MTHDS return to Steamboat Friday with humor and heart |

MTHDS return to Steamboat Friday with humor and heart

Nicole Inglis

MTHDS, or Music That Heightens Different Senses, fuses live rock with hip-hop beats. The Denverites play at 10 p.m. Friday at Ghost Ranch Saloon. The cover is $5.

— On Thursday afternoon, Nick Dillen was cleaning out a house in Denver where he and his band mates of the MTHDS have lived for three years.

Somewhere among the junk that had accumulated since the band's relocation from Denver to Vail, Dillen found a pile of old rap verses he had written as a teenager.

"There were two main themes," he said. "One of them was really abstract. I was rhyming things like algorithm and cataclysm, which doesn't really make sense. And the others were really dirty about picking up chicks."

Then he and his band mates, sitting on their front porch swing during a break from moving, all laughed.

"I ended up right in middle," Dillen said.

MTHDS plays 10 p.m. Friday at Ghost Ranch Saloon. The cover is $5.

Recommended Stories For You

The five-piece, hip-hop band teeters somewhere between reggae and hipster party rock, with a full band and two emcees.

On stage, Dillen is joined by rapper Lawrence Kerr, with Johnny Schleper on guitar, Dustin Zentz on drums, Chris Chipouras on bass and Neil Youkimura on percussion, acoustic guitar and synthesizer.

The group was born in Vail four years ago when Schleper and Zentz were playing in a band called In it for Tim. Then one night, an In it for Tim show turned into a jam session comprising the musicians that eventually would make up the MTHDS, which stands for Music That Heightens Different Senses.

They proceeded to take to the Vail bar scene, playing weekly at venues such as Samana, Loaded Joe's and the Sandbar.

"People loved us," Schleper said. "Probably because they were drunk."

It's tough for this group to set their sarcasm aside, a fact that is as plain as ever in their recent music video for "Positive Movement" in which they dress up as peace-loving zombies.

But beneath the quips and the teasing, MTHDS has heart, and its members have a desire to make it as musicians in the Denver scene and beyond.

But "not that big," Schleper said.

He said the end game of the band isn't radio domination or hit singles; it's world peace. But he defined it in a different way.

"You get together and have a huge party and elevate the world," he said. "The world is at peace in that room at that time. It's one person at a time."

The MTHDS have played at Ghost Ranch four times, and members said there's a die-hard fan from Steamboat out there named Nick that they hope to see in the front row once again tonight. But they don't want to set the bar too high.

"Let's set the expectations low, and then let the people decide," Dillen joked. "Then after, they'll be like, 'Wow, that was actually better than average.'"

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email

If you go


When: 10 p.m. today

Where: Ghost Ranch Saloon,

56 Seventh St.

Cost: $5 at the door

Go back to article