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Meet three local bands we’ve not written about yet, until now

Abandoned Bells formed in 2015.
Abandoned Bells formed in 2015.

The Kansas City/Lawrence music community is growing in many dimensions: more bands, more venues, more shows, more recordings. In 2016, Kansas City and Lawrence bands released more than 250 recordings, either full-length albums, EPs or singles.

Each weekend, music venues in Kansas City and Lawrence book two or three local bands, and with so many bands in the local universe, it can be difficult to keep up with who’s who.

Two of the bands are relatively new; the other has been a mainstay of the Lawrence garage-punk scene. The Star has not yet written about any of them. So we introduce them to you here.

Abandoned Bells

Members: Krysztof Nemeth, Teri Ann Quinn and Tyson Schroeder.

Q: When was the band started?

We were formed December 2015.

Q: When was your first show?

In August 2016, opening for Adia Victoria at the Riot Room.

Q: What are everyone’s music backgrounds?

Teri has a classical music background with a degree in music composition from UMKC Conservatory of Music. She joined Claire and the Crowded Stage in 2012.

Krysztof has been a part of the Kansas City music scene since 2010, when he formed the Late Night Callers. In 2016 he helped form Emmaline Twist and Abandoned Bells. Tyson had been playing in the Kansas City/Lawrence area since 1992, most notably forming the Medicine Theory in 2007.

Q: What are your musical influences?

Chelsea Wolfe, 16 Horsepower, the Tiger Lillies, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds and Tom Waits.

Q: Describe your music/sound.

Abandoned Bells’ sound is dark but not hypnotic like most bands with dark undertones tend to be. The banjo gives a fire-and-brimstone feel, while the drums reel you into chaos. The baritone guitar makes you feel like you’re walking through a haunted house on a foggy evening. The vocals cut through all the clatter, casting spells.


Back and ready to creep. #nightmaricana #darkfolk #darknightifthesoul

A video posted by Abandoned Bells (@abandoned_bells) on

Q: Who do people say you sound like?

A cross between Chelsea Wolfe and 16 Horsepower.

Q: Finish this sentence: The Kansas City/Lawrence community is 

Constantly evolving and reinventing itself.

The Widow’s Ride

Members: Paul Atwood, Justin Muschinske and Joe Newman

Q: When was the band started?

The Widow’s Ride started in 2009 as kind of a bedroom project with Paul and Justin sending songs back and forth, sometimes from different states. Justin moved to Kansas City in late 2013, and we started getting serious about it.

Joe joined the band early last year when we started playing live.

Q: When was your first show?

April 2016 at Records With Merritt.

Q: What are everyone’s music backgrounds?

Paul and I have played together on and off for 15 years, everything from metal to electronica, nothing anyone would have heard.

Joe comes from post-rock and electronica and was in Forrester and just put out his own album as Hate Shapes.

Q: What are your music influences?

Mark Lanegan, Ennio Morricone, Nine Inch Nails, Phil Spector.

Paul: Not to sound pretentious, but to me, the music comes from places.

Q: List your recordings.

“The Widow’s Ride” (LP), 2015.

Q: Describe your music/sound.

Like Nick Cave trapped in a spaghetti Western set in hell.

Q: Who do people say you sound like?

A wide variety of descriptions, but the consensus seems to revolve around Bauhaus + Johnny Cash.

Q: Complete this sentence: The Kansas City/Lawrence music community is 

Still new to us, but we’ve met a lot of supportive and creative people and played with some great bands, Friday being a perfect example!

Black Luck

Members: Wade Kelly, John Benda, Jason Jones and Aaron Riffel

Q: When was the band started?


Q: When was your first show?

I honestly can’t remember the date. We drank a lot back then. But I do remember it was only like 3 or 4 months after we formed. We started writing in the spring, played our first show in the summer, and recorded the first EP in the fall.

Q: What are everyone’s music backgrounds?

We have all been playing music in and out of bands since high school.

Wade (guitar, vocals) played in mostly local indie rock bands before returning to his hardcore/punk roots for Black Luck.

Johnny (percussion, vocals) has played in a jazz trio, taught drums, filled in for national touring bands and currently plays in Spencer Mackenzie Brown’s band as well as Black Luck.

Aaron (bass, vocals) has played punk rock since forever in local bands but is way overqualified, as he regularly plays three-hour-long sets with hundreds of songs with his cover band.

Jason (second guitar) is a jack-of-all-trades. His first instrument is actually percussion, but he also plays piano, bass, guitar, lap-steel, etc. and has played in more local bands than we can count.

Q: What are your music influences?

Gorilla Biscuits, Wire, OFF!, Drive Like Jehu, Gang of Four, Dinosaur Jr., Young Widows, The Armed, Unwound, Misfits, Pissed Jeans, Iceage, Operation Ivy, Agnostic Front, Lungfish, Trash Talk, Bad Brains, Fugazi, The Replacements, Bad Religion, Husker Du.

Q: List your recordings

“Help Yourself” (EP), 2012; “Let’s Get Cynical” (EP), 2013: “Get On With It (EP), 2013; “Firebrand” (EP), 2014

Q: Describe your music/sound.

DIY garage-punk that’s strangely pretty sometimes.

Q: Who do people say you sound like?

Sometimes we get “the hardcore Replacements,” sometimes “catchy Fugazi,” sometimes “Archers of Loaf played really fast.” Lately we really just want to sound like dying fascists.

Q: Complete this sentence: The Kansas City/Lawrence music community is 

Like a big dysfunctional family. Lawrence is the angsty college kid that wants to grow culturally appropriated dreadlocks and travel the world, but actually doesn’t know s--- and still brings his laundry home for cleaning on the weekends. KC is the weekend warrior parents that roll their eyes at the kid but also scream at sports on the TV and put on pants only when guests come over.

Timothy Finn: 816-234-4781, @phinnagain