Playfully Yours play for yours (and theirs)

Cincinnati trio requires no more than your attention for their electro stylings

By W.C. Ruffnel
Photo: Playfully Yours: [l to r]Maxx McKinley, Katie Busemeyer and Brock R. McKinley; photo credit: Sarah McDermott

Last time I saw the group known as Playfully Yours, I was excited to watch them, and this was because they were exciting. It seems like an awfully bland and redundant statement to make, but that’s what sets this band apart from their bland and redundant colleagues: the excitement of a live group performing electronic music. Three people fill out the group, where usually most electro groups are just one guy hitting a laptop surrounded by lame celebrities (what’s your deal, Michael Phelps? Do you really excite EDM crowds?) We had time to ask them some questions before the group hits South Park Tavern, Feb. 2, in support of their latest EP, Indwell.

Who’s everyone in the band and what do they do?

Brock, Maxx and me, Katie.  Very simply, Brock is our “controllerist,” Maxx operates the Kaoss Pads, and I sing, play synthesizer and operate the lights. We will happily explain what we do in more detail after a show.  -Katie Busemeyer

How long have you been playing together?

Brock and I started messing around with music together in the summer of 2010, but the three of us officially began writing together in February 2011 immediately following a play titled “Lovesick” that Maxx wrote and directed. Brock ran sound and lights, and I stage-managed and performed. Brock and Maxx, who are brothers, have been creating music together since 2004.  -KB

How would you describe your music to someone who has no idea?

We’ve penned our sound as electro, trance and dance. Our beats bump hard, our bass lines are prominent and our melodies ambient. We experiment with texture while trying to maintain pop sensibility. -KB

I understand there are some connections you have with Dayton. Can you explain?

I was heavily into the Dayton hardcore music scene back in 2002. I used to drive up to Dayton from Cincinnati every weekend to go to hardcore shows. I enrolled to the University of Dayton for the 2003 school year. Partied hard, failed out, moved back to Cincinnati. I made some unforgettable friends that I still have now ten years later. I used to love walking through South Park and admiring the architecture of the Oregon District. Dayton will always have a special place in my heart. For the record, I miss Elbo’s. -KB

How was your last show in Dayton?

Our Dayton shows always kick ass. We may not play to packed rooms, but everyone is always so responsive and enthusiastic. The Dayton bands we’ve played with are all top notch. Shout out to Grenades!? and Dear Fawn. -KB

What can show-goers expect from a Playfully Yours performance?

Don’t expect any type of traditional instrumentation, save a synthesizer and a microphone. Expect fun, blinky gadgets and beats – danceable ones. Oh, and a light show. -KB

What artists influence you daily, opening new bags of tricks upon you on every listen?

I am in love with Beach House right now. Their music moves me to extraordinary places. Brock and I are really into the new Yeasayer album, which was totally panned! Both bands have progressed with every record; it’s admirable. That type of progression makes us excited for what the future holds for us. -KB

With so many electronic artists popping up all over all the time anywhere, what do you think makes your group so special?

It’s difficult to answer that question objectively. Arguably, what makes traditional bands special? Led Zeppelin and The Strokes both use the same instrumentation, but no one accuses them of sounding alike. With electronic music, the possibilities are limitless –sometimes overwhelmingly so. At the end of the day, we write music that we enjoy listening to. If you enjoy it also, then we feel privileged. -KB

You’re nominated for a Cincinnati Entertainment Award. That’s quite an honor.

We feel very fortunate to be acknowledged as one of the best six electronic bands in Cincinnati and we look forward to getting drunk at the awards show. -KB

What is Playfully Yours’ plans for 2013?

We spent New Year’s Eve and New Years Day writing new music. We will have a full-length record out by this summer, subsequent to which we will tour as much as our schedules and bank accounts permit. Until then, we will be writing, rehearsing, honing our craft and by summer you will see a more solid, confident band. -KB

What’s the funniest thing that has happened playing out of town to Playfully Yours?

We stayed with friends in D.C. who reserved a parking spot in a garage for us. We were traveling with a cargo shell for our gear on top of my small Volkswagen Rabbit. Needless to say there was a clearance issue and we had to use a shit load of duct tape to fix it. -KB

Do you have any last words or anything else to add before your show at South Park Tavern? 

Thanks for all your support, Dayton! We’d love to see you at South Park Tavern February 2nd! –KB

Playfully Yours will perform on Saturday, Feb. 2 at South Park Tavern, 1301 Wayne Ave. Also on the bill is Good English. Admission is $5 for all ages. Doors at 9 p.m. For more information, visit

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