Hornbread: Freshly Baked

Brian Ripple  |   Thursday Feb. 1st, 2024

Formed in 2021 Hornbread has been taking the local music scene by storm. As their moniker implies, they are a Ska band led by an array of horn players. Recently Bozeman Magazine had the opportunity to catch up with their drummer Nathan Rodacker to talk about Ska, the band’s new album “Freshly Baked” and the inspiration for their music.

Brian Ripple: When did the band Hornbread form? 

Nathan Rodacker: There was a version of the band that had come together pre-Covid with the Ska idea in mind, but that band disintegrated when Covid hit. Then, some of us came back together with new guys in early 2021 and got back to work on that original idea.

BR: Who is in the band now, and who was most influential in the start or formation of the band, who’s concept was the Ska thing?

NR: Our Guitarist Austin Belluscio brought us together, he is from California so he is the Ska guy. I drum, Tyler Lennon is on Bass Guitar, Pete Briccetti sings, Noah Ziegler and Gunter Roylance hold down the Trombone section, and Tanner Rubino and Cole Orelup both play Trumpet. 

BR: Can you tell us a little more about the players in the current line-up?

NR: Most of us met in the Jazz band at MSU. The Horn guys have played a lot together so they gel in a way that allows them to be the showcase of the band. I love the sound that they get as a section. Austin, Tyler, and I are locked in as a rhythm section, Austin’s background in drums fuels his tight guitar playing, and Tyler and I were a Bass/Drum duo in our previous band Conductor, so we have had time to play as a dynamic unit. Pete ties us together with his rangy voice, and I think he is the key connection between us and the audience because he can translate what we are trying to say with the music, and with flare!

BR: When did you personally first get into funk and ska music?

NR: Funk came first for me, which I started to get into while playing in bands in high school. I got into the Red Hot Chili Peppers and other funky bands in my later teens so I became fluent in that vocabulary. I was aware of Ska during this time but it wasn’t a genre I was an expert on. Since I joined the band, Ska has become a larger part of my listening pie. As well as a lot more Punk Rock, which is another flavor we like to explore as a band.

BR: Where do you see these genres these days as compared to the past, say the 70s, and where do you think the future of Funk and Ska will take us?

NR: I think that they are still popular genres, you see newer Funk bands like Vulfpeck selling out Madison Square Garden without a label and I think that is evidence enough. These styles might not be what you see in the Top 50, but it is undeniable that they translate in a live setting and that there is a hunger for that kind of musical energy.  

BR: What do you think is the best part of playing live music with a band? 

NR: First, it’s the connection on stage with the guys. There is something so magical about locking into a rocking song with other people!! Second, it’s the connection with the audience. A show is only as good as the energy that the audience is giving you, they provide that necessary fuel that feels so electric in the moment!

BR: Hornbread released an album “Freshly Baked” last year (2023). Can you tell me what was the influence for the songs, and who wrote them? Who recorded the record? 

NR: Noah Ziegler oversaw most of the recording and the production. He was the main guy fueling the fire for that project. We chose a few covers from our live set to provide some context to our influences, and then the band collectively cobbled a few different compositions together and put some shine on them. I brought the music for “Blue Cheese” in, Austin had “Stink Bug Rug”, Gunter pitched “Vitamin R”, and Noah and Tyler collaborated on “It All Comes Crashing Down”. Pete wrote most of the lyrics and all of the horn guys got those parts together for the songs. I also have to give a shout-out to McClain D’Aoust who is in my other band, Icarus. She helped a ton with the recording of this album!

BR: Where are the best places where people can go to listen to Freshly Baked and your music? 

NR: We’re available on most streaming services! Most people use Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music.

BR: Who are a few of your favorite contemporary/modern artists? And, If you could see any bands/artists, living or dead, perform live, who would you go to?

NR: I love King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, I need to see them as soon as possible. I love a lot of the music that has been coming out of the Bozeman scene from bands like Hot Milk & The Flower Pallets and Brother Venus. I’m into bands like Wednesday and Otoboke Beaver who are more contemporary. If I had to bring somebody back for a show? Jimi Hendrix of course!

BR: Speaking of shows, does Hornbread have any upcoming shows you would like to talk about?

NR: We’re playing at the Grey Dog Bar on Friday, February 9th, which is a great up-and-coming music spot in a great location downtown. Steven Stephen is opening that show. We’re working on our second album at the moment so our spring might stay quiet, but we do have plans to play Thirsty St in Billings on Friday, June 21st!

BR: Sounds great, I’ll try and check one out soon. Here is your chance to say whatever we may have missed......

NR: Be on the lookout for our second album which is well underway!! We had a ton of fun last summer playing at the SLAM Festival and getting to Helena for their Alive at 5 series, we plan on locking down more gigs like that this summer, so be aware! We’re active on Instagram, so if you’re trying to follow along with what we’re up to, follow us at @hornbreadofficial. Find us on Facebook too. Find our album Freshly Baked wherever you stream music and get to skanking!!     

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