Some two-dozen metal bands will create a glorious aural sludge during the American Waste festival at the Beaumont Club. A sure highlight will be Saturday's performance by one of the best heavy acts to ever rise from the Lawrence-Kansas City scene. Until recently, the band has been as good as dead.
The Esoteric went on hiatus since shortly after its second LP, 2006's Subverter. Now reunited, the band has three gigs scheduled.
Three-fifths of the band — drummer Marshall Kilpatric, guitarist Cory White and singer Steve Cruz — meet with me over drinks to discuss what drove apart this much-buzzed band three years ago.
There was the burnout. The label drama. The complacency. But bubbling underneath self-conscious remembrances is a giddy excitement about the future.
"I'd love to write a new record," Kilpatric says. "Hopefully we'll get to that."
First, though, the Esoteric will present local fans with the live version of the album it didn't get to tour behind.
Post-Esoteric, everyone kept making music. Kilpatric moved to Los Angeles and joined Black Light Burns. Cruz started fronting Hammerlord and moonlighting as a DJ. White added Paper Cities and Shots Fired to his résumé.
Busy as they all were, getting the Esoteric back together wasn't easy, even though the band wanted it. Bad.
And so, in an uncharacteristic organizational effort, White called up his bandmates to determine the random times — How about 1 to 5 a.m.? — that they could practice.
No matter what this reunion leads to, right now, these guys are just high on their own sound. "We've only had a few practices, and it sounds better than ever," Kilpatric says.
"Even songs that we've played, like, a million times feel new to me," Cruz adds.
Kilpatric sure hopes to stick around. "Quite frankly," he says, "I'm over L.A."