Q&A: Rockin Grove

Rocktin Grove Band Photo

Mars Cafe is hosting Rocktin Grove, a Colorado-based seven-piece, on August 14th at 7pm. Check out what they’re looking forward to while in DSM. (Spoiler: The BHG test garden… For real.)

Q: If you had to describe your sound in three words that start in a G, what would they be?
A: Get-Down,  Groovy, Goodness.

Q: How do you balance so many different players and instruments into your music? Was that ever a problem in the past (or present)?
A: While it’s challenging, we all are learning to listen to the whole sound first and foremost. Overtime we have found that certain combinations of instruments and styles work better than others.  For example, harmonized guitar, mandolin, violin and saxophone melodies are very powerful and drive the groove.

Q: What’s the story behind the band name?
A: Rocktin Grove is named after a hangout spot in our backyard garden that is shaded and surrounded by rocks, hence the name “rocked in.” Since most of the band lives together we decided to name the band Rocktin Grove in honor of our community space. This said, the name has grown to embody any space that provides sanctuary and support for all of our aspirations.

Q: How did all of you meet?
A: We met our senior year of college. All of us were friends with one or two other members, but none of us knew the entire group.  It wasn’t until some of us started jamming that all of our musical connections from college combined to form the current band.

Q: If you could go on tour with any other musician/band dead or alive, who would it be 
and why?
A: That is a tricky question.  I’m sure each member could name a different musician, but if we had to choose we would most likely say the Funk Brothers (Motown’s main band).  As much as we all enjoy varied musical tastes funk, groove, and soul is at the core of our writing.  Not to mention that the Funk Brothers are historically some of the coolest musicians around.

Q: What are you looking to do after your Midwest tour? Any new music on the horizon 
we can look forward to?
A: We have big plans after the tour. We will record our first radio single in combination with a music video in the fall followed by a full length album in 2014. We also are planning our first ever Kickstarted campaign for the album in November 2013.  We are excited to move towards more touring in 2014 and bringing our music across the globe.

Performance Photo

Q: What’s your best on-stage moment?
A: We recently headlined the Fox Theater in Boulder, CO (see video above) to 500 screaming fans. During a short break in our set we surprised our drummer with a birthday cake and balloons. We had a full house singing happy birthday while his mom and sister delivered the cake. It was a once and lifetime moment not to mention Will turned a quarter of a century old!

Q: Any tour tips for fellow musicians?
A: This is our first tour, but in prepping it is very important to give yourself plenty of time. We have been a little late in some aspects, but on the ball in others. For example, we don’t have a van yet! However, we have an intricate excel file database full of marketing info and planning for each city.  The most important tip is to simply make it happen and work hard and everything else will fall into place.

Q: What has been the most rewarding experience for you guys as a band?
A: When we started we didn’t even think we could book a show. Our first show we booked the night before on a whim and the place went out of business two days later.  Now we are close to selling out one of the biggest venues in our home town. The incredible support of our friends, fans, and family is the most rewarding experience we continue to to have every day.  It’s a long haul trying to make a living as a band, but it is also wonderful to create community and music with great friends.

Q: What are you looking forward to most in Des Moines?
A: We are looking forward most to seeing the Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden. No really, we love gardening and two of our members are landscape architects. Who would have thought?

Q: If you had to tell readers any one thing that they can look forward to if they come to the show, what would it be?
A: You know that feeling of inspiration and glee after a great night of dancing and grooving. That is what you will get at a Rocktin Grove show!

*hat tip: gratefulweb for the Youtube video

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