Brite Winter 2016 Artist Spotlight: Ageless Males

By Rachel Hunt

“We like to make people laugh,” Kyle Singleton smiles, reminiscing on playing Brite Winter in 2015 on the back patio of TownHall with his band Ageless Males. “We were playing around outside last year, trying to throw snowballs at each other and at our friend’s bands. We actually hesitated on that, but we really wanted to.” For a band that tells random jokes about Joe Biden in between songs, their music comes off as much more serious than their onstage banter.

The six songs on Ageless Males’ EP are nuanced and even somber despite lush, upbeat instrumentation, akin to music from Brand New or Band Of Horses. The songs seem to continue a theme of remaining unchanging through time. They capture a specificity of feeling more so than that of a moment, thoughts that must be universal to people navigating their way through periods of self-doubt. While the band’s name is something that readers can chuckle over on a surface level comparable to their likeable demeanor, their whole shtick is apparently being a double-edged sword, hiding double meaning not only in their name but also in their lyrics.

“I tend to write about how we, myself fully included, all give into simple selfish desires and impulses without thinking, an ‘it is what it is’ (type of mentality). Our new songs carry that theme, but the arrangements are a bit more expansive and less traditional,” Singleton elaborates on how the group’s new material has changed in the two years since the release of their self-titled EP, which was shortened to “A.M.”. They’ve also had the chance to play out several times over the last two years, something that they hadn’t even had the chance to do before recording their debut with Brad Puette, who has also worked with Marcus Alan Ward and the Cavaliers’ Iman Shumpert.

“For people who haven’t heard Ageless Males, you can listen to our album but we’re way different live,” says Singleton. “That’s why we love playing live; it’s a different energy. The songs and the dynamic are different, plus the newer material I’m pretty excited about.” This time around, Ageless Males are looking forward to tracking whatever they can fit into 24 hours with Jim Wirt and Jim Stewart at Crushtone Studios. They’ve also switched up their lineup to include Josh Bolin, an Akron-area bassist, and will be performing this year with Joe Prestier filling in on drums at Brite Winter in addition to Singleton and Zacj Drdek on guitar. “It was amazing,” Singleton says of Brite last season. “As a band, we really rehearsed hard for it. This was a big stage for us, even if it wasn’t the main stage. We had to play really tight and it was going to be freezing.”

They’re staying busy until the big day, opening up for Cleveland’s own Welshly Arms and Marcus Alan Ward on Friday, February 12, 2016 at Musica. It will be the perfect warm-up to Brite, though no one has to tell Singleton about the importance of staying toasty during this historically chilly time of year. “All of us had gone to past Brite Winters in previous years and we remembered how cold it was,” he says. “So I bought a hundred pack of hand warmers and put them in every possible place. We had two in our boots and one in our sock, two pairs of gloves and each side of the glove has a hand warmer, hand warmers taped on our arms. I was so warm and I was ready to go. We could manage the 30 minutes playing outside.”

Luckily, Ageless Males won’t have to play outdoors two years in a row; they are scheduled to play at The Cleveland Clothing Co. stage upstairs inside of the Music Box Supper Club at 8:50 p.m. this year, but they were still willing to offer those braving the outdoors that crucial piece of advice. “My favorite thing to do in Cleveland in the winter is Brite. I’m serious!” laughs Singleton. “Even if we weren’t playing it, it’s my favorite activity of the winter. I’m just psyched to play.”

Listen to Ageless Males on Bandcamp