Kind of like the Grateful Dead, the members of The Beeves found their name by closing their eyes and pointing a finger into the biggest book they could find. In the case of the Dead, it was a dictionary, but, unwittingly, the Boulder-launched indie outfit one-upped the legendary jam band and used a Bible.
While their music started out with a punk and ska sensibility, the rising act is now riding a wave of energetic rock that will take them to the Fox Theatre in Boulder on Friday, May 17, where they will celebrate the release of their new album, Adam & Beeve, produced by Nate Cook of the Yawpers and recorded at Daymoon Studios in Denver with Tyler Imbrogno from the band Eldren.
Westword spoke to Beeves drummer William Ehrhart to get the inside info on their origin, style and unique name.
Westword: How many people are in the group?
Will Ehrhart: We're a three-piece, though we occasionally have guest musicians. The band includes myself on drums, my brother Ian on guitar and Matthew Sease on bass guitar. Sometimes the guitar player switches with the bass for certain songs, and we all sing.
So are you guys kind of indie and punk-inspired?
Yeah, for the most part. We started trying to replicate ska and punk, and then we kind of morphed into our own genre of simple rock music.
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What kind of ska or punk first inspired you?
We liked bands like Sublime and Against Me! and stuff like that, but we also grew up with the Beatles and Black Sabbath and music that our parents had turned us on to. But, yeah, we started the band because of punk and stuff.
Were you guys skaters?
Yeah, me and my brother Ian both skateboarded, but not too much anymore. But that's kind of what it was, because we liked skateboarding and punk rock.
Were you into Black Flag?
I think my brother was. I never went that hard. I was more into jazz music. Now that we're over eighteen, we listen to completely different music than when we started.
Did you guys all go to the same high school?
We went to the same middle school and elementary school. I'm nineteen, and they're both 21. Ian went to a high school with Matthew for one year that was part of the Erie public-school system, and then Ian and I went to a private high school in Boulder, which was a small school that focused on performing arts.
When did the band start?
We've been playing together since we were eleven or twelve, when we started playing in the basement. But we named ourselves and decided to see what we could do around 2015. We weren't in any music scene, so we just took our acoustic instruments and started playing our songs and covers on the Pearl Street Mall. It was very successful: just two acoustic guitars and a stripped-down drum set. We made a decent amount of money busking there. We'd just kind of scream our heads off and do weird things.
Tell the story about how you found "The Beeves" as a name?
It actually came from the Bible. We're not a Christian rock band or anything, but we found the biggest book at our house, which happened to be the Bible, and we opened up to a random page and put our finger down. It took a while to find a name that wasn't "and" or "the," and we opened up to "Beeves," and we were like, yeah, the Beeves, all right, that sounds good.
Can you tell me a little bit about how you got going as a band?
After busking on Pearl Street for a while, we got offered a gig at a bar in Thornton, the Trailside Saloon, which we enjoyed, and then we started writing more music. The year after that, we met a band called Meeting House out of Denver, and they suggested a guy named Oliver Mueller, of Slow Caves, who helped us produce our first EP in 2016.
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We were also big fans of the Yawpers, and we drew a silly picture of Nate Cook from the Yawpers and put it on one of our band T-shirts, and we wrote "The Beeves" on it, and then he saw it and liked it, and he liked our music, and he asked us to open a show for them. Then he decided to produce our new album that's coming out this week. We also play in Fort Collins a lot, which has a really cool scene.
Yeah, we're really excited to play at the Fox in Boulder. It's where we grew up seeing all of our favorite bands. We've spent a lot of time there, and this is going to be a really fun show.