>> Earlier in the summer of 2017, Rochester was blessed with a visit from an up and coming alternative rock and roll group from Denver, Colorado. The Guestlist played the second show of their Northeast tour at the Bug Jar, sharing a talent-filled bill with Rochester’s very own The Demos and Buffalo’s Yali. The mid-westerners held their own, contributing nothing to the gig but sheer energy and a brilliant sound. Each member of the six piece is truly earnest, and as a group, they are giving musicians everywhere a great rap. The Guestlist is an eclectic powerhouse whose down-to-earth attitude should be an inspiration to bands everywhere. Floated’s very own Krit Upra had the pleasure of sitting down with the band following their show at the Bug Jar to get a better take on what they’re like.
Most modern rock groups that owe their start to music school hate to admit that fact for whatever reason, but The Guestlist are proud to say that their school in Denver brought them together serendipitously. Josh (vocals and guitar) and Cameron (bass) had recently lost two bandmates from their previous group when they met the others. The six immediately hit it off after some jamming and soon after became Josh Moorehead and the Guestlist. Stripping the name down to simply The Guestlist was an easy decision after a classic story unfolded. “When we played a show, the posters said ‘Josh Moorehead with guests.’ And we invited everyone we knew and told them they were on the guest list… it was a free show. So everyone’s like, ‘I’m on the list!’ and the door guy’s like, ‘whatever…’”
Thus The Guestlist was born. This benign prank wasn’t the only fun the band has had in promoting a gig, either. They’ve discovered the extent of Tinder's possibilities in the scope of marketing. “We were in Detroit and setting it [their location] in Rochester saying [to girls], ‘Do you want to come to the show?’ or if they weren’t coming to the show then, ‘Check out our album!’” It’s pleasing to hear that Tinder’s capabilities are reaching beyond shallow objective swiping. The band needs not resort to such a marketing scheme, though, as they seem to have no problem developing relationships with people.
People seem to be a common theme to The Guestlist. They attribute their positive experience in the music scene, as well as the inspiration to continue writing, to the people around them. Josh explained, “…we have one song we started working on the night of the election. I feel like everyone is involved in that sense and socially aware. When things happen, he who shall not be named creates a passion in us that other people can relate to. We like to make music that everyone can understand.” On Denver’s community specifically, they had this to say: “…some people bring the best out in everyone. Music really does that. You get high off the show. It’s not like a competition [between local bands]… it’s like we got to play together and we’re doing what we love. It’s like a family. Instantly.”
This summer, the immediate sense of community and belonging they’ve felt extended beyond Denver for the six fine fellows. Rochesterians should be proud in that they seemed to be on their game in welcoming The Guestlist in true Rochester fashion. The band was excited to recount their second show on their first Northeast tour. “[The Bug Jar was] …our first legit venue only show. Couldn’t have asked for a better way to start it out. Honestly, one of the most energetic shows we’ve played in a long time. We’ve been doing a lot of fun things at home, but to be able to come out to a place we’ve never been to before and have a reception like that was really fun.” Perhaps the tiny city vibe is over in Rochester’s music scene after all. Such a feat is not achieved without work and networking, though. The band wanted to be sure to give honorable mention their host and booking agent for the region, Hannah Weidner. “I [Josh] want to throw a big shoutout to Hannah for putting it all together. For bringing us into town, for being just a great person overall with a great dog and a great sound system [to listen to their new vinyl press].” Hannah has since become Venue Manager and Head of Booking at Rochester’s Photo City Improv.
The Guestlist’s Northeast tour is over at this point, but the band is far from slowing things down for the time being. They’re set to play a few shows in Denver soon before heading up to the Pacific Northwest to see out the summer. A move that proves fun and strategic as they get closer to their anticipated album drop date. The date is set for September 1st, 2017, but readers in Denver should join the group on the first of the month for a sure-to-be killer release party
Readers everywhere, however, should feel compelled to check out The Guestlist on their Facebook account for information on shows and their story of getting off the ground. Also stop by their website, theguestlistmusic.com for access to their first album, No More Nostalgia, as well as tour information and merch. <<
You can follow what the band is up to currently on these social media platforms: