Q&A with Bozeman’s Mountain Reggae Band Cole & The Thornes

Bozeman-based mountain reggae band Cole & The Thornes are gearing up for their first headlining performance at the Top Hat on Friday, Mar. 8, 2019. We had the chance to have frontwoman and singer-songwriter, Cole Thorne, give us a proper introduction to the band.

Are all members of the band from Bozeman?

Most members of the band are originally from Montana, but I’m from a small town in Gillette, WY. We slowly came together one by one at a local musician’s favorite open mic, “The Hauffbraugh,” in Bozeman, MT, two years ago.

What’s the significance of “The Thornes” in the band name?

It originates from my last name, Thorne. I brought the 5 other musicians together into my musical family… they also like to playfully joke about how they are just a bunch of Thornes in my side.

You released your debut album Map Maker in 2018. Can you tell us about the making of your album:

Where was it recorded?

It was recorded independently in Bozeman, MT at “The Shed” after a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Who did the songwriting?

I do all of the songwriting. I come up with the basic structure and rhythm of the song, write lyrics and bring it to the group. 

What inspired it?

I was inspired by my travels around the world and the lessons I learned about living in the moment and finding balance in the light and the dark within my own life struggles. I brought my ukulele to every country I travelled to and busked on the streets or played in hostels as a trade.

Anything else notable?

The band came into bloom after my solo freight train tour across the country playing gigs in each town I found myself in. I was inspired by the roughness and wildness of the train riding lifestyle and came back to Bozeman to take my music career seriously.

You describe your sound as Mountain Reggae. Do you draw a lot of influence from nature?

Absolutely!!!!! I have locked myself up for “writing retreats” in a cabin in the mountains. I do a lot of my writing outside and during my travels — my biggest inspiration.

Which artists would you say have had a big influence on your sound?

Fat Freddy’s Drop, Trevor Hall and Citizen Cope.

What do you think is the most challenging part of being such a young band? What’s the best part?

The most challenging part is building our reputation and getting our music out there so we can grow and tour more and get sponsorships for our tours. Financially it can be hard and scheduling can be difficult too since there are so many members. The best part about our band is that we are all best friends in real life, so it makes creating music easy and fun!!!! We are a family!

What are you looking forward to most about your first headlining show in Missoula?

Connecting with a new crowd of people and friends that we already have there. It will be so fun to be on the other side of the stage at the Top Hat, a venue that we love to go to see live music at!!! We love the energy of Missoula and the people there! The town never fails to show us a good time!

What are your plans for the future?

We are currently writing new material for our second album and we are really excited to share the new songs with you all on Friday!!!!! We are embarking on our Spring “Gypsy Rider” Tour and Missoula, March 8th, is our first stop! SO EXCITING!!!! We will be playing throughout Montana, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

What’s your favorite part about Missoula?

The music scene is fantastic and you guys are our friendly neighbors!!! As I said before, we love the energy of the people and of course not to mention the beautiful scenery!

What can fans do to ensure that they have the best time possible at your show?

They better prepare to jam out with us and DANCE ! We are high happy energy and we get down and groovy, so prepare to get your SOULSHINE on!!!!! ALSO we love meeting new people!! Please come say hi to us!!!!!

Anything else you’d like to share?

You can find our album Map Maker on iTunes and Spotify. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, so you can be a part of our “Gypsy Rider” journey!!!!! Cheers Missoula Fam, we hope to see you out there Friday!

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