The Weekenders' debut, "Don't Plan On," was released last month, brimming with talent and ready to be played live at loud volume. The band's heady, confident blend of modern rock and blues sounds as if it's from an earlier time.
The original songs draw from songwriter and frontman Rob Reinfurt's legal and personal struggles over the past three years. Now the band Reinfurt on guitar and vocals, John Murphy on drums and vocals, Bob Melanson on bass, Mike Sasich on guitar is focused on preparing for an Aug. 10 show at the Hog Wallow Pub, as well as an Aug. 17 performance at Fat's Grill in Sugar House.
The band answered email questions about its creation, where the blues come from, and Ann Curry's recent departure from NBC's "Today."
How and when did the band form?
Reinfurt •In 2009, I was writing a ton of material and couldn't stop playing. It was my ultimate outlet for expression at a time when I couldn't talk. For three years I battled a federal drug conspiracy case living in the dark, unsure if I would go to prison. I needed music. I reached out to John, our drummer, who I had jammed with before, and he just happened to be moving back to Utah. John has a great feel on drums, somewhere between Levon Helm and John Bonham. We ran some Craigslist ads and rotated through of handful of players for two years before we found a home musically. Bob and Mike recently joined in on the madness, and the chemistry has been great. Mike actually asked me if he could join the band while mixing my album. I did not expect that. He's such a phenomenal player, I was totally surprised and humbled by his offer, so of course I said yes. They are all great listeners and play what's right for the music. I couldn't be happier with my bandmates.
Where did the band get exposure to blues music?
Reinfurt • Blues came to me through my father, singing in the car to the likes of Sam Cooke and James Brown. All of us have gone out of our way to experience live music. You need to. Standout blues acts for me have been Ray Charles, Dr. John, Clapton, Buddy Guy and Derek Trucks.
What gives you the blues?
Reinfurt • Crisis. When things fall apart, the blues appear in their rawest form.
Murphy • Generally, it's the desire to go out, play and express yourself in front of people. There's, first, the basic need to want to be heard. Secondly, there's the more mutually determinable aspect of taking that desire and putting it on display in front of a bunch of people. It's both an individual and a socially determined feeling. The private, subjective experience is one thing, but ultimately no music is possible without listeners who share in that same feeling.
What is your most memorable moment of being a musician?
Melanson • Playing the Glastonbury Music Festival with Wheat.
Murphy • The next gig is and always has been my focus. Music for me necessitates a forward-looking attitude. I'm always hesitant to look back. But I suppose that getting this album finished recently has turned out to be one of my more memorable experiences. So far, it's the thing in my career that I'm the most proud of.
Reinfurt •In 2000, I was playing a lot of drums. I was infatuated with Medeski Martin & Wood and Bob Moses so much so that I pursued a job at Bob Moses' record label in order to be close to him. He ended up taking me on as a private student and I helped him with a few gigs. I spent the summer hanging with him, listening to stories about Mingus and Roach, watching him play, sing and be. It was a blessing.
Sasich • Opening for bands like Calexico, DevotchKa, The Dwarves and The Mother Hips.
I noticed that Reinfurt has longish hair. I have always wondered if having longish hair necessitates more shampooing and conditioning.
Reinfurt • I wash my hair just as infrequently as when I had short hair.
Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but people don't point to their crotch when they ask where the bathroom is?
Melanson • I point to my crotch.
Murphy • Pointing to the wrist to ask for the time is a directional indicator of a desired outcome; the time can be read from a watch located on the wrist. Pointing to the crotch, on the other hand, is not a directional indicator of desired outcome; one would have to point to the bathroom itself: by definition impossible if the location of the bathroom is in fact the desired outcome in question.
Do you think Ann Curry got the shaft?
Reinfurt •Have no idea who she is. That said, she absolutely got the shaft.
For more information about the band, go to http://www.theweekendersmusic.com.
When • Friday, Aug. 10, 10 p.m.
Where • Hog Wallow Pub, 3200 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, Cottonwood Heights; 801-733-5567
Cover charge • $5 at the door; 21+
When • Friday, Aug. 17, 10 p.m.
Where • Fat's Grill & Pool, 2182 Highland Drive, Salt Lake City; 801-484-9467
Cover • Free; 21+
When • Saturday, Sept. 29, 10 p.m.
Where • Willie's Lounge, 1716 S. Main St., Salt Lake City; 801-487-9578
Cover • Free; 21+