off of Tromadance, I wanted to hit a few more venues that had local
artists playing. And to start I went back to Kilby Court to
check out a show with all local Utah artists and no headlining acts.
The majority of the sets were acoustic, giving a nice change of pace
to the snowy season. Artists included Spiral Diary, Heber Skies
(with Ben Killbourne), Wendy Ohlwiler (also with Ben), and finally
Last The Winter.
And while the venue wasn't packed,
the crowd on hand certainly showed their support for the artists who
came to play. You can check out the photos from the concert while
down below I had a chance to talk with all four of the acts playing
It was a smaller turnout tonight.
What did you think of the turnout, and what do you think of the Salt
Lake audience in general?
Spiral: This was my first
time playing solo here in Salt Lake, so it was a pretty good crowd
and tonight was a lot of fun. Usually the intimate crowds are better
for what I do. So I was really happy with how that went.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into
Spiral: I started guitar about six years
ago and this was something I just started messing around with. Made
this little project of mine that I thought friends and family would
listen to. After that I joined a band called Allred who I played
guitar for, but now I'm just doing the solo thing.
Was it just you playing the backup on the tape track?
I recorded it all myself just at my house and ran it through a
little MP3 player.
Gavin: Nice. What artists have been
and influence to you?
Spiral: You definitely hear a
little Brand New or Jamieson Parker or Straylight Run in some of my
solo stuff, but my favorites would be Our Lady Peace or Third Eye
Gavin: What's your opinion of the local music
Spiral: I think it's really good. I think I'm
blessed to be in a place with so much talent in both Provo and Salt
Lake, they have a lot of good places to play.
tour down in Provo just as much as you do here?
Actually I'm from Highland, so I usually end up in Provo more
than Salt Lake.
Gavin: You're unsigned right now, are
you looking for a label?
Spiral: I think I'd take
whatever I could get, but right now I'm just kind of playing music.
And if I happen to stumble upon some luck, that would be great, but
right now I'm just doing what I do.
Gavin: So you're
just doing your own thing for the time being?
when I was in a band it was something we were aiming for, everyone
aims for that. But I think it seems a little out of reach, so I'm
just playing and doing what I like.
Gavin: Why did you
choose to do a solo project instead of being a solo artist?
I look at it as I'm just between bands right now. I'd like to
join or form another band, but it's hard to find the right people. So
this is what I'm doing to keep busy.
What's your opinion of the current trends in music right
Spiral: I can't say I listen to a lot of radio
right now, so I really don't know.
Gavin: What would
you say about the music industry as it stands right now?
I don't know a whole lot about it, but what I hear is it's
suffering due to music downloads. I still think at it's heart there's
a lot of bands touring thanks to MySpace, but it's hard to weed out
the really good bands. Kind of difficult to see what's good and what
deserves to be out there right now.
Gavin: So then
what's your opinion on music downloads?
fine for it. As a musician I;m just happy that people are
Gavin: Any local artists or bands you
Spiral: Should probably give a shot out to
Tate Of The Lionelle. They seem to have some credibility here. Down
in Provo I like The New Nervous, and their side project Night Night.
James Belliston, Jordan's Memory, stuff like that.
Finally are you working on new material or trying to put together
Spiral: I'm working on recording a full
length CD, but I only have a couple songs so far. So that's that for
What did you think of the turnout tonight and your opinion of the
Salt Lake crowd?
Heber: I always like playing in Salt
Lake, the venues I've played at have good monitors and I can hear
myself well. I'm not to worried about the crowd just as long as I
Gavin: Little bit of a change from Logan
Gavin: Tell us
about yourself and how you got into performing.
Well, I've been playing piano and guitar for a long time now. I
started performing three or four years ago with a punk rock band, but
I got into different music and split away, so now I'm more into the
solo thing with the acoustic guitar.
Gavin: What kind
of artists have been an influence on you?
Ben, who I play with has been a real influence. But I'm just into
whoever sounds original, doing their own thing.
You're unsigned right now. Are you looking for a label or just
enjoying what you're doing right now?
