Aug 302011
Authors: Lianna Salva

Growing up in Fort Collins, Nick Jones was surrounded by music.

About two years ago while still in high school, Jones created the local band, Thrifty Astronaut, and has been playing music ever since. Jones was the solo member of the band, using a drum machine and toy keyboards as back up until drummer Sean Speer joined him about a month ago.

Jones graduated from Rocky Mountain High School this past May and plans to go to the University of Denver to major in international studies. This complicates matters, though, for a young musician.

Speer, who also graduated from Rocky Mountain, plans to stay in Fort Collins for school, possibly at Front Range.

“We’re going to turn it away for a little while when he’s off in college, and we plan on next summer to pick it back up and take it on the road,” Speer said.

When Jones was still solo, he went on tour with Otem Rellik and Galaxies across Colorado, Texas, Kansas and Nebraska.

But together, he and Speer have played live only in Colorado. Their plans are to travel out of state for their next tour, with hopes of playing in Chicago.

The Fort Collins local music scene is widely known, which sometimes creates a challenge for new artists. According to Jones, the challenge is to make music stand out, but being in Fort Collins opens up possibilities of new sound and shows.

“Because I’ve lived here my whole life, the Fort Collins personality has really been ingrained into my music,” Jones said.

Jones grew up in a very musical environment. His parents, both CSU alumni, were in bands and kept a lot of instruments in the house. They have become one of the band’s main supporters.

“When he’s in school, he’s very present and I think he takes that same degree of presence into music and really everything he does,” said his mother, Kathleen.

Thrify Astronaut’s albums demonstrate their unique sound, which Jones crafted during his solo career.

“Because he worked so independently, he found this sound that is distinctly his,” she said.

The band currently has three albums, including “Introducing Thrifty Astronaut,” “Caffeine Heartache” and its follow up, “Apple-Eaters.” They are all available at Their next show is this Saturday at the Rock N Soul Café in Boulder.

Collegian writer Lianna Salva can be reached at

The Band

Band: Thrifty Astronaut

Genre: Shoegaze/ Lo-fi pop

Band Members: Nick Jones (singer), Sean Speer (drummer)

Albums: “Introducing Thrifty Astronaut,” “Caffeine Heartache” and “Apple-Eaters”

Next show: Saturday at the Rock N Soul Café in Boulder.

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