Keith Moseley and Kyle Hollingsworth Chime in On String Cheese
You mentioned how Horning’s, and I’m sure Red Rocks, was very much like a family event that brought in a lot of other members of the community that surrounded String Cheese on and off the stage. Did you notice a lot of new fans that had never seen the band in the last six years, or because of how hard it was to get tickets, maybe not this time around?
It’s hard for me to judge exactly who was there and who wasn’t, but I’m sure there were probably some first timers. But, man, standing on that stage at Red Rocks while it was still light out, I swear I looked out there and I felt like I knew 90% of those people. It’s a pretty amazing thing to see so many familiar faces.
Musically, for any of the six shows you guys have played, is there a highlight for you?
I felt like Saturday night at Red Rocks was a really good, solid show. I felt like they were all good shows, but Saturday night felt really comfortable and a lot of the things we worked on in rehearsal really came together. It was great to have Scott Law up to do “Eyes of the World,” but you know, the whole thing was just such a highlight all together. To go out and play a show like that with that kind of crowd and that kind of support and just feel like the team was really firing at all cylinders—it’s a special thing to get to be a part of that and it all felt so great.
How much time did you guys spend rehearsing for the the Rothbury shows?
I think we did three weeks of rehearsal for Rothbury. Even though the public’s seeing less of us, make no mistake about it, there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes to get ready for these shows. We want to make sure we can set the bar high and keep it there.
In terms of covers that you played at Red Rocks, specifically a Police cover and an MGMT cover, can you talk about the decision to play those two songs?
Well, Travis said, “This is my new favorite song by MGMT” and most of us were like, “Who? What?” But after hearing the song a few times and digging into it we were like, “Hey, this is pretty cool. This is a lot of fun.” So, Travis brought in “Synchronicity,” the Police cover. “Carry on My Wayward Sun” was something that I had an idea of the band doing for some time now, and Billy brought in the “Rocky Mountain Way” idea. We’ve continued to be a really democratic band where everybody has their input and gets a chance to bring in covers or originals. It’s a pretty unique situation to have a band with so many creative forces in it. Sometimes it makes the decisions making process a little slower, but in the end we’re better for having all the creativity.
Since you guys did a tribute to Jerry Garcia on the last night of Horning’s for his birthday, how did you come to the decision to cover a Grateful Dead song that is so symbolic in so many ways of Jerry and the band?
Well we tossed around a dozen ideas of different songs, but “Eyes of the World” is one that I think everyone can kind of relate to. Being a Jerry classic, one of many, the whole theme of it means something to our community and especially in our west coast fan base who are old Deadheads themselves. It was fun to pull out an “Eyes of the World” and do a little tribute to Jerry on his would-be birthday. Can you imagine what he’d be doing now? Would the Jerry Garcia Band still be happening? What would the Dead be doing and what kind of new tunes would have been written in the last fifteen years? Those are the questions I had—what would the new Jerry classic songs be and what would the scene be like?
You mentioned the west coast fan base. Have you noticed that with String Cheese in particular there’s a difference between west coast and east coast, or is it pretty much a universal fan base across the country?
I think because of all the touring we did over the years, we’re fortunate have a really strong fan base just about everywhere. Certainly in the beginning when we were first venturing out of Colorado, the first places we would go were the west coast—California, Oregon, up the coast of Washington. So I think that at a point, we probably connected with a lot of old west coast Grateful Dead fans and family.