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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Midwest rock band Social Cinema talks inspiration for first album at Halloween Bash

Artists and fans dressed as witches, superheroes and Patrick Star gathered in the historic Odd Fellow Hall to dance to a diverse lineup of alternative rock bands.

Social Cinema, made up of members from Wichita and Lincoln, Nebraska, hosted the Halloween Bash as one stop on their tour across several states, spanning Washington to Oklahoma.

Touring along with Social Cinema is Utah-based group, Sunfish, whose music has been described as alternative synth-rock.

The show was kicked off by Wichita-based Surf Machine, followed by another Wichita-based band and last-minute addition to the lineup, Flake.

The audience was invited to attend in Halloween costumes and some of the artists also got in on the optional dress code, donning masks, makeup and in the case of Flake’s frontman Blake Loggans, a minion costume complete with goggles and overalls.

Social Cinema, which emerged in 2021 from the fusion of Wichita-based band Kill Vargas and Lincoln, Nebraska-based Death Cow, played songs from across their three-year career together, many of which appear on their singles compilation, “It’s Nice to Meet You” released on Oct. 13.

According to drummer Logan Bush, the compilation includes tracks released this year, as well as two new songs, and on vinyl, several bonus tracks.

“The goal was to do as many different sounds and kind of go different places and just show people what we can do as kind of an introduction,” Bush said.

Mari Crisler, the band’s keyboardist, back-up vocalist and guitar player said the merge of the two bands has caused their music to evolve too.

“We were both more rock bands and kind of  just heavier and harder and Social Cinema is more easy on the ears sometimes, but it’s still got an edge to it,” she said.

Bush said his brother, the band’s singer and songwriter, Griffin Bush, takes influence from indie and alternative rock bands like the Strokes, Arctic Monkeys and the Wallows, while Logan looks to punk music as inspiration for the band’s operations.

“I like punk rock bands because they’re very DIY and they take charge themselves and book their own tours,” he said.

Bush also said he sees this ethos in bands across the Midwest and other areas where artists play without the support of a large music industry.

“It’s not LA or it’s not New York so there’s no, ‘oh, we might get famous,’ so everyone’s just doing it for the love of playing music.”

The singles compilation was also a way for the group to put out music within the first years after the band’s formation, without limiting them to a specific sound or concept.

“We weren’t really making an album because we were just putting music out and then at the end, we just put it together. So it wasn’t the pressure of, ‘we’ve got to make sure it flows and we’ve got to make sure the tracklist is right and everything,” he said.

The band said they are planning to release their first full-length album sometime this year, as well as some singles, which are already in the works. They also plan to continue touring, playing with other underground and indie bands across the country.

According to Crisler, the bands they meet on tour enhance the way they perform.

“You watch the other band and how they move on stage and then you’re like, ‘I see that I’m stealing that,” she said. “You kind of just become an amalgamation of every person that you see.”

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About the Contributors
Ainsley Smyth, Reporter
Ainsley Smyth is a second-year reporter for The Sunflower. Smyth is a sophomore communications major with an emphasis in journalism and media productions. Her dream job is to travel back in time 30 years and then be a reporter for Rolling Stone. Smyth uses she/her pronouns.
Monique Bever, Reporter
Monique Bever is a first-year reporter and photographer. She is a freshman majoring in philosophy. Monique has lived in Wichita for most of her life. She loves film, fashion, and her cat.

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