Volume Denver Interviews: The Lollygags

This is part of a series of interviews with local bands who are in the latest round of Volume Denver artists. If you've not already checked it out, Volume is a project by Denver Public Library to gather and share some amazing local talent. You can listen to full albums and songs, make playlists, and even download music to keep using your library card.

This week we are visiting with Jonathan Snyder of The Lollygags, an energetic Denver group with some very catchy riffs. 

A little bit about The Lollygags, from the Lollygags:

The Lollygags are not Garage Rock, they are Garage Rock 'n' Roll. 
They are not a jam band, but they are a band who likes to jam. 
The Lollygags are not a cover band, but have been known to cover their favorite tunes.
Their music has been described as being like if Hüsker Dü found themselves in a rumble with Cheap Trick or if The Kinks had come of age in the early 1990s. With influences from the 50s right up until today and wielding a passion for all flavors of rock 'n' roll, The Lollygags have a sound which will always be in style.

Founded by Denver native and lifelong lollygagger Jonathan Snyder, the Lollygags have been bringing pop hooks and crisp riffs to the Rocky Mountain Region since 2011. They currently have two releases under their belt. 2014's People I Know and 2017's self-titled sophomore EP. Both are available all over the internet.

How did you get your start?

I started the band as way to finally do something with the songs I'd had laying around for a while. I was so sick of so many acts out there who are just a first name last name and a guitar. So I chose The Lollygags. Over the years we've had a handful or two of members pass through. There have been lots of great memories and great shows from every lineup of The Lollygags. But over time the lineups have always gotten tighter and the chemistry and synergy has only gotten better

What did music look like for you growing up?

Lots of random CD cases scattered all over the place. 90s classics and punk rock albums from BMG music club. And British invasion and 1960s staples from my dad's collection. I always made it a point to stay up late on Friday and tune into Denver public access TV. They used to have these Indie Music shows that would come on close to midnight. Music Link, Teletunes and Punk TV. These were where I found out about all the cool music that you didn't usually hear on the radio. On Sunday nights when I should've been getting ready for school I was usually tuning into MTV's 120 Minutes. I first started playing guitar when I was 14. But back then I spent more time headbanging and playing air guitar than I did practicing my instrument.

What is your favorite Denver venue to play and why?

Only one? I'm gonna go with the Hi-Dive. That room has witnessed the scene's full evolution into what it is now. And as things around Denver are rapidly changing the Hi Dive has always remained. Something about that tall roomy stage makes you feel so invigorated to play, whether it's a packed house or there's hardly anyone. The great sound doesn't hurt either!

What was your favorite show and why?

Probably opening for legends of SoCal Redd Kross at the Larimer Lounge in April of 2017. I was already a fan of that band and was really excited to get the gig. But as I geeked out more and more on them I learned they were even more influential than I had known. And there was decades of great music to check out. By the day of the show i was a super fan. Such great performers and super friendly guys. Dale Crover of The Melvins was filling in on drums that tour. It was really a pleasure to have a quick chat. After all these years the guy was still playing with such passion and still such a fan of the band he was playing with. It reminded me that it's important to never stop being a fan!

What's the story behind your band name?

I guess it had a lot to do with where my life was back in late 2011. While it seemed like everyone I knew was getting married, getting promoted or having kids, I was grossly under-employed and living with my parents. All I wanted out of life was a killer band. It also reflects a lot about my style of songwriting. I've never really been one to "crank ‘em out" when it comes to new songs. Some of the first tunes I brought to this band had been sitting around in my head and in notebooks for years. I’ll usually come up with an idea, let it sit around, sometimes forget about it, and slowly build on it. Leisurely taking my time.

Describe your sound in one sentence.

If the Kinks had grown up in the early 1990s.

If you could open for any other musical act living or dead, who would it be?

None other than Captain Geech And The Shrimp Shack Shooters.

Thank you to The Lollygags for being a part of Volume and taking time to talk with us! Stay tuned for more interviews with other local musicians.

Written by Jennifer D on March 15, 2018