Most bands dream of touring the nation and hitting the pavement on the reg, and Denver’s Edison have spent the last year doing just that, playing shows from coast to coast, and everywhere in between. The Colorado folk rock trio, consisting of Sarah Slaton (vocals/guitar), Dustin Morris (drums/vocals), and Grammy-nominated guitarist Maxwell Hughes (formerly of The Lumineers), made the joint decision in 2015 to quit their day jobs and pursue music full time. And that choice has sure paid off: Edison was recently signed to Rhyme & Reason Records, are coming out of a busy festival season with another full tour planned for the fall, and their album, ‘Familiar Spirit’, drops next Friday, 09/16/16. In anticipation for its release, Edison are actually headed back to the CO for a bit, with hometown shows planned at Boulder’s Fox Theatre this Friday, 09/09/16 and Denver’s Larimer Lounge next Tuesday, 09/13/16. Make sure to snag your tickets now, and in the meantime, check out our interview with Edison below:
How did the three of you come to be a part of the Colorado music scene?
Dustin and Sarah were initially involved in the Denver music scene, and Max had strong roots in his hometown music scene up in Fort Collins. In 2014, Sarah opened for Dustin and his former project on a tour to SXSW. By the end of the tour, they were collaborating on stage, and continued working together after returning home. Fast forward a year later, and Maxwell joined the Edison duo project on a co-headlining tour to SXSW 2015. [Edison’s] missing piece came together on that trip, and we've been a band ever since.
We know that you made the decision to hit the road and foster relationships with people on tour before releasing much music as a band. How did you have the courage to take this approach? And how has this route defined this project for you?
The courage to commit to such aggressive touring came after years of each of us touring solo with our own music. Within the last decade, each of us had traveled alone across the country with just our instruments and clothes in our car. When we finally made it into a car together, the chemistry clicked and we immediately agreed to give this project 110%. The road feels like home to all of us already, and [this project] has been defined by our joint love of traveling, and trying to carve out our future. [We will continue to tour this fall] with Jared & The Mill after Familiar Spirit is released next week, and we're so excited to take this record to the West Coast.
Denver is quickly becoming a massive launch pad for national acts, two of which you’ve had the chance to share a stage with (ie: Hughes as formerly of The Lumineers and Edison’s performance with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats). In your experience, why do you think Denver is a growing music hub? And what do you dig most about the Denver scene?
The scene in Denver stands out from other markets because there is a culture of collaboration. Musicians build community with one another instead of opting to view it as a competition. There are more systems in place to support the scene [in Denver] than most cities too. Things like CPR’s OpenAir, Illegal Pete’s, Levitt Foundation, SpokesBUZZ (R.I.P.), The UMS, and Youth on Record all make supporting local musicians part of their core mission. Artists in Denver have access to music business education, philanthropic opportunities, and media exposure all at their fingertips. It's something special.
Sarah- As an out female fronting a successful indie folk project, you’re in a position of power to bring your background to your audience. How do you harness that power in your artistry to empower women, and LGBTQ individuals?
I'm proud to be an out woman and to stand on stage beside two men who support me and the LGBTQ community. It's been really rewarding to get feedback after a set from girls who are wanting to pursue music, or who have questions about my experience being an out musician. I hope that they take away something from the set that adds to their confidence in wanting to go for it themselves.
When it comes to releasing ‘Familiar Spirit’ this month, what are you most excited about? Sharing the new tunes? Getting back on the road? All of the above?
All of the above. This record is something we've been sitting on since recording [it] last spring, and we have been anxiously awaiting the release date. We're so proud of the album, and to finally see people take the music home at shows will feel like Christmas.
What can your audiences expect from your sets while you’re in Colorado for these hometown shows?
Our hometown shows will be the perfect cap to the first leg of our 2016 tour. We have been working hard on the set for each show, and can't wait to get in a room with our hometown audience. They're family. We may have a few tricks up our sleeves for them, but folks will have to come see for themselves!
Well played, Edison. Stoked for the shows.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.