Strange Americans returns to Edwards Friday with rockin’ new record
If you go ...
Who: Strange Americans Rocky Mountain release party for “That Kind of Luster.”
Where: Main St. Grill, Edwards.
When: 9 p.m. Friday.
More information: Visit strangeamericansmusic.com.
Matt Hoffman: Vocals, guitars, keys
Trent Nelson: Guitars, vocals
Murry Mercier: Keys, guitars, vocals
Trevor Sinnard: Bass
Michael John McKee: Drums, percussion
EDWARDS — Denver band Strange Americans finds its way up and over the passes fairly often for shows at Main St. Grill in Edwards. So what keeps drawing them back?
“We’ve had a ball every time we’ve been to Main St. (Grill),” said Trevor Sinnard, the band’s bass player. “The people always come out, listen and have a great time. Personally, I think that we’ve enjoyed interacting with the crowds — they usually get a little rowdy and put on pretty good spectacle for us as well.”
This time the band is back to celebrate its new, sophomore album, “This Kind of Luster,” which came out a month ago. They’ll perform at Main St. Grill again Friday at 9 p.m. The Denver release show took place at the Bluebird Theater, with The Knew and Josh Dillard and the Streaks of Lighting also performing.
“The release show went really well,” said Matt Hoffman, who sings, plays guitar and keyboard for the band. “It was a full room and we were really encouraged by the number of people that came out. We had a couple of great bands — they really brought a lot of great energy.”
The band members took the time to answer a few questions
Vail Daily: I like the name of your new album, “That Kind of Luster.” How did you guys come up with the name?
Murry Mercier: The title comes from a line in the song “Le Central.” If you are wondering about a deeper root to the meaning, it represents our uncertainty towards the link between success and conformity.
Matt Hoffman: Yeah, there is a theme that travels across most of the songs on the album. This idea of finding our own path in life, staying true to what you believe in and not getting distracted by all the other things.
VD: This is your sophomore effort. What can you tell us about the album? How long did it take to record?
MH: This album was recorded a bit differently than the first album. “A Royal Battle” was recorded in six studio days spread over two weeks. Those songs had been pre-produced and were ready to record with most details ironed out. “That Kind of Luster” was written a little more as we went. Initially we planned on an EP, but quickly realized the option of a full length. Over the following year, we repeated that process, wrote a couple songs, then head back to the studio for a weekend.
Trent Nelson: All in all, we feel the energy of the songs were captured with more rawness. The songs were a little more fresh and less rehearsed at the time of recording.
VD: What bands does your sound get compared to? Where do you guys draw inspiration from?
MH: Wilco, My Morning Jacket, Lucero, Neil Young and Crazy Horse etc. Inspiration comes from those bands as well as others.
Trevor Sinnard: While we like a lot of the same music, we all have our own preferences and influences, which can leak their way into the music as well.
VD: Last year you won Westword’s “Best Roots Rock” group award. Did that surprise you guys?
TS: We were in a category with a lot of other great bands. Personally, I think we were all a little surprised to have won but certainly happy that we did.
VD: “That Kind of Luster” seems to be more rock and roll than your preview album. Was that a deliberate move or just how it came out?
MH: It was somewhat of a natural progression. We had a couple of songs finished that were a little more rock when we were in the initial stages of planning the album. From there it just seemed to naturally build in that direction so we just went with it.
VD: How did your Aspen show go on Tuesday?
MM: This was our second time heading to Aspen to play the Belly Up and it has been great both times. Being the off season for a couple more weeks we got to play for a lot of great local folks. I always enjoy these crowds; supportive, and always willing to joke around with us on stage.
VD: You guys recorded this album together, live. Why did you choose to go this route and what does it add to the end product?
TS: Generally it’s more organic. There is a lot more energy when everyone is in the moment. Certain things just happen musically when you’re playing together versus molding your part to an old recording you’ve listened to a hundred times.
VD: What is something journalists haven’t asked but should?
MM: Have you ever seen a bear in the wild? Funny you should ask. Yes! Last night when leaving Aspen, a bear ran across the street in front of us. Unfortunately, Trent was laying down on the back bench in the van and totally missed it.