Flying Underground were one of the lucky few local bands to be selected to play Bunbury Music Festival! A few years ago, Lovely’s career teaching college radically changed when he was struck with an unusual neurological disorder that severely damaged his vocal cords. This lead him to go back to return to the life of a freelance musician with the help of Kelly McCracken on vocals, Chris Arduser on drums, and Dave Ramos on bass.
Enter to win a pair of passes to Bunbury Music Festival HERE!
We grabbed at the chance to sit down with Brian Lovely of Flying Underground prior to Bunbury!
Give us some background on Flying Underground…
I formed Brian Lovely’s Flying Underground in Cincinnati in 1999 with Chris and Dave. I sang and we played my tunes as well as a couple of Chris’. I knew Chris from having played some and recorded with him and his band, The Graveblankets. He also played drums on the solo album I was producing at the time called “Superimpose.” I first met Chris when he was playing with Adrian Belew in the Bears in the 80s. I later played bass and guitar for Adrian on one of his solo tours in 1992. I’ve known Dave since college at the University of Cincinnati. We had never actually played together until ’99. I had always played in rock bands, but by 1999 I was recording, writing a lot and playing solo acoustic shows. I happened to move into Dave’s neighborhood and ran into him. I thought, hmm rehearsals would be easy living so close to each other. Soon he and I and Chris started playing in my basement studio. I put out my solo record and we played largely in support of that, but under the name Brian Lovely’s Flying Underground. We did that regionally for a few years, adding new songs and having a great time.
My son was born in 2002 and I began gigging quite heavily with a string jazz quartet called, Faux Frenchmen, and around 2004 I went back to school for my Masters degree in jazz studies, followed by a few years of college teaching. All during that time Flying Underground kept getting put aside, but I knew some day we’d come back to it.
Eventually, all the college lecturing and general mayhem in my life triggered a Parkinsonian gene in my family and I developed spasmodic dysphonia which is a muscular neurological condition where my vocal cords kept spasming shut. I sounded like someone was choking me when I tried to talk. I refer to it as the Diane Rehm curse. That was the end of my college teaching career and luckily I could go back to being a freelance musician without a lot of starting over. Eventually I realized it was time to pick up Flying Underground again, but now we needed a singer.
I looked at a lot of people and nobody seemed like the right fit. I became obsessed with the search and Eventually I started going through any and all the web sites full of all kinds of people. It was very discouraging, but one night, EUREKA! I came across Kelly on a site and she had it all together, great sound clips from her band in Warren, Ohio, the Kellys. Video - everything all very professional and she kicked ass! I couldn’t believe it and thought, no way she’s still available, but I contacted her any way. She had moved to Cincinnati in the past year and was still looking for a band. She came to a Faux Frenchmen show at a coffee house and we’ve been close friends and bandmates ever since. We played as a duo for about a year while I learned to adapt to writing for her voice and she learned to sing my songs. We also did some writing together. Eventually about a year ago we started rehearsing the whole band and of course the guys loved her. Our first year as a band is almost up and we’ve played a lot of shows of all kinds and come a long way. We’re playing regionally now and were invited to play Bunbury Music fest this year. Our 5 song EP has been well received and we’re adding new songs all the time.
Congrats on being selected to play Bunbury Music Festival! Who are you looking forward to checking out at Bunbury?
Death Cab For Cutie, Muse, and July Talk
For those who have never seen you live before, what can they expect?
Well, we just let it all hang out. Just a lot of smiling, concentrating and grooving. If you’re interested in a lot of overwrought, developmentally arrested emotion, staged posing and forced pseudo shamanistic jumping around - don’t hold your breath. We let the music take us over body, mind and soul and anything could happen, but we’re not gonna do the monkey dance to try to convince you we’re serious. That’s some silly shit.
What is next for Flying Underground?
Our goal is to continue to create, record and perform for an expanding audience. That’s enough to occupy all our time. We’ll always throw our hat in the ring and reach out to people who want to hear us. We’ll ride that bus as far as it can take us. Most of all, it’s about the music.