Five-Question Interview: The MTHDS

Every ski town has a band. The one locals follow religiously, filling venues three days a week. A skier’s passion for snow is almost matched by a passion for music. If that ski town is Vail, then the band is the MTHDS and they happen to feel the same way.
MTHDS play at the Snake River Saloon in Keystone, Colorado

They all met in Vail. But the MTHDS (pronounced Methods) backgrounds are slightly more scattered. Nick “Dilly” Dillen and Lawrence “L” Kerr come from Boston. Chris, “Chip” Chipouras and Neil Yukimora hail from Connecticut. Dustin “Durtee” Zentz is a Michiganean and the lone local boy is Johnny Schleper—you may know his sister, Sarah. It’s an appropriate mix for their eclectic blend of hip-hop, reggae, power guitar, and electro. I decided to sit down Dilly and Johnny after seeing them rage a bar in Keystone to discuss the finer points of building a band in ski country.

Start from the beginning. What’s the MTHDS story?

Johnny: Durtee and I were in a band. I was throwing a house party. These guys were all there and I had my stuff set up. We had a jam session and that was the spawn of what ever it is we’re doing.

Dilly: We spent a lot of time in that basement. I ended up moving into that room cause I was running out of rent money.

What brought you all to Vail? And what did you do when you got there?

J: I’m from there. I’ve been working in my dad’s ski shop (Buzz’s Board) since I was 12.

OK, besides you.

D: I’ve known Neil, Chip and L going on like 10 years. I think Neil was the first one out and he told everybody how dope it was and then Chip went, then L moved, then I moved all within six months. I got a job at a hotel and I was also snowboard instructing part time. I don’t think I did enough days so they didn’t ask me back but I got a pass out of it.

How long did you play in the Vail circuit?

J: A year and a half at least. We couldn’t get enough of it back then. We played every weekend two or three times a weekend. I’m sure people got sick of us.

D: We’d take any gig that came our way. If a random pizza joint asked us to play we’d do it. But the experience helped us feel each other out as band.

How has living in the mountains influenced you as a band?

D: I never really thought about it before. Maybe that did have some influence some on our sound. I tell people we’re very A.D.D. we like to mix in a little of everything and then we play it as loud as possible. The people in Vail bars came from all over and definitely weren’t all into the same kind of music. We wanted to get invited back so we had to play to the crowd, which meant we had to play some classic rock tunes and then we were like ‘people like reggae why don’t we play some of that.’ I think that had something to do with that A.D.D. style. I thinks it has some influence on our original music.

J: Any time we get a chance to play in the mountains and ride together we definitely do. That’s why we like to play places like Vail, Steamboat, Aspen and Winter Park. We can try and get some lift tickets the next day.

Tell me about last Friday’s show at the Bluebird in Denver. Is it going to be a pretty big one?

D: We’re releasing the new EP. It’s a seven track EP. And we’re releasing the new video. Then we’ll be touring the West Coast for a couple weeks before coming back to Colorado.

For tunes, tours, and tickets check out the MTHDS website


Level 1 Thumb

Five-Question Interview: Josh Berman

Eye Trip, the newest ski movie from Level 1 Productions, debuts Friday, September 10th, at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver, Colorado. We spoke to Josh Berman, director/producer of the film, about the upcoming night of powder and debauchery and from our best guess, it will be a heck of a fun time.

Cody Perin in the Tahoe Backcountry

Five Question Interview: Toy Soldier Productions

A few words with Justin Brodin, founder of the Bozeman, Montana-based film company, Toy Soldier Productions and a trailer for his upcoming movie, "Set Your Sights."

Christopher Hawley

Five-Question Interview: Musician Christopher Hawley

A Venice, California-based musician tells us about bringing beach music to the mountains, and why L.A. is just like Taos.

The Nissan O'Neill Xtreme Verbier: A Perfect Ending to the Freeride World Tour

Five-Question Interview: Henrik Winstedt

Professional big-mountain skier Henrik Winstedt spends his winter chasing the World Freeride Tour and filming for his personal documentary, Exploded View, which premieres this month.We spoke to him about being a new dad, signing with Salomon, and not owning a car.

Patrick Deneen

Five-Question Interview: Patrick Deneen

Get ready to hear the name Patrick Deneen a lot around the middle of February, because the Washington state-based mogul skier is gearing up to dominate at the Vancouver Olympics. Heather Hansman talked to him about heated rivalries, getting hated on by the judges, and his least favorite Olympic sport.

Night Shot

Five Question Interview: Steve Lloyd

Photographer Steve Lloyd has a bit of a monopoly on the Wasatch Mountains in Utah. If you see a published photo from there, there’s a decent chance it might be his.

Lorraine Huber

Five-Question Interview: Lorraine Huber

We chatted with Austrian/Australian pro skier Lorraine Huber, a guide with Kästle Adventure Tours, about ski mountaineering in New Zealand, filming with Warren Miller, and whether a ski trip to Austria is better than a surf trip to Australia.

Sweetgrass Bus

Five Question Interview: Nick Waggoner

In three short years, Sweetgrass Productions has grown from a crew of college kids with cameras into an award-winning film company. After spending a whole season filming in Hokkaido, Japan, the Sweetgrass crew has hit the road—and will be touring across the country this fall.