Bellingham band Acorn Project got its start in 2001 at Western Washington University. Original member and vocalist Sam Lax, who plays sax and percussion in the sextet, submitted information about the band.
Never miss a local story.
Andy Pritiken — guitar, lead vocals
Sam Lax — saxophone, percussion, vocals
Tristan Currin — lead guitar
Oskar Kollen — keys, vocals
Kale McGuinness — bass
Todd Benedict — drums
Question: What brought the band together?
Answer: Todd, Andy, Kale and Sam met in the dorms at WWU in 2001. During the year of 2002, we began to fool around on instruments together in Todd, Andy and Kale’s basement on Garden Street. On April 19, 2002, their house burned to the ground, and the only possessions that were salvaged were our instruments. So on April 20, the guys moved in with me (Sam) on West Holly and I Street. This became the new home for the band, and we sort of realized we should be living and playing music together. Call it a little twist of fate?
After about a year of playing house parties around town, the band was established as Acorn Project and began to crack the bar scene. With a devoted family of friends attending every show, our fan base grew, and the gigs got better.
At the Ski to Sea festival in 2005, Oskar Kollen approached the band after a performance and inquired about playing keys. By the fall of that year, he was a permanent addition. The band began to play on the road, actively hitting the Seattle, Spokane and Portland, Ore., markets, as well as other towns in Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.
Acorn Productions was born in 2004 and began to throw bigger parties in Bellingham, including annual New Year’s Eve performances and our Urban Music Festival (now in its fourth year) with partners Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro.
The band finally added longtime friend and guest musician Tristan Currin after our fall Northwest tour in 2006. From there, the band has exponentially increased its exposure on the Northwest regional scene and has become a favorite in the Bellingham music community. The band will release its second full-length album, “We’ll Be Fine,” in May 2008.
Q: What genre of music do you classify your band as?
A: Other. Acorn Project plays a unique fusion of musical styles. Rooted in funk-infused rock, the band also implements elements of groove, jazz, jam, metal, punk rock, electronic, folk and reggae.
With six musicians, each with different tastes, we realize that it’s important we all remain entertained while playing our material. With this in mind, we keep the door open for anything and everything when it comes to our sound.
On top of all of these styles that we touch on, our music has it’s own character. This is not so easy to describe. It’s more a style of how we deliver the material to the audience. Once you have seen a show, this is easier to understand.
Q: What inspires your music?
A: Friendship, fun, dancing and the audience. The never-ending challenge of playing music and the addiction to live performance.
Q: Where have you toured?
A: Mostly consistent touring around the Pacific Northwest region.
Q: What albums have you released?
A: "Odd His Sleepy Soar" (February 2006), "We'll Be Fine" (May 2008)
Q: Where do you see your band going in the future?
A:Continuing to tour an expanding region, building a fan base and creating new music. We hope to tour the West Coast extensively in 2008 and to release our third album in 2009. From there only the road will tell.
Q:You’re stuck on a deserted island and forced to listen to one album for eternity. What album would you pick?
A:Steely Dan’s "Can't Buy A Thrill"