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a bad problem to have, but there's nothing you can do about it. We're all being
pulled in different directions."
The rest of Kite Pilot fell into place with the help of Joe Knapp,
the singer-songwriter behind Saddle Creek recording artist Son, Ambulance. Knapp
saw Petersen perform and asked her to join his band, along with drummer Corey
Broman. The new version of Son, Ambulance played a small Midwestern tour with
Lawrence band Ghosty that Broman now calls "The Dirt Tour" because at
one point they found themselves sleeping on the floor of a house covered in dirt
and cigarette butts. They played to nearly empty college venues -- the tour having
been booked in the summer when campuses were vacant. Despite that, Broman and
Petersen happily remained in Son, Ambulance.
But for Petersen, Son, Ambulance
wasn't enough. Having written some new material, she wanted to form a band of
her own with Hanton, Broman and Knapp -- who would later drop out due to scheduling
Petersen found bassist Austin Britton through Britton's Little
Brazil band mate Landon Hedges, who also had been a member of Son, Ambulance.
After playing on Britton's 5-song EP, Petersen wanted him in Kite Pilot, but Britton
was skittish about joining. "I really liked Kite Pilot as a three-piece,"
he said. "I didn't want to tank their sound." It took some convincing,
but Britton finally agreed.
The band had already recorded much of its debut
EP. With Britton now adding counter vocals to songs, it only made sense to add
his bass and vocals to the recording. With all the pieces in place, Kite Pilot
began performing in earnest in late summer of last year and has managed to create
a lot of "under-the-radar momentum," Britton said.
But Kite Pilot
isn't the only band with momentum. Britton and Broman's other band, Little Brazil,
recently finished recording a new CD slated for release on Portland's Mt. Fuji
records. With Kite Pilot just catching on, a new Little Brazil record about to
be released, Britton's ongoing solo work and both Broman and Petersen actively
involved in Son, Ambulance (whose own record has been percolating in the background
at Saddle Creek Records for almost a year), there's bound to be some scheduling
conflicts in the very near future, and the band knows it.
that bridge when we get there. These bands could break up next week," Britton
"Don't say that," interjected a hurt-looking Broman.
of the bands are touring," Britton said. "Everyone is willing to wait
if one of them starts to pick up momentum."
"It's a bad problem
to have," Broman added, "but there's nothing you can do about it. We're
all being pulled in different directions."
All agree, however, that
as far as Kite Pilot is concerned, they don't want to relive The Dirt Tour --
they simply can't afford it. Other than Broman's glass-blowing business, band
members carry simple day jobs in hopes that music can provide a full-time living
in a future filled with touring.
"It would be so much more productive
to be on a tour with a band that has an actual fan base," Britton said. "We
can't afford to lose money on this. We have rent and bills to pay. But no matter
what happens, we're having a good time."
in The Omaha Reader June 2, 2004. Copyright © 2004 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.