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    At the going rate, it will soon be impossible NOT to hear drummer Lamar Cornett playing. Cornett plays in seven different bands in Louisville: loud punk rock/dance pop group, Jack Holiday and The Westerners, an instrumental orchestral rock band called In Lightning, rock band Brother Wolves, blues/r&b/soul cover band Muddy Walters, L.A. style roots rock band Late Night Epiphany, improvisational group The Human Project, and a new hip hop project yet to be named. Out of breath? He’s not. “It’s just like breathing or eating to me, man. It’s just something I do.”

    On November 8, Louisville will have the chance to see Lamar in action with six of his seven bands at Lamarfest, hosted at Tim Faulkner Gallery. Lamarfest will not only celebrate Cornett’s birthday, but some of the “best musicians” he plays with on the regular. If he does say so himself, “Lamarfest is going to be the shit, man.” caught up with the mad man earlier this week to talk his self-titled festival. How did you come to be in seven different bands? Do you have a problem saying ‘no’?
    Lamar: "I had quit playing music completely for a couple years. I was jaded on the whole thing. Then, when I got back into it, I decided I was just going to go for it. I tried out for three or four different bands in one week. They were all like, “Yeah, you’re in the band,” so I stayed with it. I play compulsively. It’s just like breathing or eating to me, man, it’s just something I do."
 What’s it like juggling all seven bands?
    Lamar: "Mostly it’s frustrating for the other people I play with. I’m not exactly sure who said it, it may have been Dave Grohl, but he said, 'Being in a band is like having four girlfriends.'"
 So they get jealous of one another?
    Lamar: "Sometimes [jealousy] does become a thing. I’m on a first come first serve situation. If the band leader from In Lightning calls and says, 'we have a gig on this day,' and then five minutes later the band leader from Jack Holiday calls and says, 'hey can you play this?' I have to say 'sorry, man. I’ve already got this one booked.' That’s the only real trouble in it, but everyone is really understanding and accommodating."
 Do you ever feel like your creativity is stretched thin?
    Lamar: "All of the bands I am in are very different. That’s by design. I don’t want to get to a point where I feel like I’m going through the motions and can’t come up with something cool or fun to keep it interesting. Playing different kinds of music helps because I can apply what I am learning in a reggae band to a funk song."
 What’s your favorite part about playing in so many bands?
    Lamar: "Seven bands worth of drummer groupies [laughs]. Seriously, playing music is like having a super power and speaking a second language, all at the same time. I have the power to make you shake your ass. I can talk to a part of your brain that you can’t. Music is the best thing in the world."
 What got you into playing music?
    Lamar: "The town I grew up in was a small town called Middlesborrow (Kentucky). There wasn’t a whole lot of options. I could play Country music, church music, or heavy metal. I wasn’t into church music and country wasn’t my thing, so I started playing heavy metal. That’s where it got weird because there’s this mindset in a small town that if you’re a certain person you’re not suppose to do a certain kind of thing. As a black kid in a small town I wasn’t suppose to be into white music. Playing heavy metal, I kind of had to hide it for a while. Then one night, and this is one of those big inspirational music stories in my life, I was watching a rerun of SNL and Fishbone performed. They’re a loud, aggressive rock band, but they’re seven black guys from South Central L.A. I saw these guys going crazy on stage. I thought, “This is what I want to do.” They’re doing it, getting away with it and it’s not a thing for them. So it’s not going to be a thing for me anymore."
 What’s the craziest thing that’s happened in all of your years of being in a band?
    Lamar: "I was in this band when I was in my late teens, early 20s. We were playing at a field party back home and no one really seemed to be that interested, so on set break we all went behind the truck, got ass naked, and we played the second set. There was another show in a really, really small town. Super small like out in the middle of nowhere, some place I’d never heard of, Crab Orchard Springs. We were riding into town, it was raining and 60 degrees. Three dudes were standing on the side of the road with no shirts or shoes and no bullshit, a horse and buggy was riding down the street. I was just waiting for someone to pop up with a banjo [sounds out Deliverance riff]. We played for two people that might have had seven teeth between them. Both of them worked at the place we were playing, but I swear we played that show like it was for 5,000 people because that’s what you do."
 Are you hoping more than seven teeth show up to Lamarfest?
    Lamar: "Man, I would love it if we could get at least eight mouths full of teeth there."
 Where did the idea for Lamarfest come from?
    Lamar: "It happened on a whim after my birthday last year. My girlfriend and I were discussing what I wanted to do for my birthday this year because it’s a big one or whatever. I’d been drinking and was like, 'let’s get all the bands together and do one show.' Then I didn’t even think about it. I just said it and forgot about it. A few months later my girlfriend was like, 'I got the space booked.' So I talked to the bands and they were all ready to be a part of it. I was like, 'Cool. It’s going to be a big party.'"
 Has anyone called you crazy?
    Lamar: "A lot of people have been saying, 'I don’t know how you’re going to do that. You’re crazy man.' I was in marching band. We’d be outside for 12 hours with heavy drums on our backs every day for weeks at a time. I can handle sitting down, playing drums for six hours. That’s not to say it’s not going to be a challenge. That challenge is a large part of why I want to do it. To push myself to see if I can survive."
 Should people wear party hats or birthday suits?
    Lamar: "I would suggest wearing whatever you’re going to be comfortable dancing and jumping around in. Stuff you’re not going to mind getting sweaty. If you feel like having a really good time, we will have a body painter there. Go ahead and show up in whatever you want or whatever you don’t want."
 Admission is free?
    Lamar: "Oh yeah. I want to see as many faces as possible. If that means we don’t charge at the door then that’s what we’re doing. I want people to be there. Honestly, this is just as much about the really badass musicians I get to play with on the regular. It seems like a big vanity project, but it’s really because I get to play all this really cool music. I want a lot of people to hear as much of it as they can. A lot of people who come to an In Lightning show, might never take the time to check out a Jack Holiday show."

    Cover Photo Design by Will Seig

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    Loretta Lynn is the best country music singer of all time and if you don't like pickled foods, you can leave.

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