‘Just four dudes making a fun album’ — Local band Skinny the Kid set to rock Humble Burger Saturday night


On Skinny the Kid’s Facebook page, the band’s “about” section doesn’t give great detail about the band’s formation, its history of releases or complex style. It reads simply: “Rock n’ roll from four fun boys.”

For band members Nick VanNuland, Ethan Stevenson, Seth Stevenson and Casey Klep, just four boys having fun has become a sort of music-making and show-playing philosophy.

“I feel like we’ve tried to get more fun in how we write music. Before we were kind of playing bluesy psych-rock stuff, but that was never very fun to do,” VanNuland said.

Seth said all members of the band have been more involved with that fun song-writing process as of late, and the result is a new myriad of influences and styles.

“It’s a lot more collaborative when we write,” Seth said. “It’s never one type of music.”

Skinny the Kid | photo by Ellen Dennis

This collaborative writing led to a new album set to hit SoundCloud and Spotify Saturday morning — an album the band produced with the help of Northwest music icon Bart Budwig.

“It’s a lot better than what we could have done by ourselves just because they have all the better equipment and Bart’s a genius. He’s a wizard at producing stuff,” VanNuland said.

With the help of both Budwig and Oregonian singer-songwriter Nevada Sowle, Skinny the Kid recorded its new album, titled “Toboggan,” in March of 2016 on the stage of the century-old O.K. Theatre in Enterprise, Oregon, where Budwig is the caretaker. In comparison to their first release from 2015, an EP titled “Igloo,” the band said it’s evolved immensely.

“I’d say compared to (‘Igloo’) it’s also a lot more heavy, and really fast,” Ethan said — noting the new 11-track album is only 29 minutes long.

VanNuland said the change in the band’s style will be noticeable to anyone who has heard “Igloo,” and thinks that change is for the better.

“It’s a little bit more just straight-up rock and roll and not really trying to be anything. Like, ‘Igloo’ was really trying to be something,” VanNuland said with a laugh. “But this one’s just four dudes making a fun album — or trying to.”

Saturday night’s Humble Burger performance is an opportunity to showcase the new tunes off “Toboggan,” and VanNuland said he hopes people have as much fun listening as the band did while making the album.

“It’s still fun to play a show to an audience that’s just kind of standing there, because you’re still there and it’s still an experience,” VanNuland. “But when people are moving around and you can see them getting into it, it’s such a good feeling.”

The level of fun Skinny the Kid tries to bring to its shows won’t stop at the band’s energy — VanNuland said this weekend’s performance could be different from the norm in a couple ways.

“We might be in costume, we might not. We’ll see,” he said.

Once “Toboggan” drops and gains traction, the band said they plan to start booking shows for a couple of weeks in April. As far as specific show destinations, both VanNuland and the Stevenson brothers agreed they love the Northwest circuit, but are open to anywhere.

“We’ll go as far as the car will take us,” Ethan said.

Until then, Skinny the Kid is anxious for people to hear and hopefully enjoy the new album.

“If you like it, listen to it, and share it with your friends,” VanNuland said.

Skinny the Kid plays Saturday night at Humble Burger. Doors open 9 p.m. and the band said music will start once people are there to listen. There is no cover charge, but band merchandise and hard copies of the new album, “Toboggan,” will be available for purchase.

Lyndsie Kiebert can be reached at arg-arts@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @lyndsie_kiebert

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