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Musketeer Gripweed on Why Music Is the Ultimate Art Form

Musketeer Gripweed is ready to release a new album.EXPAND
Musketeer Gripweed is ready to release a new album.
Backstage Flash

Lance Ruby was a longtime fan of the Fort Collins band Musketeer Gripweed. He liked it so much that in 2018, he joined the group, bringing the blues-rock outfit fresh energy and new songs written to showcase the longtime bandmembers' talents.

The group plans to drop a new album, More Than Ever, in December, and is raising funds on Indiegogo to pay for it.

“Thematically, this is a love album,” says lead singer Jason Downing.

The first single to drop off the record is "Rich Man's Child," a bluesy jaunt that wouldn't feel out of place in a Roadhouse reboot.

“The track ‘More Than Ever’ came from me just really wanting [Downing] to sing a Motown ballad,” Ruby says. “I thought that would be really cool. That’s how a lot of my writing on the record came about.”

Keyboardist Matt Goldberg enjoys the album's wide dynamic swings, which are new to the band’s recordings.

“We bring it down with tracks like ‘More Than Ever,’ but we have raging fire tracks like ‘Gasoline Free,’” Goldberg says. “The dynamics we have on this album — it’s something. We haven’t really gone up that high and down that low.”

“I would hate to compare myself to the Beatles,” Ruby says. “But when we were writing this stuff, I kept talking about Abbey Road, where each song is sort of its own little universe. I think that’s presented well. Every song on the album is drastically different.”

The band has at least two more albums of material they would like to record, and, hopefully, there won't be another years-long gap between records this time.

Downing considers Musketeer Gripweed, which has been around for fifteen years, his second family. The bandmates compare themselves to a sports team whose members push each other to do better. No one is above having their contributions critiqued by one another, and they are happy with the results.

That said, drummer Stu Crair notes that there is no such thing as a perfect song, and the band likes to revisit older songs and keep them changing over time, especially in a live setting.

“We really work hard to keep challenging [ourselves], even recently going back to some old material and revisiting that a little bit here and there,” Crair says. “It’s just kind of in line with the idea that songs are always in evolution.”

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Goldberg also enjoys revisiting older material. “We’ve all evolved so much as musicians,” he says. “It’s just really invigorating and fun to go back and revisit songs with our new approach.”

That's what makes music the ultimate art form for him.

“You don’t paint a painting and then paint it live and then paint it again ten years later,” he says. “It wouldn’t even make sense. But with music, we go back ten years later and reconstruct something, and it’s more alive or just as alive as it ever was.”

For more information on the band, go to the Musketeer Gripweed website.

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