On a foggy Monday morning, the members of The Lint Collectors sat down with The Cavalier Daily in bassist and fourth-year College student John Leo Luecke’s cozy apartment to reflect on their live performances, their chemistry as a band and their style of playing.
Along with Luecke, the band consists of independent Charlottesville artists Kimball Roberts and Evan Sposato, keyboardist and guitarist respectively, as well as drummer Zachary Bowen, also of Charlottesville band souwa cweam.
When asked about their name, band members were excited to explain that they dubbed themselves The Lint Collectors because they like to stay in the musical pocket. This refers to being in the “pocket” of a musical jam, following the tempo and groove of the instruments with which one is performing.
Though The Lint Collectors are apt at performing their array of original songs, which are available on their Soundcloud, the behind the scenes work can be challenging. As the main songwriter for the band, Sposato opened up about the difficulties he experiences as a musician writing lyrics and how he overcomes them.
“The lyrics for me are the hardest thing to write because I always find myself writing about the same topics,” Sposato said. “I’ve been trying to start with an idea separate from a feeling and then bring in a feeling later.”
Though Sposato writes the bulk of the lyrics, Roberts and Bowen have also proven their skill in writing jams on multiple occasions. Often, Sposato will frame the song with chords and lyrics, and the rest of the band will build on it — Sposato compared the process to making use of different ingredients to bake a pie.
“Playing in the band, it’s like all of our tastes [are] combining to form that song,” Lluecke said. “Evan gave the skeleton to it, but it’s still pulling from each of our various influences.”
The members of The Lint Collectors enjoy a considerable amount of freedom when performing their original songs — their way of playing a piece often varies from show to show.
“What you’ve got to understand with our original songs though — they’re just more like rough ideas of things, and then everytime we play them it’s different,” Roberts said.
Live performances by The Lint Collectors are often very dynamic, as the chemistry between the musicians is palpable and they flit seamlessly from original songs to covers. The members even have established hand signals that they will use during a show to signal a specific song or melody they want to play.
“Whenever we do play live, because we’re such an improvisational group, there tend to be certain members within the band that’ll push changing to a new song or push changing to a new tempo,” Sposato said. “Zach’s a big tempo changer and John has been stepping up and pushing a lot of songs which has been huge.”
The Lint Collectors also perform covers at their shows. These include “Camel Walk” by Phish, “Use Me” by Bill Withers and multiple popular Stevie Wonder songs. Bowen in particular really enjoys performing Phish’s song “David Bowie.”
“It's really long and it’s got a lot of different composed parts to it — it’s really interesting and hard to play,” Bowen said. “People who know the song, if they hear it played at a bar or something, they’re like ‘what in the hell?’ That’s kind of fun to see sometimes.”
When discussing their live performances, the band members stressed the importance of an engaged audience. They find the most joy in performing when the people present have truly come to listen to their music and their choice of songs.
Though The Lint Collectors has only been an active band for a couple of months, its members are long-time players in the Charlottesville music scene. The band members maintain that they feel very supported within the music community, particularly by Charlottesville band souwa cweam — whose members sometimes join them on stage.
As they look to the future, the members of The Lint Collectors look to perform in larger Charlottesville venues, as well to do a regional tour of college towns. They also plan to release their music on platforms such as Apple Music and Spotify as soon as they can get their hands on the necessary equipment. Right now, the members of The Lint Collectors can be seen jamming at Rapture Restaurant every other Tuesday, and they often perform at WXTJ and indieheads house shows. More information can be found on the band’s Instagram.
This charismatic quartet promises to find the musical pocket anywhere, and they hope fans of their performances will continue to be there to witness it.