Interstate Stash Express holding on to the constant
Power rock trio from Lyons plays at Old Town Pub today
Steamboat Springs — Lyons-based rock band Interstate Stash Express comes from a different place, a throwback place formed in the minds of guitarist Terry Kishiyama, bassist James Smith and drummer Thom McKee. It comes to life in their original rock tunes.
They might seem out of place in the modern music industry, but it’s where they’re comfortable.
“It’s like the late 1960s and Cream kind of place,” said Kishiyama, who first heard Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” when he was 3 years old. “I don’t listen to much new stuff. Maybe Them Crooked Vultures, North Mississippi Allstars and The Black Crowes, but I think it’s because they sound old.”
McKee said it’s the blend of power trio rock with progressive, psychedelic influences that makes the band unique, and possibly slips them into a precarious genre limbo.
“When we play for jam-minded folk, we’re a little too rockin’ for them,” McKee said. “When we play for people who are into rock ’n’ roll, we’re a little too jammy.
“But Jimi Hendrix and The Who, they never got called a jam band. I think it’s just writing good music, and however long you play, who cares?”
Interstate Stash Express returns to Steamboat Springs to play a free show at the Old Town Pub tonight. They played two nights at The Tugboat Grill & Pub last week and are looking forward to their return.
Kishiyama said the music community on the Front Range is a powerful network, but focusing on the here and now in the music industry isn’t a top priority for Stash.
“You can’t just be this awesome band these days, you have to have this network and this viral media thing,” he said.
They recently hired a manger, but the band still hopes to stick to a long-term model, encompassing qualities of music history and shooting for longevity.
“I think we just want to fit into the huge moon of music,” Kishiyama said. “It’s all there, no matter what you play. It’s all just out there, it’s a huge infinite circle of music. We just want to be able to tap into that and be able to hold onto that enough to make it our livelihood.”
Now that they’ve added a few new members to the Stash family — Kishiyama has a musically inclined 3-year-old, Kaion, and McKee recently married — they know the traditional rock ’n’ roll lifestyle might not be for them anymore.
With professional jobs and families, they only tap into that culture when on stage.
“I think when you’re playing, it’s still sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll,” Kishiyama said. “And that’s great, that’s the reason we do it, when you’re in the element and you’re playing and everything it’s that state of rock and rock ’n’ roll.”
With the constant flux of conditions that life offers, will Interstate Stash Express be playing for decades to come?
“God, I hope so,” Kishiyama said. “I think it’ll be different though. Music is like a constant in your life. Everything changes. Friends change, your job changes and your Facebook changes. But music is always a constant.”
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Explore a mix of in-person and virtual events happening this weekend in Routt County.