Public Safety On Why There's Nowhere Else To Go In The Mile High But Up

By: Annie Kane

Four-piece Denver band Public Safety believe that there is nowhere else for them to go but up. I spoke with them recently at a local coffee shop prior to their show at The Biergarten in Boulder to pick their brains on their roots, influences, and what they might expect on their ascent.

Public Safety.

Public Safety.

Do you guys want to start off with your background? Where you’re from and how you feel like that shaped the artists you are today?

Bear: Well, Jimmy and I actually founded Public Safety back in Charleston two and a half years ago. We were down at the College of Charleston, and he and I met and we started [Public Safety] as more of a college party band. And then, I decided I wanted to transfer back here and do music and asked him to come with me and he came and we re-formed Public Safety with you guys. (looks to other band mates)

Jimmy: Yeah, we started in September of 2015.

Do you feel like Boulder is a better platform for your music?

Bear: We’ve only played Boulder like, three or four times. We mostly perform in Denver; yeah we’re out of Denver. That’s where I was born and raised and he came six months after I moved back and I kinda got my feet wet in the Denver scene.

Jimmy: This whole area, just like Colorado, is way more of a scene than what we had in South Carolina where we were at, so definitely a good decision to come out here.

Bear: And it’s crazy how quickly it’s growing, too.

Ethan: Oh yeah, the scene is getting a lot bigger for sure.

How do you guys like the scene here in Colorado?

Bear: I don’t know the Boulder scene too well yet, but I’ve definitely seen a lot of bands in Boulder and a lot of bands come out of Boulder. But the Denver scene is crazy, it’s just exploded. It’s so fun to be a part of.

Ethan: There’s some people doing some cool stuff in Boulder, like the Cosmic Collective guys who we just did a podcast with a couple weeks ago. [Eric] is doing some cool stuff, he’s a super nice guy.

Agreed. What kind of environment do you guys like to create when you perform?

Bear: Rowdy! I like it to be lit to the max! (laughs) But, I’m very into hip hop and that stuff so I try to make it really hype.

Ethan: It’s definitely a party feel.

Jimmy: We definitely like people dancing.

Bear: I hump my mic stand quite a bit. (laughs)

Lem: This will be my first time [performing with Public Safety].

Bear: Yeah he’s brand new. Only his second show with us. We had a different drummer for a little while, and we found this guy right here, and we felt he matched the vibe a lot better and I think it’s just the right move. We’re about to record the first really album at Coupe Studios here in Boulder, actually. So we’re excited about that.

What can your listeners expect from that album coming up?

Bear: What do you guys think? (turns to bandmates)

Jimmy: I think it’s gonna be rolling with a way tighter sound; more production. We’ve taken the time to put the songs together in a better way. Last time [we recorded] we didn’t really have an idea of what to create in the studio and this time we have a way more clear vision. If anything else, it will just be upgraded with the drums, so it’s just gonna be way better.

Bear: Just fuego. There’s gonna be some fire in there. There’s some sensual songs, there’s some darkness in there, and then there’s a couple rock songs. A lot of angry songs about my ex-girlfriend.

Ethan: It’s a lot of emotions! The whole spectrum.

Bear: Yeah, if you watch the progression of my lyrics, they’re very indicative of what’s going on in my life. If I’m in a bad mood, I’m writing songs like ‘Retrograde’ just about being mad. ‘Impulse Control’ is about being mad too.

Ethan: (laughs) You’re just an angry individual!

Bear: I’m actually a very jovial man, full of joy and happiness.

Ethan: It’s good to vent.

Bear: It’s good to vent. Yeah, what better way to get back at somebody who’s hurt you than to throw it in a song?

Ethan: Make a bunch of other people sing it with you.

Bear: Yeah, have a bunch of people sing along.

So do you write the majority of the songs Bear?

