Filed Under:

The Lumineers: Chasing Big Dreams Out West

Play associated audio

The Denver folk group The Lumineers was founded in 2002 by Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites, who grew up together in the New Jersey suburb of Ramsey. In its early days, the band had its sights on nearby New York as the gateway to success.

"I remember one of our friends and musical acquaintances on the East Coast said the first rule of being a band is, you make the nearest, largest city your mecca," Fraites tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz. "We took that as gospel: 'Let's go to New York City every other week, time and time again, and things will get going for us.' "

That momentum never quite came. As grateful as Schultz was to the band's few New York fans, he grew frustrated promoting shows only to have the same handful of people come out each time. "I think we just thought that if we could go somewhere where we could afford to work on music and tour, that's probably the solution — and don't worry about all the other details," he says. "And that's why Denver made sense."

The band released its self-titled debut in April. In press for the album, the band has referenced a quote from a 1992 New York Times article: "I spend a lot of time on my drawings, and it turns out real good 'cause I've been practicing a lot." The speaker is a 9-year-old Schultz, quoted in a piece about a Beethoven impersonator visiting his school. Schultz says that when a friend dug up the article a few years ago and sent it to him, it reminded him how long he'd wanted to be an artist.

"That was pretty surreal to read that, because I kind of felt crazy at the time pursuing music, kind of questioning whether or not I was just doing it out of being stubborn," Schultz says. "It was kind of reassuring to see that I did have some intention with that, even at an early age."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

A Biography Of Your Cubicle: How This Became The Modern Workplace

The office has long been seen as a symbol of boredom: It's a killer of spirits, a destroyer of spontaneity. But reviewer Rosecrans Baldwin says a new book brings out its entertaining side.
NPR

California Farmers Finagle A Fig For All Seasons

Two growers are competing to harvest fresh figs earlier and earlier in hopes of transforming the industry for year-round production. But some fig lovers say they can hold out for summer fruit.
NPR

Report Decries A Cozy Relationship Shared By DHS And Watchdog

A Senate panel released a report Thursday that criticizes the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security. It accuses him of repeatedly compromising his independence.
NPR

Rural Hospitals Weigh Independence Against Need For Computer Help

Hospitals in out-of-the-way places are making trade-offs as they adopt electronic medical records. Some are joining larger health systems, while others are searching for ways to go it alone.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.