Real life musical Assets in Eagle-Vail
August 7, 2010
Kate Ball likes to tell people she met fellow band member Jonathan Powell while simultaneously crowd surfing over a sea of people at a rock concert.
“The real answer is far less interesting – the Internet,” she said. “Recently, we found our bassist, Eddy Gonzales… also on the Internet. Finding people in real life is sketchy.”
Ball is the singer and guitarist for Fort Collins-based band Assets of the Universe, which is playing a free show at Paddy’s in Eagle-Vail tonight. For Ball, the show is a bit like coming home. She moved to Vail when she was 12 years old and graduated from Battle Mountain High School, which is coincidentally where her first gig took place years ago. Read on to learn more.
1. VD: Have you performed in Vail before?
KB: Yes I have. I actually partially grew up in Vail. My first “show” was in the Battle Mountain High School auditorium, where a select few teachers, family, and really amazing friends watched me botch five original songs that I had written. I actually got detention that day for ditching French class and carrying my equipment in.
2. VD: Where are you guys based?
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KB: Specifically? In my parent’s basement, which is now our basement. Sorry Mom.
3. VD: You recently released your first full-length album, “Lonesome Alibi.” How has it been received? Tell me about your experience recording it.
KB: All five people that bought it really seem to like it! Really though, the feedback has been amazing. It’s great, and sometimes surprising, to hear all the comparisons people make like “you sound like Joan Jett meets Paramore.” (That one confused me). Seeing people enjoying our album is absolutely intoxicating for all of us.
The album was recorded at Motaland Productions in Denver, which we chose based on Jonathan’s past experience recording there. It was a relatively smooth recording process. Our engineer, Bart McCrorey, was a lot of fun and made sure we were comfortable. We also discovered an amazing sandwich shop by the studio, which really made the album come together.
4. VD: Was music always a part of your life or something you discovered as a teenager?
KB: Music has always been a huge part of my life. My great grandfather was a natural performer and played for President Harding on the White House lawn. I still have the guitar. Both of my great grandmothers played the piano at Nickelodeon. Every member of my family loves music. My father had his own well-known oldies rock and roll band in Cincinnati for 20 years. I grew up watching their performances, tagging along to the studio, and playing my father’s various instruments.
5. VD: How do you describe your music?
KB: Besides beautiful waves of wonder washing wildly over your ear canals? It’s alternative. We try to take the best part of ’90s alternative and fuse it with some different influences ranging from jazz to progressive post-garage lufa-core. Ok, we just made up that last genre, but we will coin it someday. Modern trends in music seem to be polarized to either the extremely simple or extremely dense. That’s why we try to remain accessible without sacrificing depth or interesting arrangements. Although that can be challenging at times, the end result is always rewarding.
6. VD: What inspires you?
KB: Unrequited love. Emotional battles. Victories. Love. Angst. Lattes.
7. VD: Did you grow up in Eagle County? How did that influence the path you decided to take in life?
KB: My parents and I moved to Vail the summer that I turned 12. I grew up in Cincinnati, which is vastly different than Vail in a cadre of ways. The kids in Vail were just different than in Cincinnati and it took me a really, really long time to fit in. I became obsessed with music. That’s when I really took up the guitar. My father sat me down with a guitar magazine that had the tablature to Barenaked Ladies’ “Pinch Me.” That was the start of everything.
High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or firstname.lastname@example.org.