Southern California band brings their funky groove to Steamboat Springs this weekend
April 27, 2017
Steamboat Springs — This jam band has rock, funk, reggae and a few surprises. Sound familiar?
Brothers Gow is back in Steamboat Springs, 9 p.m. Saturday evening at the Old Town Pub.
Hailing from San Diego, California, Brothers Gow is comprised of members, Alex Gow Bastine on keyboard and vocals, Ethan Wade on guitar and vocals, Kyle Merrill on guitar, trumpet and vocals, Nathan Walsh-Haines on drums and vocals, and Carson Church on bass. Creators of the unpredictable visual show includes Matt Collier, lighting director and Kevin Rudnick, sound engineer.
Earlier this week arts and entertainment editor, Audrey Dwyer caught up with Walsh-Haines to talk about the latest musings of Brothers Gow.
Audrey Dwyer: What you guys working on now? Any new directions Brothers Gow is taking within the music?
Nathan Walsh-Haines: We've been touring rigorously for the last few years (averaging more than 100 shows per year). The writing never ends, but now, a lot of it is happening on stage and on the road, rather than at home. I think the music is really evolving, our ears are growing and the music is getting deeper.
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Stylistically, we have a unique dichotomy of ballads and progressive instrumentals. Our lyrics tend to question what the hell we are doing with our lives, but ultimately surrender to the moment and celebrate the experience of being able to do this at all. Of course, that’s all subjective, and I think our fans can make sense of that.
Brothers Gow plays a lot of different songs with its own twist on it. How would you define what that twist is and where does it originate?
NWH: We are all '80s/'90s kids, so almost all of our covers are '80s pop and '90s hip-hop. From Talking Heads to Tupac, we try to find tunes with great grooves and lyrics and go from there.
For us, the beauty of covers is in taking something someone knows and turning it on its head. Our mashup list is like a pop-quiz, where fans can guess what's going to happen next, and the music is relatable, but it's done in a brand new way. And it's always still danceable and rocking.
AD: As the drummer of the band, how do the drums influence the BG sound? Are the drums leading the direction of each song in a way?
NWH: I think I have a pretty heavy, but equal influence in the music. The guys give me a lot of discretion in deciding how I want to approach a song and in giving the music a variety of "feels." I am a pretty busy player and like a lot of details in my parts. As far as leading the direction, in the past, our transitions were much more planned, and now, it’' becoming more of a group ascent, where the natural flow of the music is leading us, rather than us leading it.
AD: What is the songwriting process like for you guys? Is it significantly collaborative?
NWH: Usually, one person will bring a specific idea or form to the group, but from there, it's a democratic process, and each person has a lot of say in their own part. I try to operate under Brendan Bayliss's (Umphrey’s McGee) motto, "Say 'yes' to everything." The point is to be open-minded and curious about the potential of someone's idea. That's the only way you can really create cohesive, intelligent music that you believe in.
AD: Any new projects or updates on what happening with the Brothers Gow Music Foundation?
NH: We do a show once or twice a year where all proceeds are donated to the foundation. When we play at home, oftentimes we will raffle a signed guitar and donate those proceeds, as well. The next fundraiser will likely be this summer or fall.
AD: That's such an awesome endeavor that you guys take part in. What are your thoughts on it, and what have been some of the most memorable moments with the students?
NH: I teach (drums) privately at home, and we just donated a drum set to an 8-year-old student of mine. His eyes light up every single time he plays. I’m hoping I can be his teacher/mentor for years to come. The sheer joy and curiosity this kid has about the instrument — that’s what it’s all about.
AD: What can the Steamboat audience expect to see at the show on Saturday?
NH: Old Town Pub is honestly one of the shows we are looking most forward to. The new stage and vibe in the room is amazing. We love the small town feel and like getting to know locals and being engaged with the audience. Expect a rock show/dance party with bright lights and a good time.
If you go…
What: Brothers Gow
When: 9 p.m.
Where: Old Town Pub, 600 Lincoln Ave.