Blueprints from the Midwest

By Andi Berlin
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Architects have frequent run-ins with the law, play music on the side

The Architects sing about something that just about every Tucsonan can relate to. If you've ever driven a car, been to a party, or taken in a breath of air, you've probably done it with the permission of the police department.

Lead singer Brandon Phillips has a history. Originally from a questionable neighborhood in Kansas City, Mo., Phillips is used to the constant watchful eye of the police hanging over his head.

Phillips has in fact been arrested twice. The first time was on the way to a show, when he got into an argument with a cop who pulled him over.

The second time involved six strippers and a hospital.

"We played at a birthday party that one of our friends was throwing for his wife," Phillips said. "It was two bands and six strippers. And I didn't know it beforehand, but the show was outdoors on the porch of the bar."

This bar was located across the street from the University of Kansas Medical Center.

"There was pretty good odds that we were definitely disturbing someone that was attempting to convalesce, or a surgeon who is attempting to do some complicated microscopic vascular procedure," Phillips said.

Most of the others managed to escape when the cops came, but Phillips found himself cornered, with a three-year old warrant out for his arrest. He and the owner of the bar spent time in the county jail that night.

This is particularly troubling because each of the Architects' members is holding a steady day job. The incident went on his record, but apparently it doesn't matter that much.

"You can't get a good job and be in a band," Phillips said.

A lot of the Architects' music has that Middle America theme. They are inspired by bands like AC/DC, The Who and Elvis Costello. Songs about corrupt local politicians and the stifling watch of the cops make the Architects' music easy to grab onto, much like that of their mentors.

Phillips recalls what seems like an annual holiday tradition, where somebody in his neighborhood undoubtedly gets loaded and fires a bullet into the air. It probably doesn't go over well with the

police, who are known to hover over the houses in helicopters.

"Anyone who lives in the city has some kind of experience with that," Phillips said.

The Architects had trouble with distribution problems on their last tour, but now they have a new distributor and nothing holding them back. On their next tour, they hope to travel around the country, and branch out from playing only Midwestern shows.

They owe a lot to their live show, and even do most of the songwriting at the studio itself. Phillips writes the lyrics.

"I just want to be able to write the best songs that we can write," Phillips said. "It's strictly about rock and roll for us."

The Architects will be playing tomorrow at the Surly Wench.