Songcraft at the CLC DIY Fest

Themes of nostalgia permeate their folk-rock sounds, and as Eric Lund, the guitar player, says, “There’s a lot of heart in it, and sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s heartbreaking, and I hope that people can kind of relate with it.” When asked what he is nostalgic for, Wolfe says, “I look at the way my great-grandparents lived and loved, and the things that were important to them—they didn’t have distractions in their life. I’m very lucky to live right now, with technology and medicine and SLUG Magazine, but I’m often envious of earlier times.”
 
The Dirty Thirty started as a side project from a previous band, Small Town Sinners, which included Lund, and the rest of the band came together through word of mouth. The five of them (which includes bassist Jon Robertson, drummer Alex Terry and occasional member, keyboardist Aaron Martell—not pictured) work together hand-in-hand, although Wolfe usually brings the main melodies and lyrics to the table.  Terry says, “I think we’re pretty diverse as a band, but we come together just fine. If I could put it simply, we’re a pretty good representation of our demographic in the state, because we all come from different backgrounds, but I think we work together really well. When we all get together to collaborate on the songs, there’s never any sort of problems—no ego or anything like that. It’s pretty straightforward.” Wolfe agrees, saying, “We are lucky in that respect.” Catch their set on Saturday at 1 p.m. on the 90.1 FM KUER Stage.
 
Bringing sludgy, math-rock jams to the festival, Worst Friends plays on Saturday evening. Band members Jarom Bischoff and Mike Cundick have a long history of playing in various bands together, most notably in Loom. While Loom still exists, it’s become a backburner project as they focus on this newer project. As Bischoff says, “At a certain point, there were just too many cooks in the kitchen, and Mike and I had issues because we were both in charge of everything, so that naturally happens in a band. I ended up leaving/getting kicked out—it was pretty mutual I suppose.” The two wanted to keep jamming and writing together, Loom notwithstanding. Bischoff says, “So, sort of as a sarcastic joke, we called the band Worst Friends because […] everyone thinks that we butt heads or whatever.” Cundick adds, saying, “Now we’re just trying to figure out ways to piss off Elliot enough to join the club.” Elliot Secrist, their bassist (who also is a part of a number of projects, notably God’s Revolver and now Day Hymns), joined this past year, which was “an easy decision to make,” according to Bischoff, after Secrist approached the pair to see if they wanted to add a bass to their lineup. Unlike a majority of bands who focus on a guitar player or singer to do most of the writing, the trio come to the table pretty evenly with their experience to work on their riffs and transitions until it makes a cohesive whole. While there is hardly a lack of material, Secrist says, “The problem with so many options and ideas is that we have to cut a lot of the fat and narrow it down. Otherwise, we have these 10-minute songs and we’ll just look out and the crowd is just glazed over.” The clearest sentiment between the musicians was one of admiration. “For most things I’ve been a part of, I kind of get things first and then help other people get it, but ever since I’ve been in this band, it feels like I’m the one that’s trying to catch on and catch up with these two. It’s a new experience—it’s humbling and it helps me grow,” Cundick says. They look forward to playing at the CLC DIY Fest, and hope the crowd will be receptive. Be sure to catch their set on the 90.9 FM KRCL Stage Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
 
With two stages and various busking areas, there’s no better place to see the melding of local music and art this summer than the Craft Lake City DIY Festival at the Gallivan Center on Aug. 9 and 10. Find the full lineup at craftlakecity.com.
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