Homebody on Why Touring Is Important and Booze Isn't

Denver’s Homebody only has one EP and a live demo to its name, yet starting next week, the band will be heading on a tour that will include stops at three well-established festivals (and one DIY one), traversing the entirety of Canada and hitting every major U.S city on the East Coast. Their guitar and drums driven-jams may sound like slacker, stoner, surf-psych whatever. But make no mistake, these three musicians are nothing to mess with.

Michael Stein, Morris Kolontyrsky, and Carson Pelo got together two years ago after Stein’s and Kolontyrsky’s local project School Knights fell apart, and the three bartenders and friends have been recording music and hitting the road since then. It has seemed to work out. They’ve shared bill space with Mac DeMarco, had music released on Canadian labels and will be playing four festivals this summer.

Most local bands hit the road for a few weeks, playing the west coast or maybe trekking to the east if they have some funds saved up, but few head to the Great White North.

“In my experience booking this tour, Canada has started to feel like a home away from home, in that it has been very welcoming of our music and the people we have been talking to feel like old friends, despite the fact that they're strangers,” says Stein.

The trio will be playing NXNE, Ottowa Explosion Weekend, Sled Island and GOAT. It will start in Kansas City, take them across six Canadian provinces and end up in Seattle. It’s a daunting schedule, but these guys love the road. The trio actually fears becoming a “local band.”

“Every part of touring is the best,” Stein says. “Sleeping on floors, playing for new people, seeing new bands. The best part is playing shows in different places and that's why we do it. Bands that don't tour have no gauge of how good they are, and getting wrapped up in the scene here is my biggest fear as a ‘local band.’”

While certain fears and ambitions may drive these guys to drive to another country and all over ours, the band is pure DIY. There’s a Canadian label involved, but they mostly do it all themselves. Except, according to them, DIY is really DIT — Do it Together, and that group mentality inspires them to do something like this, knowing they aren’t alone.

“It’s basically a necessity unless you're a huge signed band or wanna be looking for "management" from any idiot on the street,” Kolontyrsky says, “People are using the DIY concept as an umbrella term for something that’s really much more simple: friendship.”

While this tour will take the boys to some well-established festivals, there will also be some DIY venues and house shows along the way, which Pelo says feels more real.

“I think we've always just felt at home playing most "DIY-type" venues because it feels authentic,” Pelo says. “People tend to engage or care more in a basement or empty warehouse compared to a half-filled club that focuses mainly on alcohol sales.”

That club atmosphere is something Homebody actively avoids. A Danish blog (yes, Homebody is getting international attention) refers to them as “anti-party” but Stein insists they aren’t “anti-anything.” Still, there will be more cases of water than thirty-racks packed in the van.

“Homebody is a band and we make music,” Stein says. “I don't care about what is going on outside of that at our shows. I am not there to interact with the crowd and shotgun beers with my friends.”

“I don't think we're rebelling against "party rock" as much as we just don't care about it,” Pelo says of a certain genre gaining ground in Denver. “We're a band named after staying away from the public and the three of us spend a lot of time working in a crowded bar. I think that should explain why we're never really seeking out the nearest rager.”

So maybe don’t show up to a Homebody show and buy them a round of shots— you probably can, but you can also dance and cheer and really that’s more of what music is about anyway. On Saturday, you can wander down the stairs of the Meadowlark and the three musicians will be there, providing the best music they can before they pile their instruments and all the cash they’ve saved up to spread their sounds across America and our northern neighbor.