Meet the Freddy Jones Band, playing in Steamboat on Saturday
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Bud Light Rocks the Boat brings the Chicago-based Freddy Jones Band to the Gondola Square stage Saturday, March 23. The pop-rock band might be best known for their 1992 hit “In a Daydream,” and features Marty Lloyd, Rich Ross, Stu Miller and Greg Goose LaPoint.
Explore Steamboat: There are a lot of different stories about this floating around online, but what’s the real story of how the band’s name came about? (No one in The Freddy Jones Band is named Freddy Jones.)
Marty Lloyd: Believe it or not, this is the real answer. We never thought we’d be doing this (playing as a band) past college (at Holy Cross College and University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana); it became more serious as time went along, and obviously, the name just stayed the same. We had some friends who’d graduated the year before, who were the cover band to go see, called “The Pat Giblin Band.” They did their rehearsals in Pat’s basement, and Pat was like a legend on campus.
Once they left, we were the band. I thought we should carry on that joke (of being a band named after someone who’s not in the band). I said, “It should just be some random name, like Freddy something,” and another guy’s like, “Jones!”
We always thought the real story was so boring, so whenever someone asked who Freddy Jones is, we came up with all these outlandish stories. It was like a contest within the band, of who could come up with the best story.
Rich Ross: Everybody calls Marty “Freddy.”
What: Bud Light Rocks the Boat presents the Freddy Jones Band
When: 3:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 23
Where: Gondola Square stage, 2305 Mount Werner Circle
ES: How do you describe your sound?
RR: The band has changed quite a bit over the years. In the ‘90s, it was considered a jam band; now we’re an American rock band from Chicago, more song-oriented, acoustic rock songs. We’re like John Mayer meets Dave Matthews.
ML: Big Head Todd, The Samples, Hootie and the Blowfish, Dave Matthews. If you took U2 and put them in the Midwest or Nashville, that’s us, ’90s album-oriented rock.
ES: Of all the bands you’ve played with, opened for or had open for you, which are some favorites?
RR: We always love playing with Big Head Todd and the Monsters because we’ve been friends with them for so long. In the ’90s, the Dave Matthews Band was opening for the Freddy Jones Band, and halfway through the tour, they swapped because Dave Matthews blew up.
ML: Sheryl Crow opened for us, and we opened for her a handful of times. Train. Eventually whenever anyone was opening for us, I’d go up to them before the show, shake their hand and say “Congratulations on your future success” because everyone who opens for us ends being huge.
ES: You play in ski towns a lot; what is it about those areas that the band connects with?
ML: Ski towns will be linked to the love of music. I don’t know why that is, except for that people are generally in a good mood and doing things they love in places like that. Our band certainly resonated in those areas. When we were touring in a van and trailer, we’d play a few shows in the same place for a few days, and we’d beg for ski equipment over the mic on the first night. We usually got it.
ES: How does the band’s music now sound different from the band’s music 25 years ago?
ML: Instrumentation and members have changed. I know people loved the first couple of albums, as do I, but to me, when I listen to our early stuff, it’s kind of all over the road. Each song is good on it own, but we’d just record all the songs we had, and all together, they’re kind of schizophrenic. But if you listen to our latest album, “Never Change,” it flows together well; there are common threads. Back then, the songs were just a vehicle for us to play; now, it’s switched, it’s a writer’s exercise.
ES: The band used to tour for long stints, and now you play larger shows less frequently. How does that difference affect the music, and how the group works as a band?
RR: I think it keeps an excitement about going out and playing. When you’re doing something every day, you get used to it. When you’re only playing a few times, it makes it more special.
ML: Now, it’s become pretty routine and easy. The old way was slogging around in a bus, and a night off meant draining resources, and you’re constantly connecting the dots: if show A and Show D are good ones, you’re threading Shows B and C together just to get to Show D, instead of just playing A and D. For awhile, that hampered us from playing as many markets as we wanted. Now, we’re reversing that. We’re playing the San Francisco area and Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas, Boston, hitting everywhere. It’s nice that we’re able to get to everywhere again.
ES: During a show, how do you want your audience to feel?
RR: We like to keep the energy high.
ML: It’s fun to watch the audience and feel the nostalgia in the room. It’s both a walk down memory lane and fun to see people reacting to our brand new music.
ES: What’s coming up for the band that you’re looking forward to?
RR: We have some new songs we’re going to record. We’re hoping to record an EP in the next couple of months and possibly redoing one of the old songs as well.
ML: The most exciting thing is there’s one particular song we want to record soon. It’s called “Connected.” It’s been such a cool experience; we’ve been playing this song for the last few shows and people have been reacting to it. The air feels strange and special when we play it; it’s got that little magic dust feeling to it. I’m excited to find out how that turns out.
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