Bear: Jimmy writes music and I write lyrics for the most part. It’s kind of interchangeable as well. He’s written some verses for ‘Night Call,’ which is a song I’ve been working on for a long time; it’s gonna be on the album. I had the basic outline and he comes in and is like, ‘Alright, well I hear this’ and we put it together. That’s why I think I had Jimmy come out here because we had such a good connection with songwriting and performing.

What genre would you guys classify yourself as fitting into, or not fitting into?

Bear: We say rock and soul.  

Jimmy: It’s a big variety. It’s definitely rock-based, for sure. It’s definitely hard hitting, but we like to get soulful too.

Bear: We get down and dirty. We also get hype.

Lem: I’ve wanted to play rock too and this is the first band I ever get to play rock with. As much as I’ve wanted to, I just always get R&B or gospel or funk. So this is awesome to change it up.

How long have you been playing?

Lem: Professionally, for like thirteen years. But pretty much since I was three.

Bear: Somehow he wanted to end up with this band, somehow he said yes.

Lem: It worked out.

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Is there anybody that you feel like you make your music for?

Bear: The ladies. I think that we fit into the multiple niches or sections of music. We have the rock stuff, almost Royal Blood. We have one song that’s almost like Rage Against the Machine. But we also fit into the pop scene with Kaleo or Twenty One Pilots that you hear on the radio who have a lot of musicianship but also have that sing-along pop. We have more deep tracks as well.

Are those artists that you named who you draw a lot of inspiration from?

Bear: I think we all have different people who are inspirations to us.

Ethan: I know there’s a lot of bands that I listen to that they don’t. We definitely all pull from different music genres and have a lot of overlap. Like I listen to a lot of classic rock, a lot of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, that kind of stuff. Jimmy listens to a lot of Jimi Hendrix and a lot of rock’n’roll.

Bear: I really like Motown. James Brown is probably, on stage, my hero. That’s the guy I really look up to, how he takes control of the stage, takes control of the entire arena. That’s amazing for me.

Jimmy: I think the one thing we all have in common is that we love jamming. The song is the main goal- at the end of the day we just wanna have a good song to start from.

Bear: [Lem’s] best quote ever is, ‘It’s about the feel not the fill.’

Lem: I know that sounds strange- most people are like, ‘What do you mean?’ I mean the feel- like the soul, feelings, emotions you get versus doing a whole bunch of licks on drums. That nostalgia that you get.

Ethan: It’s more about the melody than anything.

Bear: I was sold when I saw that [quote]. I knew he needed to be in the band. That is the quintessential piece. Something I’ve noticed about all these guys is this drive to be better and know that we can always be better. That’s something that I really respect from everybody here. No one’s ever really happy after a show- we find areas where we need to work on. On stage there’s so much confidence and [we] come out with a bang, but at the end of the day we’re always looking to get better.  

Ethan: I think we’re our own hardest critics for sure.

Where do you see Public Safety going?

Bear: 13 nights at MSG.

Ethan: 17 in 17! We just gotta wait for 3017.

Bear: I wanna be one of those bands. When people think about the Colorado scene exploding, and they think about The Lumineers, Nathaniel Rateliff, Motet… I wanna be in that list. I think we’re on our way. There’s been a lot of traction, it’s just about finding the right people to get in our corner.

Ethan: I think the only place we’re going is to the top, honestly. There’s nowhere else to go.

Lem: It’s definitely the dream. It’s all we’re trying to do forever, and ever and ever. We have to go to the top.

Bear: We work, we show up to gigs on time, we don’t get shitfaced before shows. Everybody is on it, we know our parts. We have a contract and a bunch of agreements we’ve made. I’ve been in good bands but never had the confidence like I do in us right now. All [of us are] excited about what we’re doing which is really inspiring and motivating.

Ethan: We’ve only been playing seriously for about a year, and it’s pretty cool to see all the crazy things we’ve done in that limited time. We’ve toured around a bit; played some festivals in front of a few thousand people.

Bear: We’re headed down to the East Coast, back to Charleston in March doing a 14-stop tour. We’re pretty excited about that, that’ll be a lot of fun.

