Interviews ByrneKlay*(KT Nichols -AnchorStarPhotography)1

Published on December 4th, 2012 | by Ballard Lesemann


The Punch List with Byrne Klay

Metronome Charleston‘s weekly Punch List puts local musicians on the spot with a questionnaire that touches on music, venues, gear, records, vices, and more. This week, bassist, banjo player, and vocalist Byrne Klay of Megan Jean and the Klay Family Band takes a turn.

1. What is your favorite local hang and why?

“The Tin Roof in West Ashley because it is a catchall for some excellent people.”

2. You know you’ve played an excellent show when…

“There’s plenty of lewd dancing.”

3. What was the last show you attended that really got you fired up in a good or bad way?

“When I was 18, I saw the drummer Milford Graves play a real high-energy set on the Hudson River in New York City.  It was unlike anything I had ever seen before, and it changed the way I hear and feel music. That experience has been tough to beat. But there was this one time in New York where I saw a young woman resembling a young Claudia Schiffer singing horribly out of tune about a severe flea infestation in her home. At that time, I knew I wouldn’t see anything this absurd for a while. Once upon a time, I toured with a punk band to Tokyo and had some freshly shaved pubic hair thrown at me by the bass player from another band. But that wasn’t so much about the music…”

Megan Jean and the KFB (KT Nichols /Anchor Star Photography)

Megan Jean and the KFB (KT Nichols /Anchor Star Photography)

4. Define your musical style in exactly 10 words.

“Poorly imitating whatever music catches my ear at the moment.”

5. What’s your theme song?

“‘Hole in My Soul’ by MDC.”

6. Gear-wise, what’s is your irreplaceable baby?

“A good worker never blames his tools, but my 1940 Kay OM upright bass would be tough to replace.”

7. What’s the most overplayed album in your collection?

“I could listen to the songs ‘You Dropped the Bomb on Me’ by the Gap Band and ‘Bad Mamma Jamma’ by Carl Carlton on repeat all day. Angel Dust by Faith No More is a record that I come back to a lot and really love. Stop Making Sense by Talking Heads is another album I came across at an impressionable age and will always hold dear.”

8. When was the last time you were genuinely star-struck?

“Megan and I played at Dragon Con in Atlanta last August. Don Rosa, who wrote and illustrated my favorite comic book of all time — The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck — had his booth right by our stage. We traded a CD for a signed print. I turned into a babbling idiot.”

9. What’s your poison?

“Tootsie Pops.”

10. In 10 years, I will be…

“Doing alright.”

Byrne Klay and his wife and bandmate, singer/guitarist/percussionist Megan Jean Glemboski, have been traveling around the Unite States in their Honda Element and playing their gypsy-jazzy and countrified blues-rock at clubs and festivals. They recently raised enough money through a Kickstarter campaign to finance a lengthy studio session at the Jam Room in Columbia. The forthcoming collection, titled The Devil Herself, follows the duo’s acclaimed debut Dead Woman Walking.

Megan Jean and the Klay Family and share the stage with old buddies Blair Crimmins and the Hookers at the Pour House on Sun. Dec. 9. at 8 p.m. Visit for more.

Top photo by KT Nichols /Anchor Star Photography.



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About the Author

Ballard Lesemann

is a musician and writer. Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., he spent years playing in bands and working for Flagpole Magazine in the bustling music town of Athens, Ga. He returned to his hometown and served more than seven years as the Charleston City Paper's music editor. He's better at drumming than he is at playing guitar.

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