(Editor's note: This Q&A previews a show cosponsored by Hear Nebraska and Poster Child Productions at Duffy's Tavern Sunday, Aug. 14 at 6 p.m. The Machete Archive and Carrot Carrot also play the, $5, all-ages show. RSVP here.)
by Casey Welsch
Colorado was blessed. It's always had majestic mountains, lush forests and lilly-white snow, sure, but for the past decade, it's had medical marijuana.
That's a bonus for Denver's Woodsman.
The trippy, densely textured quartet incorporates both the natural beauty of its surroundings and the natural properties of its medicine to create wonderfully "out-there" music. Guitarist Trevor Peterson talked to us about drug music, the dangers of van exhaust and their upcoming early show at Duffy's on Sunday with Carrot Carrot and the Machete Archive.
Hear Nebraska: In your own words, musical or not, how would you describe the music you make?
Trevor Peterson: We get asked this all the time and I think it's the hardest thing to answer. It seems like usually what people are looking for is a description of your sound. I always end up just saying we are a four piece made of up of two drummers and two guitar players. We make the type of tunes that might help you visualize your next drug experience.
HN: When did you get your start in music? Was it a life-changing discovery or just something you've always done?
TP: All of us have always made music our whole lives. Dylan (Shumaker, drums) and I started with Piano lessons in first grade or so and transitioned into band in school. Eston (Lathrop, drums) has played drums since he was a kid and Mark (Demolar, guitar) taught himself how to play guitar when he was a kid.
HN: How does making music in Denver differ from making music anywhere else?
TP: I think making music here on most levels is the same as anywhere else. I think the difference is what inspires the music. We're surrounded by so much beautiful scenery that it's almost impossible not to let a little of that bleed in. Denver is also a really supportive community with tons of rad artists and musicians doing really cool things. I think because we're so far away from any other city we all kind of feel like we're trapped on an Island and we all have each other's backs.
HN: What are some good things that have happened to you, musically, personally or professionally in the last three years since Woodsman has been a band?
TP: Things have been great the past three years. We pretty much set out from the beginning touring, although we didn't really know what that means. We booked a bunch of shows around the country early on and fell in love with that aspect of being in a band. Shortly after that we signed a deal with Mexican Summer and that was huge for us. We were basically unknown even in our own city so to have that kind of support early on has lead to so many more opportunities and also kept us psyched to keep making new tunes.
HN: How did you start working together?
TP: Eston and I grew up playing together. He left to go to college in Minneapolis and when he got to Denver we jumped right back into playing. I had been going to school here in Denver and met Mark there. I learned he had a two-man band with Dylan and we all decided to merge together and see what happened. It felt right and we decided to play some shows and record some songs.
HN: Have you ever played Lincoln before?
TP: On that first tour a few years ago we played a show at a venue called Box Awesome. And more recently in June we played the front room at the Bourbon Theatre. Lincoln is a cool little college town and the people we've met there have been super hospitable and rad. I think we're all really looking forward to going back to that wing spot. I forget the name but it's right down the block from the Bourbon and might be some of the better wings I've ever had.
HN: One of the Nebraska bands you're playing with, Carrot Carrot, dropped its spot on the lineup for the Nebraska Pop Festival because they want to play with you. Will you buy them a drink?
TP: Holy shit that's crazy! I guess we should buy them more than a drink. Maybe some lap dances and the nearest titty bar or something. Maybe a bunch of weed if they're into that sort of thing.
HN: This is an early show, so all ages might be present. Do you think your music appeals to all ages?
TP: Yes definitely. We came up playing all ages shows, DIY venues, warehouses, house shows and we still love doing those types of shows. I remember when I was 16 and only cared about seeing bands and I was always bummed when my favorite bands would be playing in bars that I couldn't get into. All ages shows make sense on a lot of levels. We're all for that.
HN: What's one really good story from your most recent tour?
TP: Man the last one will go down in history as the most fucked tour of all time for us. About halfway through the tour the exhaust system on our van cracked and was leaking fumes into the cabin. We were so broke we couldn't really do anything about it except try numerous rinky dink fix-it scenarios. We duct tape aluminum foil to the muffler, tried gorilla tape, everything we could think of. By the time we hit Toronto to play this festival we were all green and sick. We made it home and within two hours had that thing sold.
HN: What's planned for Woodsman's future?
TP: We've got a new EP dropping this fall, Oct. 25 on our own label, Fire Talk. Watch out for that.
Casey Welsch is the editorial intern at Hear Nebraska. He grew up in the woods. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.