Interview with Leftover Salmon’s Greg Garrison

Leftover Salmon is coming to the Ardmore Music Hall on September 17. Our Matt Thomas scored an interview with longtime LoS bassist Greg Garrison, who shared his thoughts about touring, the band’s 25th anniversary, and playing in Philly. Purchase discounted (15%) tickets for the show using the code PHILLYBG at the Ardmore’s website.

Leftover Salmon photographed in Nashville, TN September 16, 2014©Jay Blakesberg
Leftover Salmon photographed in Nashville, TN September 16, 2014©Jay Blakesberg

MT: Congrats on your 25th anniversary! How do you keep a project together for so long, and what’s made Leftover Salmon so special throughout the years?

GG: Wow, 25 years! I’ve been with the band for 15 of those. I think we all enjoy hanging out and playing music together–and none of us take ourselves too seriously. Our fans are very loyal, which has been huge in terms of our longevity.

MT: You’ve worked with Breckenridge Brewery to put out some exclusive releases, and to put together the 25th anniversary Hootenany. What sparked this collaboration, and where did you get the idea to do the live album/rare beer combo package? We get Breckenridge in Philly, so is there a beer (other than your collab) that you suggest we try?

GG: We like great beer, and Breckenridge has been very supportive of us. Seemed like a no-brainer to combine forces with another Colorado organization that is turning 25 this year as well. We wanted to put out a live record with 25 tracks on it, and the marketing opportunity provided by Breckenridge in conjunction with the Silver Salmon Ale was too good to pass up. As far as other beers, I just had a Hoppy Pils from Firestone that was great.

MT: You’re spending a good chunk of time on the road this fall. Tell us a little about your fall tour, and please give us your three key ingredients to maintaining sanity while touring.

GG: I have no idea where we’re going this fall. I know there are some festivals and club dates, so it should be a blast. As far as sanity is concerned, I’m not sure any of us have maintained it. Which is part of why we still do this.

MT: Philly has been undergoing a bit of a music renaissance over the past few years, with tons of new venues popping up and artists breaking out. What has it been like playing this city over the life of your band? Have you noticed a shift in the scene at your shows?

GG: We haven’t played there nearly enough. It seemed like we had a good thing going when we would play at the TLA back in the day, but then we kind of stopped coming east as much, and things slowed way down for us in Philly.

MT: I had the pleasure of playing bass with most of your band at an all-night jam at this year’s DelFest. What motivates you guys to wrap up your set, then head out into the campground at these festivals and keep playing? And what festivals have the best jamming scenes?

GG: Well, since you were playing bass that means I wasn’t there, so I was totally unmotivated to keep playing! But I think we all like to have a good time and interact with a festival on a bunch of levels. Telluride and Rockygrass always have some good picking, as does Grey Fox. Festivals in the Southeast are always fun for us, since we have lots of good bluegrass buddies around there who usually have some good shine to keep the party going!

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