The Green House Band takes its name from a shack at an undisclosed location in Denver that the six-piece band uses for its practice sessions.
“We have a pretty emotional connection to it at this point,” says guitarist Hayden Bellamy. “It’s really been a godsend, because that’s the hardest thing to do as a band, is find a place to play and make noise. We were lucky enough to have that from day one. That’s what brought us together, so naturally, we thought we would name the band after it.”
The Green House Band, which has been together for about two years in various stages of completeness, is currently made up of Bellamy, guitarist Michael Nunnink, drummer Joe Simon, bass player Tommy Willen, keyboardist Matt Paradise and vocalist Marlee Sacks.
The group, which released its self-titled debut EP on April 1, plays a mix of soul and Americana and cites a variety of bands as influences, including Tedeschi Trucks Band, Lake Street Dive, Led Zeppelin, California Honeydrops and the Allman Brothers Band.
Nunnink notes that members of the band hail from a variety of places — New Orleans, Nashville, Kansas City, and St. Louis among them — a fact that also has a profound influence on their style.
“All of us kind of bring our own influences from those local music scenes that we’ve been a part of in the past,” he says. “That shows in our songwriting.”
Bellamy says the band tried to showcase its best songwriting on the five tracks that make up the EP — recorded at Evergreen’s Evergroove Studio — all while providing a glimpse into what the group brings to a live setting.
“We tried to bring that energy,” Bellamy says. “I think it’s translated really well into the recordings."
Willen says the five songs are a good representation of the band’s style as a whole.
“It's a really clear Venn diagram where the middle of all of us is big, but we each have that cool, separate area that we bring into each of our originals,” he says. “So, although a lot of these songs sound kind of different, you can definitely feel that they're all being written by the same group of people.”
Sacks says all six members took part in writing the songs. She says the creative process can sometimes start with someone’s lyrics that are fit to a melody, and sometimes it’s the opposite, with the lyrics coming later.
“There’s a little bit of everyone in every song, so it’s pretty cool,” she says.
Paradise says the creative process is very organic and highly collaborative.
"I think what helps us get six different voices is that every song has a concept,” he says. “We try to stick to that concept as much as we can while we're writing it.”
The coronavirus pandemic has all but destroyed live music across Denver and put the kibosh on the band’s planned EP-release party that was scheduled for April 11. Nunnink says that once the band is able to take the stage again, fans can expect a lot of energy.
“Our last gig for a while was at Silver City in Aspen,” Nunnink says. “We had a two-and-a-half-hour set. We just played everything we knew. We used that extended time to really experiment with our different songs and not just stick to what we wrote for the album. We used that as a platform to get out and try new stuff."
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Paradise adds that there is something transformative about the energy the band’s fans offer during a live set: “When you're up there playing music...there is this magic that happens from the energy that is reciprocated between us and them, and it’s like a wild party. It’s awesome.”
In the meantime, Willen says the band has attempted FaceTime practice while its members are quarantined at home.
“It was certainly productive and a good hangout for us just catching up,” he says. “We were putting funny emojis on our FaceTime pictures and trying to write new music. … We are using this as a good time to write as much as we can and practice as much as we can.”