Stepping into the Spotlight with The Lumineers
Every week we like to spotlight a rising bands from outside of New England. Today, we get to know Denver’s The Lumineers. You can catch the band in Boston when they perform at Cafe 939 on Friday, April 20. Learn more about the band, below.
Band Name: The Lumineers
Wesley Keith Schultz: Guitar, Lead Vocals (Ramsey, NJ)
Jeremiah Fraites: Drums (Ramsey, NJ)
Neyla Pekarek: Cello, Mandolin, Vocals (Denver CO)
The Lumineers (2012)
How did you form/start?
Wes and Jer grew up in New Jersey together, and started making music together about six years ago. The New York scene was difficult to break into and the New York lifestyle was difficult to maintain free time for writing. They packed up and moved to Denver about three years ago where a couple friends of theirs were living. They placed a Craig’s List ad (glamorous) for a cellist that I answered, and there you have it.
Finish the sentence, someone would like your band if they like…
… good story telling, foot stomping, singable melodies and golden retrievers.
What song of yours should people listen to first and why?
“Ho Hey” is our single, but I highly encourage people to listen to the rest of the album. My personal favorite is “Dead Sea”, but I think the album is a real journey. Each song a little different from the last.
Walk us through your songwriting process.
Typically a melody is written first. We put a lot of emphasis on good melodies. You can have great lyrics, but they speak a whole lot louder when they’re supported by good melodic lines. Wesley writes most of the lyrics, and once he and Jer construct a skeleton of the song, I get to come in and flesh it out a bit with nuances from the cello or mandolin or a few vocal harmonies.
Tell us a little bit about your latest album.
It took about three years in the making. It’s had a whole lot of nurturing between the writing, recording, re-writing, re-recording, mixing, re-mixing… We’re very excited and proud of it.
What has your most memorable moment as a band been?
One moment that sticks in my mind was last year en we were robbed in Los Angeles. We went directly from the police station, where they told us we were number 3000-and-something crime of the day (aka a couple missing instruments were probably not at the top of their priority list), to a house show where we played one of the most fun shows ever. We borrowed instruments, invited our friends and turned a totally bummer situation into something really special.
What has been the hardest part of building your name onto the national level?
We worked really hard for the last few years, devoting everything to this project. Leaving jobs, breaking leases, missing loved ones. It’s nice to see hard work coming into fruition. We’re very grateful.
Who are the best bands from your hometown that we might not know about?
Denver has a really great music scene. Very supportive and community oriented. We’re big fans of The Outfit, Paper Bird, Sawmill Joe… to name a few.
What band would you most like to open for?
Personally, if we ended up on a bill with Jack White, I would not be upset…
Who is your all-time favorite Boston band?
I like The Pixies a lot. And I heard that Kim Deal also answered an ad seeking a bassist upon forming The Pixies. Can’t get much cooler than that gal.
What are your thoughts on playing Boston?
We’ve played in Worcester, Cambridge and Northampton, so we haven’t spent a whole lot of time in actual Boston yet. I’m guessing we shouldn’t say we’re Yankee fans, right?
What can people expect from your live show and why should our readers catch your next stop in Boston?
We’re very proud of the album, but it’s safe to say our live show is a whole different level. High energy, dancing, foot stomping, and smiles the whole way through. I’d say love shows are definitely our strong suit.
*All questions answered by Neyla Pekarek.