SpokesBUZZ’s goal, as President and founder Dani Grant, recited word for word, is to “amplify the Colorado music scene, develop our professional artists, promote Colorado as a progressive cultural destination and grow local economies.”
Bandswap, an event when artists with similar sounds from different cities team up and play together, is coming to Colorado and hitting Fort Collins.
“SpokesBUZZ is a promotion engine for the music scene in Colorado to foster economic growth,” said Grant. “Bandswap is particularly good at doing that.”
Common Anomaly’s vocals and guitar player, Nick LoFaro, agreed.
“We got involved with SpokesBUZZ a couple years ago, and we really liked what they helped bands with. It really seems too good to be true when you’re a band and you’re working with them because they really do,” LoFaro said. “There’s a very personal relationship with all of them, and they really do care about your band.”
In addition to stimulating the local economies of various cities, Bandswap offers musicians a chance to tour and check out new audiences.
“We’ve been with SpokesBUZZ — this is our third year, actually, and we’ve done a lot of really neat things,” LoFaro said. “We were in Bandswap last year, and we went to Memphis, which was awesome because we’ve never played the south before and the south is very music-centric. If you go out to a lot of bars in Denver it’s a DJ, and if you go out to bars in the Memphis, it’s bands.”
The event gives bands a chance to collaborate and learn, as well. The Epilogues’ vocals and guitar player, Chris Heckman, described the process of playing together, “I’ll write a song, but then others will put in their input and it changes the song, so that’s really cool.”
The Epilogues played with The Echo Chamber.
Chris Thompson, drums and electronics for The Echo Chamber, said, “I think it really is a learning process. That’s a big thing as a musician, always going out touring all across the map, constantly taking in what other bands are doing.”
LoFaro said, “It presents us an opportunity to do something as the band we are, which is a group of friends.”
Grant explained the process by which bands were chosen, “That was a round table, and it was based on what regions we were going to, what genres would work in each region, which bands would make the biggest impact … A lot of factors went into it, and the list was much longer; the other cities had to choose (a band off the list).”
Grant added, “We have our first year behind us, which is important because we learned a ton.”
For all that putting together Bandswap is a complicated process, Grant’s said, “My concern is that some band is going to be left at the airport.”
LoFaro said, “Every show you learn something. It’s always great to play in a city where no one knows who you are. Some bands are afraid of that, but I can’t wait for those moments. I think we play really good under that pressure.”
He went on, “You get to represent your town and get to meet people and absorb that town’s music scene, and you get to be tourists too.”
More information can be found at spokesbuzz.org/bandswap.
Entertainment Editor Em Kribs can be reached at email@example.com.