Q&A with Scotty Stoughton of Bonfire Dub, opening Vilar Center winter season Dec. 9
If you go …
What: Bonfire Dub kicks off Vilar Center’s winter season.
Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek.
When: Saturday, Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m.
More information: Visit http://www.vilarpac.org.
In honor of its 10th anniversary, Denver-based band Bonfire Dub will perform a special show at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Dec. 9, featuring classic hits from The Doors.
Recently, the Vilar Center had a chance to sit down with band leader Scotty Stoughton to find out more about this special performance.
VPAC: Your first show was in Vail and now 10 years later here you are, how has the Bonfire Dub journey been treating you?
Stoughton: The journey has been absolutely beautiful, the family has evolved but at the core, we are the same as when we played the first note at Samana Lounge 10 years ago. Our mission has remained true, making music that inspires us and using this music as an outlet for cultural conversation.
VPAC: What has been your favorite venue (or most meaningful place) that you have played over the years with Bonfire Dub?
Stoughton: Really, the Vilar Center is right up there. Not only because the room is absolutely magical and acoustically perfect, it’s the people, the folks that book us, promote us, do sound for us, bartend there, etc. They make us feel special and really respect and honor the fact that we are born in the Vail Valley. It means so much to an artist to feel local love and appreciation.
VPAC: Anything special about this show you want everyone to expect?
Stoughton: Something is going to happen that has never happened, it’s fresh, creative and we’ve been working hard to weave our music in and out of The Doors. You’ll see two full sets with Doors music playing a huge part of both slots.
VPAC: What is your attraction to The Doors and why the tribute show?
Stoughton: My brother bought me my first record when I must have been around 10 years old, “The Best of The Doors.” The music has always resonated with me, especially the mystery of it. Jeff, Rodney, Mark and Trevor also feel the musical connection and they absolutely pay it serious respect.
VPAC: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Stoughton: My first two records were “Bob Marley Live” and “The Best of The Doors.” Marley taught me that every song, every word, every note has deep importance and as an artist, we have an obligation to be leaders.
VPAC: As you have so many musical influences and want to bring many causes for your music, how do you focus it down as you are writing your songs/albums?
Stoughton: I work hard to stay current on cultural, political, religious and humanitarian issues, I am by no means an expert but my awareness is heightened by the topics of our times. Sometimes I’ll have a goal in mind regarding a song, then I put myself in a situation where creative inspiration and stillness nurture the music. My energy is spread across numerous platforms, so traveling outside my comfort zone is where I head to allow new material to rise.
VPAC: Which of your songs has had the biggest impact on you personally or as a group?
Stoughton: That’s a tough one, it always seems the latest release is the most inspiring as we are always striving to raise the bar. In this case, the song “Tribe” which came out a few months ago and “Kashmir,” which is releasing this week, really make me feel like I’m getting better at delivering the true intention of the song.
VPAC: What would you say has been your biggest accomplishment musically as a group?
Stoughton: To stay together. Everyone has incredibly full lives with families, jobs, other musical projects and I produce several festivals in two states. The commitment to the music is pretty remarkable.
VPAC: How has the group’s performance fluidity changed over the years as a band as you continue to play together?
Stoughton: It’s like anything that ages, you find wisdom, trust, patience and the ingredients just blend better. We know where each other is going, we allow space to explore but are able to subconsciously return to the unit when the time is right.
VPAC: After 10 successful years, where do you see Bonfire Dub going in the next 10 years?
Stoughton: Staying on this journey. Wading deeper into the cultural conversation and leading by example. Following the authentic path that has been an offer to us in this life.
VPAC: Where are you all headed after the VPAC show?
Stoughton: Our tour consists of playing a benefit and mentoring underprivileged kids in Routt County, Winter Solstice in Estes Park, a benefit for Campout for the Cause and Can’d Aid in Denver and a return to mountains for a very special New Year’s Eve show.
VPAC: Any goals on your bucket list for this year?
Stoughton: Personally, I like to travel to a place where I believe the conversation and truth must be uncovered first hand. Our mainstream media does American such a disservice in reporting on the people of the world. All of which I have met have been respectful, passionate, learned and eager to debate. So, I’m planning on Israel, Palestine, Morocco plus tackling some American white water.
VPAC: What’s in your playlist these days?
Stoughton: Doors 24/7. Splash in Gregory Alan Isakov, Ryan Adams, Ella Fitzgereld and The Infamous Stringdusters.
VPAC: You’ve partnered with Bridget Law before, are there other musical partnership you foresee in the near future?
Stoughton: Plenty. I am fortunate to be connected through WinterWonderGrass with so many incredibly talented artists. We are planning a “Pickin on the Doors” set at WinterWonderGrass Festival in Steamboat with Andy Thorn, Bridget, Jay Starling, Tyler Grant and members of some pretty killer bands.
Bonfire Dub kicks off the Vilar Performing Arts Center’s season on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m. Single tickets for the show are $15 and are available now at the Vilar Center box office, by calling 970-845-8497 or visiting http://www.vilar pac.org. The Vilar Center is located under the ice rink in Beaver Creek Village.
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