Liam Sumnicht possesses a good amount of insight into the local music scene.
Not only does he co-host “Homegrown Buzz” on Sundays from 8 to 10 p.m. on 96.5 The Buzz, but he also plays drums for local rock trio Not A Planet.
Sumnicht, who’ll perform Friday with the group at the Midland as part of night one of The Night The Buzz Stole Christmas, talked with us about local bands, his musical influences and his astonishingly supportive grandmother.
1. Obviously, you’re up on a lot of local bands. Which ones are you a fan of?
“There is so much talent here. I’ll try to narrow it down to a few of my favorites that are currently active: Me Like Bees, Antennas Up, Heroes and Villains, Saint Lux, La Guerre, Beautiful Bodies, the Supernauts, the Caves, Ha Ha Tonka, the ACBs. There is way too much talent happening in this city to fit in this answer.”
2. Do you have a favorite local release of the year?
“Antennas Up’s ‘The Awkward Phase.’ Dance party central.”
3. What’s the album that has influenced you the most and why?
“Glassjaw, ‘Worship and Tribute.’ I discovered that album in high school, I believe. I was still young behind the drum kit, and it opened me to a new world of playing. I had that CD on repeat ’til it self-destructed into a smoldering pile of lava.”
4. What’s the first album you bought with your own money? What made you want to buy it?
“No idea (obviously it stuck out). But I won a contest on the radio in fourth grade to choose any CD. And I picked the Foo Fighters’ self-titled album because I idolized my brother, and he suggested it. I listened to that till it wore out, too.”
5. What’s an album you’ve never gotten tired of listening to? Why?
“Third Eye Blind’s self-titled album is and always has been a perfect pop gem. Especially the last few songs on the record. Hate me for it if you want, but ‘Motorcycle Drive By’? Come on.”
6. What’s the most recent album you’ve fallen in love with?
“Patrick Sweany’s ‘Every Hour Is A Dollar Gone.’ It’s bluesy rock that comes from the same scene in Ohio that the Black Keys came from. I fell in love with it because it bleeds blues and thumps rock ’n’ roll.”
7. What kind of music did your parents listen to when you were growing up? Did that have a big effect on the kind of music you eventually began listening to?
“My mom was a professional harpist, and I was home-schooled most of my childhood, so I did school on the couch while listening to her practice. My dad listened to mostly Native American music and blues. When I was little, it wasn’t Applebee’s, it was B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ and players like Little Hatch. You can’t help but be affected by what you grow up listening to. Maybe you love it or hate it at the time, but eventually it becomes a part of you.”
8. I’ve heard that your grandmother attends all of your shows, which is super awesome. What’s it like having her there?
“Both my mother and 90-we-won’t-say-year-old grandmother attend almost every show we play in town. To have that kind of support from family in the pursuit of your dreams, even when it means entering the world rock ’n’ roll lives in? Simply amazing. My mother tells me that Grandma doesn’t like getting ready to go much of anywhere, with one exception. When she knows she’s going to see her grandson play, she gets excited and sings about it while she gets ready. I can’t explain what that kind of love means to me.”