They’re awfully drunk, but sweet Jesus, they’re awfully handsome. Slow guitar, a pedal steel drum, deep soothing vocals, and an Americana sound inspired by lead singer Colt’s ear candy of choice, Roy Orbison, combine to create what Seattle-based act Colt Kraft Band calls “lounge balladry.” (Enjoy that term. It’s genius.) Add to the mix a digital ‘90s MIDI instrument called The Key—not to be confused with keytar—and Colt Kraft Band achieves a texture and spacey wall of sound that suits a drive down the coast of the Pacific Northwest, or a moonlit dance with a sweetheart in a backyard strewn with cans of Rainier and brown puddles of chaw.
Neon Neon: What is the most recurring ‘inside joke’ or phrase amongst your band? Colt Kraft Band: We like to smoke beers. Also, when we practice, we always say we’re going to keep it short and sweet— ‘go through the set twice’—but it rarely happens. A bit of chitchat actually makes it a pleasure to play together, not a job.
What is the greatest product from the year 1989? The Nintendo Power Glove. We’re half tempted to have ‘Nintendo Power Glove’ for all our answers.
Is your drummer a lonesome space cowboy? Both drummers are upstanding members of the community, and sometimes Lonesome Space Cowboys. Grant is known for declining rides home from the bar and opting for the long, usually multi-mile, walk home across Seattle late into the evening. We imagine he does it to do a bit of self-reflection and get a little exercise. He might achieve Lonesome Space Cowboy status at some point during these journeys.
I believe in 1984 the inspiration for artists was ‘the future’ and since then we have been stuck in a cycle of drawing inspiration from the past. Do you agree? Why? Bruce Springsteen released ‘Glory Days’ in 1984, and that song is pure nostalgia. Inspiration from the past is literally written in the lyrics. I’m not sure I’d say we’re ‘stuck’ drawing inspiration from the past. Even though we draw from the past often, we still feel good about it. It’s an excellent tradition. Embrace nostalgia. It’s powerful and it feels good.
Any strategies for how bands on small labels can continue touring the expansive United States with less tour support, lower album sales, and rising gas prices? The resurgence of interest in record stores is encouraging. It shows that people may be starting to see how they directly affect the survival of bands. Ideally, pals, family, and fans will support you across the States. Savings from gigs might supplement lower album sales, and you have at least five folks on your tour and everyone’s pitching in on gas so that it’s not so bad, right? Using soccer shorts as boxers helps. And bank heists.
Photographer: Scott Everett at ScottEverett.me.