Playfully Yours don’t ever want to hurt you, rather they aim to excite
By Nick Schwab
When writing arts articles, the intention of the piece should always be to bring the heart of the subject out in the interview.
Rather than filling the interview with factual information that is bound to get only clichéd answers (Examples: What is your influence? How’s the tour going?), it is always more interesting to know what makes the artists tick, the reasoning and the whys behind their art, rather than getting simplifications about the art itself.
Sometimes the heart of the subject is hard to release; sometimes it doesn’t even come out at all. Then sometimes, the interviewer doesn‘t even force it … rather, it happens naturally. This is what happened during a group interview with all three members of the Cincinnati-based, electronic group Playfully Yours.
Consisting of bandmates Katie Busemeyer, Maxx McKinley and Brock R. McKinley, Playfully Yours is the definition to what their name suggests –a band that may be serious when it comes to their music, but loves to joke around when it comes to, well, everything else.
Such as when describing their music, Busemeyer gets a one-liner in there that their music is, “Emotion-core.”
Brock also shares a story about himself explaining his music to an older man when asked what type of music he plays.
“I started explaining to him that it was an electronic-dance, experimental trip-hop, and the guy just looks at me and says, ‘So, like rock n’ roll? What instrument do you play?’”
“I was just like, yeah, rock ‘n’ roll. Then I said I play guitar to keep it simple,” Brock said, while laughing. “There is no guitar in the band.”
However, when the band wants to get serious about the description, they can.
“There is a lot of different genres that we sort of fit into, but we really don’t,” said Brock. “We try to be really different and to experiment, but at the same time, we have a lot of structure and make people dance.”
Then when asked why he wants to make people dance, Brock replied in a joking manner, even if you can tell he is making an honest point.
“Well, it looks better than a bunch of people just staring at you when you are playing,” he said, and then clarified. “It creates a good environment. We are not traditional dance music, so it would be interesting to get people to dance to our sound.”
Their music also features a lot of sound clips. The band says that they get these from “everywhere” — old vinyl, odd videos, old movies, and even dating videos, poets and philosophers.
Even if the band notes that they don’t want to be known, as “that band with the spoken word clips,” they do think that these segments add something to their music.
“The spoken word samples are Brock and Maxx’s way of inserting dialogue and messages sublimely into our music,” explains Busemeyer. “I sing some of Maxx’s lyrics, but it’s a good way for them to have a voice in our music, since I am the only one who sings.”
“Yeah, I can’t sing,” Maxx said. Then Brock added “I can’t sing either. We can, but we can’t. So spoken word is our language interaction into the album.”
Then later when asked about what the word “artist” means to them as well as what their music means to them, they still give those same semi-serious, but still on-point arguments.
“When someone says they are an artist, I think ‘professional bullshit,’” said Maxx “I picture a hipster flipping their hair trying to gain respect from the opposite or the same sex.
“Art for us is establishing your identity,” said Maxx about his own craft. “It is about placing yourself in the world, not just about our own choices, but also it is about how people perceive you.”
Like most artists, Playfully Yours say one of the biggest challenges of making music is getting it heard and finding an accepting audience.
However, what do they think of changing their odd sense of craft for acceptance?
“If a giant bag of money was handed to us (we might), but a giant bag of money has never been handed to us,” said Maxx sarcastically.
However, when they stop joking around is when Busemeyer brings up a point that the two others immediately agree with.
“If we have to change our sound to fit the listener then this wouldn’t be fun anymore,” she said.
After both listening to their music, as well as their rapport, one has to agree: fun and games can be just that, and as long as it is in good heart and not too serious no one will get hurt, but rather only get more excited and thus have more fun.
Playfully Yours will perform Saturday, January 7 at South Park Tavern with Grenades?! and Wonky Tonk. South Park Tavern is located at 1301 Wayne Ave. in Dayton. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/yours.playfully or www.southparktavern.com.
Reach DCP freelance writer Nick Schwab at NickSchwab@DaytonCityPaper.com.