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Keith Moseley and Kyle Hollingsworth Chime in On String Cheese

Part II: Kyle Hollingsworth

You now have six shows under your belt and have two more coming up and probably a couple more in 2011. When did you first decide to do some more shows and kind of recharge the batteries?

I would say around the Rothbury Incident. We had the conversation going around May about whether we were interested in doing some more shows. Madison House was putting on the event and they have been a partner of ours for many years so we felt that if we were going to do any shows that would be the one to do.

When did you start rehearsing for the run of shows?

We started in late April and went all the way through June into Red Rocks. It was pretty serious. We take it pretty seriously because we want to go up there and make sure we’re rocking it every minute of every show. People had to do homework; we actually spent days and days on certain songs to remember all of them.

You revisited plenty of classics and played some new material. Was there a conscious decision to also include some new material and some new covers?

For sure. I’m personally not interested in being a novelty act—I’m interested in being a creative force. Personally, bringing in new material and learning exciting material from other people in the band is what’s going to make it good for me. I’m not just going to out there and play “Texas” ten times. For me it’s going to be about making it fresh again.

Of all the songs that you’ve written since 2007 when String Cheese stopped touring, was there one song that you kind of felt fit the vibe of the band best or would other people give an opinion on what they thought would work best?

It’s funny, I wasn’t even necessarily choosing “Way That It Goes” but it was more the band members. When they listened to the album they really liked certain songs and said, “We gotta learn this one.” One of my favorite moments was watching the rehearsal with The Soul Rebel Brass Band. We were backstage rehearsing with them by our trailer and I was just getting that whole vibe and feeling—how powerful it could be with a ten-piece horn band. With String cheese… well, it’s hard to say because I enjoy the moment when there was less structure, like when we could really jam more and get in some creative spaces. The first night at Horning’s I think was good and the last night at Red Rocks was good too.

In terms of your own plans this fall in addition to the String Cheese shows, do you plan to take your own band out on the road anytime soon?

Definitely, I take my band out as much as I can. I’ve been playing with my band for the last year or so and I’m planning to take it out to a Midwest and west coast tour. The bands getting really tight.

Was there a point where you felt like the Kyle Hollingsworth Band really gelled as its own independent project?

Definitely. I think every day it’s growing in that direction. It has its own sound, its own feel, and when you start spending that much time together you just start syncing. For me, I just sit back sometimes and am in awe of the rhythm section.

It’s great to see that project evolve, but when did you first meet and start working with Dave Watts?

He was one of the first musicians I ever met in Boulder. He would bring all the musicians who were new in Boulder and he would bring you under his wing and you would go to his house and jam, and then meet a bunch of other musicians. I’d heard about him and he’s heard about me, so I started playing. He told me about this guy Michael Kang who just came to town so we played at (spacing) a coffee house and then Kang asked, “What are you doing? You wanna come play with String Cheese?” And I told him I was busy with this other band called Durt, so he suggested that Durt opened for String Cheese so I could sit in with them. That’s how it went down—basically through Dave I met Kang and then I joined them for a set, then joined them for a tour, and then joined them for 15 years.

In terms of String Cheese’s future, are you planning on going into the studio any time soon?

I’m ready man, I’m ready. I’ve been writing so much, specifically for String Cheese. I think it’s definitely on our radar, but this time I would love to go and just do it at Billy’s house. It would be great if we could just record ten songs and not spend weeks on it—like the Beatles style where you go and record for four days, the basics, do vocals and then you do some solos. It’s just all about the songs and less about all the super overproduction that way.

My last question about the weekend is about the productions. How much is the band involved in the actual vibe creation of the event?

I think we were there in the early creation of the vibe with our first big New Year’s shows. We were definitely hands-on and now our management now has gotten what we’re about and they have the same vision as we do. Mostly we’ve been letting them run with it and they bring us ideas and we’ll sift through them thinking what would or wouldn’t be at a String Cheese concert, and then we work with Madison House to make it all happen. I was blown away when I saw the mid-night sha-band. I heard about it and we talked about, but when you actually see it, it’s like, “wow, that’s so much cooler then I envisioned it would be.”

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