Interview: Longevity Productions Talks Music, Community, and More

Longevity Productions is a Northern Colorado-based company that “focuses on artist booking, promotion, artist management and event facilitation.” It was formed in the year 2017 by Bri Long. Longevity Productions is focused on the community that surrounds music as a whole. By bringing local communities together and creating amazing events and festivals, they are definitely a force to watch in the Colorado music industry.

Since their start, Longevity Productions has partnered with various venues in Fort Collins including Hodi’s Half Note, The Aggie Theatre, The Mishawaka, and more. Additionally, they’ve curated their own events such as Re:Turn Tuesdays and BlissFall Music and Arts Festival.

Recently, Jesse Haswell of Party Guru Press was able to meet up with Bri Long as well as some other artists and members of Longevity Productions. Keep reading to find out how they got their start, what the music community means to them, and what their goals are for the future.


Jesse Haswell (Party Guru Press): Alright, well, thank you so much for joining me for this interview tonight. First off, if you could tell me a little bit about yourselves, Longevity Productions, [and] how you got into the music industry.

Bri Long (Longevity Productions): I got into the music industry back in 2010. I went to Electric Forest and [inaudible] and was just blown away at how much music moved people and the productions that all of them had and came home and decided that I wanted to do that. So, I talked to my grandparents about throwing a music festival on my land and had the help of [inaudible] and a few other guys back in the day. I did that for three years before moving out to Colorado, and since I’ve been in Colorado I just started being as involved as I could.

Bri: Street-teaming for every venue possible, hanging posters for years, working security, and that kind of led into me being around the venues a lot. Then, I met all of the guys in CID Initiative and they needed some booking help and some management help, so I started managing all of those guys and that kind of bloomed into CID Initiative breaking up and me forming Longevity and picking up all these guys.


Jesse: Nice. Do you guys want to add anything to that?

James Kenney (Longevity Productions): I’m James. I DJ under the name Bee Virus. I’m from Cheyenne. I met these guys through going to Hodi’s and stuff all the time.

Brian McLerran (Longevity Productions): I’m Brian. I go by Enenra. I started playing death metal bands when I was thirteen and just loved being up on stage and kind of got tired of bands, so picked up electronic music ’cause everything was in my own time. Then, [I] moved up here four years ago from Texas and immediately just found a family at Hodi’s and started working my way through, and then she finally picked me up.

Tyler Jones (Longevity Productions): I’m Tyler. I go by Elctrx. Kind of very similar to Bri’s. I had a bunch of friends, we were all into it, kind of started an underground scene here in Livermore on this ranch, and then that kind of grew into what it is now, BlissFall. From there, you know, that’s when Bri and I met then we kind of teamed up and kind of put our powers together and it’s been pretty awesome as well. And, I produce as well. Bri manages me and does all that. Great teamwork.

Sean Hall (Longevity Productions): My name’s Sean. I go by Wadada. I’ve been in the music scene since age thirteen. I was a drummer, but when I went to college here in Fort Collins at CSU, I put the drums away and was going crazy. So, I actually started a radio show as [inaudible] at KCSU and that led me down this rabbit hole of, kind of, electronic music culture.

Sean: By 2013 I was running with a local sound system crew called [inaudible], and so we started playing locally. We had a monthly at Hodi’s and after [inaudible] kind of packed the sound system up, at the end of 2013, I met all the people in the CID Initiative and basically, you know, just kind of met this whole community of electronic artists. After, kind of, CID dissolved, I think the people that are still around doing this for the love, including Bri, who’s always around either in front of us or behind the scenes with us. We all kind of banded together and kept it going, so Longevity was born. Bri reps us hard.


Jesse: Well, it’s certainly sad to see Hodi’s go because they gave me my start in photography. It sounds like everyone found each other through Hodi’s, so it’s like the perfect venue for building a family.

Tyler: That was home, that’s for sure.


Jesse: So, tell me about Longevity. I know you guys had the Re:Turn series. I think it started on a Thursday, went to Tuesday, ended up on a Wednesday.