To the top it is. Keep up with Public Safety here.

-Annie

All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Rodes Rollins EP 'Young Adult' Talks Of Young Love & Growing Up In Boulder, CO

By: Sierra Voss

Rodes Rollins (Talia Taxman) has been honing her songwriting skills since age eight in Boulder, CO, and it shows. Her first EP, 'Young Adult,' dropped earlier this year and is quite the masterpiece for this artist’s freshman release. 'Young Adult' is an intimate look into Rollins’ story of  young love and growing up. Rollins’ songs embody mystery, naivety, wisdom, passion and grit. I recently chatted with Rodes more about her Colorado roots and the story of how this EP came to be. Read on:  

When did you start singing?

I have been writing and recording since I was eight years old. I worked with a guitar teacher in Boulder and she was so supportive and let me use her home studio to start recording my songs. She often brought in studio musicians to play with me. So I have a lot of recordings from a really young age. I was writing pretty mature content, but my voice hadn’t quite caught up yet, so it’s pretty funny stuff to listen to. 

Rodes Rollins.

Rodes Rollins.

So how did songwriting come into play in your life? I feel like most people get into songwriting later in life, after choir, or taking voice lessons for a couple of years. I’m curious how the songwriting part of singing came at such an early age for you.

It's hard to say. For me, it was kind of the way I learned how to play. It was my exploration of music and of the guitar. Like I never really learned how to play other people's songs. It was just me jumping in and making sounds and trying to understand it that way. Even today, I would never call myself a guitar player- it's more always been a writing tool for me. Writing prose and other things has always been something important to me too. I think more than anything, I used music as another avenue for writing. My parents were also incredibly involved in the music scene in Boulder growing up and had us listening to all sorts of music at home.

What type of music did you grow up with? 

We listened to a lot of Cat Stevens and The Beatles. I was also super into my dad listening to Nirvana and punk grunge. I never really fully grasped that type of music in my younger age, but I remember being super drawn to those darker sounds.  

Did you ever play gigs around Boulder growing up? 

I did little things. I actually got to perform at a songwriter workshop. I was working with Wendy Woo, who was a local singer songwriter. She had me come perform at a songwriting workshop she was teaching to a group of adults. She would always include me in things like that growing up. It was really not up until I moved to New York in college at NYU and studied abroad in Buenos Aires that I started performing on a consistent basis. 

Did you go to NYU to study music?  

I actually studied at the school for individualized study where you craft your own curriculum. I studied- well the title is Iconography- basically it’s the study of what makes a person iconic, looking at the branding of people. So I studied that, which in so many ways relates to music.

So when you studied abroad in Buenos Aires you started performing? Tell me more about that. 

That was my sophomore year. NYU has an campus in Argentina. So it's basically you with other people from the US in Argentina. I felt frustrated with that setup- why would I come all the way down here just to be in classes with everybody from the States? So I started trying to figure out ways to go out and meet local people. I was meeting a lot of people at bars, but it was difficult as a foreign woman to navigate and make friends that way. So I started going to a lot of open mics instead and ended up meeting a really great artist community there. It felt like each gig led to another one. I got to do some radio shows just based on people I met at those gigs. It was a really kind of magical time. That's when I really started getting into performing my songs. 

Once you got back from that semester did you come back wanting to continue pursuing your music?

I think that semester abroad I really struggled with the idea of coming back to New York and being a student. I was so energized to keep doing music at that point. It clicked for me- 'This is what I want to do, full time- I want to dive in.' However, I ended up developing really bad tonsillitis right when I returned and wasn’t able to sing, let alone speak clearly. I ended up having to get surgery for that, which put a huge roadblock on music for me. When all was said and done, that took about a year to recover from. I stayed in school during that time but I kept writing. Once I healed, I started working with Sam Pattillo, who actually discovered my music on Soundcloud. I had recorded an EP at Coupe Studios, so that was floating around. He heard it and I ended up partnering with him on his indie label to do Young Adult. I recorded my EP in LA; Alex Goose (Kevin Gates, Weezer) produced it. That was my senior year of college: going back and forth between LA and New York in order to finish school and record.  

