What: Springdale Quartet
When: 9 p.m. Friday
Where: Shine Gathering Place, 2027 13th St., Boulder, 303-449-0120
More info: shineboulder.com
When: 7 p.m. Sunday
Where: Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge, 930 Lincoln Street, Denver, 303-839-5100
More info: dazzlejazz.com
With two CD release shows coming up for Springdale Quartet’s sophomore record, Heist, we thought we oughta check in with the Boulder band.
Guitarist Ben Waligoske gave a us a call from the deck at Cheba Hut, sipping on a beer (and making us jealous), and talked about the record, jazz influences and Weezer.
Before we talk about the important stuff, I’m curious: Do you guys still jam on Springdale Lane?
You know we’ve made our way back there a couple times, just for old times’ sake. Chase (Terzian, who plays keys) lives in the Gold Run area over there. We’re over there quite a bit. Let’s just say that late-night, once or twice, we might have snuck in and messed around.
We’ve been talking about having a concert. It’s mostly college kids, so we could get a keg and have a street party … That was home for two or three years. Both our drummer and bass player lived in separate units on Springdale Lane. That’s where it all started.
Tell me about the new album.
It’s kind of this weird duality, right. Some of the songs have been around for a little while. Some are brand new. It’s finally done, and that, to me, is kind of just crazy, especially with Alan’s (Evans, of Soulive) involvement. It was probably a year ago that we started. Brad Smalling runs Evergroove Studio, where we recorded it. His guys had an existing relationship with Alan …
It’s kind of crazy to think that we got to work with someone like that. We grew up listening to Soulive as our shit. We’d put it on at 2 a.m.
It’s just sinking in that we worked hard and we came up with some cool music. I don’t know what people want to call it … We’re getting ready for more, too. It’s kind of a tease to be honest. We’re ready to get back in there.
Speaking of not knowing what to call it, there’s a noticeable jazz thing going on. Do you have backgrounds in jazz?
The funny answer is always, “Just enough to not get in the way of being good music.” I don’t know if that’s the right response or not. We all went to school at CU, but none of us really went to school to become jazz musicians. We grew up doing the same thing most people in their 20s — listen to like classic rock and ’90s stuff. We got into improvisation and jam music at certain times.
The jazz thing is weird, because I think people who are into jazz already are like, ‘Awesome, this is my shit.’ But then there’s a whole ‘nother demographic of people who automatically think of an antiquity. It’s a weird thing to straddle.
It’s been a couple years since Noisefactory. Have things changed much?
I joined the band as the second guitar player, but that was five or six years ago now, but other than that it’s the same. That continuity helps a lot … Our keyboardist, Chase, did a lot of the writing. We worked in a couple of my tunes and a couple from our bassist, Jordan. We’ve gotten more receptive with people coming to the band with ideas and everyone working it out …
Especially in the jazz world, there are people who are like, ‘This is my song. This is how it’s played.’ We don’t have that. We give respect to the person who wrote it, but since the first record, it’s become a more collaborative effort.
To circle back to Alan, that’s why it was good to bring in a producer. Sometimes it’s good to have that outside opinion, and a more collaborative process when you’re not certain yourself … Sometimes we agreed and sometimes we didn’t, but that discourse helps.
I heard you have a great Weezer cover under your belts.
It’s so funny how people latch onto that, too. And I think that’s awesome. We were sitting in rehearsal one time and we’d listen to Weezer and Sublime and Green Day. I heard that tune and I was like, ‘man, this is a good song.’ So I did the parts quick and showed the guys and it just worked. … Alan had the same reaction, like, ‘Yo that should be on the record.’ We’d played it a couple times and it got a great crowd reaction. The writing’s on the wall for that one. We wrote a royalties check to Rivers Cuomo, so that was a really surreal moment.
As much as we love our original music and sharing … I think for whatever reason keeping a thing on the record like that is something people can latch onto. Even if they’re not totally not into the instrumental thing, they can get into what we do.