Bri: Yeah, it started on a Tuesday, back in 2016, we started doing that under Longevity’s name. It was Turn Table Tuesday back then. And then, we ended up catching the attention of Euphonic Conceptions and Cervantes’ and they wanted to team up, and that’s how the Re:Turn series was born. Yeah, that was every Tuesday up until they recently changed their nights to Thursday, so we changed ours to Wednesday just to help the flow of artists and [inaudible] traffic.

Bri: Yeah, the weekly was really fun. It started even before 2016 with this Initiative crew. They were doing it, but that kind of dissolved, as Sean put it. I stepped up to Dan, the owner of Hodi’s, and just asked if I could take it over, to give me a shot, to give me, like thirty days, and if I could turn those four weekly’s into anything that was better than the one before that, then he would let me have it, and we did that. So, now we were rockin’ it for, this would’ve been our fourth year, comin’ in, if COVID didn’t hadn’t happened and Hodi’s didn’t shut down.


Jesse: So, besides that, you guys also put on some bigger shows, and I think you even partnered, for some of those, with Party Guru. Tell me about those. What were you guys doing on the bigger show front? Go into a little more detail about BlissFall, like where is it?

Tyler: So, BlissFall, we’ve moved around to try to keep it more camping and that kind of vibe for the longest time, since that’s where we started, was on a ranch. That ranch, now, most of the land has been sold, so we had to move on from there. We tried one location that just didn’t quite work out, but we now found The Mishawaka, which is our home now. And then, yeah, that’s when we teamed up with Party Guru, right? The Mishawaka year?

Tyler: Every year, we just try to bring out new artists who usually never come to Colorado. BlissFall really just started as a bunch of producers who we want to play with and, you know, we bring out someone who really inspires us and then we get to hang out with them and play music with them for a night or two. That’s how it all started and that’s kind of how we try to keep it.

Tyler: Anything to add to that? We teamed up, what, in 2017 for BlissFall. Or was it ’16? Well, we took a year off; we did the block party and then we did Mishawaka just to keep everything going, keep the name alive. Just to keep the stage going for everyone as well.

Bri: The block party was fun. It was six venues in Old Town, similar to FoCoMX, but just electronic music through all of them for a night.

Sean: Yeah, we kind of took over town.

Bri: Yeah, definitely, and not just bar electronic music, top-40. It was actual electronic music in town everywhere for a night.


Jesse: It was awesome. So, tell me about a little bit of this year. What were you guys planning for this year, before COVID hit?

Tyler: We had a bunch of plans. We were already getting ready, like in January, starting to get the wheels rolling ’cause this was going to be our five year, for BlissFall. And then, yeah, with everything that kind of happened, we kind of had to just slowly, more and more, pump the brakes until, you know, everything got figured out. You know, we still had things on the back burners, and we might still re-light those fires when it comes to start again.

Bri: As far as Longevity as a crew, we had our first multi-state tour plan with multiple artists. I was pretty excited for that. A festival out in Illinois that we were going to play, and yeah, we had plans to collab and move around quite a bit this summer, and this year.

Tyler: That’s usually our goal, is to travel around and meet other like-minded people throwing shows and festivals around town, you know, in other states and then be able to collab with them. They let us play on their stage, and we’ll bring out some of their boys and girls every once in a while to come join us and rock in Colorado for a little bit. It’s a little mutual, and it’s better that way, I feel like.


Jesse: Heck yeah. So, it kind of sounds like everything just pretty much stopped a little while after COVID hit.

Tyler and Bri: Oh, a screaming halt.

Tyler: It was just like, okay. Everything, everything is cancelled.

Bri: Yeah, I think within a day, every event that we had, cancelled.

Tyler: With BlissFall, we explored so many different options to possibly keep it going, just like the block party and stuff like that. We just didn’t find anything that I think would’ve benefited everybody. It was just too tricky to be able to kind of bring that vibe in with all the rules and stuff like that.

Tyler: I mean, we’re still going to get creative and figure out certain things. We’ve done a bunch of live streams and stuff like that, Bri has, and set that up for a minute. I would like to say, with BlissFall too, Mindbeam Productions helps out a lot with that too. I would like to add that, ’cause he’s been there since the beginning, since BlissFall started at least.


