The Weekenders bring a heavy dose of pure rock n' roll. Photo: Martin S Rivero
The Weekenders are comprised of Salt Lake locals Rob Reinfurt, Mike Torgerson, Shaun Thomas and Mike Sasich. Their brand of solid blues-rock reminds me of this dude's dad I'd see periodically at college parties who seemed to nurse a grudge with us younger people. It wasn’t because we weren't old enough to vote against Reagan in the '80s or how our young noses can't spot the difference between Old Spice aftershave and yogurt blended with gasoline, but logically, because our generation was growing soft by partying to too much "adult contemporary" (or what we impassioned juveniles call "indie rock") in lieu of Black Sabbath or Danzig. If given the chance to listen to The Weekenders, I bet the dude would react like Clive Owen did in "Children of Men" when he saw the first pregnant paunch in decades. These grandpas can rest assured knowing The Weekenders are one of many carrying on their beloved art form. And speaking of art, we had the lucky chance to interview the band during this year’s Utah Arts Festival.
SLUG: Describe the music you play using “art” terms?
The Weekenders: Imagine a fast car sitting in an abandoned lot of urban decay that has been rusting for decades. I like turtles.
SLUG: What attracted you guys to playing the Arts Festival?
The Weekenders: Any chance to play in front of a large group of people who appreciate art and music is ideal.
SLUG: How does art influence your music?
Reinfurt: Like any experience, art can be an inspiration. Last year at the Arts Fest I bought a few illustrations from Desaree Lee. It's hard to verbalize how they translate into music, but they do.
SLUG: What's different about playing at a big festival like this as opposed to a dedicated music venue? Do you feel more pressured or relaxed? Sasich: I don't get bitten at festivals.
Reinfurt: There's also a chance some hippie will try and play bongos on the side of the stage.
SLUG: Which changes to the music scene (and overall art scene) have you witnessed while growing up in Utah? Do you feel like it's getting bigger?
The Weekenders: There are more bands and better bands than ever before, but the scene is still small from a fanbase perspective. The appreciation hasn't grown alongside the talent. For a bigger city, the real music fans make up a very small portion of the whole.
SLUG: How do you think your band fits into the local music scene?
The Weekenders: I think Salt Lake has a handful of original rock acts and everyone is doing something a little different. I feel there is synergy to the scene and many of the acts complement each other.
SLUG: What other artistic intrigues/hobbies do you have besides music?
Reinfurt: Mike makes records, Shaun is a graphic designer and I like to paint and experiment with patina treatments on metal forms.
SLUG: What are some of your favorite local venues you like to play?
The Weekenders: State Room, Urban, The Garage.
SLUG: What's the creative process you use to come up with material?
The Weekenders: Ideas always seem to come naturally. They can come from any experience, a feel, a group improve—the sources are endless. If you can capture and develop that moment while staying true to the origin, then it's great.
SLUG: If you could see any rock band from the ’70s play today in their prime, who would it be?
The Weekenders: Big Star, Television, T Rex, Led Zeppelin, Sly and The Family Stone, The Jackson 5.
SLUG: Any advice for future aspiring artists and musicians?
The Weekenders: If it's your passion, then you have no choice. Get ready for the bumps. If it's not who you are, bow out.
SLUG: Any upcoming gigs we can promote?
The Weekenders: July 12 with The Stone Foxes at The State Room. July 30 with The Soft White Sixties at Urban Lounge.
Check out more photos of The Weekenders’ set at the Utah Arts Festival here. Find more info and upcoming shows by following them on Facebook and hitting up their website.