7 questions with Dave Laub of Fried Grease
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – Horn-driven funk with a touch of the South – that’s how the band Fried Grease is billing itself. The band is fairly new, made up of members from two mountain bands – Flux5, a jazz/funk band that was based in Vail for six years, and blues/rock outfit Big Richard, from Summit County.
Dave Laub is the former saxophonist for Flux5 and spent more than a dozen years here in Eagle County sharing his love of music with local kids. He moved to Boulder less than a year ago, around the time the new band was forming.
“With a lead singer from Charleston, a guitarist from Nashville, a sax player from Western N.Y., a bassist from Tallahassee, Fla., and a drummer from Richmond Va., we have a certain chemistry that really meshes well,” Laub said. “We figured that out in the first five minutes of playing together.”
The band will play a free show at The Sandbar on Thursday night. Laub took the time to answer a few questions for the Vail Daily.
1. Vail Daily: The show is being billed as a pre-Panic show, in honor of the Widespread Panic shows taking place at Red Rocks this coming weekend. Do you think your music will appeal to Widespread Panic fans?
Dave Laub: I think so. I’m not saying we sound like them, but you can definitely hear some of the same influences that we share with Panic. Matty Bauerle, our singer, comes to Colorado from Charleston, bringing a Southern rock quality to the band. We’re all fans of Southern rock, so that’s a big part of what we do.
2. VD: Will you be playing in Panic songs?
DL: Probably not… more like we’ll cover a couple of tunes that Panic also covers.
3. VD: Who writes the songs? What inspires your lyrics?
DL: Four of the guys in the band came from Big Richard and two of us came from Flux5. We started off by bringing some some songs from each of those bands and rearranged them to fit the style of Fried Grease. While we are happy with the way they turned out, the more recently written tunes are really beginning to define the voice of Fried Grease. We have all agreed that bringing a tune to the table means we can tear it apart, re-write, rearrange … and even rename it before hitting the ears of our audience. You’ll hear covers ranging from The Meters, Maceo Parker and Stanton Moore to Zappa, Deep Purple and Allman Brothers.
4. VD: How did your recent Samana gig go?
DL: I always love playing Samana. It’s such a great atmosphere … you get 50 people in there and you’re blowing the roof off the place. Scott Stoughton and his staff always treat the musicians so well – it’s a great vibe from the moment you start loading your gear in. It was the first time we played Vail, so it was good to see lots of old friends and former band mates. We’re set to play there again after the last Hot Summer Nights show of the summer.
5. VD: How did you come up with the name for your band?
DL: It took us a long time to agree on a name … decision making, in general, is typically slow for any democratic six-piece band! Fried Grease is the name of a Greyboy All-Stars tune we cover – and we’re all fans of Karl Denson and all that he’s done. We figured if the Rolling Stones can get away with stealing a song name, we can, too.
6. VD: You recently moved to Boulder after having lived in Vail for more than 12 years. How do you like Boulder? What’s the music scene like?
DL: I’ll give you the same answer as I give everybody… I’ve seen more shows in the last three months than I saw in the last three years living in Vail. Vail gets a lot of music, but not as much as when I first moved there in the late ’90s. It was a great place to be for me for a long time, but when 8150 was torn down and State Bridge burned down, it really wiped Vail off the map for a while. Things seem to be picking up with new venues and the much anticipated rebuilding of State Bridge. I can’t wait to come back up to play there again.
There are a ton of venues to play down on the Front Range every night of the week. So far, Denver has been very good for us.
7. VD: Are you still a music teacher?
DL: Yes, I’m still teaching – but just private lessons at the moment. I will be involved with a new music studio, Harmony Music House, that is about to open that will focus on private lessons and small ensembles in a setting that is centered around building a music community. I will be teaching sax lessons and directing sax quartets and jazz combos, as well as anything else that comes up in the rock/blues/funk genres.