Charlie Brumley (of the Educated Guess) and Chris Phillips of (Bear Hive) move through Memorial Presbyterian Church as though eyes are on them. "I can't walk through his hallway by myself," says Phillips, as he checks behind and around Brumley and himself.
"It seems like it is haunted, but I've worked here until one in the morning, and I guarantee it's just old pipes and a loud heating system," explains Brumley, who cleans the church located on Skinker Boulevard for an hourly wage and for a free practice space for the second coming of his space rock opera, Chrono Man.
Above us, the "pipes" emit a loud groan that sounds less than auspicious. "I don't know, man. I've seen too many horror films to believe that's bad plumbing," Phillips counters. But Brumley insists, "I wouldn't get too scared. It took some time, but I got used to how freaky this place is at night." Brumley and Phillips have a height difference of a solid six or eight inches. They look like chess pieces, intended for different uses, but able to play the same game. Their rapport is that of two people who have grown comfortable in their bodies. Prior to Chrono Man, Brumley and Phillips knew little of each other. In the wake of months of preparation and that initial performance, they now ooze the appeal given off by good friends. The collaboration makes sense.
We find our seats in a room at the end of the very long, window-lined hallway. The noises still seep through the walls, but Brumley and Phillips are fresh out of Chrono Man" target="_blank">Chrono Man practice, and they're ready to explain why they chose to perform an encore of their successful rock opera.
"From the get-go I really only wanted to do one performance. Bu, because of the feedback and because of the amount of people that we were all hearing that wanted to see it, it absolutely felt worthwhile to do an encore performance," begins Brumley. He sinks lower into his chair and looks tuckered out as he pushes his spectacles back onto the bridge of his nose. "It seems like people absolutely appreciate musicians going for it. The big, crazy idea -- and trying it out. We just wanted to do something over the top and fun. Everyone just poured themselves into it. And people appreciate that so much work and effort went into something for people to enjoy."
The first Chrono Man performance was put on for a nearly sold-out crowd at Off Broadway this past June. "The last rehearsal we kept asking, 'Is it going to work? Are people going to show? If people do show up, are they going to care?'" recalls Phillips, who seems more at ease without the presence of ghoulish echoes. "And then being upstairs and getting the jitters before the show and hearing the energy and feeling the rumble of the crowd...then Eric [Peters] comes in and screams, 'AHHHHH! IT'S FUCKING PACKED!' It was like, 'OK, man, let's do this.' Then the lights went down."
Continue to page two for more.
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