Rose Hill Drive plays free concert in Lionshead tonight |

Rose Hill Drive plays free concert in Lionshead tonight

Geoff Mintz
VAIL CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyStarting next week, Boulder band Rose Hill Drive will tour with Stone Temple Pilots, but first, they're playing a free show in Lionshead Thursday.

In a music world where everyone is a self-proclaimed, indefinable blend of genres and styles, Rose Hill Drive is happy to call itself a rock band.

Brothers Jake and Daniel Sproul formed the group with Nathan Barnes about 10 years ago in a Boulder high school. The band has since been making records and touring around the world. They have two complete studio albums, as well as a handful of live records and EPs.

At their live performances, the band members are high energy and unpredictable. With well-crafted rock songs, Rose Hill Drive is known for both the hard-driving three-minute song and epic nine-minute jam.

“We try to rock out and keep it fun and intense,” Jake Sproul said. “But we take it really seriously, making sure we’re playing the right (stuff) and we aren’t too (messed) up to go up on stage. We keep a pretty cogent attitude about being able to show up and give it everything we have. We like to give it 100 percent because life is short.”

This year, Rose Hill Drive (RHD) will be coming out with its third, no-yet-titled studio album – their first with newest band member Jimmy Stofer, who previously played bass for Denver pop/rock group The Fray.

“The new record is a little different from what we’ve produced in the past,” Sproul said. “It’s still pretty heavy guitars, still a lot of emphasis on guitar solos and groove. But I would say, to me, it’s quite a bit more modern – combining more influences.”

Also on the docket for 2011 is a touring schedule with Stone Temple Pilots, starting next week, which Sproul said is a dream come true.

“They’re definitely one of my biggest influences. Just watching that band go from the grunge thing, which was really cool, to a very melodic – I would say Bowie-esque-type of sound – was very inspirational. The way they blended really hard rock with really eclectic melodies was amazing. So to go out with them is really going to be mind-blowing, one to check off the bucket list, for sure.”

The connection formed out of a mutual relationship with STP’s producer and album engineer, who also worked on one of Rose Hill Drive’s albums. Sproul said it was a phenomenal feeling to make records with the guys who helped Stone Temple Pilots define their sound – in the same studio, using a lot of the same equipment they used to make great records, his favorite of which is “Number 4.”

Rose Hill Drive has also played dates with The Black Crowes, Robert Randolph, Wilco and Queens Of The Stone Age, and they’ve performed at Bonnaroo, Red Rocks, Austin City Limits and the Warped Tour. In 2006, the band had the honor of playing the same stage as The Who at Leeds and at the Hyde Park Calling Festival in London.

But they say it’s hard to beat coming home to Colorado.

“I love going up and playing the mountains – period. The mountains make me feel good,” Sproul said. “The last show was at 8150, and I remember bouncing around on the dance floor. It feels like a close-knit group of people with cohesiveness. For the most part, people who live in the mountains just know how to have a good time.”

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