Trampled by Turtles will be returning to Bozeman to play a sold-out show at The Emerson on March 25. In an interview with the band’s fiddle player, Ryan Young, he promised, “Whoever comes to the show is guaranteed to have a good time if they’re in the right mood; our shows are always a lot of fun.”
The band’s current tour schedule includes every type and size of venue: from huge stadiums, like Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado in August, to music festivals and the small town shows in Bozeman and Missoula. Young said, “I like that we get to play in small places and big places, but if we play in big places too long I miss the small areas — being close to people and feeding off that energy. There’s more of a rock and roll vibe when the audience is right there and they’re sweating with you.”
Young has played here before with Trampled by Turtles and his earlier band, Pert Near Sandstone, who still play in Bozeman frequently. He explained, “Aside from seeing friends, just being in this area is pretty wonderful for me. Born and raised in Minnesota, being in the mountains for me is an unusual thing. People in western Montana and Colorado and even eastern Montana probably don’t think about it; that’s just the way it is. Seeing mountains makes everything feel like an adventure.”
When it comes to adventure, adventure is not an unusual undertaking for Trampled by Turtles. Their newest album, “Wild Animals,” released last year, was the band’s first studio album in the past four to be recorded with the help of a producer. “It was nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of,” Young said, “Alan Sparhawk, [the producer], is somebody we all look up to. We admire and value his opinion. It was nice to have him there to give his two cents, and he had a lot of two cents to give.”
Before “Wild Animals” and before Alan Sparhawk, the band spent far less time on each song, simply because they didn’t feel they needed it. Young explained, “We worked on songs for a long time for this album; we put in more effort. We’ve gotten better at everything. We’re better at realizing the full potential of our songs and we’re working harder.” He added, “We didn’t have the patience or inclination to get that good at songs before and now we’re better songwriters and players. We play with each other better than we ever have before. That’s something that comes with time; we’re just a better band than we were back in the day.”
Expanding on the details of songwriting, Young said, “Dave Simmonet writes the chords and the words; he’s the main song writer. He brings the song in and we’ll arrange it as a band. We come up with our own parts and figure out the best way to play it together. He’s a fantastic song writer; I’m lucky to work with him.”
Young’s favorite song to play from the album at the moment is “Nobody Knows.” “It’s the most classic country sounding song we have, kind of Hank Williams country. It’s not something we normally do.” However, he claimed his favorite changed almost daily and by the time March 25 rolls around, it will assuredly be something entirely different.
The band, however adventurous and however matured, is sure to put on a great show, as they always have. Young promised that, as long as the audience was feeling rock and roll, Trampled by Turtles would give all they’ve got. Their Bozeman show is March 25 at the Emerson Center for Arts and Culture at 8 p.m.