And when they took the stage at the Gothic Theatre on Friday, it should have surprised nobody in the local music community to see the musically inclined Meese brothers, Pat and Nate, backing them up.
Pat and Nate Meese are ubiquitous in Denver music. They have their own bands, which can’t help but remind fans of their previous bands — most notably Meese, which signed to Atlantic Records in 2007 and was later dropped before the group disbanded. But the brothers also have become those guys in the local music scene — the guys who others go to when they need seasoned playing or experienced advice.
“We went through every stage of being in a local band here in Denver,” said Pat Meese, 29, “and now we’re in a new stage, I guess.”
Adds Nate, 28: “My new thing is I don’t say no to anything. I’ve stopped saying no. I would much rather have rehearsal than not have rehearsal. (The band) Meese wore me out. It turned into the opposite of what I wanted it to be. I didn’t play guitar for a really long time. And now I’m playing piano again, and I’m playing guitar all the time.”
Not saying no is working well for the brothers Meese. Last week alone, Nate was touring the East Coast with the recently signed Denver act Churchill, including a sold-out hometown date at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield opening for Of Monsters and Men and fun. Pat is a member of Rateliff’s current roots-oriented band, and that group opened for Wilco last week in Vail — one day after Tennis, another band Pat tours with, opened for the Shins in Aspen.
Friday was the big Born in the Flood show for both of them. Pat will help Rateliff open for the Lumineers on Dec. 30 at a very sold-out Ogden Theatre, and he’ll fly to New York City the next day to play a big New Year’s Eve party with Tennis. On Jan. 4, Nate will play the Lion’s Lair with Navy, another band he’s in. And both brothers play in the Centennial, which is releasing its CD on Jan. 11 at the Larimer Lounge.
Is that everything?
“Not quite,” said Nate. “We’re pretty busy.”
Pat was also Gregory Alan Isakov’s drummer, and he hopes that will resume in 2013. Nate guitar-techs and tour-manages some Rateliff tours. Pat also plays with Fairchildren. Let’s not forget Nate’s solo project, Lips & Teeth. Pat’s also a back-up drummer for Navy. All the while, Nate is a bartender/barista, sound guy and talent buyer for the Golden Triangle coffee house Rooster and Moon.
“We were doing one thing, and now we’re doing another thing,” Nate said. “We’re lucky to have talented friends who want us to play with them. It’s made it all feel natural and easy. And Pat’s right: We have been at every tier in Denver music, outside from being wildly successful on a national scale. We’ve been everything but successful.”
Nate jokes, but it speaks volumes that they’re both working musicians — on a national level, even. Both Rateliff and Tennis have toured successfully internationally, and Churchill’s latest single “Change” is blowing up on radio all over the U.S.
And playing is only half of their contribution to the community. Since these guys have already done what so many dream of doing — getting signed! (an act that isn’t always all its cracked up to be) — they’re unofficial counselors for many local acts with stars in their eyes.
“We met a lot of our goals, and we also learned a lot of lessons the hard way, and it’s good to be able to have that experience to share so somebody doesn’t have to go the hard way,” said Pat. “But every band is different. There are certain truths that probably tie all bands together, but really it’s completely relative to the band.”
Adds Nate: “It’s funny being on the other side of it all.”