Local band ShadowTrapp doesn’t do covers. Or for those not in the know on the lingo, they don’t play other people’s tunes. No “Highway Star.” No “Free Bird.” No “Proud Mary” and certainly no “Wagon Wheel.”
They’re a local trio you’d toss into the indie-rock category, a band playing mid-tempo melodic rock that’s part psychedelic, part ambient and experimental and all original. The band, who are Alexii Carey on bass and vocals, Nathan Beck on guitar and vocals and Ryan Swoverland on drums will perform Saturday with indie-surf-psychedelic band The Crags at the Mancos Brewing Co.
With a local music resume that dates back to the mid-1990s, Carey has the longest history of playing music in the area. He was a member of The Shi*Heels and Graze, two bands that played punk covers and cow-punk with bluegrass instrumentation. His most recent contributions to the local music scene include playing in the gypsy band Carute Roma and most recently with afrobeat outfit Afrobeatniks. Always a fan of outsider music, it was skateboarding and punk rock that got him chasing music that is “obscure and hard to find.”
Beck picked up the guitar in high school after being grounded and was always someone who wanted to explore learning the guitar without going down a traditional path.
WHAT: ShadowTrapp and The Crags.
WHEN: 5 p.m. Saturday.
WHERE: Mancos Brewing Co., 484 E. Frontage Road, Mancos.
MORE INFORMATION: Call 533-9761.
“I haven’t really learned any cover songs because I enjoyed writing so much,” Beck said. “But also when I first started, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I would fiddle and try to steer kind of clear with sticking with regular chords, and I would explore the neck and say, ‘Oh that sounds good, and that sounds good, too.’ So that kind of set the pace for me to write in the style that I do.”
That style is all based on experimentation. Both Beck and Carey are web developers, and their love of technology rolls over into their process of making music. If one writes a particular part, the other comes along and finds a way to add to that existing part. It’s a mutual partnership of collaboration and respect for each other’s musical contributions to the band.
“It became less about the bass for me, and more about how I can sonically enhance these songs, or what songs I do have that kind of meld into some sonic platform,” Carey said.
“Alexii writes songs, too” Beck said. “And it’s very mutual. I try to do the same thing. Again, rather than just trying to figure out what chords he’s playing and just playing something, I am really trying to find something that fits what the intention is of the song and am cognizant of being patient as much as playing.”
Ultimately, what they are doing is adding to Durango’s music scene with original tunes and an original sound. It’s not bluegrass, or alternative country or jam. Nor is it straight-up old-school rock ’n’ roll, although it does rock, while also having an electro-vibe that pulses and moves. It has the indie-rock vibe of a Built to Spill while also having the thumping, experimental motif of a band like Trans Am. They are just trying to add a new sound to a scene loaded with sounds.
“Durango has a pretty vibrant and pretty great music scene. There’s lots of different styles, but there isn’t a lot of indie-rock that’s kind of melodic, moody, but also chill music,” Beck said. “So we wanted to put that out here in our community, hopefully inspire some people, and hopefully people will enjoy the music. For us, it’s sticking together and continuing to write. We also just have a lot of fun.”
ShadowTrapp’s debut record “Franken AI” will drop in 2022.
Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. Reach him at email@example.com.