Interview: Dead Horses

December 9 & 10, 2016 @ The Back Room @ Colectivo Coffee

-How did Dead Horses begin?

In January of 2010 I dropped out of school, quit my job, and moved back home to Oshkosh. I was in a strange place and very unsure of what to do next. A couple of months later I met our bass player, Dan Wolff. He was playing with a couple of friends of mine who I had played music with in high school. We started playing weekly gigs for food and beer- we'd play for our friends and around bonfires; we would stay up all night long playing old bluegrass and folk tunes, and working on our own as well. I count those days as a huge blessing!

-Is it refreshing to be able to perform in large cities like Chicago or Milwaukee, but also maintain an intimate fanbase in the “back-home” type cities like Stevens Point and Sheboygan?

It's absolutely refreshing! Some of the most enjoyable shows for me are the smaller, more intimate ones. Those are the types of performances we have been doing since day one, so it does have this feeling of coming back to our roots. Of course I love the big shows too- the energy of hundreds of people all together united in the music- it's actually very humbling.

-What was it like to play at The Riverside with fellow Wisconsinite band Horseshoes and Hand Grenades and Trampled by Turtles?

It was such an incredible experience playing a show with them. I think they've been sort of a beacon of hope to a lot of folk/bluegrass bands from Wisconsin and Minnesota. I can't tell you how many people I've met who share stories of first seeing Trampled by Turtles in Duluth when they would all sit together on stage. I remember long van drives to Duluth listening to "Stars and Satellites" and realizing how much I loved being on the road and playing music with my friends. Coupling that with the fact that the Riverside is pretty much my dream venue made the night pretty unforgettable.

-Who are some primary musical influences?

We all come from very musical backgrounds, and everyone definitely has their own eclectic taste. I always struggle with this question because it's impossible to encompass how many artists have inspired and influenced me! But I'd definitely say that growing up immersed in church music influenced me pretty heavily- old hymns and such. Nick Drake has been my go to for many years. Bob Dylan of course, Fleetwood Mac, Jim James and My Morning Jacket, Conor Oberst, Ray Lamontagne, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young. I've been really into Rayland Baxter, Wilco, Bonobo, and Paul Simon's new record this last summer.

- Are you excited for your back to back shows at Colectivo on December 9 & 10?

I'm really looking forward to the shows at Colectivo backroom! I've been living back in Milwaukee over a year now, and I seem to be falling in love with the city and the people here more and more. I'm also looking forward to it being a little more of an intimate experience than the last couple of times we've played here. We've been on the road a lot this last year- playing in places where people snicker at my Midwestern accent- in places where almost every face is brand new. It's going to be a huge treat to play here at home