Heber: I wouldn't
say I'm looking, I'm just playing from place to place. If something
happens, that's cool, but I'm not worried about it right now. Gavin:
If something did happen, would you go for more of an Indi label
or more Mainstream?
Heber: I don't think I'd go
mainstream, but something underground would be cool. Like a local
label, that's be nice.
Gavin: What's your opinion of
the local scene in Utah?
Heber: As far as I can tell,
Salt Lake, I've been to a lot of the bands here. Band Of Annuals,
Wendy Ohlwiler, a lot of the bands here are performing well here, so
I think it's doing well.
Gavin: What's your opinion of
the music industry right now and it's current state?
There's a lot of good stuff out there right now that's not
getting heard, and it's too bad. The stuff that's getting heard I'm
not too fond of. Seems kind of like cookie-cutter music, nothing's
Gavin: So what's your opinion on
music file sharing?
Heber: It's great. The media is
awesome for getting music out there. MySpace is great, it gives bands
an opportunity to be heard and share music with friends.
Any artists you recommend?
Heber: Bright Eyes is
always good, Band Of Annuals sounds fantastic.
you looking to put an album together of your work so far or are you
just playing around and having run?
Heber: I make rough
recordings for people who want some of my music, but I haven't done
anything full out yet. If an opportunity came up to record with
somebody I would definitely do that.
Wendy: I loved the crowd. They were engaged
and enthusiastic and so quiet during the set, I was a little
Gavin: I know you've traveled around, how
does the Salt Lake crowd compare to other audiences around the
Wendy: The crowd at Kilby is a lot like the
House scene you find near colleges. People usually sitting on the
floor and very intently focusing on the music.
Tell us a little about your career so far.
discovered music as I was transitioning out of Mormonisim, I wrote my
way through it, and that's what most of “Calico Sea” is. Music
has been a really great place for my emotions and I just couldn't get
enough of it, once I started playing it was all I wanted to do. I
started playing in Salt Lake for a while, then touring a little bit
in the southwest and northwest, and was fortunate to make my way to
D.C. and New York a couple times. Next goal is play in to
Gavin: That's kind of the goal for a lot of
solo artists nowadays.
Wendy: Yeah. Just take my
ukulele, travel light.
Gavin: What's your opinion of
the local scene here, and how does it compare to other scenes you've
Wendy: There's a really cool scene here,
actually. Its always been entwined, people playing in three to four
bands at a time, and that's great because it feels like family.
Compared to other scenes, it's hard to say. It seems like there's a
lot of intermingling in Phoenix and Tuscon.
feels more like a group effort than individuality.
Yeah. A willingness to collaborate, which takes courage sometimes
because your songs are like your babies and they sound a certain way,
and then they tend to sound a different way when you play them with a
Gavin: What's been the response to your last
Wendy: It was nominated last year by City Weekly
for Best Local CD, however it did not win. But I felt honored to be
included. I've gotten some great reviews and I've only got about 500
left. I think that's pretty good.
Gavin: Nice. What's
your opinion of the music industry right now?
Mysterious. I don't have a knack for business, and I'm really
redefining what music is for me, I'm not focused on the business
right now because sometimes it feels icky making connections and self
promoting. I'm much more into writing and recording and playing
Gavin: Icky is a good term. So then what's your
view on what's popular right now?
Wendy: I'm a little
relieved to see some of the music I like turn up in pop music now.
Like Cat Power and Elliot Smith, some people I've worshiped through
the years. I'm happy to see them getting a paycheck.
How's the work on your new album coming along?
actually wrote and recorded five songs in five days. The downside is
I recorded it in garage band so it's hissy. But that record is
inspired by what I'm calling “the best thing that's happened to
me.” Jason Molina invited me to come on stage and sing with him and
it pretty much blew my mind. I couldn't sleep that night because I
was just so jacked up on adrenaline. Then Ben challenged me to write
a song and that spurred the five days of writing.
Any artists you recommend?
Wendy: Glade. He's been
an inspiration through his music and writing, his melodies and guitar
playing. Black Wagon and David Williams of course who I've been
playing with for 10 years now. Stacey Board and Melissa Warner, we've
done some collaborating. Band of Annuals of course, and Dead Horse