Birds in the Boneyard, rock band first, parents of chickens second
by Suswana Chowdhury and Seth Cerrate
on May 19, 2017
Mikey and Petey Condoleon are proud fathers of Katie, Lou and Dixie, their Araucana hens who lay blue eggs in their backyard. But they're also the lead vocalists in their rock band, Birds in the Boneyard. They've combined classic rock, blues, jazz and pop to create a sound both vintage and new. Their music is reminiscent of the Beatles and a modern day Beach Boys.
The band went through various iterations before they formed their now trio with drummer Teo Vanovski. Finding a drummer was the cause of many arguments for the brothers initally but after meeting Teo through mutual friends and playing with him in a studio session, the three instantly clicked.
Petey commented, "It's hard to trust people you want to go far with." He added that while in the beginning he was only looking for someone to play drums with, he ended up "finding a friend too."
Teo said, "For me, the music has to be good and the people have to be cool, and with them it's both."
When Petey had approached Mikey in the summer of 2014 with the idea of forming Birds in the Boneyard, Mikey was at first hesistant because he was already in another band. "I didn't want to switch bands but Petey forced us all to do something different," Mikey said.
The real deciding moment happened during their first show at an Irish bar. The band, which at the time did not include Teo yet, had booked the show with very low expectations but ended up playing to an overcapacity audience. Mikey described, "I didn't know how many more people could possibly fit into this little place." He added, "It was a really magical feeling honestly and it was scary that I almost lost it."
For Petey, the show was also of great impact to him solidifying his desire to be a full-time musician. He commented that playing with Birds in the Boneyard was the first time he "played music from the heart."
Demetra Mantikas, cousin of the brothers', remembers a childhood memory from Greece as the first moment she knew Mikey and Petey would be great entertainers. All of the cousins had gathered around and the two put on a magic show. "I honestly thought Mikey could levitate for a really long time because his trick was that convincing" said Demetra. "Although at that time I didn't know they had musical inclinations, I thought entertaining was a natural born instinct for them."
The band has an upcoming album and have so far released two singles, Can't Complain and I Know You're Right.