We’re super stoked to work with our Denver friends, The Lumineers (you may have heard of them?), on a playlist that’ll swing you high & swoop you low in a matter of a few tracks, over & over again. Each of the band’s 6 members put a handful of favorites in this mix, spanning 30 songs in 2 hours.
Loved for their homegrown stylings and expansive, energetic live shows, the band has certainly been busy while touring is on pause. Founding members Wesley Schultz & Jeremiah Fraites have recently released solo albums, while multi-instrumentalist Stelth Ulvang just dropped the first single from his new project, Heavy Gus.
Listen below & read on for an interview with Wes, diving deeper into motorcycles, new hobbies, favorite travels, and life while not on tour.
Wesley Schultz, Lead singer, The Lumineers
What do you miss most about not being able to tour right now?
I miss the contours of a year - the long stretches on the road, waking up somewhere new nearly every day, followed by the special feeling of being home again. You use your brain in a different way when you don’t know where everything is, where every good place to eat is... it keeps us alive. But so much of it is the expression up there on stage and the connection with an audience screaming the words right back to you.
Do you have any new hobbies you've picked up while spending this much time around home?
I’ve been riding motorcycles both here in Denver and especially in the Catskills of NY - Triumph just built me a custom Scrambler 1200 XE with artwork from the first 3 albums on it. It’s the 3rd bike of theirs I now am lucky enough to own. It creates memories that will stay with me for the long haul. You can’t do much else on a bike but focus on the road and fall into an almost meditative state.
What are 3 things you always have with you on the road?
1 - my good luck charm - a gold stegosaurus necklace, from my wife Brandy... when I first met her she had a tattoo she described as a very BAD tattoo which I found refreshing considering everyone I’ve ever met justifies theirs. She said it was a tramp-stamp that looked like the state of Texas somehow. She got me this necklace to remember her by when we’re apart. Also, the stegosaurus is the state dinosaur of Colorado!
2 - my cream white boots for stage - thanks to the FRYE boots company, who built me a beautiful stage boot that I would wear out or on the stage. I got them because I wanted people in the back to be able to see what I was doing up there on stage.
3 - My Topo pack and Dopp Kit. I have had the same Woolrich/Topo black backpack for years now and more recently got turned on to the toiletry bag that is genius in its design, as it can balance on any sink ledge and be open - allowing the traveler in you to easily get to all you need to without it constantly spilling contents onto the floor.
Favorite place you’ve traveled?
I’d have to say South Africa. The shows themselves have been some of our largest (somehow?!) and the people are genuinely psyched that you have come all that way to play for them. Just amazing energy and truly generous people. I’ve made friends with a bush guide and his wife, and so we’ve done safaris with him and they’ve visited us and stayed in the Colorado and in our yurt in the Catskills.
We can probably pull a list of contenders off your recent solo album, but what author/artist/musician has influenced you the most?
The most influential artist on the solo album - hmm. Many to choose from there. I’d say Bob Dylan is probably it in the sense that he brought real poetry to songwriting and pop music. He somehow married incredible melody with other-worldly poetry and it raised the bar for everyone to follow. In our band, I try to do the same thing - with varied results ;)
Band photos by Danny Clinch
Tour photos by Austin Roa
Thanks to the band & Activist for helping make this happen and finding unique ways to collaborate during these difficult times.