An Austin band of brothers |

An Austin band of brothers

Caramie Schnell
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily/Pat Cassidy

Before they hit SXSW, the members of Wheeler Brothers will take the stage at SnowBall in Avon today. Formed in Austin, Texas, this five-piece is made up of three brothers, Nolan, Tyler and Patrick Wheeler, along with A.J. Molyneaux and Danny Matthews. Today will mark the band’s first time playing in the area.

“We like to kick off Sunday with a little bit of folk/country/blues to set the Sunday vibe,” said Latane Hughe,s who booked the SnowBall festival. “Wheeler Brothers are really killing it on a grassroots level so we were pleased to give them this slot.”

1. Vail Daily: I have to ask about the sibling part of this. What are some of the pros, and the cons to being in a literal band of brothers?

Nolan Wheeler: 1. You learn how to fight. 2. You learn how to make up. 3. You learn that some things are best left unsaid. 4. Follow steps 2-3 and you’ll always have back up.

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2. VD: Tell me about something funny that happened at a recent show.

NW: I was recently struck on the top of my head from Tyler’s bass guitar. I blacked out there for a second but came to in time for the chorus. He really likes to get up there and move around despite the size of the stage. Sometimes it’s a struggle to fit everyone plus the instruments up there, but we do.

3. VD: You guys seem to be great storytellers with your songs. Who writes the songs? Tell me about where you find inspiration?

DM: There is no question that we get a lot of our inspiration from our families and friends, the people with whom we interact the most. Many of the stories we tell are metaphors for things that have impacted our lives. Still, we try not to limit the scope or scale of the writing, everything is on the table. We love telling stories. You can find any of us, on any given night, taking up way more of people’s ear space than they really want. As far as the song writing is concerned, we write in collective fashion. Everyone has to have input in order for a group project to succeed, and we do truly look at this as a group art project. We rely and depend on each other for artistic advice. We trust each other’s opinions. We go with the flow. We are a family band.

4. VD: Any bands playing SnowBall you’re excited to watch? Or meet?

NW: We’re really excited to see TV on the Radio, Big Boi, Head and the Heart and Deer Tick. I have always wanted to meet Snoop…

5. VD: What’s the last thing you wrote, and what inspired it?

DM: There has been a lot of writing lately. Lots of creativity. We basically spent the last three months living in a van, which sounds like it might be a good time to write, but it doesn’t really work for us. There is not a lot of time or energy for the creative process to breathe when you are on the road. So, when we got back from a four week tour in January, we took a three-day break, then went out into the Texas Hill Country and had a very productive 10-day writing session. It has just all been pouring out of us since then. So far, a lot of the writing has had to do with adjusting to this new lifestyle, learning how to maintain relationships, traveling, etc. We expect to be finished writing, arranging and recording by the end of the year.

6. Are you excited for SXSW?

DM: SXSW is such a brick. It’s a tough proving ground. We can never be too busy, and I think we will truly be testing our limitations that week. We have a ton of shows and, being from Austin, are hosting about 10 people per night for the entire week at our house. It’s just going to be a revolving door for artists and whiskey enthusiasts.

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