Volume Interviews: Strange Americans

This interview 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 the amazing local talent in this city. 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 local rockers Strange Americans. They are Matt Hoffman (vocals, guitar), Trent Nelson (vocals, guitar), Murry Mercier (keyboard, guitar, vocals), Trevor Sinnard (bass) and Michael John McKee (drums). They are all Denver Public Library cardholders too! You can listen and download their latest album, Borrow You, Brother from Volume.

This description from Marquee Magazine sums up their sound nicely:
“It’s the kind of music that the Carhartt-wearing, hard-working, industrial beer-drinking, regular Americans would listen to — the ones who could end up on an episode of TV’s Dirty Jobs. It’s a little raw, a bit loud, unapologetic and honest. It’s Americana rock and roll and it’s something that Denver’s Strange Americans are crafting with both brawn and finesse, like a hot rod mechanic bringing back an old barn find.”

How did you and your bandmates meet? 

We started with a Craigslist ad, met at Park Tavern in Cap Hill and then started writing as a duo. The band came together largely out of Craigslist after that, but also through friends and other bands in the Denver music scene.

What did music look like for you as you were growing up?

We were all some version of band nerds, guitar freaks, and vinyl and cassette tape lovers. Trevor even played the flute as a kid. We all came from either musical households or got active in music very young.

What's your favorite Denver venue to play and why?

We love to play Hi-Dive. The collaboration with bands and the staff there always makes those feel like great nights. But we also love playing the Bluebird, a bigger room that we feel suits our sound and energy. 

What's your most favorite show and why?

We've opened for a bunch of amazing national acts, but I think we'd all agree that when we played Red Rocks as part of Film on the Rocks, that was a pretty special day.

What's the story behind your band name?

Back in 2010, we got together to watch Jeremiah Johnson and drink bourbon. We had a list of 100+ band names and couldn't really find a way to pick one. By the end of the night we just got tired and settled on Strange Americans over the other candidates. Turns out it suits us and our music well.

Describe your sound in one sentence.

Straight-forward, no-frills rock and roll.

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

The Band. We've all seen The Last Waltz too many times to admit! We love their music and have covered their songs for a long time now; they're a big influence on us musically.

Keep an eye on Strange Americans and maybe even catch one of their shows. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more music news.

Written by Jennifer D on March 8, 2018