When three self-professed sci-fi loving nerds from Kansas City first made music together none of them knew just how magical it would turn out to be.
Start-up bands often begin their journey in someone’s garage playing, bonding and dreaming. And while most new bands never make it out of that garage, that’s not the case for the boys of Antennas Up.
Taking Dance Pop Music Skyward
From the onset, guitarist and vocalist, Bo McCall, drummer and programmer, The Ryantist, and lead singer and bassist, Kyle Akers, instinctively knew that breaking into the crowded field of pop music wouldn’t be easy. The band needed an edge, so they gave it several.
They infused their commercial sound with a fresh and addictive
dance-funky beat, sprinkled it with electronics, and made it impossible
for anyone who heard it to resist moving in rhythm with the music. Still,
that wasn’t enough for three guys with a mad, passionate love for the
visual stimulus of a hot video game.
So, unlike most budding new bands that struggle to find their own
identity, Antennas Up emerged on the scene like a rose in full bloom with
a first-class multi-media stage show to back up their contemporary sound.
Synchronized lights, videos, and clever visuals, such as all three members
playing the drums to a fired-up instrumental track, set the entertainment bar
high. And to top it off, they’ve developed a unique songwriting method that
cuts out potential musical “blahs" with razor’s edge precision.
In short, Antennas Up writes and produces the kind of music, and boasts the kind of stage show, that many seasoned performers could envy.
Kyle Akers on Pop Band Antennas Up
TS: The press is fond of tying Antennas Up to sci-fi. How did that happen?
KA: Well it all kind of evolved after the spaceship trio of songs on our record. I
mean, we’re all pretty nerdy in terms of video games, computers and
technology, that kind of stuff. And we’ve run with it because it’s fun, and it
gets people thinking in fantastical ways about freeing themselves from the
earthly train of thought. So, yeah, we’ve embodied it and embraced it.
TS: What inspired Antennas Up to write songs by sampling?
KA: It kind of came about organically. We would all sit around and just do these
jam sessions. We’d all play music, no matter what it was or how it was inspired,
and eventually we started recording those sessions. Later The Ryantist would
dig into them and find the really, really good bits. It’s like when writers are just
doing that stream of consciousness thing where they write a thousand words
without even thinking. Then they go back in and find the best parts and refine
that into something new and something good. It’s the same kind of approach
musically. We just play and play and play and put it in the computer. Then we
go back in and maybe in one twenty-minute session we find one line that ends
up being really good. That’s what happened with “Don’t Wait Up”, our first single
off the record. One little bass line inspired The Ryantist to envision how the
guitar should sound over it, then the vocals, and eventually it became it’s
TS: Does any member of the band have a back-up plan?
KA: We all have college degrees. Mine is in architecture. Bo's is in business and international studies, and the Ryantist's is in computer sciences. But as the music became more and more important to us, we never really thought of the degrees as a fallback plan. The music lives in us, and I don't see that changing.
Antennas Up New Pop Music Poised to Explode
The future for this musically inventive band grows brighter with every new person who discovers it. A sampling of the press for the Antennas Up self-titled debut album includes:
- The track, “Don’t Wait Up” was named one of the best releases of 2009 by The Pitch.
- Eric Savage of Innocent Words wrote, “Good lyrics combined with birth-of-rock-and-roll rhythms reel you in, and before you know it you’re in deep”.
- Jeffery Sisk of the Philly Daily News called the debut album “a gem”.
- Amy Dittmeier of HEAVE Media said, “Their single “Don’t Wait Up” can be summed up in two words: freakin’ awesome.
Currently, fans can visit the band’s website at antennasupmusic.com and download or stream music for free. As Kyle Akers puts it, “The band is all about sharing our musical vision with the world. If along the way, we create a killer good time for ourselves and for our fans, then so be it!”.
photos used with permission from Antennas Up