What has life looked like since your release?

It's been great to get my music out there. I ended up going to Mexico City for this release. I went to Casey Middle School in Boulder, which is an bi-lingual school, and from that point on I was very enamored with Latin culture. That led to me studying Spanish and studying abroad. For this EP, we worked on a video there so I ended up going there to release “Young and Thriving,” which is a single from the EP. Since then, I have been in New York playing a lot of shows.

What’s next for you? New music? Touring?

We are releasing a short film we did in collaboration with a group in Mexico. It was inspired by one of the songs on the EP called, “Wes Come Back.” It’s a very dark film, almost like horror. I am really excited to get that out! Hopefully I will be coming back to Colorado to tour. I am going back to LA to record a new album soon, so I am hoping either on the front or back end of that, I will be able to stop in Colorado.

Watch Rodes Rollins' video for "Wes Come Back": 

A lot Young Adult revolves around young love and growing up. Was that a young love you had in Boulder?

Yeah he was. He was my highschool boyfriend and my first love.

Are there any Colorado references throughout the album besides him?

Lyrically there aren’t, but sonically, [there are] for sure. I think a lot of the sounds are Western inspired, from the whistles to the tremolo guitar sounds. I really was envisioning a Colorado Western landscape when I was writing this first EP.  

Take a listen to Rodes Rollins and check out her music video for her song, “Wes Come Back” off her latest EP 'Young Adult' above! Keep up with Rodes here

-Sierra

All videos and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.  

Copper Leaf Releases Debut Record 'Lay Awake'

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Boulder indie folk singer/songwriter Sawyer Bernath is Copper Leaf. Though Bernath’s been involved in music for years, his debut release as Copper Leaf just dropped last month. It’s a 16-track album, which Bernath wrote all himself (except for the final track which was a dual effort made with Eric Dorr) and features a long list of talented local musicians.

Listen to Copper Leaf’s debut record Lay Awake:

While some singer/songwriters go for that here-it’s-me-and-my-guitar approach, Copper Leaf’s debut release does not, and believe me, that’s a good thing. Lay Awake is full of beautiful harmonies featuring vocals by Eric Dorr, Liz Berube, Meagan Rudge, Ryan Brasher, and Sydney Miller. It’s also got an entire string quartet, comprised of Andrew Giordano (violin), Joshua Ulrich (violin), Andrew Krimm (viola), and Zachary Reeves (cello).

Of course Bernath’s sometimes earnestly bare and other times subtle and echoey vocals remain at the forefront of every track, but this album showcases some amazing instrumentation too, ranging from complex and pretty string melodies, to smooth horn solos, to steady percussive swings. Bernath has enlisted some major talent in these areas as well, with Bradley Morse (upright bass) and Carl Sorenson (drums and percussion) holding down rhythm and Dave Laub (alto and tenor sax), Eric Dorr (trumpet), Leah Concialdi (bari sax), and Tyler Bentley (trombone) rocking on horns. Jacob Passini (cello) and Theresa Peterson (violin) are also in the mix.

Copper Leaf.

Copper Leaf.

Lay Awake, which was recorded at The Keep Recording, Coupe Studios, and at Bernath’s home, is an impressive debut. The fact that Bernath has employed so much talent for the instrumentation of his first record has us excited for Copper Leaf’s present and future plans.

Give Lay Awake a listen for yourself above, and keep up with this new and talented artist on Copper Leaf’s website.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 06/24, 06/25, & 06/26

By: Hannah Oreskovich

We're soo glad it’s the weekend. Here’s where you ought to be:

Today (Friday 06/24):

Coastal Wives with Holy White Hounds and Modern Suspects at Marquis Theater in Denver 7PM-Close

We first threw Coastal Wives your way after the release of their EP, Traditions. We thought the Denver-based four-piece were a perfect mix of indie and blues, and apparently, so did a lot of you. The group has picked up notable steam, and are throwing down tonight at The Marquis with rock’n’roll band Holy White Hounds and “popternative” outfit Modern Suspects. Killer.

