Steamboat native makes waves in music industry
Diving into the music industry was just like diving into a great big ocean for drummer Nate Lotz. As a small fish, a little bit of floundering was expected, but over time, he learned how to swim.
Although Lotz knew he was a music lover at a young age, it wasn’t until he moved to Steamboat Springs after his freshman year of high school that he got really serious about the drums.
“It definitely took over my life. I didn’t want to do anything else,” Lotz explained, and it was here in Steamboat that he was part of his first band. “We played at prom, we played at homecoming, we played at all the high school parties — the connection was formed, and my love for drums was there.”
A largely self-taught musician, Lotz would occasionally seek the counsel of older drummers and experimented a lot on his own. Two of the individuals who impacted his musicality most while growing up in Steamboat where fellow bandmate Tyler Johnson and Brad Kindred, a close family friend. Today, those relationships have come full circle.
“I think Steamboat for me is where I feel like I got into music, that’s where all the huge developmental things happened,” Lotz said. “Everything in my life that feels like a big, big moment, happened in Steamboat. I’ll always identify it as home.
“The community seemed to open up a lot of doors, and I didn’t really even realize this until I went back [to Steamboat] in July for Tyler’s wedding,” Lotz said. “We’ve spent so much of our musical lives together on the other end out in California too, and now all these new musical connections in my professional life are also close friends with Tyler. So it’s kind of this mind trip with the world colliding.”
“We were friends back in 10th grade in high school, so to see him now 13 years later in LA, and to see how people respond to him, everyone thinks this guy is really cool and likable, it makes me really proud to see the success that he’s had,” Johnson said.
“He’s not just a great drummer,” Johnson added, “he’s really funny, socially intelligent, he’s a really good guy mixed with a really hard worker mixed with a guy who has really great talent.”
Now, Lotz has done basically everything under the sun musically. Whether it was playing bar gigs until 2 a.m., performing at celebrity weddings such as LeBron James’ nuptials, jamming at a dive bar or recording for Disney, Lotz has tried it all to make his way to the top.
“People on the label and artist side know of me now,” Lotz explained. “If they need a guy, I’m one of the trusted guys.”
Lotz is currently touring with Halsey, an American singer songwriter who is gaining traction. And on Thursday night, the two performed at Red Rocks as part of Hasley’s Badlands tour.
“It has been the whole world,” Lotz said. “Asia, Europe, Australia, South America … now we are doing the last leg, basically the U.S. and Canada, one off in London and then to Singapore.”
In addition to his time on tour, Lotz has formed a new band, Blacktop Queen, which is partly responsible for leading Lotz to a publishing deal that has enabled him to do a lot more song writing and co-writes on songs.
Lotz is humble even after working with such big names as Ryan Adams and The All-American Rejects and he always comes back to his hometown roots.
“Maybe just the whole nature of this place, the whole dynamic of this whole town [Steamboat] was a bigger contributor than I realized, ” Lotz said.
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