Yonder Mountain String Band have been shaking people's asses with their energetic brand of jamtastic bluegrass for more than a decade. For me‚ Yonder is like a tall glass of lemonade‚ a shot of tequila‚ and a punch in the face -- all at once. In a good way. A great way. A rollicking awesome time with your favorite friends that no matter what kind of abuse you expose yourself to during the show‚ you still feel healthier when you leave for having rocked it kinda way. Irradiated with the Yonder Glow. These fuckers know how to make a room MOVE and if you learn to love the burn in your feet‚ it will make you jump higher.
The quartet's ability to summon up magic in every room they play has secured Yonder Mountain String Band a loyal and ever-growing fanbase around the country‚ which keeps them on the road almost constantly. Mandolin Mad Man‚ Jeff Austin‚ was kind enough to spend his last minutes before their Summer Tour officially kicked off talking with State of Mind‚ and we're so glad that he did! How else could we have ever discovered the answer to Life's Eternal Question: Which is more brutal - Bluegrass or Death Metal?
Yonder Mountain String Band's 2011 Summer Tour is coming to a city and/or festival near YOU! Go dance! Throw bacon at Jeff! The tour caps off with a performance on August 20th at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater‚ featuring special guests Railroad Earth‚ and the Infamous Stringdusters. It will rock. Their new album is due out in early 2012. It will also rock.
Thanks to Jeff Austin for laughing in the face of head trauma to talk about gummy bears. It's important work we do.
LynnGuppy: Hellooooo!
Jeff Austin: Oh I'm so‚ so sorry‚ I definitely apologize. We were rolling into our warehouse and I lost track of time. I looked and it said 12:10 and I said "Shit‚ 12:10‚ oh nooooo!!!!" Thank you for being patient. I will be the best darn interview you've ever done.
Oh my god‚ you'd better be.
Oh‚ I'm good‚ I'm good.
So you guys are right about to take off for tour?
Yep‚ getting ready. When I realized my faux pas‚ I was on the phone with Andy Falco from the Infamous Stringdusters and we were plotting our plan of attack for this evening's festivities at High Sierra. We're doing the late-night‚ the first late-night at High Sierra. Of course‚ Thursday night the Travelin' McCourys are starting the show. So they're playing first and we do a 2-set show and just found out that the Stringdusters are gonna be there and was just talking to Falco about our plan of attack.
So yeah‚ we're just getting ready to start. Which is weird‚ because we usually start in early June and tour into Telluride‚ then take July off. So it's weird for us to be starting so late‚ I feel like I haven't been on tour with my band for a long time.
Telluride is like a big‚ giant family reunion for you guys?
Yeah‚ that's like the family picnic where we get to see all the aunts and the uncles and the groups of nephews‚ and stuff like that. It really is‚ it's um‚ I pulled into Telluride‚ I walked out of my truck and 30 seconds later‚ Sam Bush walked up to me‚ gave me a big hug‚ it was a quick way to start.
That's awesome. After all these years of playing that festival‚ is it still awesome or have you become a jaded veteran?
Oh‚ still awesome! No -- jaded veteran -- I don't know if that could ever happen at Telluride‚ it's such an amazing experience. I saw more music this year than I probably have in… oh‚ I just ran into a tree branch! I totally just ran into a tree branch and it's huge. My skull. Yeah‚ so there you go‚ finish the quote. I watched more music this year than I probably have in the last 3 years‚ it was just‚ I basically sat down on Thursday and watched until the afternoon on Friday. Just had a great time you know‚ and got to see a lot of friends‚ and then I danced my ass off and had a great time.
I can't imagine at that festival becoming a jaded veteran. I can't even imagine that‚ it's just so freakin' incredible -- a great‚ great time.
Well this was one of my other questions‚ I know you play a lot of festivals -- is that the only time you get to see other music or do you manage to make it out to see other…
You mean at the festival or in general?
In general. You're always on tour‚ so you must miss a lot of shows that you want to see.