Zachary Phillips

Artists on Trial: The Architects

By putting out four successful albums, playing national tours like Warped Fest, and delivering gigantic riffs and reverberating rhythms to fans over the past 8 years, The Architects have established themselves as THE rock band of Kansas City. And this year, Midwest Music Foundation is pleased to have this four-piece group headlining Apocalypse Meow this Saturday. Today, we talk with bassist Zach Phillips and get some insight on what the group is up to. 

The Deli: Gun to your head, 1 sentence to describe your music. What is it?
Zach PhillipsThe new recordings are all over the place as far as style. My favorite songs so far are really fast, tight punk beats with melodic chord progressions and my brother Brandon howling some witty banter about being a cowboy and keeping his gun clean. Think Rancid with brains and a bar of soap meets Queen live at Wembley.

The Deli: Let’s talk about what you have coming up. What can we expect?
ZachThe new recordings are coming in 2013. We have been working hard on them for 2 years and it’s wonderful to see the project finally come together. That’s all the information I'm at liberty to divulge right now. It’s not going to be your typical Architects release though.

The Deli: What does “supporting local music” mean to you?
ZachEvery town has a different local music scene. KC has always had a lot of great groups of people creating art, music, small businesses, etc. If you take an interest and participate then you're supporting it. Buying music and art from the artist/band always helps us make it to the next town or pay our rent!

The Deli: Who are your favorite “local” musicians right now?
ZachI love Lauren Krum from The Grisly Hand, Chris Meck from Tiny Horse, and Beckie Trost from Soft Reeds. Lauren’s got some great pipes and she’s fun to be around. Chris plays a mean guitar and if you ever get a chance to hold his Strat, you'll notice the neck he plays on is bigger than a baseball bat! Beckie’s the perfect match for Soft Reeds; she has great feel. I didn’t realize she was such a great bass player!

The Deli: What bands are you most excited to see at Meow?
Zach: I've been recording an album with Tiny Horse and it’s been great working with the people Chris and Abby (Henderson) picked to be in that band. I will be performing with them this Friday, November 2 at Midwestern Musical Co. and I'm and very excited for that one.

The Deli: Who are your favorite not-so-local musicians right now?
Zach: I love The BellRays. Someday I will have the chance to play bass with them, and then I will be able to die happy.

The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?
Zach: The Replacements / Makers / The BellRays / Architects or Cramps / Black Flag / Bronx / Architects would rule also.

The Deli: Would you rather spend the rest of your life on stage or in the recording studio?
Zach: On stage. I like recording a lot, but nothing beats the bright lights, smoke machines, laser beams, and screaming girls that live performances have. I'm better at performing too.

The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?
ZachPhil Lynott (Thin Lizzy), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Freddie King, and Ron Wood (Faces/Rolling Stones). Phil is one of my bass heroes and Thin Lizzy is my favorite rock band ever. I love Phil’s lyrics, his voice, and the way he sings and plays is perfect.
Billy Gibbons is another amazing guitar playing and ZZ Top is a close second to Thin Lizzy for favorite bands. I don't think Eric Clapton would've existed if Freddie King wasn't around for him to rip off.
Freddie was a monster on the guitar and his band was always bad ass. My favorite things about the state of Texas are ZZ Top and Freddie King.
Ron Wood has been the new guy in the Rolling Stones for the last 30+years and it’s not fair. He also has a handsome face and would look nice chiseled out of stone next to Phil, Billy & Freddie. Ron’s band before the Stones was The Faces w/ Rod Stewart. Ron is a great guitar player and another hero of mine.

The Deli: All right, give us the rundown. Where all on this big crazy web can you be found?
Zach: ARCHITECTS are everywhere! I don't use the computer for much and I don't know anything about our web presence. I'm the bass player, what do you expect?
(If you’re interested, which you should be, you can check out The Architects’ Facebook page here.)

The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?
Zach: Don't sweat the small stuff. Stay in school and don't use drugs.
The Architects are:
Brandon Phillips – lead vocals, guitar
Keenan Nichols – lead guitar
Zach Phillips – bass, vocals
Adam Phillips – drums
Go see Zach lay down some wicked bass lines as The Architects headline Apocalypse Meow this Saturday, November 3 at The Beaumont Club (and he’ll also be performing with Tiny Horse on Friday, November 2 at Midwestern Musical Co). You won’t want to miss one of The Architects’ few performances this year; they will take the stage right around midnight.
--Michelle Bacon

Michelle is editor-in-chief of The Deli - Kansas City. She also has a weekly column with The Kansas City Star and reviews music for Ink. She plays with Deco Auto, Drew Black and Dirty Electric, and Dolls on Fire. Her grandpa has a street in Malaysia named after him. Really.

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