Year after year, Red Rocks churns out a schedule that makes your heart soar and your wallet cry. Some acts come around only after an album or reunion, but others show up every summer and come to be so expected your direct deposit may have as well just gone directly to the ticket. One of these acts is funk favorite Lettuce.
Bassist Erick “Jesus” Coomes has come to enjoy planting Lettuce in the garden that calls Morrison home. 303 Magazine got to talk to him about all his Red Rocks feels and what he is most excited about the 2017 showdown. Lettuce read on to the good stuff.
303 Magazine: We are just a few days out from your Red Rocks show, but what are you doing today?
Erick “Jesus” Coomes: Well, I’m down in New Orleans for Jazz Fest. I’ve been going out every single night and seeing the most amazing music. It doesn’t really stop until about 6 in the morning. If you like music, there is no way to leave until 6 in the morning.
303: Whew, that’s impressive. So, I gotta know. Tell me about your nickname, “Jesus.”
EJC: My friend DJ Quik gave it to me. It is a name I got for not being very debaucherous. For just kind of focusing on music, I guess. I’ve come a long way, Denby!
303: Oh, I believe you. It is good to stay focused since Lettuce tours relentlessly. In all of those venues, how does Red Rocks compare?
EJC: It is unlike anything that I’ve played at before. I have played there three or four times now and it is my favorite thing that has ever happened to me. I can’t come to Denver without changing my flight a few times before I leave. I get so excited! I can’t even bare to speak about it. I love the area and I love the people and I love the dirt.
I am freaking out about it, but I am also taking it very seriously. The first couple of times I played there the nerves were so gnarly. I think this time I will actually be comfortable in my own skin. It feels right, we love it as a band together.
303: Now that you have played it several times, what is your favorite Red Rocks story?
EJC: I can’t tell it. I wish I could, but I can’t tell it. But hearing that sound, the way it projects off the Rocks as a bass player just sounds so cool.
303: The Red Rocks line-up this year is insane, as it was last year. What are you most excited about sharing the stage with the likes of Ghostface Killah, George Porter Jr. and others?
EJC: I am excited to see what happens, to be honest. I love all those bands. Have you heard Turquaz? I am excited to see their fans come out. George Porter Jr. is someone that I look up to so much. Cyril Neville, I am really excited to see Cyril Neville. He is one of the greatest rockstars of all time, he just has so much swag. So much style and personality, we all look up to him.
303: Speaking of long lists of superstar musicians, you work with many other artists outside of Lettuce in the studio and touring with huge acts. How do you navigate through all of these different genres?
EJC: Just passion. I am a music fanatic. I could probably give up food and water way before I could give up music. Pay attention to the things you love and try your hardest to figure it out.
303: Some of the members in Lettuce have relocated to Colorado. How has that changed the processes of the band?
EJC: Adam Deitch and Adam Smirnoff relocated to Colorado. For me, it makes things a lot easier. They had been in New York for so long, now if I need to come meet up with them it is a two-hour flight. I can wake up in the morning and decide to come to Denver. I have been doing that a lot, and it has already proven to be really helpful. Plus, it makes me really happy because I love Denver and I am happy someone is holding Denver down for Lettuce right now. I like to rep Colorado — I love you guys.
303: The eclectic talent really shines through in Lettuce’s live performances. For the Red Rocks show, what is something special our readers can get excited for?
EJC: You mean, tell you what’s going to happen? No! I can tell you that whatever you are all doing in the audience is just as important as what I am and we are doing on stage. We are all going to come in there, put our minds to it and create some great music. I know whatever you guys walk in there and do, it is going to make it a great big heady party. I am excited to see what you bring.