Photo : David Veltri
|By Ali Owens|
What’s that sound?If it’s energetic, soulful, and a bit gritty, with wry, emphatic vocals and a driving rhythm that you can’t help but move to, there’s a good chance it’s Meeting House you’re hearing.
This Denver-based trio is comprised of Ethan Cowell (guitar/ vocals), Ryan Rundles (bass), and Nick Lyon (drums). They’re young – but don’t let their youth fool you, as these are not your average teenagers on the stage. They’re a well-oiled machine, talented far beyond their years, with sharp songwriting skills and the musicianship of an ensemble twice their age. Their signature sound has been likened to that of the White Stripes and Arctic Monkeys, and they’re gaining well-deserved steam in Northern Colorado.
The concept of the band was born when Ethan and Ryan, who lived on the same street, started playing music together. In need of a drummer, they brought Nick on board, despite the fact that he didn’t know how to play. “We just kind of put him behind the drums and let him beat the hell out of them,” Ethan laughs.
The band played their first show in early 2015, and shortly after, they caught the attention of Oliver Mueller of the prominent Fort Collins band Slow Caves. Impressed with their energetic live performance and sincere crowd interaction, Mueller went on to produce the band’s EP, which was recently released at the Downtown Artery in a performance alongside fellow Colorado greats My Body
This isn’t to say that Meeting House hasn’t faced obstacles – their age is a limiting factor. “We get venues all the time that listen to our music, like it, then say ‘Hey, you’re 21, right?’” Ethan explains. “And we never hear from them again.”
Their gigging options may be limited for another few years, but that hasn’t stopped the band from thinking outside the box. They requently utilize DIY venues such as the Deer Pile, an art space on Capitol Hill, and they promote these DIY gigs by personally reaching out to everyone they know and extending an invitation. “We can generally get 60- 100 people through the door – it’s been as high as 200. Our draws are getting bigger.” When asked if this is a career move, the answer was a resounding yes. “Our main goal is to do this for a living,” says Ethan. “We’re aware of how hard it is to make it. We’re not on the Disney channel – we’re not pop stars. We know it may take 10 years to get anywhere – we want to get the poor starving artist phase out of our lives as soon as possible. We’re trying to get the hardest part done.” Meeting House is a breath of fresh air – they’re energetic, personable, driven, and undoubtedly talented. Still not convinced? Decide for yourself at a show. Though far from arrogant, they display a well-warranted confidence. “Come see us live,” they tell me. “Our energy will turn you into a fan.” (As if I wasn’t already.) Follow on Instagram: @meetinghousemusic.