Keith Moseley and Kyle Hollingsworth Chime in On String Cheese
Photo by Charlie Englar
Shortly before String Cheese Incident’s Halloween run we posted an interview with the band’s guitarist Bill Nershi and mandolin player Michael Kang. Now, we are happy to present some additional thoughts from String Cheese keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth and bassist Keith Moseley. Like our previous interview, these conversations stem from a series of interviews writers Mike Greenhaus and Amy Jacques conducted this past August for a recent Relix feature.
Part 1: Keith Moseley
When did the band first discuss the possibility of reuniting?
Well, after getting together and playing at Rothbury last summer, we just had such a good time playing that we sat down with a calendar and said if we could just cherry pick some of our favorite places to play, what would be at the top of our list? We decided that we’d just do a couple weekends—Horning’s and Red Rocks. They seemed to make a lot of sense and be high on everyone’s list. So, we started talking about it probably about this time last summer.
You all have a lot of different side projects, families, and other things occupying your time. Did you rehearse by yourselves and then get together a couple weeks before the shows and bang out songs together?
Well, we actually did about seven weeks of rehearsal prior to these shows. We were doing about seven hour days, Monday through Thursday. We did all day rehearsals to reel in all the material and get our creative vibe going together. I think when we went out and finally played, everyone felt pretty comfortable, although, I have to confess, between two weekends we did some repeats so we probably played about 90 songs and even with seven weeks of rehearsal, it’s hard to get that many songs ready. It was a challenge but we were up for it and I think if we’re going to take time off and just play select shows, we want to make sure that we really hit it hard when we do play.
At Horning’s opening night you all played with various new projects and side projects. Did you try to bring the different musical directions from these collaborations into String Cheese that weekend?
You can really see where everyone stretches in their direction and is influenced by different things. We did try to bring more of that in, like on Sunday we had an acoustic portion of the show with the McCourys, and there was a section one day when we left the stage and let Trav and Jason do their EOTO moment. As everyone diversifies as individuals, it’s a way we can bring together things that we’ve learned when we come back together. The band has a huge range of styles and a huge catalog of material and since everyone continues to write we are in a really good position to bring all of that together and bring something new to the show.
You’ve probably collaborated with the most people during the break. Did any of these collaborations have a particularly lasting effect on your playing?
It was fun to explore. There’s nothing like really getting out and playing with other people to give you some perspective of what you really do have in String Cheese and I think it was really beneficial for all of us to stretch our wings without each other a little bit. It’s nice to take a break, but it’s also nice to come back together and have that familiarity because there’s just no replacing time playing together.
At Horning’s there was such a theatrical sense with people wearing costumes and then Saturday night with the Cirque du Soleil ritual set. How long did you work on the theatrics for that?
Well, there are a lot of people outside the band that obviously played a large role in that. I’ve got to credit Jeremy and our management for really tying the theatrical element together with what we were doing on stage and coordinating all of the performers and props. Our management has really been great about bringing those people in and bringing stuff that you’ve never seen before. I was really proud of what we pulled off at Horning’s and at Red Rocks, having the skydivers that flew right over the crowd and things like that—no one’s ever done that at Red Rocks before so it was really neat to be a part of a show like that. It’s a fun and unique position to be in. Because though we could just go out and play club shows or theatre shows—and there will probably be some of that—but more than anything I think we’re excited to throw special events and bring together various performers we know outside the music scene. We want to make it exciting—an outside the box concert performance.
Have you personally been writing any new material for String Cheese or for your other projects that you think might work for the band?
I’ve got some things in the works right now and that’s really my focus for the fall—trying to buckle down and get some good writing done. I think as far as moving forward with the band, the main focus is to try to get some new material written together and be able to feature that in a big way next year.
Do you think that could include recording in the future or is it pretty much for the live set?
I would love to see us get an album done. We don’t have any plans right now as far as studio time but that’s something we’ve been talking about and we would like to get some new stuff recorded to have it put out next year. We’ll see, hopefully it will happen.