Jesse: He has some pretty good light work.

Tyler: Yeah, and that’s the thing, is he would take over all that and I would just let him, you know, do his thing and he always does a great job.


Jesse: It seems you guys had a big focus on bringing in local artists for a lot of your shows. I know that Re:Turn series featured a lot of local artists [and] it sounds like BlissFall did. Were you guys pretty much focused on local artists, or do you have anything else?

Bri: I mean, the focus is honestly to build local artists in the community, the people that put into your community and give back. No headliner was a headliner at first. It took their community to build them up to get them there. But, we also enjoy just bringing our favorite artists from Canada or Australia or wherever they may happen to be from, and to put our friends and the producers that we work with in front of those artists that happen to be their favorite artists.


Jesse: Heck yeah. And were most of your shows just at, like, the BlissFall festival and Hodi’s or did you partner with any other venues around town?

Tyler: I mean, shoot. We’ve done, we’ve teamed up with, what, The Whiskey and kind of helped…

Bri: Yeah, The Whiskey, Your Mom’s House

Tyler: The Aggie

Bri: Yeah, The Aggie

Tyler and Bri: The Mishawaka, Chipper’s

Tyler: Anywhere where, if they’ve got speakers and they’ll let us play some bass music, you know, we usually explore that avenue, at least try to, and see where it goes from there just so we can have as many options for everybody.

Bri: Yeah, not everybody’s right for every kind of sound.

Tyler: Right.

Bri: Dubstep shows at The Whiskey are kind of weird. Something a little more smooth like [inaudible] fits better at The Whiskey.

Tyler: Right, right. A little more, like, funky or something like that.

Bri: It just feels weird trying to head bang when there’s a $500 bottle of whiskey on the wall.


Jesse: So, uh, just taking a step back, because I have been looking for a way to incorporate Mike from Party Guru into one of my articles. Just, like, a personal thing. How did you guys connect with Mike?

Bri: I met Mike, probably, 2017? ’18?

Tyler to Bri: I was going to say, I met Mike with you. I think I was introduced to Mike from you.

Bri: Yeah, just through the industry. You know, Mike’s always crushed it in Denver with his promos.

Tyler: Your favorite C-list celebrity.

Bri: Yeah, your favorite C-list celebrity. Yeah, he’s a wild, fun guy. He’s awesome. I think just through venue work is how we first met him. Probably, my work through The Aggie, and then just built a personal relationship from there ’cause he’s dope.


Jesse: He is pretty dope, for sure. Alright, is there anything else you guys [would] like to add about Longevity?

Bri: You guys got anything?

Sean: You know, I think to me, I think you kind of touched on Hodi’s closing. I think we’ve all been grieving, kind of, that loss, but, you know, Longevity, locally, here, has been, you know, there’s been pillars like the CID initiative and even some of the local forces I ran before. We kind of, like, are carrying this torch of, you know, not probably Fort Collins’ favorite music, I think maybe bluegrass wins that out a little, or something with a little more twang.

Sean: But, for us, this is not only for the love of music, but the love of community. So, Longevity I think is just waiting to, you know, regain that sense of community in the greater world. I think right now, we’re all trying to kind of make sure we’re all just keeping our heads up. It will be nice to get to share that with everyone again.


Jesse: Heck yeah, we definitely can’t wait to see it. You guys have anything you want to add? You don’t have to, don’t feel obligated.

Brian: We’re just a big family, that’s pretty much it. We’re just all people who love music and it’s always been a big motivator in all of our lives. We just kind of try to help each other grow and keep taking that next step.


Jesse: Heck yeah. Well, thank you guys so much for being willing to come out and talk with me tonight. I’m excited to be able to do this article for you guys. Hopefully, it’ll get you some, a little bit more attention from the Denver readers and bring more of Northern Colorado into the Denver scene too.

Bri: Yeah, we appreciate you having us out.


Longevity Productions has done some amazing things since their start only three years ago. Despite their quiet summer, they’ve kept involved in the music community by providing live streams and more. We are excited for Longevity Productions to be able to get back to throwing events! For now, keep updated by following their social media accounts below.

