Who else is getting SUPER stoked for WINTERWONDERGRASS next month? We are! As the event date approaches and our anticipation continues to grow, we figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get to know to know some of the bands a little bit better. Since becoming more familiar with a band or artist usually makes their sets feel a lot more personable, it was a particular treat for me to sit down with one of my favorite up and coming groups FRUITION last weekend before their show at Cervantes in Denver. After blowing up the local scene in Portland, they’ve been touring the country right on the heels of almost every headlining bluegrass band you’ve ever heard of. Whether you’re a connoisseur or totally new to the world of bluegrass, Fruition is a group that needs to be on you radar. Here are some snippets of conversation I shared with band members Jay Cobb Anderson (vocals/lead guitar) and Mimi Naja (vocals/mandolin).


So tell me some background bits about the band. How’d you guys meet? Were you already aspiring musicians?

Mimi:  “I think we were all born musicians just trying to figure out how to be in a band.”

Jay: “I moved to portland in 2008 with our original bassist from Idaho and saw Mimi play a show. Soon after that we met and Mimi  introduced  Kellen and then one day we realized just playing on the street that we sang really well together. So from that point on we started practicing together as a band. Mimi was already gigging under the name “Mimi Naja’s Fruition” so that’s where the band name came from.”

What’s the ‘string’ scene like in Portland?

Mimi: “It’s pretty much the same cliental, but what’s actually being played musically is different. Portland is definitely more folky and Denver is pretty grassy  jammy and funky.”

What’s in the works for the next Fruition album? 

Mimi: “New album is going to drop late April, it’s already recorded and everything.”

Jay: “Definitely a new direction for this one. But I think we’ve always just gone in a direction that feels natural for what we’re writing at the time. I write, Mimi and Kellen they both write, so we just kind of come together as a team and say “alright what ya got?” and we go from there. We’ve been trying to  capture what we sound like on stage, because for a while we were progressing faster than we could keep up with. We started with our self titled album when we were a string band, but soon after we added Tyler and made a kind of “electric-ey” and folky album with him on the drums, and our sound has continued to get a little more rock n’ roll sounding over time. The EP “Holehearted Fools” that we recently released is a good prerequisite to what the new album will sound like. We’re still going to have our signature folky vibe but there’s a few tracks in there that are going to be a little more rock n’ roll or indie sounding than the usual stuff our fans are used to hearing from us.

Where did you learn to compose music?

Jay: “We all had different paths as to how we started writing, but I started writing songs when I was 15 and since then have always had a journal on me. I write as much as I can.

With Mimi being the only girl in the band do you boys ever censor yourselves around her?

*laughter erupts*

Jay: “Absolutely not. She’s just as stupid and awesome as the rest of us.”

Mimi, what’s it like being a key female band member in a scene that kind of dominated by guys?

Mimi: “There’s actually a lot more women than you’d think in the bluegrass/folk scene. When I’m with the band I feel like one of the guys, and they don’t treat me any differently because I’m a girl. Plus I feel like myself and the other ladies in the scene, like the girls over at ELEPHANT REVIVAL for example, we have like this kindred connection and there’s a lot of love for each other.”

How would you categorize Fruition of you had to choose a genre? I’ve heard you guys referred to as Bluegrass, Newgrass, and a String Band. What’s the difference?

Mimi: “I have an answer for that… Jerry, man.

Jay: “We don’t really care about “genres” you know? I’ve written songs that I didn’t necessarily feel sounded like a “Fruition” song, but then we play it and the songs sound awesome. I don’t want to limit or restrict my writing to satisfy one genre. One thing that really focus on that I think makes us stand out is our use of harmonies. We just want to be as real and genuine with our songs as we can.”

Who are you guys really looking forward to seeing at WinterWonderGrass Festival?

Jay: “The Wood Brothers, always. Obviously Greensky and Leftover, those guys are some of our best friends.”

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There’s a reason why these guys sell out every show they play in Colorado, no matter how frequently they come to town. The answer is simple, they freaking rock. Their rich melodies and three part harmonies will stir your soul in the warmest of ways, and their rendition of americana is what makes them one of the hottest bands gracing us at WinterWonderGrass next month.

This festival sells out every year, so grab your tickets RIGHT HERE before they’re gone! You can also try your luck with our giveaway by entering below!

See you in the mountains!


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