PS: If you miss this gig, make sure to catch Coastal Wives’ UMS show next month!

Peep Coastal Wives’ Traditions:

All Chiefs Fashion Forward EP Release Show at Squire Lounge in Denver 9PM-Close

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All Chiefs are throwing a sweet EP release party at The Squire in Denver tonight for their latest, Fashion Forward. Just last month, the band debuted their single from the album, “Pusher”, and we totally dig it. Tonight’s show is sure to be an outrageous time too, so go get down! We’ll have a full recap of it for you on Monday!

Watch All Chiefs at Coupe Studios, recording their new EP:

Intuit at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Not long ago, we had an awesome chat with Intuit frontwoman Chloe Watkins. The band has kept busy this summer with a number of shows and festivals, but if you haven’t caught them yet, tonight’s your chance! If there's one thing we've learned about the band, it's that at an Intuit show, it’s ok to drink the holy water! Come out and see what we mean…

Listen to an Intuit original:

Sun Jr. at Bohemian Biergarten in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Boulder’s Sun Jr., a tasty mix of lap steel and blues/rock goodness, are hitting the Biergarten stage tomorrow evening. They’ve got a slight Western blend to get your toes tappin’, and they’ll keep you movin’ with their rockin’ grooves. So go check out this newer Boulder band, and let’s keep the weekend goin’ right!

Listen to Sun Jr.’s “Bag of Bones”:

Tomorrow (Saturday 06/25):

Electric 6 with In The Whale and Bad Licks at Lost Lake Lounge in Denver 8PM-Close

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Detroit’s rock four-piece Electric 6 are headlining a show at the Lost Lake tomorrow night as part of their recent summer tour. Denver favorite In The Whale are playing middle slot for this show, with alt-rock four-piece Viretta as the opener. It’s gonna be a party! Tickets here.

Watch Electric 6’s video for “Danger! High Voltage”:

The Next Day (Sunday 06/26)

BBQ Series at Larimer Lounge in Denver 2PM-Close

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Spend Sunday-funday right this weekend with some delicious BBQ and seven killer bands. The Larimer Lounge has a seriously sick lineup planned, featuring Dragondeer, Von Stomper, Toi et Moi, Evan Holm, Last Of The Easy Riders, Richie Allen & The Bad Ideas, and Mark's Midnight Carnival Show. YES. We can’t think of a better way to close out the weekend, so we’ll see you there! Tickets here.

Watch Dragondeer’s live video of “Broadway Avenue”:

See you around, Colorado.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured.

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 05/13 & 05/14

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Graduation is over and summer has begun! Let’s get to it Beaters:

Today (Friday 05/13):

Grandpa’s Gun Spring Party, featuring Open Space and Francis and the Wolf at Shine Gathering Place in Boulder 8PM-Close

Get yer gun grandpa.

Get yer gun grandpa.

Boulder’s Americana outfit Grandpa’s Gun are holding down the Shine stage tonight, joined by alt-country “outlaw bluegrass” band Open Space and Longmont’s rock’n’roll trio Francis and the Wolf. Grandpa’s Gun dropped their debut full-length album, Back Into Town, last October with critical acclaim. Tonight’s show offers a sweet local lineup to sip to, and it’s only $5 at the door. Head over and check these bands out!

Check out the video for Granpa’s Gun track “Snakebite”:

All Chiefs Release Show & Music Video Premiere at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 830PM-Close

All chiefs.

All chiefs.

