We had the good fortune of connecting with Jaxon Stunden and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jaxon, why did you pursue a creative career?
As kids, there was nothing we liked doing more than playing shows and listening to music. Noah Khorey (singer) and I (Jaxon Stunden, guitarist) have been in a band together since early high school. When we realized we wrote music we loved together, we knew there was nothing else we wanted to do.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
We’ve been writing music for this group since we were 15 years old. Since then, we’ve dedicated our lives to writing as much music as possible and growing the best we can. Our love of all types of music definitely shows up in the strange dichotomy between songs like Head of Clouds & Class Cult, but everything is tied together by Noah’s absolutely wicked voice.
The OG trio of Colony Collapse is Noah Khorey (singer), David Shimenko (bassist) and myself. From Pittsburgh, we decided to make our way out to Denver when we realized our hometown was not the ideal place for a rock/metal band to make its way. I was the first to make the move, and I met Keenan Goodwine (guitarist/auxiliary instrumentalist/singer) while attending college. He and I hung out in the trailer I was living in, where we jammed a few songs off our first full length, This is the End of Suffering, and ate microwave meals. It clicked pretty much instantly between us despite the fact he hadn’t been interested in metal for awhile. Keenan and I met Mason Kolodziej (drummer, comic relief) through a craigslist ad after our fourth(?) drummer stepped down to take care of his kids. I hadn’t even walked into the basement of Keenan’s parents house before I knew Mason would be the final piece to our puzzle. Hearing him shred from the walkway was enough, but stepping into the monstrous hangs between him and Keenan solidified my gut feeling. When Dave & Noah made their way out and we had our first practice together, it felt like an hours long sigh of relief. Finally, we had the things we needed to try.
I couldn’t imagine being in another band at this point. My favorite thing about Colony Collapse is the energy and sitcom-like cast of characters in our band and its circle. Everyone is different from each other, but it’s what makes it unique. Noah is mischievous and fun-focused, Mason will find the humor in every situation, Dave is reserved but brilliant, and Keenan’s laser focus and parental tendencies keep us in check. It is so rare to find a group of guys who play music together who are legitimately friends, instead of a having coworker style relationship. Dave, Noah and I have lived together for the last 3 years, and every chance we get to see Mason and Keenan we run at with full force. The amount of love and admiration I have for every single one of those guys is difficult to express, but I plan to never take it for granted.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Me and Noah find ourselves at Sonder, a sick and cute coffee shop, quite a bit. Whenever we have friends come into town, or meet new people, or have any reason to go really, we’re there. Watercourse is another favorite of ours, even though none of us are vegan. The food there is just absolutely wild. Coming from a foodie city, finding tight spots can be a task at times but that’s made up easily by the gorgeous scenery. One of Colorado’s sleeper hits is the Grand Mesa. While it is a little out of the way for the usual tourist traffic, getting a cabin up there or fishing is seriously some next level stuff.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Our parents, our friends, and everyone who has helped bring our whacky ideas into reality.
Will Livingston, Justin Urban