By: Dawn Duncan
Photo by: Talia Lezama
It’s late morning and I am meeting two of the four members of Denver-based alternative rock act One Flew West at The Curtis Hotel’s Corner Office lounge/café. In preparation for my meeting, I have gathered some thoughts and notes about this act that I first saw at 2016’s UMS (Underground Music Showcase) festival on South Broadway last July. There, I saw One Flew West perform twice—they were that good—-including as part of SpokesBUZZ’s last day party they would host at Irish Rover. I watched a packed, hot, sweaty room of day partiers jump up and down, scream, and sing along with Linden and the guys as they tore up the tiny stage that was wedged in a corner of the main room. They not only seemed larger than life on that little stage, but they quickly got crowned as some of the local kings of the UMS.
I am meeting with Linden Jackson, lead singer/guitarist, and David DiSalvo, guitarist, to talk about One Flew West’s upcoming releases and shows. As is common among musicians, what we see on stage and what we witness in off-stage conversation tend to be different vibes. Linden and David, who both possess innate and honed stage energy that is wild and full throttle, are both relaxed, rather contemplative individuals, thoughtful in their conversation style. There is a calm about them that is drastically opposite of the supercharged stage delivery they give. This juxtaposition is one thing that is intriguing about working in music; musicians tend to save that “stage person” for the live show and offer a reflective, quieter sense of being off stage. I ask about the band’s early years and how the act formed, to which Linden explains the beginning years of this band and where they are coming from musically.
“We formed in 2010 in high school in Longmont,” he comments. “We now all live in Denver and three of us are finishing college, with our drummer having just graduated CSU,” he adds. One Flew West played regularly in high school, with Linden being mainly self-taught on guitar and writing music, less a handful of lessons. David, on the other hand, is jazz trained. This blend of formal and informal education in music, now mixed with the pursuit of degrees in music business and performance, equip One Flew West with a rather unique cocktail of perspective. The music world doesn’t come with many rules or recipes for success per se, so combining sophisticated education with the raw grit of intrinsic drive to write, record, and perform shows through in the One Flew West package. This is a band that doesn’t just build up to a climactic point of their show; they come out swinging right out of the gate and hook the crowd immediately in their quest to entertain.
The themes of One Flew West’s music have of course expanded over the past six years as the members have grown in maturity and their musicianship. “Now, I focus more on the actual writing process,” Linden states. “If you take a step back, make sense of your writing, and then put more time into it, the process expands. We’ve slowed down a bit in the development process to really make sure everything is up to par,” he adds.
This month, the band continues its journey, expanding further into Northern Colorado to play regularly in this region. “Our first show was at The Aggie back in the day…about four years ago,” David comments. “We actually headlined, not knowing anyone up in NoCo. Our drummer was at CSU so that’s where the connection to Fort Collins came from.” Currently, the band prepares for their March 4 show at Downtown Artery, along with Ivory Circle and Silver & Gold. Chris Beeble of Ivory Circle has recently worked with One Flew West at The Blasting Room on a new single. This song, “All In My Head,” will be one of two new singles released at the band’s March shows, and Beeble served as engineer/mixer and producer on the track. The other song, “10 Years Later,” was recorded in Denver at The Keep, with Andy Rok Guerrero (Flobots) as producer and Jeff Kanan (No Doubt, Madonna, Kelly Clarkson), engineering. The Denver release show is the night prior, March 3 at Lost Lake, along with Citra and Overslept. Following this will be a few more local shows before the band embarks on a mini tour this summer and then moves into the release of an EP this fall.
Check out this band; you will not be disappointed. “If I go to see a show, I don’t want to just watch. I want to be a part of it. That’s what I think about on stage when I am performing. I want you to be putting in just as much effort as we are; be engaged. It’s fantastic when you have a crowd that has no clue about the band and then gradually during the show, they get into the music and you get people hooked in, going along with the show,” Linden comments. One Flew West show no signs of slowing down. In fact, it seems that their gradual rise is positioning them perfectly to take flight.
Listen to One Flew West ON SPOTIFY here!
March 3: Lost Lake (Denver) with Citra and Overslept Tickets: lost-lake.com $10-15, 16+
March 4: Downtown Artery with Ivory Circle and Silver & Gold.
Tickets: downtownartery.com $10-12, all ages
March 24: Moxi Theater w/ The Unlikely Candidates
Band information: oneflewwest.com
One Flew West: Linden Jackson (lead vocals, guitar); David DiSalvo (guitar); Dawson Fry (bass); Jonah Bartels (drums).