Thrashers, headbangers, and rockers get ready. Mouthbreathers have returned.

One of the rowdiest local bands in recent history is back from hiatus, and they’re throwing down on Monday at the Taproom. The band took a brief break when frontman Kyle Gowdy moved to Atlanta. When he came back to Lawrence a year later, the very first order of business was calling up bandmates Brad Shanks, Derek Solsberg, and Zach Campbell. For Gowdy, it was only natural. “I didn’t think it was every really done, so it made sense to keep it going when I got back,” says Gowdy. He handed over a couple of demos, they scheduled some practices, and come Monday they’ll destroy your eardrums in the Taproom basement. “It was easy. I just fell back into it.”

The next order of business after Monday’s show will be to put another record together. For Gowdy, falling into the rhythm of performing and recording signals a sense of normalcy he’s been yearning for lately. “I just want to get back to where we were before I left,” he says. “I’m trying to do as much as I can do. Play music with different people, just sort of work on myself and try to figure out what I want to do… where am I going to be when I’m thirty.”

While Gowdy is trying to put his musical career back in order, the band’s fans have been foaming at the mouth awaiting their return. Very rarely is there such a large hole left behind when a band leaves. But this isn’t just any band. This is Mouthbreathers. Going to their shows is an experience you have to thrust your entire body into. Fans take note of every song, when to appropriately thrash out, and how best to destroy any and all objects surrounding them. “I think the fans we have are really great. A crowd with no energy literally sucks the energy out of me, and it makes for a really long set,” Gowdy admitted. “So I love it when people go ape shit and throw beer cans at us. That’s the best kind of crowd. We’re both feeding off of each other’s energy, and it can get really crazy.”

While the relationship with their fans remains strong, the bond between the members of Mouthbreathers is undeniably unbreakable. “I’ve built this relationship with these other three people. It’s something that makes us all feel good and accomplished,” Gowdy says. “You get to express creativity. There’s really nothing we need more than that.”

You can see exactly how strong that is when Mouthbreathers play the Taproom on Monday, March 24. They’ll be joined by Useless Eaters, a punk band out of Memphis.

Words and photos by Fally Afani



Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

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