Aspen Hourglass: Pushing boundaries to the next level

“John and I met at a music store, kind of like how you meet a woman – the woman of your dreams,” Grayson Erhard said. “Seriously. He was on the other end of the building, and I was scoping out the situation.”
Erhard noticed the amazing bass talents of John Napier testing out a bass in the store, so he walked up to talk to him. Napier began to jam with Sean Hanson after CSU Pep Band practices. Seeing Hanson’s talent for drums, he insisted that Erhard and Hanson meet.
“John kept telling me about Grayson, saying I have to meet this guitar player. He’s so good,” Hanson said. “At that point I’d played with so many bands, that when I heard, ‘Hey I know this great guitar player.’ I’m like ‘cool.’ That’s the same way Grayson was about drummers.”
Through some clever trickery, Napier arranged a jam meeting for Hanson and Erhard. Both musicians were blown away by the others talent.
“Just how a drummer approaches a drum set, the confidence, you know how good they are going to be,” Erhard said.
A month later in February of 2012, the group transformed Hanson’s garage into a fully-equipped jam space. They quickly realized that what they had was something more than some friends to jam with – it was a band.
Now this quirky, energetic, progressive alternative band is known as Aspen Hourglass, with Erhard on guitar and vocals, Napier on bass, and Hanson on drums.
This group of characters bring a lot to the table, included talent, energy, and original sounds – among other things.
“Sean brings sexiness,” Ernhard jokes. “Seriously, he brings structure. He brings everything down to the ground level.”
Hanson says that Erhard brings showmanship and stage presence. He’s known for a style of guitar playing where he slaps the neck of his guitar – something he likes to call ‘Tap Slap Bull Crap.’ Napier brings unique entertainment with his infamous stripped socks that he wears frequently at concerts.
Aspen Hourglass considers the Higher Ground Music Festival in September 2013 in Denver to be their break-out moment. Since then, they’ve noticed a different response from crowds – like they might have found their missing link. From then on, their game plan changed from playing whatever they can get their hands on, to denying some gigs to focus on ones that have a larger draw.
“There’s never a point where you feel like you’ve gotten to the top,” Hanson said. “The next day it’s like we have to one-up that.”
Currently Aspen Hourglass is working on signing a management contract. Up next will be studio time to record a five song EP.
“The thing about being a musician is it’s awesome and it’s awful at the same time,” Erhard said. “Being in Aspen Hourglass is really fun, but there’s a consistent feeling that you’re not good enough. You have to deal with rejection more than probably anyone else in their profession.”
One of the hard parts about being a musician can be writing songs. Hanson explains that it can be tricky to balance the time for writing new music and playing shows.
Erhard jokes that the guys have fun writing songs by writing letters on their toes, then intertwining toes with each other to create the lyrics. While their actual way of writing songs is much more normal, the guys do have fun sometimes not taking things too serious.
The group agrees that Erhard is a lion, Napier is a Gisele, and Hanson could be a turtle because of his level-head and steadiness. Possibly more suiting, Napier thinks of Hanson as King Louie, the orangutan from The Jungle Book.
The group of animals has some interesting groupie stories, but mostly they consider them to be diehard fans. Expectations are high for Aspen Hourglass, but they’re definitely up for the challenge.
“I want to play music every day, all day – that’s all I want to do,” Napier said.

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