by Mitchell Brown, Reporter
As the patronage of The Bay continues to grow, more bands from Kansas City, Mo. are making the trip east to Warrensburg, Mo. KC bands playing The Bay have become a regular occurrence. This Saturday is to be no exception, as The Architects are scheduled to bring their brand of driving punk rock n’ roll to the venue, where they previously played last spring.
The Bay’s owner Ben Blevins said The Architects put on a hell of a show the last time they were in town. Blevins recalled drummer Adam Phillips contacted him via Facebook to see about playing a show. Phillips said the idea to play The Bay came from noticing friends’ bands mentioning the venue on Twitter. Social media had a hand in connecting The Architects with The Bay, but the band’s foundations extend to the days before social media.
The story of The Architects begins with a band called The Gadjits, a ska band originally comprised of three members of The Architects – the brothers Phillips, Brandon, Zach and Adam. They released their first demo tape in 1995, followed by a self-released CD in 1996.
A chance encounter with California punk rock icons would propel the band beyond the confines of the Kansas City scene. In the fall of 1995, The Gadjits secured a spot as the opening act for Rancid at Liberty Hall in Lawrence, Kan. Soon after, they opened up for Rancid in Omaha, Neb., and they were hit with a proposal from Rancid’s Tim Armstrong to be on his then yet-to-emerge, still-in-development Hellcat Records label, which would become a sub-label of Epitaph Records. The Gadjits had two albums on Hellcat, “At Ease,” released in 1998, and 1999’s “Wish We Had Never Met.”
Adam Phillips described an epiphany when reflecting on The Gadjits being booked with ska traditionalists like The Skatalites and the Slackers.
“It was insane to watch these bands and to think of us as peers,” Phillips said.
The Gadjits were a ska band that also dug the Ramones and the Dead Kennedys, and little by little influences other than ska started showing up in their music.
“People tend to grow, and we were no different,” Phillips said.
When the band started, he was only 12. On “Wish We Had Never Met,” their sound expanded and the influence of The Jam, Elvis Costello and the Attractions as well as ’60s era soul music was on display. After a while, the ska was jettisoned. Phillips said the shift in their sound was not a calculated effort. The evolution was incremental and a result of being influenced by a wide range of genres.
In 2004, The Gadjits came to an end, and The Architects were born. Phillips spoke of a type of conundrum that came with keeping The Gadjits name as their sound changed. Fans of the early material would show up expecting to hear ska songs when the band had stopped playing them. The Architects’ sonic stylings differ from The Gadjits in that it contains more throttle, more punch, more kick and more guitar. The sound is a type of punk-rock n’roll-indie hybrid that combines melody with grit and aggression, a sound that has more in common with The Replacements than Black Flag.
As The Architects carry on with a sound that draws from diverse influences, they’ve toured with an eclectic mix of bands. Phillips noted the type of audiences they play for varies depending on the bands they are touring with. He said going on tour with The Bellrays differs from going on tour with Valient Thorr, which differs from doing dates on the Vans Warped Tour. Phillips said there is no such thing as a typical tour for The Architects. They could wind up playing a large hall or small club and end up having fun either way.
The Architects play at The Bay Saturday, Sept. 10 with support from Fuzz Beater. Doors open at 6 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door. The show is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.