The Envy Corps Ready to Return to Maha
August 14th, 2014
Omaha, NE — A regional band with Omaha ties is gearing up for another performance in the cityâ€™s biggest music festival.
This Saturday, several of the best local, regional, and national music acts will gather together in Aksarbenâ€™s Stinson Park for one of Omahaâ€™s marquee events, the Maha Music Festival. One act is the Des Moines-based indie group The Envy Corps who are happy to be returning to the Maha stage since last playing there 3 years ago.
â€œEvery time it seems right for us to come back and play Maha, they call us up and weâ€™re like â€˜Oh yeah, weâ€™ll play.â€™â€
Thatâ€™s the groupâ€™s founder and lead singer Luke Pettipoole. He started the band out of high school in 2001 and the current line up has been together for several years, settling into a comfortable and creative song writing structure. Over the past decade, the band has seen its share of ebbs and flows.
The Envy Corps signed to European label Vertigo in 2006, released a full length album entitled Dwell and opened for bands like The Editors and The Killers. But the outside pressures and constant delays from the label left a bad taste in their mouths.
Now older and wiser, the group left Vertigo and have been striking it independently ever since. Now they wisely spend their time when they have it. Pettipoole lives and works in Omaha while the rest of the band stays in Des Moines, Iowa. Pettipoole said that as a songwriter, the distance serves him well.
â€œI prefer to have a space,â€ Pettipoole said. â€œEven the two-hour drive when I go visit them is nice to just be myself, relax, maybe listen to some stuff weâ€™ve been working on, or throw on NPR and have just no music. I kind of like being able to get away from it if I have to.â€
Pettipoole described their songwriting style as almost Hip-Hopesque in that he records bits and pieces of lyrics and guitar parts with a drum machine around his house. When the time is right, the meets with the band and together they work through ideas of songs to arrive at the finished products. Itâ€™s a style that lends itself to a pressure-free and independent environment that they thrive off of.
â€œAs far as our philosophy now, weâ€™re labeless,â€ he said. â€œWe do everything ourselves. Weâ€™re not necessarily against being on a label but I feel like weâ€™re at a great point because as the four people…we just enjoy being around together. Thereâ€™s no drama in the band. When we get together weâ€™re all making music and hanging out. I think as long as we can do that and make a little money on the side so people donâ€™t have to work full-time jobs, weâ€™re cool with that.â€
Now as they continue to support their latest album, It Culls You, and gear up for Maha this weekend, they band spent time working on itâ€™s live performance chops which Pettipoole describes as â€œ2 times louder than anything they do in the studioâ€. Sometimes it gets a little out of hand as they found out in July at the 80/35 Festival in Des Moines.
â€œWe were lucky enough that we had this awesome sound guy from the UK and he just happened to be coming through on tour with another band and had a day off,â€ Pettipoole said. â€œSo he ran sound for us and we were just like â€˜Hey Pablo. Just make it loud.â€™ I mean, we wanted to sound good but we also wanted it to be loud. The funny thing was that they had to cancel a Dr. Dog meet and greet that was near the stage because we were too loud. Sorry to those guys; Apologies Dr. Dog.â€
â€œI think weâ€™re going to try and bring the same level. When we start on that Maha stage, I want people to turn around and have to come to stage because itâ€™s just a spectacle of noise and cacophony.â€
Now the group is getting ready to record a new album, one that Pettipoole says will be a little more concise and pop oriented. The key to everything is the state of creative freedom they now enjoy.
â€œWhere weâ€™ve settled and where we feel most comfortable is when we focus on each other and focus on the music together,â€ he said. â€œThe other stuff, let the manager think about that. Itâ€™s really liberating.â€
The Envy Corps will be one of many bands playing this weekend at the Maha Music Festival in Aksarben. For more information on the the festival visit www.mahamusicfestival.com. To learn more about The Envy Corps, visit their website at www.theenvycorps.com
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