Photos by Jesse Haswell

Find Longevity Productions On:

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

Enjoy Live Music and Bowling at Live on the Lanes

A New Live Music Experience

In Northern Colorado, a new live music experience has emerged. Chipper’s Lanes has joined forces with The Mishawaka and 105.5 The Colorado Sound to present the series called Live on the Lanes. These socially distanced concerts take place inside Chipper’s Lanes, which has a bowling alley, laser tag, and arcade.

Live on the Lanes takes place at Chipper’s Lanes on North College Avenue in Fort Collins. In mid-September, Live on the Lanes made its debut with music by Pipin’ Hot. Then, Ginger Whale performed for the second event.

So far, Live on the Lanes has been quite successful! It’s a perfect, innovative way for people to get out of the house and have fun with family and friends. There is something for everyone as attendees have the opportunity to participate in all of the activities that Chipper’s Lanes provides in addition to listening to live music.

Safety First

Chipper’s Lanes has made sure to take the safety of everyone very seriously. This includes their own employees, the bands, and of course everyone attending. According to Chipper’s Lanes, “if you are concerned about what is being done to keep you and yours safe, fear not, we are going above and beyond what is being asked to do just that.”

They are regularly and thoroughly sanitizing every touchpoint and surface including tables, chairs, bowling balls, restrooms, and more. Furthermore, when attendees enter the building, they are escorted straight to their table or bowling lane. Table service is provided for both food and beverages, and a lane attendant and waiter take care of everything you need. Finally, face coverings are required for everyone when not at their table.

Upcoming Events

Currently, Live on the Lanes has events scheduled through the end of November. A variety of different local artists will get the chance to perform again, keeping music alive in Colorado.

On October 17th, Kessel Run will fill the bowling alley with instrumental, exploratory rock music. October 23rd will also feature rock music, but this time from Tenth Mountain Division. After that, Dave Watts and Friends will bring various artists together for a truly unique show on October 30th. These artists include Marcus Rezak, Jans Ingber (The Motet), Casey Russell (Magic Beans), and Chris Duffy (Magic Beans).

On Halloween, Live on the Lanes is throwing a special Big Lebowski Halloween Costume Party! That night, VIVIAN will take to the stage to perform some beautiful dream-pop. Fun fact: the members of this duo, Tim and Alana, have been a part of The Mishawaka family for a while!

Continuing on, Cycles is scheduled to perform a fresh hybrid of rock, jazz, hip-hop, soul, funk, and more on November 14th. The last event currently scheduled is on November 20th and features music by reggae fusion group, Luna Shade.

Reserve Your Tickets!

In order to attend Live on the Lanes, ticket reservations are required. These events have a limited capacity, so if you see a band on the schedule that you’d like to see, it’s definitely recommended to get your tickets sooner rather than later.

Chipper’s Lanes states that “a total of 30 socially distant seating areas are provided. There are 11 bowling lanes available with 8 seats, and 19 tables ranging from 2 to 8 seats.” Additionally, 1 ticket is good for 1 table or lane. When purchasing tickets, you have the option to select an area from a seating map or choose a ticket based on price. The cost of a ticket ranges from $80.00 to $300.00, not including fees. Furthermore, only the purchase of a lane includes bowling.

Conclusion

If you love bowling, live music, food, and drinks, you’ll absolutely love Live on the Lanes! This inventive new concept is a great, safe way to support live music. If you want to bowl, enjoy delicious food, or rock out to your favorite band, click here for tickets and information.

Photos by Sunny Side Production

Find Chipper’s Lanes On:

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

CO-OP: Building A New Ideal

For rappers Nick Sanville and Phonosapien music has been a way of life since childhood. “I came out of my mother’s womb trying to write music. Just from the get-go”, elaborates Phonosapien. He goes on to say that he started trying to write music around age 6 or 7. It started out with an NSYNC style of writing but changed toward rap when his elder sister went off to college and left him with all her rap records. That in turn helped steer him in a new direction. That new direction was rap.

