By Brittany Plothow
Sitting in the living room of a Provo home, the band members of Red Yeti talk business and branding. Of course, Red Yeti as a band is concerned with their musicianship, but above all else they focus on their branding and treat their music careers as a serious business.
“We treat our band as a business,” said Kimball Barker, vocals and guitar for Red Yeti. “The things we’ve done are products of our business.”
Barker started Red Yeti with his cousin Coleman Edwards and friend Isaac Lomeli when he moved to Provo for college. “I knew right away that I wanted to start a band,” said Barker. “The three of us got together and just started writing a whole bunch of music.” Jared Scott and Nic Blosil joined the band shortly after that.
Red Yeti’s EP starting gaining buzz and the band’s music is currently being featured in an Altra shoes commercial nationally – hopefully soon to be internationally. They are also currently contracted by Mountain Dew to compose original music for commercials.
Often compared to The Black Keys or Arctic Monkeys (Neon Trees has said Red Yeti’s sound is similar to Wolfmother), Red Yeti honed their sound by going into a cabin in the mountains and spending all their free time writing music.
When asked about the surprising number of rather successful Provo-bred bands, the members of Red Yeti aren’t worried about scarcity. “Provo has a spotlight on it because of the bands that have come out and I think that’s what drives a lot of the local talent to try so hard because they see that it works. So I think we’re in the perfect place to begin our careers,” said Barker.
“I used to be kind of intimidated by other bands or jealous of other bands’ popularity but then I realized people aren’t like ‘I like blank-Provo-band so I don’t have time to like Red Yeti,” said Edwards. “And everybody sounds different […] and people are happy to find new bands.”
So, what makes Provo so special? Lomeli thinks it’s the spirit of healthy competition between musicians. “It’s competitive in a positive way. People are willing to network and work together and in working together they also push each other.”
Barker thinks that Provo culture and religious climate also contribute to a saturation of talented people. “I think a lot of Mormon kids are musically inclined. It just happens because it’s such a popular thing in the Church. So when you get a whole bunch of Mormon kids together in one town you get a lot of talented kids in one town. So that has a lot to do with it. And also, there’s three high schools and three good music venues around here so a lot of the high school kids grow up going to shows and then they stay in town and they create their own bands. That’s how I came to Provo. I would go to Velour while I was still in high school and come down for shows. That’s what really influenced me. I would see these guys up on stage. I saw Fictionist back when they were Good Morning Maxfield, and that solidified it in my brain. I was like ‘I’m going to do that.’”
The band continues to make connections with companies and hopes that their current commercial success continues. Keep your eyes open for their current collaborations with Altra shoes and Mountain Dew and hopefully many more to come.