Local rock band Invisible Bike has been seen and heard at venues around town for nearly a year now, but a new opportunity will widen their exposure and their musical horizons.
Invisible Bike is playing a role in the Ad Astra Theatre Ensemble’s production of, “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” on stage at Helen Hocker Theatre, 700 Zoo Parkway in Gage Park, August 9-12.
Ask Invisible Bike drummer Jason Degenhardt to describe the play, and the intrigue begins, “It’s a punk rock, wild west story-telling about Andrew Jackson.”
Degenhardt, who is also on the board for Ad Astra Theatre Ensemble, says when he heard this play would be part of their 2012 season that he knew his band had to be involved. Having been involved in theatre for many years, he felt this would be the perfect marriage of two of his interests.
Invisible Bike was formed two years ago and (in addition to Degenhardt on drums) includes Austen Bunyar on lead vocals, Patrick Unrein on lead guitar, and bassist Jason Finson, who also has a theatre background. For the play, the band added Jon Lothenore on piano, who is the regular accompanist for Ad Astra.
Degenhardt said one of Ad Astra’s goals is to support the community by performing at different venues around town, raising awareness about what Topeka has to offer while, as stated on their website, “producing new and interesting works of theatre.” Degenhardt feels using a local band fits nicely with their mission to source local talent.
Personally, Degenhardt says the experience has been, “… comfy, convenient and fun. The band has had to learn new theories of music, it is stretching us a bit.” Asked how it will affect the band in the future, he says, “Anytime you work together it makes the bonds stronger. Who knows how that will influence our future songwriting?”
While the bands own horizons are being expanded, Degenhardt is also excited about the exposure for Invisible Bike. “I always tell my theatre friends to check out my rock band. Now I can bring the rock band to them and hopefully draw Invisible Bike fans to the theatre.”