Meet the Band: Biblical Proof of UFOs

MEET THE BAND: Michael Peffer (drums), Ray Piller (bass), Joe Shipman (guitar), Ron Kretsch (guitar)

AN INSTRUMENTAL START: The band first came together when guitarist Ron Kretsch and bassist Ray Piller, who had just left the local indie rock act the Duvalby Bros, started playing together. "Ray invited me to jam with him and drummer Michael Peffer, and it gelled as a three piece, Kretsch says. "We considered adding a singer but we were enjoying the challenge of trying to keep people's attention 100 percent without that kind of figurehead, so we never got a singer. We added a second guitar, eventually." At the time, instrumental acts such as Don Caballero and Karma to Burn had good reputations, making it possible for instrumental acts to get gigs. "I don't know that we were inspired by those bands, but they made it easier to get accepted," says Kretsch.

IMPORT ONLY: Initially, the band put out a 7-inch on Cambodia Records, the same label that was home to hard rock heroes Disengage. The 7-inch and Disengage's first 7-inch came out at the same time. "That was a fun release party," says Kretsch. "We had a lot of friends who liked both bands." Now out of print, the release does appear in the used-records bins from time to time. "It can be found for a dollar here and there," says Kretsch. "I recently saw one at Square Records in Akron, and I almost bought it." In 1998, the group recorded a full-length album. Three years later, SuperFi, a U.K. label, issued it. "I was in the amusing position of having my band's CD only available as an import," says Kretsch. Now, nearly 20 years after the band recorded its full-length debut, the group has reconvened to play the Foundry.

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: "Sixteen and Three," the opening tune on Biblical Proof of UFOs, expertly alternates between loud and quiet segments before finishing with a crescendo. "We were in an argumentative phase," says Kretsch of the recording sessions that took place at Mars with producer Bill Korecky at the helm. "We are all stubborn people and we were really stubborn in our 20s," says Kretsch. "There were arguments that didn't need to happen." And yet, Kretsch says he stands by the material. "If I sit down and pick up a guitar, I can still play those Biblical songs," he says. "They've really stuck with me. When you listen to that stuff, you're listening to me learn how to play guitar. I was mostly a bass player before that. I was lucky I got to figure out my voice on the instrument and conventions of arrangements with a brilliant rhythm section that made me sound better. It was an important experience for me. We're playing together again because we like what we did. It won't be a full-time thing again but we're doing it out of respect for something we're proud of."


WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Biblical Proof of UFOs performs with Pleasure Leftists on Thursday, June 16, at the Foundry.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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