Quick Q&A With Guster

How a small band from Boston grew to become a perennial touring act.
What started as three college friends playing gigs at Boston-area universities has matured into a 25-year career that has spanned seven studio albums and a multitude of live releases. Ahead of the band’s June 28 show in Indianapolis, percussionist Brian Rosenworcel of Guster chatted with IM about the band’s longevity, fan interactions, and Hall & Oates.
IM: The band is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. What does that mean to you?
BR: It’s definitely something I’m proud of, but I think I’m proudest of the fact that we’re putting out good music and not just resting on our old songs. I think the newest stuff is our best yet.
IM: Being together for 25 years is no small feat, and the core of the band is still intact. What keeps you sane after so long?
BR: We’re still having fun on the road. I mean, we really have an awesome job, so it’s hard to not have fun. Sure, we have had to work through things, but we’re still having fun, and that helps us communicate and work past any issues.
IM: Speaking of having fun on the road, you’re known as an extremely fan-friendly band—fans can even request songs for individual tour dates on your site. What’s the draw to having such a close relationship with your fans?
BR: That’s just something that has evolved from our origins. When we were just starting up in college, the only fans we had were our friends, and we’ve really tried to keep that mentality—our fans are our friends.
IM: Let’s say someone has never seen Guster perform. What should they expect?
BR: I’ll play the drums with bare hands and pretend that it isn’t excruciatingly painful, and Ryan will probably make up a song about someone in one of the front rows.
IM: A few years ago, you were on the show Live from Daryl’s House, in which you went to the home of Daryl Hall (of Hall & Oates fame) and played each other’s songs and ate dinner. What was that like?
BR: Oh, man, that was really cool. We just wanted to do it because we’re all big Hall & Oates fans. It was a really unique idea he had: just go to his house and we’d play each other’s songs and then hang out and eat oysters together.
IM: What is the biggest thing you’ve learned over the last 25 years?
BR: On the music front, learning how to play more lightly and to let the groove get deeper on its own.
IM: What’s next for the group?
BR: Well, we’re doing the summer tour with Dispatch, and then we’re working on these 11 or so songs we have, so hopefully the studio this fall.
IM: Finally, what’s the best question to finish this interview?

BR: What’s an ’80s comedy that still stands today?
IM: Howard the Duck
BR: Oh, damn. That’s a good one. I’m a Peewee’s Big Adventure guy. I love that one.
Guster supports Dispatch on their America, Location 12 tour at the Lawn on June 28. Tickets are available online.