Bringing ‘Euforia’ back to Steamboat Springs
July 17, 2014
Steamboat Springs — Bringing their Afro-Caribbean, barnyard funk, Euforquestra will be in Steamboat Springs on Saturday with a newly infused energy.
Pronounced yoo-FOHR-keh-struh — think euphoria plus orchestra — the group credits their roots to the artsy college town of Iowa City, Iowa. Recently, the group spent time touring in support of their newest album, "Fire." A long time coming, this album was released five years after the band's last studio album, "Soup."
Throughout the years, the group has made a permanent home in Fort Collins, but gives credit to Iowa City for their musical upbringing.
On Thursday, frontman of the group and guitarist, Mike Tallman spoke about the group's upcoming show and summer tour with Explore Steamboat.
Explore Steamboat: If you could collaborate with any band or musician who would it be and why?
Mike Tallman: Oh, that’s a tough one. I suppose it would depend on what kind of collaboration it was, but generally speaking, I would have to pick one of my heroes like Stevie Wonder. His voice, his keyboard playing and his songwriting are all so incredible. He’s truly a living legend.
ES: How often do you guys get to play here and when was the last time?
MT: We’ve played Steamboat a bunch of times over the years at all the different venues in town. Last time we were in town was January 2014.
ES: What are some of your and the other bandmates favorite things to do when visiting Steamboat?
MT: We love coming to Steamboat. We don’t always have a lot of time to enjoy the town as much as we would like, but when we have time, we like to go see Strawberry Hot Springs. Or even just a walk down by the river is nice. We almost always get breakfast at the Creekside Cafe if we have time, so if you want to find us the morning after a show, that’s the best place to look!
ES: How many shows are planned for your summer tour?
MT: Oh, I don’t even know … lots. June, July and August are really busy for us. We’re playing all around Colorado but also have festivals and club dates around the country. We’ll slow down a little bit in the fall because I’m getting married in early October. Then we’ll do something for Halloween.
ES: You guys have played all over. What kind of venues do you prefer to play at and why?
MT: Every venue has it’s own little charm. Since we are a fairly large group, we like to play places that have good size stages and plenty of room for people to dance. But it can also be fun to pack in to a tiny little club where the audience is right in your face. The last couple times we were in Steamboat, we played the Sweetwater Grill, the place was packed and it seemed like there was so much energy that the room might explode at any moment.
ES: Coming from Iowa City and then moving to Colorado, do you think the sound of Euforquestra reflects one city or the other?
MT: We’ve always had an eclectic sound. We used to have to seek out a lot of new music when we lived in Iowa City, and I think we did a pretty good job at it. Once we moved to Colorado, we were exposed to a ton more music just by being part of the scene. I don’t think our sound necessarily reflects one place over the other, but it encompasses a lot of sounds from here, there and a lot of places where we’ve never even been.
ES: How do you think the music scenes differ?
MT: Iowa City was a much smaller scene, but it’s an incredibly hip town that supports the arts. We couldn’t have asked for a better place to get our start. Moving to Colorado has been great for us, but we wouldn’t have come this far if we hadn’t had the “musical upbringing” that we received in Iowa City.
ES: What have the previous shows been like when Euforquestra is in Steamboat? What can we expect for this weekend's show?
MT: Steamboat is one of our favorite ski towns. It’s really great because there are more people around in the summer than in some of the other ski towns. We usually have really good crowds, even in the summer months. We are excited to be back and can’t wait to play Schmiggity’s for the first time.
ES: At Camp Euforia (the group's homegrown festival held near Iowa City) you guys do a lot of improv and collaboration with other musicians. Are you able to do that because you guys are a really close-knit group or is it something else?
MT: We love to collaborate with other artists. It’s fun to improvise and create something special on the fly. We are lucky to have a lot of friends around us that are amazing musicians. Last weekend at Camp Euforia, we got rained out on the main stage, so we moved in to the smaller indoor stage and had a jam session with us, The Motet and Juno What?!. It ended up being one of the coolest things that has ever happened at our festival. We also had Keller Williams sit in with us last weekend, which was a blast.
ES: Can we expect a show like that here in Steamboat?
MT: We always have elements of improvisation in our shows. Collaborations with other artists are always dependent on who’s present at the time. If we have musical friends around, we always like to try and collaborate if we can.
ES: Do you think the new album, "Fire," introduces a new direction for the band?
MT: “Fire” introduces some new elements, but it’s rooted in what we’ve always done. It still has elements of reggae and afrobeat, but there’s much more emphasis on funk. It wasn’t a totally conscious decision, but the batch of songs that we ended up choosing for the record just all kind of worked that way. We are really happy with the results.
ES: Who are some of your favorite composers, musicians or bands from the past and present?
MT: This could be a long list. I’ll try to abbreviate it. As a guitarist, I love a lot of great jazz players, old and new, like Wes Montgomery, Grant Green and John Scofield. Some bands that I’m currently listening to a lot would be Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters, Lettuce, The New Mastersounds, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, The Poets of Rhythm and many, many more.
ES: What are you looking forward to most for the show this weekend?
MT: I’m excited just to be in Steamboat for a night. It’s one of my favorite places in Colorado. I’m also really excited to play at Schmiggity’s. I’m glad there’s another great venue in town. Can’t wait to be back!