VAIL — The Weekenders are a raw rock n’ roll band hailing from Salt Lake City. Fans and critics compare the quartet’s blues-rock hybrid sound to The Black Keys, The White Stripes, Led Zeppelin and more. The band members — Rob Reinfurt on guitar and vocals, Mike Sasich on guitar, Shaun Thomas on drums and Mike Torgerson on bass — were raised on classic rock and Motown, but seduced by grunge as well. The name The Weekenders comes from a lyric from the Lou Reed (of The Velvet Underground acclaim) song “Perfect Day,” Reinfurt said.
The band wraps up its Colorado tour at Shakedown Bar tonight before heading west, back to Utah. To hear the band, visit www.theweekendersmusic.com where you can download (for free) the recent album “Don’t Plan On.” Reinfurt took the time to answer a few questions for the Vail Daily.
Vail Daily: Do you guys travel in a bus all together, I assume? Who did you listen to on the way out?
Rob Reinfurt: We all manage to pack into an Xterra. Kinks, Rolling Stones, Big Star, Delta Spirit and at least 50 other artists.
VD: I listened to some of your songs — I really like your song “Chin Up,” by the way — and it’s tough to describe your music but definitely rock with a touch of blues threaded through. How do you describe the band’s sound?
RR: Straight up rock ‘n’ roll with a ’70s feel and a little fuzz.
VD: Tell me about how you guys got your start.
RR: In 2009 I was writing a ton of material and couldn’t stop playing. It was my ultimate outlet for expression at a time when I couldn’t talk. For three years I battled a federal drug conspiracy case, living in the dark, unsure if I would go to prison. I needed music. We ran some Craigslist ads and rotated through of handful of players for two years before we found a home musically with our current lineup. They are all great listeners and play what’s right for the music. I couldn’t be happier with my bandmates.
VD: Tell me about something memorable/interesting or funny that happened at a recent show?
RR: We just got heckled by a Hipster Princess in Denver for not having a lighter.
VD: What’s one thing that you wish a journalist would ask? And answer it.
RR: How do you think technology has affected face to face communication and how has that affected music? I think we are seeing an abandonment of “offline” social interaction. More people are listening to music and exposed to more bands with technology but less people are going to shows and buying music. Music is best experienced live and will always be. Going to see a band perform allows you to be a part of the music and you’ll never get that from Pandora.
VD: What’s the hardest thing about life as a musician? And the best?
RR: Traveling for hours making pennies, but when people show up to the show it’s all worth it. If you come out to see us you won’t regret it.
VD: Do you have a favorite Colorado venue that you’ve performed?
RR: Mean Jeans in Lake City — hands down. It’s a little outdoor patio perched underneath these huge peaks. The Ravens Rest hostel next door and all the folks at the venue are so hospitable. The whole town came out to see us and we played past curfew.