Meet Your Musician: Trees Don’t Move
Get to know your Vail Valley musicians
Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily is showcasing area musicians in a series called “Meet Your Musician” so you can learn a bit more about the voices behind the tunes. If you’re a local musician and would like to be a part of this series, please email Tricia Swenson (email@example.com) and Sean Naylor (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Q: What is your stage/band name?
A: I’m Jax Leija, and I’m the drummer of Trees Don’t Move, a local high school band out of Eagle.
Q: How would you describe your style of music?
A: We play all sorts of music, but we specialize in alternative and punk styles. Historically, we’ve played mostly covers, but we’ve been working on original music. We have an album coming out, which is sort of all over the place; we like the idea of having a big mix of styles. Our influences are definitely clear on our debut.
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Q: What instrument(s) do you and your band members play?
A: We have five members, consisting of vocalist and front man Ben Suttor, lead guitarist Christian Dent, rhythm guitarist Cooper Filmore, bassist Micah Robinson, and myself on drums.
Q: How long have you been performing in the valley?
A: While the very first iteration of our band came together way back in 2017, when Christian and I decided we wanted to make music, we didn’t get to our current lineup until August of 2019 when Ben joined the ranks after a gig at the Boneyard in Eagle.
Q: Where in the valley have you performed?
A: We’ve played all over, really. We started out small, just a few kids playing talent shows, working our way up to bigger and more exciting stuff. We’ve played mostly in local bars and restaurants but have since caught the eye of some local event organizers, so we have some cool stuff planned for our near future. We’re playing a couple of festivals and events this summer, which is pretty awesome. Ever since we got together years ago, we wanted to play the Block Party in Eagle, and we finally get to do that this year.
Q: What’s your dream venue (in the valley or otherwise)?
A: It would be amazing to go on tour and play out of the state. Personally, I’ve always wanted to play at the Irving Plaza in New York. It’s a smaller venue, small enough to be intimate but big enough to be hugely exciting.
Q: What other styles of music do you (and members of your group) listen to?
A: I mostly listen to punk, grunge and metal, but I have a very eclectic taste in music. I’ll throw on some jazz now and then, some ska, some stuff from the ’60s. We’re all pretty diverse in our music tastes.
Q: How does the Vail Valley music scene compare to other places you’ve played?
A: We haven’t had the opportunity to play outside of the valley yet, but local shows are so much fun as it is. We love being able to play for our community, for people we know and see in day-to-day life. Seeing the same faces at different shows is so cool, to see people coming back for more.
Q: What can the crowd expect from one of your performances?
A: We try to keep it fresh, but a good mix of original stuff and covers mostly. We like to do our own take on a lot of classics. And it’s always nice to break out the cowbell now and then.
Q: Where can readers see a list of your upcoming shows?
A: The best place to get information and updates on us would be our Instagram, @trees.dont.move. We post there whenever we get new dates, and just whenever we feel like sharing something we’re doing or planning for.
Q: Anything else we should have asked, anything else you’d like to share?
A: Our album was released on June 1 on a bunch of major streaming platforms, so go check that out. We’re all super proud of it and are excited to share it with everyone. It’s been in the works for quite a long time now, so we’ve been highly anticipating it.