Vail native returns with NYC band Turbine |

Vail native returns with NYC band Turbine

Caramie Schnell
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyNYC band Turbine plays a free show at Sandbar in West Vail Tuesday night.

VAIL, Colorado –Sometimes you have to nearly beg for a good description from a musician. Not from the NYC-based band Turbine. Back in September when we last talked to the band, guitarist Ryan Rightmire described the bands music this way:

“If we could strap a rocket to Bob Dylan, basically weaponize Bob Dylan, and then let him front the band Radiohead … that would be where I’d like to see this end up.”

It paints an interesting picture, for sure.

Turbine has played at nearly every major music festival in the country – Bonnaroo, Wakarusa, 10K Lakes and more – but Tuesday night they return to the Sandbar in West Vail for a free show. The band’s bass player, Justin Kimmel, grew up in Eagle County and took the time to answer a few questions about the rock/funk/jazz band and what it’s like to come home.

1. Vail Daily: What’s it like for you to come back to where you were raised and perform?

Justin Kimmel: It’s always fun to come back to Vail. I love it out here. It’s fun to see old friends and family and try to get on the mountain as well.

2. VD: Do you see a lot of familiar faces at your Vail shows?

JK: Yes. It’s always surprising to see someone I haven’t see n in a long time. I haven’t lived here in like 10 years. My good friend Johnny Schleper (of the band MTHDS) is coming down and he’s going to sing with us for the show.

3. VD: Was it always your dream to get out of happy valley and make it big in New York City?

JK: Yeah. But I always wanted to go to California. I never imagined going to New York. I went to California when I was 18 to study music. And then I somehow made it out to New York. It wasn’t planned. I had a band with Johnny (Schleper) and our friend Chase Ramsey and we broke up. I needed to get somewhere where I’d be playing music every day. I’ve been in New York for seven years now. There’s a lot of different influences I get there that you can’t get anywhere else, whether it’s African music, hip hop, jazz or the indie rock scene. There’s just so much going on there.

4. VD: What has the band been up to since we last talked in September?

JK: We have a new drummer, Octavio Salman. It’s his first tour with us. It’s fun to see him grow with the band. He’s great, a really versatile drummer and very friendly.

We also have a brand new Web site,

5. VD: This show at the Sandbar Tuesday night is part of an extensive tour in the southeast and in Colorado, right?

JK: Yep, we just did the whole East Coast, starting with New York down to Athens, Ga. And now we’re doing two weeks in Colorado. We’re playing the Fox Theater in Boulder Thursday and in Breckenridge on Friday.

6. VD: What’s your favorite and least favorite things about touring?

JK: My favorite thing is getting to play every night. It’s a more simple life, get on the road and have that as your main goal. And seeing new things and meeting new people, those are all great. My least favorite thing is just not having any privacy at all, ever. We share one hotel room or sometimes we’re sharing a living room of a friend’s house.

7. VD: You’ve been working on a live album with songs recorded during your summer 2009 tour. Tell me about it.

JK: I mixed the album the last few months. That was a lot of work. It’s not released, but we’ll have free promotional copies, an advance version, to give out at the Sandbar. We expect to release it late spring.

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or

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