The band Kansas is anything but the occasional throwback in your iTunes library. They’re a legendary, world-famous, music machine that has continued touring, playing, and writing for the past 30+ years. With a new album, Miracles out of Nowhere, a new nationwide tour, and a new, behind-the-scenes documentary, call them anything but The Oldies. Kansas rocks the “Live Music Capital of the World” August 20th in Dell Hall, and trust us when we say we are ready to rock!
So, what has kept the band on the road and in the studio for so long? For Phil Ehart, the answer is simple, “We can’t find any reason to end the music.” UltimateClassicRock.com sat down with the rock and roll band earlier this year to discuss the music, the memories, the movie, and what’s more.
When Brendan O’Brien first heard Kansas‘ ‘Song for America,’ he was stunned. O’Brien, now known for his work as a producer with AC/DC, Pearl Jam, Aerosmith and Bruce Springsteen, says that 1975 album “sounded so complicated to me and so difficult.” Listening intently, O’Brien analyzed what he was hearing and thought to himself, “That must have taken a year to do this, but it’s only been nine or 10 months. How did that work? They’ve been on the road.”
Kansas drummer Phil Ehart says that O’Brien — who later worked directly with the group as an engineer on the band’s 1988 album ‘In The Spirit Of Things’ — wasn’t alone in his thinking. During a conversation with Ultimate Classic Rock, Ehart said “most people were way off” in regards to the length of time that the group spent recording the album. “I think we recorded that in like a month,” he says. “We just went in and knocked it out, and went back on the road. In fact, we did ‘Song For America’ at the beginning of ‘75 and we did ‘Masque’ at the end of ‘75. We did two albums in the same year.”
Kansas achieved a lot of seemingly impossible things during their early years, reaching a level of success that hardly seemed likely for six guys from Topeka. That’s the story revealed in the appropriately titled ‘Miracles Out of Nowhere,’ a new film that celebrates the 40th anniversary of this legendary group.
‘Miracles Out Of Nowhere’ traces the building process that was involved in making Kansas an international success, focusing on the group’s first five albums — from their 1974 self-titled debut through ‘Point Of Know Return’ in 1977. Featuring new interviews with all six original members of Kansas, the film also includes additional insights from fans like O’Brien, Garth Brooks and Brian May of Queen.