The Opportunists and Colonel Rhodes call it quits

This July, we bid goodbye to Colonel Rhodes and The Opportunists, two outstanding local bands that never got as much attention as they deserve. Buzz took time out for a five-question interview with Opportunists drummer Arun Bhalla.

buzz: For the history books: Who are, and were, The Opportunists?
Arun: The Opportunists are two drummers (Meghan Krausch and myself) and two guitarists (Miranda O’Dell and Cyrus Pireh). We formed in January 2004, and our last performance will be this Saturday.

buzz: There will be a posthumous CD release, right?
Arun: It’s our hope and intent that a CD release of our collected works will coincide with our final show, but that may be a bit ambitious. We recorded our songs this spring, with Cyrus doing the engineering. Cyrus is also mixing down the songs, and his recent move to NYC has slowed down that work. I still expect that the CD will be ready this Saturday, though.

buzz: Going into this show, what has been your best show experience (together) to date?
Arun: It’s hard to pick just one, and I must say we’ve been thankful that the Women’s Booking Collective and Dave Domal have both been so supportive of us. Our second-to-last show, which would have been our last show if not for the energy and support that enabled this show in July, was at Mike ‘n Molly’s (upstairs), and that felt just right to all of us. This weekend’s show will be our third at Mike ‘n Molly’s. This one will be in the beer garden, but the other two were upstairs, and there’s something about that room that has great rock energy. The room is narrow, the ceiling is low, the lighting is dim, and the drums easily fill the room.

It’s always fun to play shows there, and then Dave Domal has the knack of bringing together three very different yet complementary bands for a show.

buzz: Dave rocks.
Arun: It’s true!

buzz: Anything out of the ordinary prepared for this show?
Arun: I’m afraid I’d have to keep that under wraps. I’m hoping that we’ll have the CD ready then, and that in itself will be extraordinary for us, and perhaps we’ll have some surprises involving the CD.

buzz: You and Cyrus have been in myriad bands before. What is next for the four of you?
Arun: Cyrus is now a street musician on the streets and subways of NYC. Only time will tell what happens to me next. We hope that Miranda will continue to perform. I wouldn’t be too surprised if Meghan and Cyrus continue to collaborate in NYC.

buzz: Any other thoughts?
Arun: It’s been challenging playing in a band like this, with two drummers and no bassist, but it’s also been great fun, and I hope that anyone who hasn’t had a chance to see us yet would come check us out this Saturday. At times we’re approximately twice as loud as most rock bands, so be sure to bring earplugs.

Because The Opportunists have always emphasized the issue of gender balance in rock ‘n’ roll, Buzz also spoke to guitarist Miranda O’Dell, who informed us that people who make it out to the show “will be cooler and sexier” because they will get to see three great, gender-balanced bands.

Colonel Rhodes are also saying goodbye because of band members moving. Buzz spoke to Redford-esque guitarist Seth Hubbard about the move.

“We knew when we started this band last August that it might only be able to stay together for one year,” Hubbard remarked via e-mail. ” We had hopes that it would last longer, but the reality is that it is hard to have people put off making major life decisions for a virtually unknown band. We have had an amazing time over the past year and have gotten to play some great shows. After our last show on July 23, we will be breaking up. Liz is moving to Cincinnati to pursue a career in theater, Dave is moving to Nashville, and Robert is moving to Seattle.”

The band has morphed from alt-country into slicker, female-fronted ’60s-styled pop, and Hubbard says it will experience another change. The music will continue under a different name.

“Matt and I are planning on starting a new band once everyone has moved away. It is a downer to have this end, but hopefully with a new project it will generate some creativity and hopefully some good music.”

The Opportunists will play their final show this Saturday at Mike ‘n Molly’s. Headlining are “please-don’t-call-them-Primus” scenester trio Triple Whip, and Cameo Turret open. The show begins at 10 p.m. with a $4 cover.

The final Colonel Rhodes show will take place July 23 at Mike ‘n Molly’s. Rhodes will headline with performances by Fitzgerald and Nick Africano, all for a $4 cover. The show begins at 10 p.m. Colonel Rhodes will also appear live on WEFT-FM 90.1 Monday, July 18 at 10 p.m.

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