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Vehicles: Finding Happiness With 'Bluebird'

Courtesy photo

Musicians Kerry Bainum and Cody Cloud have played in bands together for more than 15 years. When it looked like their current band, Vehicles, was on the verge of collapse a few years ago, the two friends decided that instead of letting the band come to an abrupt end, as they’d done in the past, they’d keep it together. After all, Cloud says, a new band always faces serious challenges when it tries to get off the ground.

“It’s a matter of momentum," he says. "Who wants to lose momentum? The heart and soul of the band is still here—me and the drummer, so why not keep going?”

Credit Courtesy photo

Cloud says that when it came time to write material for the band’s third album, This Bluebird Wants Me Dead, he didn’t have to look far for inspiration. Just as his band was beginning to fall apart, he says, he sensed that his personal life was also teetering on the edge.

“I was drinking a little too much," he says. "A lot of my band members had problems with this and let me know that. So I just started writing songs about it and my wife—she’s a therapist—so of course she was helping me see the way.”

With the new material ready to record, Cloud and company turned to a couple of seasoned musical pros—their friend and onetime bandmate Wayne Spriggs and recording engineer Micajah Ryan, a fixture on the Wichita music scene whose past credits include work with Guns N’ Roses, Bob Dylan and Megadeth.

“He said, ‘You gotta have world class recordings.’ Money kind of dictates what you can do," Cloud says. "The new record… money and time wasn’t such a constraint. So we could spend a lot of time. Plus Micajah knows how to make guitars sound.”

With This Bluebird Wants Me Dead ready for release, Cloud says he’s had some time to think about his nearly 20 years in the Wichita music scene and his own band’s longevity within that.

“I’ve played long enough to know that the music scene changes about every three or four years," he says. "I have no idea who the bands are and you have to get out there and meet new people and kind of evolve as it evolves. Sometimes it’s frustrating when you have good friends who aren’t going to play anymore and you have good relationships that go away. You just have to keep pushing. Keep pushing. Don’t give up, I guess.”

Vehicles celebrates the release of This Bluebird Wants Me Dead on Saturday, Feb. 22 at Lucky’s Everyday.

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.