Originally published at Dope Magazine
SHWA LAYTART - MARCH 2, 2019
Many moons ago, before my wife asked for my hand in marriage, she asked me out on our first date. What’s really amazing is that she took me to see the sexiest gypsy punk rock band alive, Diego’s Umbrella. So I must be special! Now, I know what you’re thinking: “How do you know Diego’s Umbrella is the sexiest band out there?” Well, truth be told, I’ve seen your girlfriends, wives and mothers at their shows, all at the same time.
Diego’s Umbrella is a “Girls to the Front” band. A sexy vibration for all the ladies — and the queens want to move!
Lead singer Vaughn Lindstrom’s voice is a whisper with a velocity that demands to be heard; a soft, rich yearning for love delicately warning of disaster. The motivationally mesmerizing, haunting strings from fiddler Jason Kleinberg are an infectious addition to the driving beats drummer Jake Wood and bassist Johaan “Red Cup” Hill inject into the vastness, while guitarist/singer Kevin Gautschi tackles vocals as if he’s Lindstrom’s guiding angel into a light of pulsation.
Diego’s Umbrella is a pirate ship of sound that proliferates the sky and inspires you to make love on the mountainside, then leave your lover to go out and fight fascism, setting off to sail the seas of this surreal life as we know it.
And if you don’t find that sexy, you’re not living life to its fullest! DOPE sparked up with Kleinberg and Wood to see what lights their fire.
DOPE Magazine: I think it’s safe to say that you two are the official cannabis users of the band — so how is it that you found yourself to be cannabis consumers?
Kleinberg: I primarily use edibles and tinctures now. I use it for creativity and relaxation at the end of the day, and CBD at night for sleep. Basically, I use it to get into writing music and the creative process … in a nutshell. I don’t want to get “high.” My goal is to open my mind a little bit, relax a little bit. I’m very, very careful. The way I see it, [cannabis use] is an opening.
Wood: I’m still trying to figure it out for me, and what works. But what’s interesting creatively is that it completely altered how I chose to make music and its artistic direction. Growing up, [it was] punk rock, ska, jazz, funk, always on the high energy and harder [side of things] … then I started smoking weed and appreciating so much more … the tone of a guitar or the reverb of a keyboard … and mellower vibes.
It’s a gateway drug to listening to different kinds of music.
There was a time when two-thirds of the band was employed by the cannabis industry. It’s how we survived.
You always have a plethora of female fans at your shows — what do you think attracts women of all ages to your music?
Wood: I do believe that the three elements that are drawing in the women are, one: We’re five guys on stage that are reasonably good looking … at least, not hideous. Two: We play dance music. You can easily dance to Diego’s Umbrella without hearing the music ahead of time, and number three: We’re having a party on stage.
Although we do take our instrument playing quite seriously, for the most part, we are having a really good time on stage … and that’s just infectious.
Keep your eyes and ears open for a new album in 2019. Just remember, if your partner takes you to a Diego’s Umbrella show, start planning your wedding. Or at the very least, plan to get … inspired.