Maps for Travelers is making inroads in Kansas City's music scene. (You can read about the band's progress in this week's issue of The Pitch.) We've got a little behind-the-scenes talk from the band about the history that lies behind Maps for Travelers' riffs -- and what the band hopes lies ahead.
"We've all been on this weird little journey of all the different bands we've played in," says R.L. Brooks. "I took a year off from music [after Flee the Seen broke up]. I was emotionally burnt-out. It was one of those horrible divorces, where you were best friends with these guys and spent a lot of time on the road with them, and all of sudden you feel like you come up completely empty at the end of it. I focused on building my business. For me, I've been playing music since I was in third grade.That was the first year in my life, at 28, that I put it all down. I didn't even touch the guitar at all. It was strange."
Trying a new band was strange, too: "It's like dating a new person," Brooks says. "I've had the same four people around me, as a four-person orgy -- "
"You get used to one orgy, you know," Zac Brotherton says. He laughs.
"And who's gonna give me the reach around, and that sort of shit," Brooks adds. There's laughter.
"We're such a new band. We're all taken aback at how quickly it's developing," Brooks says. "It took me three years to get into Balanca's to play at three in the morning. That's the most terrifying part of starting a new band. Like, 'Oh, God, not this shit again.' "
He says, "I learned very early on that a lot of musicians have this really weird take that, 'because I'm a musician, you owe it to me to listen to me.' It's the complete opposite of that," he says. "You can't show up to work and stand around, and expect people to pay you money to stand around and not do anything. I come into a show going, 'Holy crap, look at all these people.' "
Brotherton says, "'Holy crap. There's 30 people here!' The band laughs.
"The music world is a really vain place, and it's a really brutal existence," Brooks says. "What I learned in Flee the Seen was sheer effort. We didn't have the best singer; I'm not the best guitar player."
"He's not," Josh Enyart says. The guys laugh. "I don't think any of us have ever been in a band with anyone that's worked as hard at getting it done as this guy," says Enyart, nodding to Brooks. "It's kind of nice."
Watch Maps for Travelers get it done tonight at RecordBar, with Walking Ocean, Auternus, and the Rogers. The show is at 9:30 p.m. It's 21-and-older, and the cover is $7.