One Happy Bunch | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

One Happy Bunch

Yes, it's true, the guys of Ripe are actually friends

If anyone caught Ripe's show in Bend last year, you know the electric energy it brought to the table. The band's last album, "Joy in the Wild Unknown," is a ride through infectious grooves that get your feet tapping. That feeling is one of the key ingredients to their genre-blended sound smoothie. Over the phone, vocalist Robbie Wulfsohn tells me how the group got started, why the band's sound is so unique and how, surprisingly, they actually all get along.

Source Weekly: You guys are a pretty large-sized group. When did you guys come together and how did that connection start forming?

Robbie Wulfsohn: We came together in 2011. Right out of the gate at college. We were friends that were partying together at Berkeley College of Music. Pretty much everyone that is in the band came in to college looking to do something radically other than be in a rock band – they wanted to produce, do film scoring – I came in wanting to be an engineer because I thought that was a stable job. Yet within one month we were making music with no real end.

SW: What were some of your biggest fears doing this? Were you guys super nervous?

RW: It almost feels like a move that's not easy to justify, to pursue this particular path. So like the two most common reasons people choose to do it is one, they're motivated by the feeling that you're doing something that no one else is doing, or you're just – and I feel like we're in the second camp – you're just too crazy to think you'd be that good at anything else.

SW: It's good you guys stayed on the path that felt right.

RW: It's crazy that it's working out the way it is but I'm very, very grateful.

SW: Who were some of the people you were listening to growing up?

RW: Very young me would probably have a very embarrassing list of boy bands to name. The first artist I, like, fell head over heels in love with was Dave Matthews Band. The second was Radiohead and the third was The Beatles. But, like, eighth grade me was going to festivals where the headliner was Korn and I was going to see Guns N' Roses. It's been like a hodgepodge. Now it's like everything is fair game. There's not a genre that I'm not down with. There's just artists in every genre that don't necessarily excite me as much as others. It's always been a cluster f*ck.

SW: Listening to your music really makes you want to get up and move, from the perspective of, like, an audience member. What's it feel like for you playing it?

RW: It is my favorite thing to do. For me, I feel like a part of a symbiotic thing that it's happening, because of the audience and because of us. So it, honestly, it feels like kind of analogous.

SW: What's a secret about the band that nobody knows?

RW: This is a conversation that came up yesterday so it's fresh in my mind – but we literally had people in Los Angeles be like, 'I guess they're friends because they look like they're having fun?' As asinine as it can sound, like, these are my six favorite people, and this is my favorite thing to do. It's interesting to be having a good enough time that people are like 'that can't be real...' So I guess our big secret is we all love each other.

Ripe with Waker
Tue., March 19. 7pm
Volcanic Theatre Pub
70 SW Century Dr., Bend

About The Author

Isaac Biehl

Isaac is living proof that "Iowa Nice" is actually a thing. A journalism graduate from Iowa State University, he regularly writes about music, the outdoors and the arts/culture scene. Isaac loves the Trail Blazers, backpacking and a good IPA. He plans to one day win Survivor. Your move, Jeff Probst...
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