Smile Politely

The collective that is So Many Dynamos

I talked with Aaron Stovall of So Many Dynamos this week, and the list of delightful musicians just keeps getting longer. This guy has been everywhere and seen plenty, and he knows what makes a band strong: flexibility, focus, and teamwork. A sense of humor certainly doesn’t hurt either, as you’ll soon find out… 

Smile Politely: First of all: What is with the band name? How did you come up with that?

Aaron Stovall: The band name is a palindrome. I wish we had a better story of how it came about, but we looked through a list of palindromes on the Internet and liked that one the most.

SP: That’s as good a reason as any for a band name! (My favorite palindrome is “Go hang a salami I’m a lasagna hog.”)

Who is the band and how did you meet and decide to make music together?

Stovall: The band has gone through many changes throughout its ten year history. Clayton Kunstel and I have been in the group since the beginning, but we’ve switched out guitar players and added a full-time percussionist and sample player. The current line-up is as follows: 

  • Aaron Stovall : Vocals/Keys/Guitar/Percussion 
  • Clayton Kunstel : Drums/Percussion/Keys 
  • Nathan Bernaix : Guitar/Vocals/Keys/Percussion 
  • Alison Arida : Percussion/Samples/Vocals 
  • Stephen Inman : Guitar/Keys/Vocals/Percussion 

Chris Phillips is also in the band. He’s the touring fill-in for Nathan. We’ve all been playing in bands together since high school. This group is just the one we decided to take seriously enough for it to last as long as it has.

So Many Dynamos: “Analysis Paralysis”

[[mp3 so_many_dynamos_analysis_paralysis]]

SP: What has made the difference this time? Why has this manifestation succeeded?

Stovall: The band is more of a collective now. I think that’s why it works so well. We switch members out more often. If one of us can’t do a tour, we have someone else fill the spot. It makes it easier to remain sustainable. 

SP: Sounds good! I imagine that keeps the music fresh and cuts down on stress, which could lead to fighting and all that.

It seems everyone has multiple performing jobs in the band (percussion, keys, guitar, vocals, etc). How do you all handle the practical aspects?

Stovall: There’s six of us on tour. Five of us play and set up our own gear, and Liz tour manages and takes care of merch.

SP: Where are some of your favorite places to go/play/visit?

Stovall: We toured Europe in 2010 and it was beyond awesome. Hoping to make it back there before too long. Other than that, we have a few favorite destinations closer to home: Chicago; Boston; Philly; Toronto; Athens, GA; Visalia, CA, etc.

SP: Europe! Where did you go?

Stovall: We spent some time in the UK and played in Paris, Belgium, Amsterdam, and Luxembourg.

SP: Do any of you speak the languages in those places, or did you just wing it? What an adventure that would be!

Stovall: Nope. You’d actually be surprised how many people speak English in all of those places. It made us feel kinda lazy for not knowing any other languages. 

SP: [Laughs] When we went to Paris, my sister made the mistake of speaking English to a Louvre guide.

Stovall: We’re super excited for the show on Saturday and all the other events that we’ll be partaking in.

So Many Dynamos will be performing at Mike ‘N Molly’s Saturday night, August 10th. They’ll be joined by locals Cloud Gavin and Year of the Bobcat.

Top photo by Sean O’Connor, middle photo by Matt Hamilton.

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