Two Face West recently released their debut album, Postcards from Lonely Places, with marvellous funky/bluesy rock output. We were lucky to have a chat with the guys. Let’s find out more.

  • Could you share the story behind how the band came together and started?

The band’s earliest roots trace all the way back to 2011, where Kurt and Mick met in a freshman English class and started the band at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, CO. Over the years, the sound evolved and there were a few different lineup changes. But the current lineup is a trio, and includes Vince Carmellini who joined in 2019.


  • I am curious to know the concept behind the band name.

We wanted to come up with a name that had relevance to this amazing place we were living and learning in. After some research, Kurt discovered Two Faces West, an old western TV series in black and white that was filmed and based in Gunnison. The show seemed to disappear within 2 years, despite being the first ever TV series to use split-screen on a regular basis (the visible division of the screen). The name stuck and the rest is history!

  • Was your latest album, Postcards from Lonely Places, planned to be a 5 EP Instead?

Yes it was. Lineup changes and also the COVID pandemic changed those plans. After adding Vince Carmellini to the lineup, we wrote another 6 songs. We added those additional songs onto the EP release, making this our first full length album.

  • You describe your band’s musical style as “genre-fluid” Can you elaborate on this for our readers and to your fans?

Stylistically, we stretch our legs so to speak and touch upon many genres, rock, blues, country, funk, and the occasional touch of americana. We feel like there is something for everyone on this album to like. We all have various musical influences and it all comes out in our playing. Kurt and Vince are also established multi instrumentalists so it can be difficult to categorize and keep yourself under one umbrella with so many options available to our sound. I think we do a good job stretching it with our music and have developed a “TFW Sound” that has remained consistent for our listeners.

  • The footage studio music video for “Ain’t Got A Clue” was quite appealing.

Yes, we’re pretty close to finishing a video for “Ballad of Jerry Davis” using pictures from the Erie Historical Society about the Columbine Mine Massacre in a Ken Burns style video. We worked closely with this organization to make sure we got the story right, and they were kind enough to give us permission to use their historical picture database.

  • I read that the album is inspired from real events like the Moonshiners; secret lives in Colorado and the 1927 Columbine Mine Massacre, told from a miner’s perspective.Will you please elaborate more?

Moonshiners is based on an old tale of the Beckman brothers out of Eastern Colorado. During prohibition, they were a quiet and mysteriously wealthy family that secretly operated one of the largest and most lucrative underground moonshine stills in the area. The family swore to secrecy and all ultimately took these secrets with them to the grave. Their true story wasn’t discovered until several years after this when their property was sold to a new owner. He noticed a small hole on the property that a skunk had crawled down into. The owner decided to put a hose down the hole in an attempt to flood out the animal. To his surprise, the hole never filled up, so he decided to dig deeper to find out where this water was all going. The massive underground moonshining layer was then discovered and their secret ultimately was brought to light.

The Ballad of Jerry Davis is a tale about the Columbine Mine Massacre as told through the perspective of one of the miners that was gunned down by the Colorado militia, and happens to take place about 20 miles north of Denver, CO near the small and growing town of Erie. Technically, the mine was located in a town called Serene, which was basically a mining camp with an active post office and surrounded by fencing and razor wire.

The historical event of the massacre was the conclusion of the Coal Wars in Colorado. Most of the mines were unable to operate as the coal miners were striking as a result of low wages, dangerous working conditions, and long hours. The Columbine Mine was the last of the operating mines during the strike. And with winter coming, the city of Denver was putting political pressure on the Governor to end the strike, as its citizens needed coal to keep the city warm.

Every day, the workers would march from the town of Erie to the town of Serene, to protest the mine and get their mail. This went on for months, and even the wife of the mine’s owner would join them. On November 21, 1927, the miners were protesting as usual and were stopped from entering the town of Serene and the mining camp by the Colorado Militia, which at the time was the Governors personal army, and were heavily armed. The miners became agitated and began to push their way through the gates. The Colorado militia installed a machine gun on the tower of one of the mine shafts and opened fire on the unarmed crowd, killing six miners. No one was ever prosecuted or convicted for the event, and eventually one of the local mine owners admitted that they conspired with the government to murder the workers to end the strike.

The historical person of Jerry Davis seemed like this romantic character for old time protest songs of the labor movements of the 1920-1930s, as he picked up a fallen American flag, ran through the gates, only to be gunned down and killed. The American flag had 18 bullet holes and was covered in Jerry Davis’s blood when they found him, and then just buried in an unmarked grave until 1993.

The whole song is meant to express empathy to people who are willing to run into a hail of bullets with nothing to defend themselves but an American flag, against trained armed soldiers, for the sake of a better life and to make a little more money. And at the time, it seemed like history was repeating itself over again and we wanted to tell the story in a non-polarizing way.

  • In general, what specific lyrical themes inspire your songwriting?

We feel that our best songs are great stories. They can be inspired from lost events from the past, or interesting and strange events that we experience. For example, Vegas At 3am was inspired by an all nighter in Vegas from the perspective of a first time visitor walking around seeing all the different people. Dirty Ol’ Man was inspired by a show we did, watching an older man trying to dance with younger women on the dance floor and failing miserably. As a Colorado band, we are fortunate here to have many different regions in our state, from the Rocky Mountains, to city life, to farmlands and the prairie. There is so much inspiration and history draw from for story telling and it leaves many options on the table.


  • With the advancement of AI in the music industry, do you see it as a threat to musicians and the industry as a whole?

Two Faces West would like to start out saying that these interview questions responses were done by real musicians, and typed onto a computer the old fashioned way with our actual fingers that have been calloused over many years of practice and countless shows, and after a great amount of thought and discussion between the three of us. No artificial intelligence was used in generating these answers

Is AI a threat to musicians? Probably not. Artists are going to make art regardless of the circumstances. A threat to the industry, probably. Like any other disruptive trend in an industry, aspects of recording and writing will likely change, but in the end it will be up to the consumer of art and music to decide to purchase or pay attention to AI generated or inspired art. It’s quite possible that certain genres are going to be more affected than others.

For example, if you’re a film producer and you need some music for your film but you don’t want to pay for licensing and royalties to a particular artist, AI may make it substantially more cost effective. You want a banger rock riff for a product you’re selling, AI may be able to generate that in less time and without dealing with an artist or composer. Composers and musicians will suffer in this environment.

Our hope is that audiences are looking for more of a connection to music than algorithms are providing. Just look at how popular vinyl is becoming. It’s a very intentional way of listening to music. We hope live shows with real humans will still be very compelling, and a little dangerous for the music consumer.

  • Lastly, could you reveal your aspirations for 2024?

We’re looking at getting back into the studio and recording a few new singles, and have at least one release by the end of 2024. But where we really shine as a band is getting out on the road and taking our music to towns and cities that we haven’t been. And also sharing music that we made together as a group, and having that connection with new audiences.