(Photo by Matt Love)
Among the many talented acts at Sonic Bloom, the unique sound of one duo specifically stood out. Hailing from Western Canada, Moontricks brought on a high-energy performance to the Hummingbird Stage. Sean Rodman and Nathan Gurley specialize in the creative combination of bluegrass and bass music. They were kind enough to take a few moments to sit down with me to discuss their art. For clarification, my questions will be italicized.
Thank you both so much for sitting down with me; so, tell me a little bit about how Moontricks got started.
Nathan: I started a long time ago, just with the intent of combining electronic music with acoustic music… guitars and harmonicas and things. I’ve always kind of been into both. Sean started playing with me about five years ago.
Sean: I had started playing the banjo, which is such a random instrument (laughing)… it seemed to be a good fit.
You guys have a really interesting sound. To me, it’s a perfect example of how electronic music is able to seamlessly combine two seemingly unlike genres of music. You’ve got bluegrass and bass music. Who are some of your influences from either side of that spectrum?
Sean: I’m going to say Bob Dylan…
Nathan: Maybe like, the Grateful Dead? Bunch of stuff like that…
Sean: Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles…
Nathan: I guess anyone who’s kind of combining electronic music and acoustic music. We’re always trying to pay attention to what’s going on with our peers and our friends.
How did you two meet in the first place?
Nathan: We have known each other for quite a few years.
Sean: Small town, basically. Nate grew up in a small town, I ended up there.
Nathan: I knew his ex-girlfriend (laughing) in Canada there’s only so many people.
Sean: Yeah, it was just like, “you play music, I play music….”
Nathan: That’s really what it was though! I found out he played music and he was really good. I was like “sick!” Someone to collab with!
Speaking of collaborations, I especially love the track you guys make with Dirtwire. Who are some other artists that you hope to collaborate with one day?
Nathan: (Laughing) Yup! That’s it! Nobody else!
I’d love to see you guys work with someone like CloZee
Sean: Oh yeah that would be sweet
Nathan: I agree! But I don’t know, you guys tell us! We love hearing back from our fans.
You guys have played some of the coolest music festivals. Lightning in a Bottle, Shambhala… they’ve been on my bucket list for years. What is it like getting to perform at such cool places?
Sean: Lightning in a Bottle was just last month, and it was phenomenal.
Nathan: First time there, it was awesome. And we actually live right around the corner from Shambhala, so that’s kind of like our hometown festival. We’ve been there many, many years.
So what can your fans expect to see from you guys in the next year?
Nathan: Well, we’ve got a bunch of releases coming out. Undetermined when, but we’re working on a lot of music, a lot of videos and different things. I can’t really give specifics, but there will be lots of surprises. Hopefully touring more and traveling to new places.
With your music really being split down the middle between bluegrass and bass music, what is your fanbase like?
Sean: Well, I guess it’s like, tonight we’re playing Sonic Bloom and tomorrow we’re going to a folk festival in Edmonton.
Nathan: It’s a mixed bunch.
Sean: We can kind of get away with a little bit of both. It’s awesome.
How does it feel to be here in beautiful Colorado?
Sean: It’s awesome! The sunset, the mountains, it’s been great. Getting to hang out with our agent, Matt, it’s been really fun. I love Colorado.
Does this mean I’m going to get to hear ‘Mountains’ tonight?
Sean: We’re in the mountains! We have to play ‘Mountains’!
I love that! I’m so excited. Thanks so much for sitting down with me, I hope you guys enjoy your weekend!