The Cold Year is compiled of experienced and talented musicians that evoke more than just a unique and intricate sound, but a story along with it. Releasing an full album this summer, these men are gearing up for a full summer of shows all over. I haven't met such passionate people that put everything into their lyrics and writing. Read my interview with lead singer Matt Skaggs and bassist Mitch Shepard.
TDIP: Tell me about your musical history. What made you want to pursue music?
Mitch: I told my Dad that I wanted to be a rockstar when I was really little. He bought me my first guitar at garage sale when I was 7. I took guitar lessons for about 4 years, but stopped after awhile because I wasn't really playing for myself, it was more just practice. In junior high I picked up the bass and started playing a lot more jazz music. I've always enjoyed playing the bass and I feel like that's what I stand out most on.
Matt: My Mom is a fantastic singer so I grew up where there was music in the household at all times. Singing loud and proud was never an embarrassing thing for my family. I grew up just belting out and always singing. Every moment that I wasn't playing legos or video games, I was always singing. When I was just a little baby, I remember that my older brother Dan was obsessed with Bob Dylan. He had Bob Dylan's entire collection of lyrics and tabs that was 6 inches thick. My other brother Jake played the drums.
When it was my time to pick an instrument, my brothers led me more toward the bass. They told me that the bass is the coolest instrument and that everyone's always in need for a bassist! Truthyfully, they were just trying to get me in the family band (laughs). I actually started on upright bass, but it wasn't until later that I realized I really like writing music and playing guitar. I spend a lot more time on guitar because I enjoy breaking it down into components, but I still love bass.
TDIP: Tell me about the band. How did you guys come together?
Matt: I like to think that it was fate when we met! I got invited to play at a jam session at UVU. The UVU audio club puts out a jam session each year where they record a band playing and then use that recording for mixing and mastering their classes.
Mitch: I actually didn't know about this class or club. I was headed home after school when I heard music coming from the center stage and that's when I found out about it. That's where Mitch and I kind of met.
Matt: The band had fizzled out on some players and drummers, but once Mitch joined and then our drummer, we'd write a lot more together. Out music was a communal thing and we were all adding to it, so we kept with The Cold Year.
|Matt Skaggs (source)|
TDIP: Any history or reason you chose to name the band The Cold Year?
Matt: I wanted a band name that would mean something and find a couple of important words that were interesting and stood out. There's no real story behind it, but I really liked it and I never got sick of it! I wanted it to be interesting and create an image.
TDIP: You guys actually have a full length debut album coming out this summer! Tell me about the recording process and what that experience was like for you guys!
Matt: It's been a rollercoaster! Our previous drummer Greg actually moved away, so we were looking around for a new drummer. Columbia is our current drummer. Columbia and I were friends on Facebook and he posted that he was looking for a project to work on, so I contacted him, asked him if he wanted to help us and he did! We jammed with him a few times and he really liked our music and was really into it.
He just happens to own a studio called Crooked Teeth studios which was starting to take off. He told us that he could give us a great deal on studio time if we tracked the album at his studio. After tracking we later we met up with Mike Wisland. He's the head of the audio engineering department at UVU and is a big supporter of our music. We ended up mixing it in his studio. Overall, the experience was very fun and very stressful. I'll probably need a year to recover!
June 22nd - Velour's 2016 Summer Battle of the Bands! (Provo)
July 15th - Show at Liquid Joe's (Salt Lake)
July 22nd - Show at Gezzo Hall (Provo)
July 29th - Kilby Court (Salt Lake)
Discover more about The Cold Year! Check out their social media!