That old familiar bar smell strikes you as you enter the room. A smell of calming mix of magically elixirs that soothe the soul. Pegasi is taking the stage now. The members are Chris Shaner as vocals and percussionist. Reece Bartron, backs with lead and rhythm guitars. While the all important keyboardist Zac Shaner (Shane Wray) and bass guitarist set up the stage. Devon Hanna is setting up his drum kit in the corner.
Soon, the band starts to play their hits that pack a blues and psychedelic rock sound. Pegasi’s fans dance and jam to the music as the set progresses. So much passion is put into this set, you can feel it through the music. This passion energizes the crowd and sets the Boobie Trap alight with it.
After the set finishes, Examiner had a few questions for this young band.
Elicia Marie -What is Pegasi?
That’s actually probably the hardest question you can ask us. We’re constantly trying to define Pegasi ourselves, and that’s what keeps the music going. What we know so far is that we’re a band from Topeka, KS.
Who came up with the name and what is the significance to the band?
I think it was Reece (our guitarist). Originally, our music was going to have more of a spacey, otherworldly type sound. 51 Pegasi b was the first planet discovered outside our solar system, so Reece suggested “Pegasi 51,” which we ended up shortening to just “Pegasi.”
Who are the band members and what do they play?
I’m Chris Shaner. I do lead vocals and occasionally play rhythm guitar when needed.
Reece Bartron is our designated lead guitarist.
Zac Shaner (my brother) plays bass but occasionally writes for guitar as well.
Devon Hanna is the drummer.
How long have you been playing together?
About a year.
You guys, Pegasi are from Topeka. Can you tell me where you learned to play music here in the city? Was it a local music shop?
All of us are self-taught. Reece got the hang of performing from playing at Speck’s open jam here in town. Zac, Devon and I were all involved in our high school music program but didn’t really have much live playing experience beforehand.
How does the band describe their style of music?
That really depends on who you ask. Reece changes his opinion on our official “style” every other day, but overall I’d say we’re mostly hard/psychedelic rock with some progressive and blues elements.
Who writes the lyrics?
So far, Zac has written all of our originals that we perform, but the idea is to eventually get everyone involved in the writing process.
Where do you pull the inspiration for those lyrics? What do you write about?
Zac can answer this one:
“I would say my lyrics are, in a way, like any other band’s. While unique, they cover topics everyone (the listener) can fundamentally relate to, but at the end of the day, it’s all a reflection of the writer’s own life and experiences. My best lyrics tend to be those written during or after the more emotional turns in my life, from breakups to existential crises, to the moral debates and philosophical issues that keep me up at night. I try to take the darker moments and turn them into something good we can all use.”
What is the overall message or meaning behind your music?
I wouldn’t say there’s any one specific message or meaning, beyond what Zac already mentioned.
Have you recorded any music?
Zac’s built a pretty impressive recording setup in our practice area, so we’ve done a few demos, but we haven’t had anything professionally recorded.
Do you have any albums or any songs or videos online? If so, where can we see them?
Our demos for “Lost” and “A Broken Mind” are on SoundCloud. There’s also a really old Stevie Ray Vaughan cover on there, I think.
You have a video for the song “Lost”. Where was that recorded? Who produced it for you guys?
I’d almost forgotten about the video for “Lost.” It was really a spur-of-the-moment type thing Zac shot in our basement practice area one day.
Who came up with the concept of the video?
Zac wanted to have a promotional-type video since we had just recorded the song. He’s the one who was doing all the camera angles and editing.
Do you have any plans for future music videos?
Not in the immediate future, but we were talking about how it would be cool to eventually film some kind of video for our “House of the Rising Sun” cover. We were thinking about using the train tracks near NOTO for the setting.
If you could make a music video with any resources, what would we see? What would the theme or story be? (Get creative)
If we did do “House,” I would have it shot in a film noir style. Dark overall, a few strategically placed lights, and it would have flashbacks going through the subject’s life and everything that led him up to that point. The ending shot would just be him leaving on the train he mentions.
If you could play at any festival what would it be and why?
Lollapalooza, and everyone else agrees. I love the alternative music scene. Devon also said Coachella.
Do any of the members have any hidden talents? If so can you elaborate? What pumps the band up before performing a live show?
Zac plays like 15 instruments, including the saw. The actual saw. He also does the audio recording and mixing for both Pegasi and his solo projects.
Devon produces EDM and is really good at it.
Reece is great with computers, he’s an IT professional.
Until we started this band, I would have said singing WAS my hidden talent, but I guess it isn’t all that hidden anymore.
What band would Pegasi love to share the stage with?
We all agree it would have been pretty awesome to have played alongside Led Zeppelin.