There’s no better testament to the longevity of an album or song, than to see how it plays on the road. If you enjoy it when it’s just you, your car and the open road, then you know it’s something special. The Co Founder’s latest single “Full Stop” is perfect road music, which makes sense for a band that’s almost always on tour. With influences ranging from Nirvana to Blink-182 to My Chemical Romance, all the way to Elliott Smith, it’s easy to see why the band’s tunes sound familiar, yet totally original, all while being the perfect road trip companion.
Lead singer Hayden Eller grew up with international teacher parents in Latvia, Serbia and elsewhere. Bass player Nikko Van Wyck and drummer Jake Barrow are local dudes, from Camano Island and Woodinville, respectively. The band members call Bellingham home when they’re not on the road, which is not that often these days. CULTURE caught up with the self-described “weed band” on its way to Albuquerque from Austin, Texas, where they had played at SXSW 2018.
What’s The Co Founder band history?
Eller: So, I played by myself for a while, for six months or so. And then Jake and I met on tour and started playing together. And pretty [much] immediately [we] started touring and made our record shortly thereafter. We toured for a long time with our friend Luke playing bass. Then about a year and a half ago, Nikko started playing with us. We take a really tour-heavy approach to our band, which is why I think it works so well with us.
How has cannabis influenced your art?
Eller: I think it’s something that’s been helpful in regards to facilitating communication. For us in creating art, especially with this new record, it’s been a pretty big learning experience, and there was a pretty steep learning curve, in regards with how to communicate effectively within the creative process. Weed is one of those things that is an instant ice-breaker. You get high with one of your friends, and you just start to giggle. It makes you feel more at ease at home, creative and more able to openly express yourself without fear of rejection.
Van Wyck: For me personally, I’m a terpene person. When I look for weed, I look for what terpene is in the weed. And there’s this one strain, and it’s Hawaiian Dutch. That particular strain has a really high limonene profile, and limonene for me is the ultimate creativity tool. It makes my brain feel like it’s going a thousand miles per hour, or in a really random direction. I don’t find myself fretting over boxes or rules when I smoke stuff with limonene in it. I also like stuff with a lot of CBG, because that stuff always hits me over the head; I feel like I’m getting punched in the face. I don’t know why I like it, but it helps me create stuff. I also really love myrcene. It’s one of my favorite things. It’s a creative high that’s elated and euphoric, and it’s giggly.
What’s your favorite thing to listen to, or something that made a big impression on you when you were stoned?
Barrow: There’s this Animal Collective record that I got really stoned and listened to once. It’s Centipede Hz, and it’s this concept album about transmission from space, so it’s got all these crazy [high-pitched beeping] sounds, it’s hard to listen to. And I was falling asleep one night really stoned listening to it, and I just immersed myself in it. I love music anyway, but weed just ramps it up, and I just lost myself in that album
Van Wyck: Mine’s pretty stereotypical, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
Eller: The first record that I ever listened to when I was stoned was The Black Keys’ Thickfreakness. And I remember getting stoned with someone for the first time and listening to that record, and I could almost see the music. It was a connection with my senses I’d never experienced before.
The Co Founder will be taking a much-needed break from touring this spring, after years of almost constant shows. But with this bunch, you can pretty much guarantee they’ll be back in the studio and on the road in no time.