Bully Pulpit is starting to feel like they may be struck with a non-lethal version of Spinal Tap syndrome. When the City Paper profiled the band back in July, they were settling in with new drummer David Bair, who had replaced original member Lawrence John when he moved to Asheville earlier this year. But just recently, Bair decided he’d rather live in the mountains too.
Bair’s relocation has definitely been inconvenient for the remaining members of Bully Pulpit, bassist Kelly Burt, singer Danny Kavanaugh, and guitarist Rex Stickel. As a result, they’ve had to cancel a bunch of shows. Kavanaugh’s not sweating it too much though. “The drummer thing will work itself out,” he says. “We’ve gone through members before, so this isn’t unexpected crazy shit put in our lap.”
Back when John split in the spring, he basically dumped Bair into Bully Pulpit’s lap. Bair’s group, the Shaniqua Brown, had just broken up, and he already knew most of Bully Pulpit songs since they’d played so many shows together. Plus Bully Pulpit and the Shaniqua Brown shared a practice space; Bair’s drums were already set up and ready to go.
For their new drummer, Kavanaugh’s hopes are pretty simple. “Just somebody who wants to do it,” he says. “Somebody that ain’t blowin’ smoke up our ass, feeling like they’re doing us a favor or something.”
Bully Pulpit has two shows scheduled through the end of the year: Thurs. Nov. 8 at the Tin Roof (with Thunderlip) and Dec. 14 at the Sparrow. Ocean Industries Studios’ Eric Rickert has been hired to play the first gig. For now, the band’s going to wait until January before they start booking heavily again. Bully Pulpit’s New Year’s resolution: Find a new drummer.
“When your friends come up to you and say this is going down, you choose one of two paths: become the enemy or continue to be a friend,” Stickel says. “We’re still friends with everybody. We’re looking for a relationship, not just a fling.”