Foreign Body-Band of the Week

The Nightlife Company Blake Higginbotham 440 views

Trying to piece together a musical puzzle, a band either finds what they are looking for, remains where they started or finds themselves asking, “How the hell did we get here?”  In the case of Omaha alternative rock band Foreign Body, patience paid off.  

Initially, Shane Piniarski and Jeff Barrand began writing songs for their new project in 2011.  After jamming with various friends over the years, the searching had finally culminated into what Barrand called “the perfect pairing of musical talents to do what Shane and I wanted to do.”

The band’s lineup is comprised of Piniarksi and Barrand on guitars, Carl Anderson on bass, Scott Evans on drums, Luke Backhaus on keyboards and vocalist Braden Rapp.  Rapp, Evans and Backhaus had all been playing together in a previous band, but after that project dissolved, perfect timing allowed the three to join Foreign Body and pursue what Piniarski and Barrand had started years ago.  After adding Anderson on bass, the nucleus of Foreign Body was finally intact.  

“There were two songs we wrote that once they were done, Shane and I were like, Okay, this is what we’re going for,” Barrand said.  “We finally found our sound.”

Rapp recalled his early writing experiences for the new band, and the pandemonium that went through his head upon hearing their diverse sound for the first time.  

“I have no f------ clue how I’m going to sing over these songs,” Rapp said.  “They’re very dense and very loud.  I was under the impression that Foreign Body should be an instrumental band because the music is interesting enough without vocals.”  

That didn’t hinder him from the process of writing and yelling over the music.  With Rapp up to speed and screaming his lungs out, Foreign Body then recorded nine tracks in three days, which is miraculous, as well as extremely rigorous, considering the amount of parts needed to record a 6-piece band.  Spending countless hours in the studio is quite an experience, I’ll tell you that much.  It’s like a different world, exciting and alien in a way, especially when practically living there.  It’s, well, foreign.

Foreign Body recorded at ARC Studios, and couldn’t be happier with their work.  They also found a couple of gems while in the studio.  ARC has several pieces of history within their walls, including a mixing board made for George Martin, who produced songs for The Beatles, as well as a microphone that belonged to Neil Young, which ARC purchased from the legend’s personal studio.  Imagine your voice going through that.  Keep on rockin’ in the free world.

The band is planning to release their new tracks in a set of EP’s; one with five tracks, the other with four.

“Breaking it up a little bit allows you to not back yourself in a corner with how you release your music,” Rapp said.  “Songs are meant to be played over time and sort of evolve and be reinterpreted and recontextualized, because that’s what keeps music fresh.”  

Foreign Body has only had one show up to this point, but they hope to feel out more venues as they prepare to play more shows.  

“We don’t want to get pigeonholed into any particular scene because we play a certain venue all the time,” Rapp said.  “We’re kind of just testing the waters to see what venues make the most sense for us to play.”

Foreign Body wants their shows to be event-focused, saying they could envision a CD release show in the near future, while releasing their second EP down the road.

“It’s the model for a lot of bands in Omaha, and I think it works well,” Piniarski said.  “We’d rather continue to write and press forward than saying, Okay, we have a disc that we are going to play for two years.  People have realized that’s not a good strategy, and fans in Omaha deserve new tunes every now and then.”

Demoing their songs at practice and putting in countless hours of pre-production has focused the band’s direction.

“For Shane and I, we just wanted to do everything right,” Barrand said.  “We’ve been in plenty of bands before and spent a lot of money in places we didn’t need to.  We put a lot of time and thought into how we do everything.”

Rapp said we live in an era where you can really drill down and tailor music to your taste, and it’s something the band has embraced, as everyone’s personal experiences from previous projects and styles have molded together into a body of its own .

“Part of the artistry of making music is being able to refine and modify it over time,” Rapp said.  “We put more focus on refinement and rehearsal than performance and facetime.”

Foreign Body will headline the show this Saturday, February 21, at The Slowdown on 14th Street and Cuming Street.  The show starts at 9 and features opening acts Thinkin Machines and Tenderness Wilderness.  Doors open at eight, with advanced tickets going for $5, while day of show tickets are $7.  This is only Foreign Body’s second show, so come out to The Slowdown Saturday and be a part of history!