Nate Kinsella is the kind of rockstar that Johnny Cash would envy. The Make Believe drummer/keyboardist recently spent several months in an Oklahoma jail cell, having been charged with outraging public decency after taking off his shorts on-stage and ringing them out over the crowd. This was at a Christian youth venue, by the way.
Of Course was recorded in the weeks preceding Kinsella's brief sentence, and the band – particularly their soon-to-be incarcerated guitarist – play its disjointed rhythms with passion. It's obvious that Make Believe isn't just a side project for the members of Joan of Arc; it's a lifeline of sorts, a source of stability for a group of musicians who are constantly on the move.
Joan of Arc uses multiple members to create the band's cacophonous pop symphonies, but Make Believe is a trim 'n' fit quartet of bass, guitar, drums, keyboards, and vocals. Frontman Tim Kinsella has relinquished his guitar for this project, and his eccentric presence at the mic gives a visual parallel to the deliberately off-kilter music. The songs are quirky and challenging, with polyrhythms and unhinged vocals often threatening to barrel out of control. These musicians are solid road warriors, though, having toured the country for the better half of two decades in support of their various bands. They have a tight hold on their craft, and this Northsix performance proves that Tim Kinsella's songwriting can't be diluted – no matter how many different bands he joins. Believe it.
- Andrew Leahey
In 2003, the experimental rock band Joan of Arc
hit the road for another tour. This time, the group's ever-rotating lineup consisted of singer Tim Kinsella, guitarist Sam Zurick, bassist Bobby Burg, and drummer/keyboardist Nate Kinsella. The band returned to Chicago after three months of touring. It was agreed that they should continue playing together, but not under the Joan of Arc moniker. The group christened itself Make Believe instead.
Their first full-length, Shock of Being
, was released in Fall 2005, and sophomore effort Of Course
followed one year (to the very day) after.