bill sturges

The Few, The Proud, The Strange: An interview with Not A Planet

Not A Planet is a band that has been heightening the KC music scene since 2010. The band’s devoted fans and passion for creating powerful music has allowed them to tour the United States and produce its first full-length album, The Few, The Proud, The Strange, in 2013. Not A Planet’s tour manager, Jodie Platz, coordinated and joined this interview, which took place in their practice room at her home. 
The Deli:  What conflicts in your life have inspired your lyrics?
Nathan Corsi: My experiences as a kid made me feel like I had a lot to prove. I have really supportive parents. I went to a conservatory for a year before I dropped out. A lot of great writers had troubled childhoods, and I think I had a more troubled adulthood that causes me to write the way I do. I got mugged when I lived out in New York City, a month and a half after I moved there. I’d gone out there with a bag and a guitar playing in subways and small venues. I ended up in KC because my family was here,and it was a chance for me to recoup until I found my home, and then I found my band here.
The Deli:  What could make the KC music scene better?
Nathan: Where are the people coming out to the shows? There are amazing bands here. It’s a tragedy that so few people are at the clubs Monday through Thursday. There are shows that don’t go too late for people who have to work and most places aren’t charging covers.
Bill Sturges: There are so many beautiful, amazing, crazy things going down every single night in Kansas City,and it just takes what one step out the door to find it.
Liam Sumnicht: I agree people need to come out more. I also think typically people don’t care about what’s happening in their own backyard unless other people care. It’s caddy of me to say, but people will pay attention when they know people in LA like [KC music]. It’s natural.
The Deli: Why should people see Not A Planet live?
Bill: We lay it down. We try to remove all barriers so [the audience] can enter into a different world. Because the reality you experience during the week doesn’t play into the show. There’s an energy that we try to put in, and we accomplish it. We put everything we have on the table. Come watch us crumble and rise again.
The Deli: How often are you are tour?
Liam: We do around 100 shows a year. We have been out for weeks at a time to Florida and the East Coast. And regionally we’re out almost every weekend.
Bill: Anywhere from St. Louis, to Manhattan, to Joplin, to Wichita, to Oklahoma.
Nathan: [Not a Planet] only plays in Kansas City about once a month, not including cover shows.
The Deli: Wait. What cover shows?
Nathan: We have a separate cover band with the same members. It’s called Ragged Heirs. We try to keep it upbeat and timely. We play…
Everyone: Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Foster the People, Kings of Leon, Bo Diddley, Robert Johnson, Tom Waits, all the stuff that grooves a little bit.
The Deli: Does touring hinder producing new material?
Nathan: It makes it hard.
Liam: But it also keeps you in good shape musically. It’s a double-edged sword. It keeps you on your toes, but takes away time from being able to write music.
Bill: In our lives we find things that we have to do, and the things that we love. In this room, we all understand that sometimes for the things we love, we have to carve out time. Two weeks [on tour] is beautiful because you get your feet wet. Three weeks is a marathon. We’ve talked to people like us who have been out for two months or longer. It gets treacherous at that point; it’s almost survival mode.
The Deli: What’s your favorite kind of audience?
Liam: The audience that gets it. When you can connect with people, that’s the most amazing and beautiful part of playing live.
Bill: I started playing music because I got the goose bumps sometimes in [high school] band and stuff. That’s the music reaching out and touching your soul. That’s why we continue to do it.
Nathan: Mostly I’m in it for the money and the women. [laughs]
The Deli: Speaking of money…
Bill: We make so much money.
Liam: Rollin! Sometimes at night we just pour our hundreds into a bathtub and all crawl in and take a bath.
Jodie: We go to McDonald’s and don’t order off the dollar menu.
Nathan: We get on a diving board to jump into our pool of money and swim around in it.
Bill: But in all seriousness, none of us have ever made money off of Not A Planet, but Not A Planet makes money; I’ve never had to pay [out of pocket] for gas, or vans; I’ve traveled across the US for free.
Nathan: Not A Planet is self-sustaining. It has paid for us to make records and go on tour, which costs thousands of dollars.
The Deli: Jodie, what’s your role in Not A Planet?
Jodie: Tour manager, director of media, photographer. I field the shows and make sure the band is on time. I do so much sometimes I can’t remember it all. It’s a full-time job. I came on about 2 years ago. I saw them open for another band I was working for at the time, and I was hooked. I was supposed to move to California, but I moved back to KC and wondered what I was going to do. I remembered [Not A Planet], and two weeks later I was with in the band and going to Florida.
Are you working on a second album?
Nathan: We’re working on music. A second album is a twinkle in our eyes right now.
Not A Planet is:
Nathan Corsi: guitarist, singer, wordsmith
Liam Sumnicht: drums, vocals
Bill Sturges: bass, vocals
Jodie Platz: tour manager
--Hannah Copeland
Hannah Copeland is a UMKC business student and self proclaimed "Fun Engineer". She books concerts for local bands every month, is working on an e-commerce music merchandise start-up, and is a lyricist and singer for her electronic band, Hunter Gatherer. She cannot wait to graduate next spring and work in radio broadcasting, music promotions, or bartending in South America. You can contact her at
Not A Planet takes the stage again this Saturday at VooDoo Lounge, alongside St. Joseph’s Eyelit and Joplin’s Me Like Bees. Show starts at 9 p.m. Facebook event page.