Valentine’s Day this year is about a different kind of love for Denver-based band Tinkers Punishment – their love for music.
The four-man band presents their unique brand of alternative pop-rock – which falls “somewhere between Weezer and Radiohead” on the musical style spectrum – at the Ramskeller tonight.
The band did not always feel as passionately about music as they do now, according to Mike Robinson (vocals and rhythm guitar), who started the group in high school with Kenny Harris (guitar and keyboards).
“Kenny and I have both been involved in music since we were really young,” Robinson said. “Our parents made both of us take piano lesson, and my dad is a musician who plays bluegrass and country western music, so he took me to all the festivals.”
Robinson and Harris both strayed from their musical routines for a while, only to return later “because at a certain age, all of a sudden it’s cool that you can play music again,” Robinson said.
It was sports, not music, however, that brought the two original band members together.
Robinson and Harris played together on the football team at Faith Christian High School in Arvada.
“When you’re in a small private school – everyone does everything and hangs out together,” Robinson said. “Kenny and I played football and we were the small guys – the really small guys on the team – so we hung out and started talking and then started playing music together.”
Robinson and Harris began by playing Blur and Oasis covers in 1997, and eventually started writing their own music. Adam Blake (drums), also from Faith Christian, joined the band shortly after, and Jordan Rivas (bass guitar) completed the foursome about a year and a half ago.
Another key addition to Tinkers’ roster came in spring 2000: manager Frank Schultz, owner of The Soiled Dove in Denver.
Schultz has since been instrumental in every aspect of band operations. He assists with promotions, rehearsals and finances, striving to help the group reach their goal of getting signed by a major record label.
“We’re an independent band still trying to make it,” Robinson said. “This summer we’re going to hit the road and do some touring, especially along the coasts, and see if we can get some label interest.”
For now though, the band will concentrate on doing what they do best: pleasing their fans.
“It’s more about playing a fun show than about doing a good business right now,” Robinson said. “We put a lot of work into our live show and it’s really high-energy.”
The band has gotten a good response from past shows in Fort Collins and is excited to be back – even if the show does put a temporary damper on the members’ personal lives, according to Robinson.
“It seems like every Valentine’s Day something comes up so that we can’t go out with our girlfriends at the time, and then they get mad.” /,/