Artist Profile: American Tomahawk is bringing one back for the Underground Music Showcase
We wouldn’t necessarily call it an epidemic just yet, but every year this state loses a good amount of talent to the smelly pull of Los Angeles. With promises of a better entertainment industry, the rear-end of America manages to import more credible artists each year and the notion of it always leaves us contemplating why. Is it a lack of professional resources or devoted fan base? Unlikely. Is it because we don’t have real beaches? Could be. Maybe the crisp Colorado air, fit folks and overwhelming amount of sunshine is too much? Probably.
Adam Halferty, a one-time Denver resident and lead singer of the indie act American Tomahawk says it was more simplistic than that. He just wanted to go home.
But his time spent here wouldn’t ever be considered in vain. His musical endeavors continue to add more to the local industry than he’ll lead anyone to believe. Coming back here to perform, Halferty returns to a familiar support structure and welcoming companions from days past. These days though, it’s California where he lays his head at night.
“I’ve finally settled in a little bit here,” says Halferty. “After three-plus years of being in California again I’m finally starting to feel at home. I obviously miss Colorado and the people there though. So it will be pretty exciting to play for old friends again, and some of the new ones.”
Whether his time was spent perched behind drums for 3oh!3, co-featured in Young Coyotes or pushing his smoother Americana concept in American Tomahawk, Halferty always maintained coy on the boundaries of what it means to be a local musician. He says that his ideas weren’t ever set on becoming a neighborhood superstar, or any star for that matter. He just wants to play music and hope that a few people find inspiration in his offerings.
“There’s a lot that I’m working on lately,” says Halferty about his future plan of releases. “There’s probably going to be about two records worth of stuff coming out sometime this year. I also play and tour in a band called ISLANDS, which is fun rock and roll music, and I’m helping a buddy of mine with his record called Night Beds. There’s also The Tulips, but they’re kind of just a local group here. Everyone’s putting out new stuff, so it’s just like I put in help where I’m needed.”
Sharing personal resources is a common theme in the music industry. American Tomahawk sees its fair share of guest musicians, but Halferty maintains that the usual suspects will be performing for its Colorado shows.
“It’s basically been the same four guys for a while,” says Halferty. “As far as the keys go, that kind of changes in and out. It’s usually just whoever’s available, and sometimes it’s no one. It keeps it interesting.”
He acknowledges the storied competition in L.A., but focuses instead on the music at hand.
“I don’t know if the competition thing is on my radar,” says Halferty. ”I’ve never been one to know. That’s probably why I never made it in sports; I’m not one for competition. I’ve never experienced that side of it, but then again I don’t participate in it in the way I probably should.”
American Tomahawk is part of the full lineup the Underground Music Showcase has for the long weekend of July 24 to July 27. Headliners include Blonde Redhead, Real Estate, People Under The Stairs, Astronautalis, Baths, several other national acts and an Ikea warehouse sized bevy of locals. Visit www.TheUMS.com for updated information, to listen to the bands and to purchase discounted passes.