Fun and Entertaining Q+A with Joe Lessard of Head for the Hills Ahead of their Show at Otus Supply

15 February 2017
Kevin Alan Lamb

Momentum is a tangible force that carries the energy of a moving object into whichever direction it is traveling. As we begin to live life conscious of our ability to find a rhythm by directing our energy where it is well-received, we learn that one good thing leads to another, and to strike while the iron is hot. For some time now I’ve followed the momentum of music in my life made meaningful by trusting my intuition and relying on the passion for quieting my doubt. 

Last August I listened to Head for the Hills for the first time while driving southwest to Manteno, Illinois for my first Shoe Fest. I made the trip because of Whiskey Shivers and a girl, but what came out on the other side was something far more meaningful and abundant. I left Shoe Fest carrying with me a special ingredient that can only be discovered when we adventure somewhere for the first time, make friends out of strangers, and spend a few nights sleeping under the stars.

Here’s my conversation with Joe Lessard, rocking the fiddle for Head for the Hills.

If Head for the Hills was an animated television show, what would your theme song be?

Wow, great question. First of all, I'd like to think our animated show would be a Rick and Morty-style interdimensional time and space travel affair. And I think the theme song would have to be the instrumental masterpiece "Machine Gun" by the Commodores, we often blast it as a homestretch jam for long drives. That or McCartney's (Wings) "Band on the Run," but that seems too obvious.

In your scariest or most real nightmare, who/what are you running from when you head for the Hills?

When I'm literally heading for the mountains, I'm running from technology and the entire soul-sucking culture it comes along with. Having tangible, analog pleasures like a pad of paper, an acoustic instrument, and a fire can remind you what's really important for being happy and healthy. I always feel reset as a human after those outdoor escapes.

If head for the Hills could cover one album, what would it be and why?

We've talked seriously about covering Weezer's Blue Album in its entirety, but we may all need to play different instruments at that show. We're close to knowing all the songs on the Tony Rice Unit album Manzanita, but that was almost by accident. I'd like to say some iconic record from Pink Floyd, but I know I'd get ridiculed by the band members who are super fans, like, "seriously Joe, Dark Side of the Moon? Come on!"

What do you know about Detroit? Real or stereotypical.

I know that Detroit is a legendary music city, and I know that ain't no stereotype. So much so that I already mentioned a Motown artist in a previous answer! We're all into R&B and Soul and we're really hoping to get out to some record shops while we're in the area, we need some locals to point us toward the good spots.

How did you guys find one another?

We came together around a mutual interest in bluegrass-ish types of music, though we definitely all came from different places musically - punk rock, hip hop, classical, etc.. More literally, though, the guitar and bass player initially found each other because one was wearing a band t-shirt and the other was like, "Whoa, I dig that band too, you wanna jam sometime?" I'll probably get corrected on that too, but it was something like that. The rest, is, you know, history man.

Catch the quintessential Colorado band, Head for the Hills, Saturday at The Parliament Room at Otus Supply. Rollie Tussing Band will be playing support, doors are at 8 p.m.