If you hear the beats of a Kalamazoo-based band Fly Paper, you cannot help yourself but to start dancing. The groovy blues-rock sound is rich, deep, and soulful, and listening to it is an experience in itself. Formed in early 2011, Fly Paper has been winning listeners hearts with their energy, talent and distinctive sound ever since.
The three members of the band, Micaela Kinglsight, Ashley Ickes and Joe Chamberlin may seem to be an odd pairing, especially geographically (Micaela grew up mostly out West, Joe being raised in Indiana, and Ashley calling Kalamazoo home in her youth), but their deep musical roots make them an ideal trio. Micaela, who spent much of her youth touring with her musical family, was recording her first song at the age of five and performing concerts by the time she was only nine years old.
This passion for music only intensified when she relocated to Michigan in 1994, and has even been able to share this passion by teaching guitar at schools such as Kalamazoo College and Crescendo Academy of Music. Micaela recorded her first solo album “Still” in 2009, with the help of the Emerging Artist Grant she was awarded from the Gilmore Foundation. Also there to help produce and add a rock bassline to several songs was fellow Fly Paper bandmate, Joe Chamberlin.
Joe’s musical career started nearly as early as Micaela’s did; before deciding to switch over to the more mainstream sound of guitar at age 13, he was proficient at both violin and clarinet as a child. Before joining forces with Micaela, Joe added his modern rock sound to an astonishing number of bands, spending four years touring the West Coast with a band call Magic Theater before returning to the Midwest to lend his talents to The Bones Brothers.
Ashley Ickes, the musician responsible for the unique, energetic jazz-rock drums in Fly Paper’s songs, had an enthusiasm for music as a young age, as well. Growing up in Kalamazoo, Ashley began playing drums at age ten and, after realizing her passion for music, decided to study in the jazz program at Western Michigan University (from which she plans to graduate this month!). Like Micaela, Ashley also shares her love for her craft by teaching.
After adding Ashley to the mix, the trio knew they had created something special. On July 29th they launched their first album, which they self-produced, at Old Dog Tavern in Kalamazoo. The launch party drew quite a crowd, which was probably not of great surprise to the band: their following is so devoted to the music created by Fly Paper, that their first album was fan-funded! After the launch, the band immediately began a 14 show, cross country tour to play to the fans that helped make their dreams a reality.
And these live shows are exactly what Fly Paper thrives on. Joe says, “Fly Paper is all about making music that people will get excited about. Music that they’ll want to see live. The live show is always just a little bit different, depending on the night and the audience. The band hopes everyone will leave the show looking forward to the next time we come to
Fly Paper plans to make a music video, take another tour and produce a second album. Fly Paper fans have plenty to be excited about in the future of this great trio! ~Hayley Serr, Feature Writer
Check out the Fly Paper webpage to get a copy of debut album, and be sure like them on Facebook!