Interview, Review & Photos | Trampled By Turtles | Madison

Words & Images by: Kristina "Dolly" Danitz

Madison, Wisconsin's historic Orpheum Theater (a.k.a. the "Orph") welcomed Trampled by Turtles as their first show (and under the management of Frank Productions) in 2013 since closing it's doors back in September of 2012. And what a perfect winter night to be cozy inside this beautiful building listening to some of the hottest music on the scene.

Before the show I had the pleasure of sitting down with three of the band members: Tim Saxhaug (bass), Ryan Young (fiddle), and Dave Carroll (banjo). We discussed music influences, how they survive living on a bus with band mates, and jobs they had in the past.

Dolly: So, your 10 year anniversary is coming up in April; before the band, what kind of jobs were you guys working?
Tim: I delivered sub sandwiches.
Ryan: I was teaching violin lessons.
Dave: I worked at Famous Dave's restaurant and I was building log cabins!

Dolly: How did you guys then form a band?
Tim: Some of us knew each other from around town. Dave [Simonette] and Erik were already jammin' together then Dave Carroll, myself, and Ryan got brought on.

Dolly: Growing up, who were your musical influences?
Tim: The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Paul McCartney, Sting, Mike from Green Day,
Ryan: Almost anything and everything, Mr. Bungle, Kiss, Michael Jackson, The Minute Man, The Carter Family, Hulk Hogan (what?! I didn't even know Hulk Hogan HAD an album out!)
Dave: Jimmy Page because I played guitar first, and Widespread Panic.

Dolly: And who are you listening to now?
Tim: Alabama Shakes, Dawes, HoneyHoney.
Ryan: Sepultura, Meshuggah, pretty much anything that ends in "A" (haha).
Dave: Jonny Corndawg (now Jonny Fritz)and Beach House. On repeat.

Dolly: Quite an eclectic range of music between the three of you! Speaking of getting along, how is it sharing a living space with so many people? Is it like living with family or more like co-workers?
Tim: Just kinda developed a natural thing over time being in a band, no one gets in each others faces, we're all pretty chill.
Ryan: We respect each others' space and also enjoy each others' company, and celebrate each others' strengths.
Dave: Touring for about 8 1/2 years, it has created such a space of relief, creates an ease of touring. Made things a lot easier, to spread out, and be able to sleep on the road.

Dolly: So before this beautiful bus, what kind of vehicle were you touring in?
Dave: We used my Ford Explorer and Timmy's old red Subaru wagon and I broke his windshield...
Tim: With a water balloon! Can't let the cars get forgotten!

Dolly: So you guys played some pretty big gigs recently, eh?! Conan last week, Letterman last Spring... pretty crazy! Were you guys really nervous?!
Tim: They're all weird just because you go in and play one song...
Dave: And it's over in like 5 seconds.
Ryan: The first one (Letterman) was really nerve-wracking...
Ryan/Tim: Conan wasn't as much.

Dolly: Well thank you so much for your time guys! Can't wait to watch you guys tonight!

A few other fun facts from Madison-raised mandolin player, Erik Berry:

The band has played under alias names, one of them being "Go Back to Russia, Ya Hippie." If he were to describe the band in one word: LOUD. The band practiced on the bus once. "It's surprisingly hard to [practice] without getting clubbed by a banjo or bass or skewered by a fiddle bow."

Favorite restaurant on the road: Thaiku (Seattle, Washington)

Favorite game to play as a band while on the road: "Let's all look at our phones until somebody things of something to talk about... this is tied with disc golf."

Trampled by Turtles graced the crowd after two opening acts, Brown Bird as well as Carl Broemel of My Morning Jacket, with their hit off of their most recent album, "Midnight on the Interstate." This got the crowd immediately up and movin', groovin', and shakin'. Their set continued on with their 2012 single "Alone," "Help You," and "New Orleans" just to name a few.

The show continued with high-energy, feel-good tunes, and ended with Carl Broemel sitting in with a John Lennon classic, "Oh, Yoko."

Each time Trampled by Turtles returns to the Midwest, they never fail to disappoint. The love is clear from the fans, to the band, to the behind the scene production team... Keep bringin' it, boys.

[Published on: 2/1/13]

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