All Chiefs is back! The Boulder/Denver indie rock and dance pop five-piece have returned to the local music scene after a hiatus, during which it’s rumored they were recording their new EP Fashion Forward. Tonight, the band is premiering their new single, “Pusher”, and its official music video, live at The Lazy Dog. Following the premiere, the band will take the stage (shared by Tyto Alba) for a night of new music, and old favorites. Fashion Forward will be available on CD, which gives you the chance to check out All Chiefs’ new music before it drops across the interwebs. Head over to this show and check out their new tunes!

Watch All Chiefs at Coupe Studios, recording their new EP:

Asalott at Taco Junky & Tequila Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

Local beatbreak and tribal dance favorite Asalott is ringing in the start of summer tonight at Taco Junky. The sometimes duo/trio/four-piece recently spent some time recording their first album, and tonight, they hinted to us that their new music might be available for purchase. So roll up to TJ’s on The Hill for a bumpin’ party and Asalott’s new sounds!. It’s gonna be a killer show. Want to read more about Asalott? Check out our exclusive sit-down with the crew.

Watch Asalott’s music video for their tune “Remedies”:

Realtalk at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Boulder’s own funk rock/reggae jam four-piece Realtalk are taking over Conor’s tonight and partying with you until the sun (almost) comes up! The local band, who originally gained popularity by playing CU house parties, have had quite the year. They’ve released new music videos, played the Fox, and tonight, they’ll be playing some new tunes for you! Jump over to Conor’s on your Pearl crawl and see these guys live. Read our exclusive interview with the band.

Watch Realtalk’s live performance of “Tied Up”:

Tomorrow (Saturday 05/14):

The Pamlico Sound at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Funkadelic and dancin’ good time band The Pamlico Sound will be raging at The Lazy Dog tomorrow evening. The eight-member, horn-infused funk band always bring a massive crowd to their shows, and an energy that will make you move until the joint shuts down. TPS are stoked to have a local performance on their busy schedule, so come prepared for a crazy congregation! We’ll see you there! Check out our exclusive chat with TPS frontman Pastor Will B.

Watch The Pamlico Sound live on Radio1190:

Tilia Americana and All Hat No Horse at The Laughing Goat in Boulder 8PM-Close

Tilia Americana.

Tilia Americana.

Denver duo All Hat No Horse will be opening things up at the LG tomorrow. Their acoustic Americana sounds are sure to croon you into the start of Saturday night, followed by Longmont’s acoustic two-piece Tilia Americana, who weave elements of folk, blues, rock, and country into their sound. Grab a tasty latte and check out these local acts!

Peep Tilia Americana’s music video for “What Happened?”:

BCFM

Boulder County Farmers Market is every Saturday from 10AM-2PM. We’re working closely with BCFM to promote the music at the market, and this week, acoustic mountain blues group Ravin’Wolf will be providing your entertainment. Stop by to hear their “true folk rock traditions” and grab brunch from one of the many delicious vendors on site!

Listen to Ravin’Wolf:

GREEN LIGHT RADIO

This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Longmont’s Francis and the Wolf. The trio recently changed their name, added a new member, and are making new music. Tune in to any of the Colorado Community Network Radio Stations here (95.3 or 95.5 Boulder) or stream Green Light Sunday night between 9-10PM to catch their song “Ol’ Lady” on the airwaves.

See you in the sun!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. 

On the Record with Zach & David: The Red Petals

By: David Landry and Zach Dahmen

Colorado's newest blues band sat down with us for records and a chat.

On the Record: Where David & Zach sit down with musicians, listen to records, and bring you their conversation.

The Red Petals choices for this session were: 

  1. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deju Vu
  2. The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
  3. My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves
  4. The Everly Brothers - The Very Best of
  5. The Band - The Band

House Choice:

  1. Ryan Adams - Rock n Roll

Newly formed blues band The Red Petals walked through the door and went straight for the records; that’s JC McKim, Matt Lowber, and Austin Pacharz. Their story goes likes this: JC and Matt both grew up in Alaska and played in rival high school bands before they both ended up in Boulder. The two played together in a local project, Slanted Jack, but that eventually came to an end.

The Red Petals.

The Red Petals.

