Mt. Joy brings the desert sun to concert series at Wagner Park
Mt. Joy, a Los Angeles-based alternative rock band, propelled to success back in 2018 when their track “Silver Linings” — the single from their 2018 self-titled debut album — became a No. 1 hit on adult alternative radio.
The band has been making music since before 2016, blending sounds of psychedelic, folk, alternative, and classic rock. Listening to their music may immediately transport you to summer days, driving through the mountains, with the sun bursting through your windshield.
Mt. Joy will be performing in Aspen on Saturday for the Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series at Wagner Park as part of the FIS Audi World Cup celebration.
While the band doesn’t have roots in Colorado, they hone in somewhat of a quintessential mountain sound — rugged yet smooth, with folky undertones.
Matt Quinn, the band’s lead singer, said they want to offer a space in Aspen this weekend for everyone to come and simply let go.
“That’s the dream of playing music for me: to give people shelter from everything else in the world for a sliver of time,” he said.
Their first single, “Astrovan,” came out in 2016, garnering over 1 million streams on Spotify within the first month of its release, according to the Lancaster Times.
Way before their success, the band got their start from humble beginnings. Quinn met the band’s guitarist Sam Cooper while in high school in southwest Pennsylvania in the early 2000s.
“Sam and I met because his brother was recording some of my first-ever songs at his house in high school,” said Quinn. “Sam was amazing at guitar and didn’t hate the songs, so we started working together probably in 2007.”
The two reconnected nearly a decade later in Los Angeles, setting their eyes on formally starting the band.
“We reconnected in L.A. in 2016 over some songs I was working on,” said Quinn. “He helped finish some of them, and we decided to record what would become Mt. Joy’s first tunes.”
While channeling their sound and honing in the craft of songwriting, they knew they needed to round out the band with a bassist. However, without roots or an abundance of connections in the L.A.-area, they took a risk on Craigslist.
“We needed a bassist, so we went to Craigslist and found Michael Byrnes,” said Quinn. “It sounds crazy, but he’s an incredible bass player. I’m not sure how we got so lucky.
“He tapped us into the L.A. music scene a bit, and that’s how we found Sotiris Eliopoulos (drummer) and Jackie Miclau (pianist). It was all shockingly easy,” he said.
Three years ago, the band went on tour with Colorado’s The Lumineers. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the tour was cancelled in March 2020 following the onset of COVID-19 lockdowns.
From there, Quinn and Cooper hunkered down in Joshua Tree, California, to work on their most recent album “Orange Blood,” which is largely inspired by the desert and the anxieties of the COVID-19 lockdowns.
“There’s a lot of that unique anxiety baked in there,” said Quinn. “But beyond that, the desert. Sam and I spent some time in Joshua Tree. I know it’s been a fountain of creativity for a lot of artists. It’s just an inspiring spot, and it definitely was in my consciousness.”
Their third album was released in 2022, which they’ve already performed at Red Rocks Amphitheater. The album expands the band’s catalog, encompassing more of a psychedelic-inspired sound.
Throughout their career, with stops in Colorado along the way, even they have experienced the perils of driving through I-70 during the winter.
“I’m always in awe of the beauty of the Rockies in the winter,” said Quinn. “We’ve made the treacherous drive through them a few times back when we were touring in a van, some of the best memories of my life.
“I remember getting stuck in construction on I-70, and we were daring each other to jump into the snowbank along the road and put our asses in the snow, probably high, laughing all the way,” he said.
The band has performed hundreds of shows across the country, which has catalyzed musical and personal growth.
“You grow so much from that experience musically and otherwise,” said Quinn. “We are a totally different band, way better.”
What: Mt. Joy
Where: Wagner Park
When: Saturday at 7:30 p.m
More information: aspensnowmass.com/visit/events/bud-light-hifi-concert-series/march-4
To reach Kristen Mohammadi, call 304-650-2404 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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