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.

Los Angeles based singer/songwriter Christopher Hawley lives in Venice, California, surfs, and plays rock and roll blues music with his band, The Rollers. This winter, he’s planning a tour of ski towns. Hawley frequents the types of places where you can come as you are—whether you’re wearing ski pants or your surf trunks. Caroline Gleich caught up with him and his band at a beach-bum bar steps from the sand in Venice, California, to ask about his plans for the winter.

What ski towns will you hit up on tour this winter?
Confirmed dates are January 22, 23, and 28 at the Spur in Park City and the Wasatch Brewpub on the 24th for Sundance. Then I’m heading up to Idaho, playing at Whiskey Jaques in Sun Valley on February 6. I’m hoping to get to Montana and Wyoming this year too. I’ve also played Taos Ski Valley—had an epic day there. All these locals took me under their wing and showed me the mountain.

It sounds like your tour is just an excuse to go to the mountains, ski, and get free passes…
That’s kind of an added bonus, but I feel like the folks up there relate to my music. There’s just a consistent vibe with all these places where people are skiing.

And that vibe is?
Kind of an independent, open mindset. It’s people who love nature, who are inspired by it. And that’s definitely where I’m coming from with my music.

So far, where’s your favorite place to ski?
Well, I love Snowmass but I think I’d have to say Alta. Zermatt is also cool—it’s very different but at the same time, it’s a sick mountain.

You’ve played Alta’s spring festival and Hinano in Venice Beach. How do you compare the ski audience to the L.A. audience?
The west side of L.A. is kind of like one big ski town, except it’s on the ocean. The surf vibe definitely permeates this area and parallels the ski town atmosphere. I moved here from a ski town, and I meet people all the time who have done the same thing. So I guess the audiences in both places are similar in the way they respond.

To find out more and to keep updated on the tour schedule, go to