In late 2015, JC wanted to start a new project and Matt was itching to play more after a stint of shows playing percussion for Na’an Stop. And that is where Austin (Cold River City) comes in. Na’an Stop happened to need a temporary bass player for a couple of shows and Austin got the gig.

One night, while loading gear, Matt was talking music with the guys and that’s when it happened, the “Hey Austin, want to start a trio with JC and I?” And Austin, “Yeah!” So the three met up in Lyons, the mountain town that Matt calls home, and started to jam old blues and soul standards. It was fluid from the start, and not a lot of questions were asked.

From the beginning, Austin and Matt locked in playing together, and that’s a good thing because it allows JC to dance. JC plays a red, semi-hollowbody guitar, which drives the sound of the band. JC describes the guitar as “flashy blues”, and it’s made him want to play just that.

The three-piece are influenced by 50s and 80s blues, but still allow pop elements to fold in. Each member has their own influences too:

“Funk, jazz, reggae, and hiphop [are] a huge part of my drumming, and my musical approach to drumming.” said Matt.

Austin, on the other hand, is more into the great Pino Palladino (JMT, D’Angelo) and Chris Wood (Wood Brothers). Said Austin, “They know when to hold back and when to push the music further out into space into something cohesive.”

With all of these influences, The Red Petals form a blues power trio, like the greats Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and even the John Mayer Trio. Being a three-piece lets every instrument have its own space, but blend well together, giving the guys a rich, full tone.

Watch a video about The Red Petals formation:

After their experiences in other projects, the guys decided to go into this one with a different approach: have a solid foundation and act like it’s a business. Which is why they went straight to the studio to record singles before playing shows.

“Knowing we want to approach this professionally means that we have more than just the music to worry about,” said Matt.

And so the guys went to Andrew Oakley’s (WWO, A Shadow of Jaguar, Cold River City, BANDITS) practice space, a spot well seasoned and setup for recording. After tracking their first single, “Ruby Sky”, and an old Robert Johnson tune, “Come On In My Kitchen”, The Red Petals headed to Coupe Studios, where Greg McRae helped engineer and mix their sessions. The trio already has plans for more recordings too, and music videos to help push their vision forward.

Currently, The Red Petals are gearing up to play their first live show in Boulder at the Bohemian Biergarten this Thursday, March 31st, with a hometown show for Matt the following day in Lyons at Pizza Bar 66. In the meantime, keep up with the band here and get a taste of The Red Petals' music on their website

-David and Zach on the record

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Music Video Release: Tyto Alba "Turn to Stone"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Tyto Alba dropped a new video and it's rad.

Denver-based indie rock outfit Tyto Alba have been playing together for almost a year. In that short time, they’ve managed to record and release their EP Oh Tame One, put out a video for their song “Turn to Stone”, and they’re on the UMS lineup at the end of this month. Obviously, they’re doing something right. So we wanted to sit down with the four-piece’s frontwoman, Melanie Steinway, to chat about Tyto Alba’s creative process for the “Turn to Stone” video, what it has been like to perform in both the Boulder and Denver music scenes, and the other creative projects she’s involved in as a visual artist outside of her band.

Classy Group Right Here: Tyto Alba.

Classy Group Right Here: Tyto Alba.

Melanie, we really enjoyed the video for “Turn to Stone”. Tell us what it was like storyboarding ideas for the video and what elements you really wanted to connect your audience to visually.

Ian [the director] and I were trying to brainstorm a basic plotline for the video and I mentioned that I had four animal skulls in my apartment - coincidentally, one for each band member! That’s how we developed the idea of each member departing into the woods and finding their own personal skull, which then sits atop their gear as they’re playing inside. Ties to nature run through Tyto Alba’s lyrics as well as our visual imagery, so it felt like an appropriate theme. In all of my work I explore death and life, creation and destruction, and how opposing forces can be juxtaposed in a compelling way. I’m constantly intrigued with our connection to the natural world in a time when we’re surrounded by grey, urban life and seem to have lost our animal instincts. I aim to address the animal hidden inside everyone and often find it an appropriate metaphor for describing people and situations.

