Long Grounded, Party of Helicopters is ready for take off

Party of Helicopters flies again this Wednesday.
It’s been three years since the Party of Helicopters have blessed the stage with their caffeinated blend of metal riffage and shoegazer hooks. In the fall of 2004, the Kent four-piece announced they’d finally run out of steam. After nearly seven years of international touring and three full-length releases, the band was tired of almost making it big. “Everybody was just sick of doing it,” says guitarist Jamie Stillman. “We were sick of being broke and not having vans and equipment.” Even after the band’s break-up, POH continued to revel in its cult status as the flagship band of Kent’s internationally known hardcore scene. Their albums are still available in indie record haunts from Vienna, Austria to Louisville, Kentucky. Even folks who’ve never seen the band perform will reminisce about singer Joe Dennis’ drunken stage banter and Stillman’s virtuous shredding. Still, it seemed the band would never reunite. Bassist Ryan Brannon moved on to form the nationally-acclaimed band Beaten Awake, while Stillman set down his guitar to start a family, tour manage The Black Keys, and drum for Teeth of the Hydra, a Columbus-based metal band signed to Tee Pee Records. But it turns out that it wasn’t in Stillman’s plans to lay down his axe forever. Prompted by the request of a friend to play her going away party, the band recently decided to reunite for its first show in three years. “The real answer is that I’m also desperate to play guitar in a band again,” Stillman says. POH will take the stage at the Lime Spider on Wednesday, August 29. “We practiced once on Thursday, last week,” Stillman says. “It was really creepy because it seemed like we had kept playing. Everyone got bored in the same exact amount of time as we used to get bored with practice – about an hour and a half.” Stillman promises a well-rounded set, including four songs from each of their three releases. While he says that the band had no problem picking up where they left off, Stillman worries that his moves will be a bit rusty. “I’m in fear of having a heart attack on stage, after four years of not moving like that in my life,” Stillman says. “I don’t do back bends or high kicks while carrying babies around, not that I can even imagine doing that anymore. I guess I’m in fear of looking like David Lee Roth.” Just leave the zebra-print Lycra leggings behind, Jamie, and you should be fine. – Denise Grollmus
Like this story?
SCENE Supporters make it possible to tell the Cleveland stories you won’t find elsewhere.
Become a supporter today.
Scroll to read more Music News articles

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.