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Finding Sound with Tom Huber and Caton Smith of Na'an Stop

Na’an Stop – we know what you’re thinking, but no, we’re not talking about a food truck that gives out endless amounts of Indian bread (although that would be sweet). We’re talking about the Boulder, Colorado based reggae-rock group who is making waves in the local music scene. Don’t let the name fool you, these guys are serious about their music and it definitely shines through in their unique sound.

“The main thing is we were all friends first,” says Caton Smith, bassist and vocalist, when asked how the band got together. “Everyone met Freshman year in college.” Tom Huber, lead guitarist and vocalist, met Caton first and they began playing together first. Playing acoustic jams in their dorm rooms. In Sophmore year, the pair met the band’s drummer, Joe Pesa. “We started a little three-piece set in the smallest, weirdest jam rooms you could ever have.” In that same year they eventually met Dave Halvorson, vocalist, and Patrick Mulholland was the “last piece of the puzzle” playing trombone and keys.

That was about three and a half years ago, and since then the band has come along way. They’ve played shows all throughout Colorado and with each show they play they find their sound a little bit more.

“We’ve had the privilege of playing with a lot of acts around town, who have helped to form our sound,” says Tom. “We’ve seen bands like West Water Outlaws, Cold River City, and Polyculture. We always take something back from the shows we see.”

When asked how Na’an Stop would describe their genre Caton says, “We fall under a reggae-rock or ska genre. Similar to Sublime or California reggae. Some people call it ‘white boy reggae.’”

“I guess it would be a mixture of what we want to hear and what others want to hear.” Tom tells us. “I’m really into ska and punk – I used to play heavy metal. Caton is into reggae. He kind of got me into that music.” Tom notes that their music has developed its own ‘Colorado style’ as well.

Because of this Na’an Stop has a little something for everyone, which will come across in their new album, set to release in January 2015.

“It’s thirteen songs and we really pumped back the pace a little bit, so it’s a little slower than our past EP. Which, I think gives it a better feel.” But beyond that, the guys don’t know exactly what to expect from it yet.

“We’re still in the mixing process,” says Caton. “We don’t have a finished product yet. We are still kind of playing with what we want to hear.”

“We’re on pins and needles waiting to hear it,” says Tom, who notes that they are getting their rough mixes this weekend. “There was a lot written in the studio on this album. When you’re in the studio you kind of black-out on what you’re working on.”

But the finished product will hit the streets on January 30th and Na’an Stop plans to drop it in style, with a album release show at the Fox Theatre in Boulder.

“All of our Fox shows are so much fun,” remarks Caton. “There is always so much energy in the building.”

“I would have to say playing at the Fox is like on of the best experiences. Not only because it is a sick place and a fun place to play, but because all of our family is in town and everyone comes out. Just good vibes all around,” Toms adds.

According to Tom all of the shows have a different feel. “We just played the Lazy Dog the other weekend and we sold it out. It was all of our friends, homecoming weekend and a lot of alumni coming back. It felt like a house party and was just a lot of fun. Then we played for Soja last year and that was just a total different feeling.”

When asked where they see themselves in five years Tom responds.

“I don’t even know what I’m having for dinner tonight!”

Caton laughs, and then chimes in. “I hope we’re happy and have accomplished some cool things by then.”

But let’s not forget the name and how they came up with it...

“We were workshopping names, trying to figure something out that made sense and really we just decided on Na’an Stop because music is a non-stop and a constant in our lives,” says Caton. When asked to expand on the Indian bread aspect of it, he laughs.

“You know there’s not as much to that as just grounding a stake.”

Caton and Tom talk and laugh just as you would expect old friends to. You can tell that they take their music seriously, but not at the expense of enjoying themselves. As a band they are still experimenting and working to find a sound that is just as unique as they are. This train isn't stopping, and we're all just along for the ride.

Follow Na'an Stop on Facebook and Instagram: @naanstopmusic


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