Smack Thompson has become somewhat of a staple around Boulder. The rock and funk quartet of Sky King, Otis Lande, Steven Thurston and Joe Havens are mainstays at places like Conor O'Neill's, where the band plays on Friday night. We caught up with King to see what's up.
Tell me about the makeup of this band. You've all got other projects, right?
Yeah. Our bass player and keyboard player are both in several other projects and the drummer and I have been in bands together for the last few years.
How long has Smack Thompson been together?
Otis, Joe and I -- we all played together in a reggae band six or seven years ago called Xanadu, that's how we all met. A couple of us went to school together and we're mutual friends from Boulder. We decided we wanted to do more than reggae, so we started Smack Thompson.
So, when those parts come together as Smack Thompson, what do you get?
Well, a lot of the songs start with me just writing a song on an acoustic guitar, and I write in all different genres, depending on what's going on in my life. I like to write bluegrass, reggae and rock songs. Otis often adds new parts to the songs. He helps to complete them. Steven's got a jazzy approach to everything. He's at CU studying music right now. He likes to take things in a different direction and has a different approach, so that's nice.
Are you working on a new album?
We are starting to think about a second album. We released our first album about a year and a half ago. We just started to get the new album going. It's in the works.
Will it be very different from the last one?
It's fairly similar. There's gonna be a few more kind of acoustic-based things. On Friday, we're going to be doing a lot of acoustic stuff because Steven is on tour with Eminence Ensemble right now, so it's just going to be the three of us and we're just going to mix things up with just the trio. [The album] is generally gonna be a same thing, kind of a blend of the music we love.
You're really all over the Boudler area. You're always at Conor O'Neill's and Pioneer Inn.
We've kind of played all the local places in Boulder and we used to do real small ones like Pearl Street Pub, but we kind of got big for that, so we've kind of focused on the ones that we enjoy more, like Conor's and Nederland. Once Steven graduates, we're thinking about putting a tour together. We haven't had time because he's in school and everything ... We'd like to start with the West Coast and do California and Oregon then try the East Coast and everything in between.
Conor O'Neill's isn't a bad place to call home, though.
We love it. It's probably our favorite venue to play. We've got the sound nailed down, which took a couple years because it's very loud there. We love Boulder and we all teach music here and play here.