After a FREAKABOUT! show, there is usually a good chance one of Cortney Kirby’s band mates will receive a Facebook message from an adoring male fan, inquiring about her marital status.
“If anyone talks to Cortney, it’s to talk to Cortney. If anyone talks to us, it’s to talk to Cortney,” said Aaron Galvan, the band’s guitarist.
Kirby’s good looks, bluesy vocals and flirtatious attitude on stage capture attention. But the men in the band – Galvan, Alex Drvol and Zach Zoellner – don’t seem to mind. They’re all here to make music.
And music they make.
“We describe ourselves as a mix between Hanson and Insane Clown Posse,” Galvan said.
“Or Dixie Chicks gone Teletubbies with a little bit of Axel Rose.” Kirby added.
“We’re like Aaron Neville, only softer,” Galvan said.
They also keep lightheartedness as part their image.
What they really are a mix of Drvol’s death metal, Galvan’s ’80s hairband rock’n’roll, Zoellner’s hip-hop jazz and Kirby’s blues influences.
The varied influences each member brings help to create an overall rock sound. But they want you to take that with a grain of salt, as “rock” has very different interpretations. Instead, they’d rather you decide for yourself.
“If people give us a chance, I feel like they’ll like us,” Galvan said. “If anything, you’ll have fun at our shows because you can move to it a little bit.”
The band, which formed a little over a year ago, has already made a name for itself in Lincoln and at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln – a name they hope to keep buzzing.
They’ve played at venues such as the Bourbon Theatre, Duffy’s Tavern, Knickerbockers and the Zoo Bar, among others. Earlier in the semester, they played outside the union for the “Stay Alive for Another Ride Campaign.”
Last March, the band toured the West Coast, playing in various venues from Seattle to Santa Monica, Calif.
But it all began at UNL.
Really, it all began with scrambled eggs. Kirby and Galvan were cooking eggs and hanging out with friends one night when one of their mutual friends suggested they sing together. For the following weeks, Galvan bugged Kirby to play. Eventually she agreed to “jam.” During their first practice, they were able to write a couple of songs.
Kirby’s vocals and Galvan’s guitar-playing needed a drummer to form a rock band. They chose 20-year-old Zoellner. Drvol joined shortly after as the bassist.
The band soon hit the music scene, one it found welcoming with help from All My Friends Are Dinosaurs whom they refer to as their “big brother band.” During their year in the Lincoln music scene, they’ve maintained a sense of community by performing with bands differing from their sound, while encouraging people to come out to shows.
“Come to the show because you’re bound to like at least one of the bands, even if you don’t like us,” Galvan said.
After they tackle the Lincoln music scene, band members said they hope to make a career with their music. For Zoellner and Galvan, the band has given them purpose, something to be a part of and motivation to pursue their musical talents and dreams.
For Kirby, creating music helped her find herself.
“It’s totally freed me,” she said. “I used to think that, ‘oh, I’m a girl and I went to a catholic school, so I have to be in a sorority and do everything that girls do.’ Then I was like, ‘No, I like rock ‘n’ roll. I like getting a little nitty-gritty and letting my dark side show.’ I have one; I’m human. It’s exhilarating. It’s given me a better perspective of myself and who I want to become.”
And the band does hope to become something.
When asked what venue to play at would be considered their pinnacle, Kirby replied with, “Red Rocks,” Zoellner said, “Madison Square Garden” and Galvan responded, “Wembley Stadium.”
“Those are some gigantic dreams,” Galvan said. “The way technology is going, I want to do some straight-up ‘Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century’ stuff. Play the space station.”
“Zoom, zoom, zoom” Kirby added.
“I can guarantee you if we do play on the space station, we will cover ‘Zoom Zoom Zoom,’” Galvan said.
“My supernova girl!” Kirby sang in response.
FREAKABOUT! is made of characters, rather than band members. There’s Kirby, the spunky lead vocalist who can work the crowd. Zoellner is “Nebraska’s Travis Barker,” as Kirby put it, with his over-the-top drumming. Galvan gets in the zone, and when he does, “gold” exudes from his instrument. And Drvol uses his talent to perform whatever his bandmates throw out at him, sometimes the show is his practice, because he does not live in Lincoln.
In essence they’re a young band full of passion.
Galvan added, “If you have a fallback plan, then you’re not committed to your plan.”