If you go
What: Colfax Speed Queen, Thee Dang Dangs, Holy Wave
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Lost Lake, 3602 E. Colfax Ave., Denver
More info: facebook.com/pages/Lost-Lake
Colfax Speed Queen frontman Matt Loui is happy to have a new drummer who can sing. The problem is that Larry Nix’s voice isn’t as rough as his.
To get their voices better matched, Loui has a simple solution.
“Gotta get ready to drink some more whiskey and smoke some more cigarettes,” he said.
Nix is newest member of the Denver garage-rock outfit. You might recognize his name from, well, a lot of places, including the band Pretty Girl or the open mic night he hosts at Local 46. He’s a singer-songwriter and guitarist. Drumming isn’t actually his thing.
“He’s not a drummer by trade, and so I feel like the sound is a little more raw, a little more punk, now,” Loui said. “I’m more than willing to trade little technical ability on drums for backing vocals. And he’s not bad to look at, as well.”
When former drummer Reed McKinny left the band, Nix stepped up and started honing his skills behind the kit.
“I was a big fan of Colfax Speed Queen. I was good friends with Reed and Matt. I didn’t want the band to go away,” Nix said. “I kind of threw myself in front of the bus. I said, ‘I’m not a drummer, but I can do it to keep you guys going.’ We hit the ground running and haven’t slowed down since.”
It’s true. It can sometimes seem like the band is in every dive in Denver at once, and that’s not far off. They’ve been pushing for gigs nearly every weekend. They took a break from being a Mile High to do a mini-tour around their trip to Idaho for Treefort Music Fest.
Now, Loui, Nix, and Rob and Ryan Halgren are working on a new record to follow-up 2013’s Satisfaction Intended. The band is known for putting a surf-rock touch on its music, but as Loui said, it might be sounding more punk-y. Nix has a slightly different feel for the new music.
“The guys in the band will kill me for saying this — I think it’s a little dancier, groovier than the last record, and more kind of harmonic,” he said. “We changed things up a little bit and the biggest change is me coming into the band, because I’m a singer, and having a different style of drumming and singing, I think, drastically changes the band.”
He said they’re aiming for a release at the end of the summer, and Loui has a lot of ideas how that will go down. The last record was released on Hot Congress, but the guys funded it themselves. This time, they’re hoping for a little more help from a label. Loui wants to go with vinyl, again, or maybe even a tape with a download card.
“I think that it’s mainly aesthetic,” he said. “I’m a huge music dork, so I have a pretty healthy vinyl collection. We do this night at Beauty Bar every third Wednesday. It’s called Heavy Dose and it’s all vinyl, psych-rock, surf, garage and punk music. I know a lot of people don’t have access to that type of music and it makes it kind of unique and special to have a night that’s all vinyl and cater to music dorks like ourselves. I think that getting our record in the hands of someone like ourselves or our friends who DJ with us makes sense.”
The next Heavy Dose night is about a month away, but you can catch Colfax Speed Queen on Friday night, in the band’s natural environment. They’re playing on E. Colfax at Lost Lake with Austin psych-rockers Holy Wave and Denver surf-rockers Thee Dang Dangs. They play again Saturday night at the Sidewinder, and again with Thee Dang Dangs again May 4, with The Blue Rider at Lion’s Lair, also on E. Colfax.
Contact Ashley Dean at 303-473-1109. On Twitter: @AshaleyJill.