Los Colognes Interview
When I got approved to Sasquatch 2017, I didn't think that the first thing I did when I arrived on site would be to interview a band - much less a band on the level of Los Colognes. The band is made up of Jay Rutherford (vocals, guitar), Aaron Mortenson (drums, vocals), Gordon Persha (bass), Micah Hulscher (keys), and Chuck Foster (keys). I spoke with Jay and Mort as the rest of the band was packed up and headed off to their next scheduled event.
The band is from Nashville and they described their sound to me as "Rock and Roll in the realm of Grateful Dead and Dire Straits." Los Colognes are fresh off the release of their 3rd album The Wave - which is fantastic (check out 'Can You Remember'), and have had an incredibly busy start to their summer already touring in support of that album. Prior to Sasquatch, they all flew into the Northwest and met up in Portland for a gig at the Doug Fir (5/24) before heading up to Seattle to play a show (5/25), and capped it off with Sasquatch on Friday (5/26).
Sasquatch is a pretty big festival, and what people say about the view of the Gorge is absolutely correct. When I asked them about Sasquatch specifically in comparison to other festivals, Jay said; "The setting is unreal. It's not overly big too." They have a good history of festivals they've played to base this off, including Hangout Festival, Austin City Limits, and Electric Forest, just to name a few. They were lucky enough to catch Outkasts' reunion at Hangout Fest too - what a show that must've been.
The festival scene has its advantages for artists - as described by Mort; "It's a fantastic chance to play for people who are revved up and ready to go. They're ready to party and are there for a great experience. They got the code - they're there to party. It's a yes mentality." This is so true, regardless if an act is playing at 1230pm or at 12am, the crowd is ready to have fun.
When they initially got into music, their goals were different than they are now - ask any band that question and I believe you'd find that's the case 100% of the time. Jay says of their goal now for the band; "Our goal is for the music to be communal. Something where when it works, you communicate and connect with a large group of people and everybody is united. There's nothing greater than that feeling. It's the highest of highs."
The last thing we talked about was inspirations. Sometimes there is a pause or a quick pondering of a band or person who had the biggest impact on them, but Jay and Mort almost responded immediately with "Radiohead." They expounded on this; "The dedication is insane. They're always pushing themselves to be better. It never sounds phoned in. There's no other band that has been relevant and as innovative over the past 2 decades. They are still the most important band on earth." I could not state that better myself. Mort continued; "Every artist who matters in any field all look to Radiohead as the thing that is pushing culture forward. I've never heard someone at the top of their field not mention them as being the greatest."
The rest of 2017 will be just as busy for the band from Nashville, if not more so. They have a 2 week record release tour that is happening shortly in June, and they also are playing the LOCKN' Festival in August. When asked about what else is to come, Jay added; "Hopefully doing more of this, more consistently (touring). We'll be putting out more music this year, playing more shows, and releasing some music videos soon too." The future looks bright for this band from Nashville.
I'd like to thank Jay and Mort for their time, and their management for helping me get this set up! Check out their latest album via Apple Music or Spotify below!