Sunday, May 8, 2016

Chicago band Hyperplane bringing honest sound to Cubby Bear

With a vast amount of experience in the studio and on stage, the members of Chicago band Hyperplane are carving out their own niche in the local music scene.

Hyperplane will perform May 20 at the Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison St., Chicago. B Fraze, YOKO, Element and Joe Renardo also are part of the bill.

The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $7 in advance, $10 at the door, available at

I had the chance to talk to Hyperplane keyboardist Dave Bills about the band's latest activities.

Q - Great talking to you. The group released its self-titled debut last year. In sitting down to make the EP, what were your goals and do you think you accomplished them?

Our primary goal with any recording is to create a “frozen moment in time," so to speak. The songs are like photographs, capturing whatever we were thinking about or going through at the time.

With the addition of two new members, we wanted a snapshot of that initial energy that comes from working together in the studio for the first time. I may be biased, but I think we accomplished our goal. 

Q - I know the band previously was called Joy Missile. What was the reason for the name change and do you think Hyperplane better describes the band?

Since we had recorded the first two CD’s with Colleen O’Mara on vocals and Ed Monson on bass, we all agreed that both Cheryl and Dave brought about a significant enough change in the overall sound and vibe to merit a new name and a fresh start. 

Q - Singer Cheryl Rodey and bassist Dave Huber joined the band in 2014. What do you think they bring to the band?

Cheryl is a multi-instrumental dynamo and fantastic singer/songwriter in her own right. Her ability to pick up on melodies and harmonies and take them to another level is really a sight to behold. 

We’re lucky to have her, and the same goes for Dave. His style on the bass is so fluid and effortless that it just pulls everything together and locks it in. 

Q - You've performed with such bands as The Fixx and Toots and the Maytals as a member of previous groups. What did you learn from such experiences?

That we’d like to play more shows like that! Seriously though, it’s always a privilege to open for bands you grew up listening to, and the energy you get playing in front of a larger crowd always makes the show that much more enjoyable. 

That being said, we play with the same intensity whether it’s for ourselves in Sean or Jon’s basement, in front of a handful of dedicated fans on a cold winter’s night at Elbo Room or if we’re opening for someone established. 

Q - The EP is dedicated to your brother, Mike, who disappeared about three and a half years ago. How would you say that the disappearance of your brother has influenced your writing? 

Mike was a tremendously talented artist who had a hard time finding his place in this world. His disappearance had a profound effect on me and my family. 

Trying to explain to my kids where their uncle went may be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do as a parent. Some questions never get answered. 

Learning to accept that reality has influenced these songs and given them a bittersweet edge that may not have otherwise been there. 

Q - Is the band writing new music? When can we expect a new CD from the band?
Absolutely!  We have a number of new songs ready to go and will probably head back into the studio this fall and release late this year or in early 2017. 

Q - What do you think of the Chicago music scene and how do you think the band fits into it?

We love the Chicago scene and have been playing here for most of our lives. Chicago makes you work for it and I think we're a better band because of it. 

If the Chicago scene were a foot, we're like the pinkie toe. We may not be the big toe but if you tried running without us, we'd be sorely missed.  :)

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