronica. All at once familiar, almost reminiscent of your favorite Elvis Costello song, but something entirely fresh, like when you heard the first riff of the synth/guitar intro of 1901 by Phoenix the band's sound has found a new home.
Antennas Up's new full-length album will be released on April 24, 2012.