We had the good fortune of connecting with Float Like a Buffalo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Float Like a Buffalo, what is the most important factor behind your success?
We have always prided ourselves on hard work… really getting down and grinding every single day. It seems like there’s a general sense of “overnight success” when it comes to bands who have made it, but every band or musician who has appeared to have made it overnight has spent years or decades working to get there. A lot of people don’t see the constant, day-in, day-out labor that goes into making the music happen and amassing a fanbase. Without this hard work, we wouldn’t be where we are today, and we hope with our continuing commitment, we can go even further – maybe even be one of those bands who has “made it” someday!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
We are Float Like a Buffalo, a ska-funk-reggae-rock band out of Denver. We like to think that our music sits in a lane of its own, since our members have such diverse backgrounds and musical tastes. We’re so proud that our audience includes everyone from 10 years old to 90 years old, and we love to see all people, no matter their differences, up and dancing at our shows. Our goal is to make music that makes you happy and makes you think… and most importantly, makes you get up and move! We make music that is supposed to serve as an escape from the harsh reality we sometimes live in. We are so excited and proud about so many things! In the last two years, we’ve played Red Rocks three times, played Jazz Aspen Snowmass, won Denver Westword’s Best Funk Band, were ranked in the top 30 rock and multi-genre bands in Colorado by 303 Magazine, and had both an album and a single rank in the top 5 in the Colorado Playlist awards in 2019. In January 2020, we sold out the Bluebird Theater for our “So Damn Cold” Single Release Party and won our spot at Summer Camp Festival 2021 in the Summer Camp On the Road Tour Battle of the Bands. In October 2020, we released our newest EP, Vertigo, at two sold out shows at The Soiled Dove Underground. We are SO proud of this album. We think these are some of our best tracks to date and show a maturity that our music has not shown yet. We got where we are today professionally by working hard every single day and by always finding a way around someone saying “no.” It hasn’t been easy, but we’ve loved every minute of it. The biggest challenge we have faced has definitely been the year 2020 as a whole, and the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has all but shut down the world of live music. We’re so proud of what we’ve accomplished in the face of this international crisis, despite the odds. During the pandemic, we really tried to think of what we could do differently to keep the music alive in a safe and responsible way. We played a lot of live streams and came up with The Yard Ahead Tour sponsored by Breckenridge Brewery, during which we played socially distanced live shows for neighborhoods from our fans’ yards. We also played two sold-out, socially distanced shows at the greatest venue in the world, Red Rocks, during the pandemic, with our good pals Graham Good & the Painters as openers. Through this year, and through our entire professional life as Float Like a Buffalo, we’ve learned that hard work always pays off, and that getting creative and taking a different approach can make all the difference. We want the world to know that we are completely in love with what we get to do for a living – make music and play it live for our audiences. There are no words to describe how grateful we are to be where we are, and even though we have a lot left to do and many places left to go and play, it’s not lost on us how incredible it is to have made it as far as we have. This experience has been incredibly humbling, and we can’t wait for what’s next!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If we had a great friend visiting and it was non-Covid times, our week would definitely revolve around the amazing Colorado Music Scene. The #1 stop would be Red Rocks, hopefully for a show, to let them feel the true magic of that place. We’d hope they’d visit in the summer, so that we could take them to the Underground Music Showcase and Westword Music Festival to get a true idea of the vastness and variety of music in our music scene. Of course, no trip to Denver is complete without a trip to the mountains, so perhaps we’d take them to Aspen, one of our favorite mountain destinations to play in and one of the most beautiful spots we’ve ever visited. Perhaps we’d take them to some of our favorite haunts in Historic Downtown Littleton – The Alley, Ned Kelly’s, Tavern, and Old Town Tavern – where the food and drinks are delicious and the local music scene is thriving.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are SO many people who deserve a shoutout! We could never pick just one, because the success that we have had truly takes a village. Our first shoutout has to go to our family, friends, and fans. These are the people who continually show up for us, listen to our music, buy tickets to our shows, follow us on social media, buy and wear our merch, spread the word about our music, and so much more. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to follow our dreams in music! We have worked with so many incredible people along the way, and each one of them has contributed something to our journey. From recording at Third & James Studios, to getting to play shows at so many of the great Denver rooms, both independent and aligned with AEG and LiveNation, to hearing our songs on radio stations like 93.3 Locals Only with Alf, 105.5’s Colorado Playlist with Chris Kresge, Tri-Lakes Radio, Music Mafia Radio, Indie 102.3, KRFC 88.9 FM Fort Collins, KVNF Mountain Grown Public Radio with Kori Stanton, KSJD in Cortez, and so many more. We’ve had the opportunity to work with amazing photographers and videographers over the years as well – Charla Harvey, Brandon Thrift, Thomas Adams, Haley Lucero, Nikolai Puc, Nicholas Stock, Matt Jensen, Garce Garcia (GarceWorks), Pete Escobar, Rob Coca, Connor Tieulie, and many many more. We have to give Red Rocks and its staff a HUGE shout out for giving us the opportunity to play a socially-distanced two night run this year. We love 1876 Apparel – they make all of our merch locally in Littleton, CO. We also want to shout out Face Vocal Band, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Magic Beans, and Dragon Smoke for having us as openers on some of the biggest shows we’ve played to date. Face Vocal Band especially have become great friends and mentors for us, giving us advice and cheering us on from afar. Last, but certainly not least, shoutout to Barbara Randell, the owner of Future Image Group. Randell has been an instrumental piece in us growing the band as a business and helping us navigate the legal waters that come with owning a business. There are so many folks we probably didn’t mention, but to each person that has been a part of this journey, we are so thankful, always and forever.
Kenna Ortiz, Charla Harvey, Sarah Shuel, Pete Escobar, Brandon Thrift, Futuristic Films, Thomas Adams