Both Nick and Phonosapien say that they only knew how to write horror-core lyrics until they discovered artists like Atmosphere and Eyedea which opened them up to other styles of rap. That transition included visiting online hip-hop forums that allowed like-minded individuals to interact with each other. “One thing led to another and I ended up moving to Colorado. I have just met so many people here it has been an easy path to follow in terms of continuing to make music. Honestly, it would be harder to not do it for sure,” Nick explains. An event called Groundwaves inspired them to start CO-OP.

Groundwaves is an open mic that Murs began hosting in June 2019 in collaboration with The Music District in Fort Collins. Nick and Phonosapien saw a need for such an event after rappers from all over Colorado showed up for a chance to rap in front of Murs. However, they wanted to take it to the next stage. Literally. The stage at the Music District could not even really be called that. It did not have a PA system nor did space allow for a large audience. The stage was a slightly raised platform in the corner of a room with a microphone and a few speakers. CO-OP needed something more.

Hodi’s Half Note was that something more. There was a real stage with a real PA system and stage lights. Hodi’s gave the rap/hip hop community an opportunity to perform in front of an actual crowd. The best part was, there was no pay-to-play requirement like other venues have. Rappers could sign up for the open mic at the CO-OP. Nick and Phonosapien both know what it is like to be the first to go on stage and perform. An experience like that is nerve-wracking. They wanted to be different so the shows would open with a song from either Phonosapien or Nick who would perform to warm up the audience. The event quickly grew to where there would be over 100 people at the open mic who would either perform or were there to support the artists. Sadly, right as CO-OP was picking up steam, tragedy struck.

COVID-19 has been a tragedy unlike any other to date. Forced closures have affected people in every industry. However, the music industry has been particularly affected. Venues nationwide have been forced to close their doors. Hodi’s Half Note is one such victim. Nick was working as a bartender/manager for Hodi’s when the pandemic struck. As an employee, he had the opportunity to suggest events such as CO-OP for the venue. With the closure of Hodi’s and other venues not being able to open their doors, CO-OP shut down as well. That was short-lived as Nick found work at Moxi in Greeley, CO. A new chance was born to revitalize CO-OP.

On Saturday, September 12, 2020, CO-OP started back up. The turn out was impressive considering the restrictions in place and the new location. About 50 people had shown up to support the acts that were performing. There was no open-mic since the logistics of doing an open-mic safely still need to be worked out. However, Phonosapien put it this way, “Our first show in Greeley did better than our worst show in Fort Collins”. That show was just the beginning.

Moxi has some cool features that allow CO-OP to try new things. One of those things is live streaming the show using Moxi’s 3 camera setup. This allows a larger number of people to take part while adhering to social distancing requirements. They also are thinking up different solutions for having an open-mic return. These solutions range from asking artists to bring their own mics or swapping out cones and sanitizing between performances.

When asked what their plan was for future events Nick had this to say, “It’s every month. We’re doing it monthly from now on. I think the next one we are looking at doing it on the 16th or 17th of October”. But they are not just stopping there. They are already thinking of a big one-time event to recap the CO-OP shows that happened throughout the year. That could take the form of a festival-type event where each artist that took part in the CO-OP events over the past year could get a full set. Another idea they have is to host a showcase style show.

There are still many details to work out so Nick and Phonosapien are focusing on rebuilding CO-OP. One goal they have right now is to get CO-OP in multiple cities. They already have access to the Moxi, but Nick is also talking with The Coast who took over the Downtown Artery ground level for a possible location to host CO-OP in Fort Collins. The Coast is just down the street from where CO-OP got its start so it would be ideal.

What is CO-OP? “It’s an ideal. To me, CO-OP is an ideal”, Phonosapien explained. CO-OP continues to help local acts prepare for larger shows. Artists can perform on a real stage in front of real people without paying for a spot on the bill. Additionally, CO-OP is also a way for the venue to efficiently find local acts to open for national artists. CO-OP is special because it is changing the narrative that smaller acts need to buy stage time to get exposure. The community is helping the community grow. The ideal that Phonosapien was talking about is in the very name: CO-OP.

Photos By Jesse Haswell

Find Artist On:

FACEBOOK: Nick Sanville, Phonosapien

SOUNDCLOUD: https://www.soundcloud.com/allelomorph

SPOTIFY: Nick Sanville