Those are interesting contrasts to play with visually. You mentioned working with Ian Glass Media. We’ve noticed he’s done a number of cool projects with musicians lately. What was it like working with him and how did you connect with him to shoot?

Ian and I have been friends for several years and had worked together previously on several video/photo projects, but nothing as big as this before. He’s an insanely creative and energetic dude, and he was psyched when I approached him with the music video project. We managed to do all of the filming in one long day up at my father’s house in Sunshine Canyon. We spent a lot of time walking up and down forest-y inclines- it was definitely a workout! Filming indoors was a lot of fun too- our bassist Ryan had made all of these glowing light bottles that made for some pretty neat decor. Overall, Ian was a blast to work with and I would definitely recommend him to anyone needing photo or video work. It’s refreshing to work with someone so enthusiastic about what they do.

Melanie Rocking Out.

Melanie Rocking Out.

We noticed those light bottles! They made for such a cool ambiance behind your indoor performance. So we know you were involved in the Boulder music scene before working with Tyto Alba in Denver. Talk to us a little bit about moving music scenes.

I spent a brief amount of time living in Boulder after graduating from college in Rhode Island. As soon as I arrived, I put together a folk-rock band called Howl Moonshine Howl, which disbanded shortly before Tyto Alba was formed. I think it might have been a challenge to be an indie-rock band [like Tyto Alba] based out of Boulder [because I feel it’s] a town that caters more to acoustic music, bluegrass, reggae, funk, etc. Denver’s music scene is incredibly diverse and there are more venues to play here for a rock band, so that was refreshing. Since we formed around a year ago we’ve played at almost every venue in town: Larimer Lounge, Lost Lake, Lion’s Lair, Hi Dive, Meadowlark, and even Syntax Physic Opera. Recently, it’s gotten tougher in Denver to get paid decently for playing a show though- a four person band shouldn’t walk out of a venue with $30 after a night of lugging expensive gear and performing their hearts out. That being said, we’re all very excited to be part of this scene and to be performing at UMS for the first time alongside all of the biggest bands in Denver.

Thanks for sharing your perspective. We noticed on your personal website that you do a lot of art on woods, including on guitars. And we saw your guitar in the video has some work on it. Have any big-name artists reached out to you yet for designs? Is this something you’re hoping to do a lot more of?

I’ve worked with Fender several times on some woodburned acoustic guitars that have gone off to NAMM for display. One really exciting commission I did a few years back was a woodburned electric guitar body for Ritzy, the singer of The Joy Formidable. It was a birthday present put together by her boyfriend, and she played it on stage at the Boulder Theatre opening up for Passion Pit. She gave me a shout out for the guitar mid-set and I think I might have cried a bit- it was so amazing to see someone like her playing something with my artwork on it! Guitar woodburning projects are pretty involved so I don’t do them too often, but I always love when people approach me with projects! I had fun woodburning my own Fender telecaster a couple of years ago as well, which is the one I now play in my band.

That must have been pretty cool to see a fellow rocker chick jamming on your art. So what’s next for Tyto Alba after UMS? And what’s next for you as a visual artist outside of the band?

After UMS, Tyto Alba will probably hunker down and write some new material in preparation for a full-length [album]. We’re also going to pop into Coupe Studios at some point to record a new single or two. I’ve been collecting footage in preparation for making another music video as well, once we have a polished new recording. [And] as a visual artist I’ve been really happy lately developing myself as a tattooist. I’d love to have more time to work on more personal projects and larger-scale fine art. Sometimes it can be a tough balance between being a visual artist and a musician, but I wouldn’t give either of them up!

So there it is kids- another sweet interview with another band on the UMS lineup. Keep up with Tyto Alba here. Peep Melanie’s artwork here. And watch their video for “Turn to Stone” below:

-Hannah

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All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.