Meet the band: Kellen Asebroek of Fruition
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Fruition returns to the Yampa Valley on Monday, Jan. 20. The Portland, Oregon-based band plays a free show as part of the Bud Light Rocks the Boat Concert Series at the Steamboat Stage in Gondola Square.
Though Fruition runs in the bluegrass crowd, its harmonies and soulful songwriting easily hops from genre to genre. The talent behind Fruition’s multigenre music includes Jay Cobb Anderson on vocals, lead guitar and harmonica, Kellen Asebroek on vocals, rhythm guitar and piano, Mimi Naja on vocals, mandolin, electric and acoustic guitar, Jeff Leonard on bass and Tyler Thompson on drums and banjo.
Fruition just created a two-part album juxtaposing the ideas of night and day. Part one is “Wild as the Night” released in November 2019, and part two, “Broken at the Break of Day,” comes out Friday, Jan. 17.
The WinterWonderGrass frequent fliers will play during the 46th annual Bud Light Cowboy Downhill following the stampede event from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20.
Explore Steamboat caught up with Asebroek ahead of the show.
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Explore Steamboat: Explain the two parts to your newest releases, “Wild is the Night” and “Broken at the Break of Day.”
Kellen Asebroek: Last year, we decided that we wanted to try a different approach to releasing music than our usual “full-length album once every couple years” route. We started developing this idea for a pair of shorter releases that would compliment each other, but also stand alone as albums. We toyed around with this light and dark, heavy and weightless, night and day idea, companion pieces that would spotlight that kind of dichotomy, and landed on the latter.
What: Bud Light Rocks the Boat presents Fruition
When: 2:30 to 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20
Where: Steamboat Stage at Steamboat Resort, 2305 Mount Werner Circle
ES: Is it hard to show vulnerability in your music?
KA: You know, it is and it isn’t. For a lot of musicians and artists, it is the main source of how we feel comfortable with our vulnerability. See that we’re all in this, in the struggle and the grind. … It can be intense or emotional to perform when it’s so close to your heart.
ES: What is your songwriting process as an individual and/or as a band?
KA: We have been experimenting with collaborative writing. That whole process has been evolving to be more inclusive to the group. We bring the bare bones of a song then bring it to the band to make it a whole finished piece.
ES: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned touring for over a decade as Fruition?
KA: As far as touring goes, the biggest lesson and a constant lesson touring is be easy to work with. Be a straightforward communicator. Being warm and clear.
ES: Mimi Naja represented Fruition at the memorial show, “What the Night Brings,” in honor of former Yonder Mountain String Band mandolin player, Jeff Austin. Has Austin’s death brought any changes to your community?
KA: There’s been a lot of really untimely and sudden deaths in the past few years. That one hit hard with Jeff. A lot of us saw firsthand his struggle. It makes it that much more real when you know someone like that. Makes you check in. It was definitely an eye-opener. It helps spur Backline in Denver for music industry workers. It’s really cool that that popped up in the aftermath.
ES: How has digital streaming music changed the way you make music?
KA: It changes so quickly. Even in the last five years the ways the algorithms work has changed. It’s the No. 1 way people consume music these days. Releasing music more often keeps music in people’s radar. You have more chances of being exposed to people’s ears.
Top tracks according to Fruition’s Kellen Asebroek readers should listen to off “Wild is the Night” and the newly released “Broken at the Break of Day.”
- “Wild is the Night”
- “Sweet Hereafter”
Backline is a mental health and wellness resource for those working in the music industry.
- Mission: “To connect music industry professionals and their families with a trusted network of mental health and wellness care providers.”
- Call: 1-800-273-8255
To reach Katie Berning, call 970-871-4254 or email kberning@SteamboatPilot.com.
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