Local musician Brodie Rush admits that his experimental, proggy Be/Non has had more members, tryouts and changes than Spinal Tap. "My last count — and I haven't counted in six years or more — weighed in at over 70 people," he tells us. Born in 1994, Be/Non rocked stages in KC and Lawrence, with edicts against effects pedals and cover songs. It was, Rush says, all about being "loud and freaky."
Tonight, the 1996–97 three-man lineup reunites to play the place where the band had its first gig: Davey's Uptown Ramblers Club (3402 Main, 816-753-1909). Phaze II and the Filthy 13 round out the bill. Tickets cost $10, and the show starts at 9 p.m.
The Pitch: What does the original lineup have that the current one doesn't?
Rush: The original lineup was unrefined and full of noisy guitars. The vocals and lyrics were questionable. The band rocked the house, but it was all about volume and bashing. It was a very '90s trait for many bands. I was a ripe 17 in those days. Dain Peterson [bass] and Rob Veatch [drums] were guys I looked up to. I took a lot of inspiration from them and what they were listening to at the time.
The modern Be/Non is like an aged, fine wine — very concise, refined and listenable. It's hard for me to listen to the recordings from 1996 and 1997. Studios never got our true sound right. Lesson: Always record at home.
But every lineup had its superpowers. The reunited 1996–97–era band will be interesting. We haven't played together since then. It was the band that cut my teeth on so many things — a real life-changing lineup.
Which part of the puzzle has always been the most difficult to find?
Trying to find the right criteria to be in Be/Non has changed dramatically over the years. Finding people to play with that are talented and easygoing isn't easy. It never has been. I've also chilled out a ton since I was 18. I don't want another lineup. What I have now is the payoff for all the years I've been trying to make music in this band.
What does that mean for these gigs?
I'm excited, nervous and embarrassed all at the same time. It will be a healing reunion. Just some guys playing some music that we really, truly thought would change the world if people heard it. It will be a mind-fuck to go back to that place and see if we really had what it took musically to make it big in the '90s. Or were we just kidding ourselves? We had to try, right?