After playing shows in New Orleans, Brooklyn, Texas and their hometown Denver, ‘Sauna’ are touring up a storm and set to release their LP ‘Cheap Date’ on Burger records…


How did you guys get started as band and realise you all had the same musical vision?

To make a long story short, a friend, who thought that I was in a “real” band, asked if we could play a show at a venue in Denver called Bar Bar a few years ago. Unbeknownst to them, I didn’t have a band. I’d been “dorking” around with our bass player, Ethan, but neither of us considered it a real thing. As soon as there was the possibility of playing a show we got Sammi and Molly on board. I think that was a week and a half before the show. We just had super long practices and ultimately came up with the songs that we put on that ‘Rad Shit!” demo tape. I’m not sure there ever was a grand musical vision. We were just a bunch of friends who made music together because it was fun and seemed like the best thing to do


The band has had shows in New Orleans, Texas and at home in Denver. In between gigs do you go out and find promoters or do they find you?

I guess that it really depends on the show or tour. Most of the time we do the booking ourselves, with the help of our friends in whatever city we might be playing. Sometimes promoters or booking agents in other cities will reach out to us, that’s always cool. There’s a pretty great network of bands and venues throughout the country that make booking a DIY tour possible. That being said, sometimes, for bigger tours or shows, we go through a booking agent. This upcoming West Coast tour was done through Danny Rose Booking in LA. Most of the time though, we do the booking ourselves.


Where are you based primarily? 

Well, we started in Denver so I would call that our home base. We all scattered for college, and no two people are in the same place. For that reason I’d say that Denver is home base.


Do you feel pressure as a band to be in New York?

Personally, I don’t feel any pressure to be in New York. Most of my favorite bands are from cities that aren’t New York, and with all the blogs and different social media sites out there it’s pretty easy to make a name for yourself somewhere outside of NYC. We played there for the first time on our last tour, and there are so many bands there and so many things to do every night that you kind’ve had to “fight” to get attention. I think that if anything, due to our connection with Burger and the whole West Coast garage-rock scene, there’s more pressure to be in LA.


Does life on the road get petty at all and cause bickering. Rotating who has to drive equipment around and is not able to party after shows?

When you’re stuck in a van with the same people for weeks or months at a time and none of you have the stability or comfort of home, things are bound to get petty. That being said, we’re not really a big party band, myself especially, and after most shows we just hang out with our friends for a bit and then crash on whoever-has-been-nice-enough-to-let-us-stay-at-their-house’s floor. We all try and split the responsibility that comes with being on the road equally, and most of the time it just kind of works itself out.


Last year you were featured on a compilation tape by Burger Records. How was it to be in the company of your musical peers?

The best part of being on that compilation, at least for me, wasn’t being on a tape with some of our favorite bands. It was that all of the money from the tape didn’t go to Burger Records, but instead helped out a friend of theirs (and his dog) who was in need. That’s the best thing about being a Burger band, being a part of a label that is more concerned about releasing music and supporting the scene it’s created than it is with money. I think that a lot of people realize that, and that’s why you have bands like King Tuff, The Black Lips, and Thee Oh Sees on Burger; they all realize that it’s a label more dedicated to its love of music than a love of money. So, yeah, it’s pretty great to be able to be a part of something like that with people like that!


What do you use in your production? Who helps engineers your material?

Do you mean what do we record on? We’ve recorded on everything from 2” analog tape to Garage Band. I guess our medium just depends on the situation and all of the neat studio toys we have at our disposal. As far as engineering goes, our friend Josh Wambeke generally engineers and mixes our records. We’ve strayed before, but he’s always been my favorite.


What are your plans for the rest of 2013? Can we expect an E.P?

Right now we’re just in the process of touring our new LP, “Cheap Date” and releasing the tape through Burger Records. That’s kept us pretty busy and I think the ultimate goal is to get the word out about this record before we think about more recordings.


Interview by Von Von Lamunu