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Lumineers Talk ‘Mountain Jams’ at Mountain Jam 2013, Shrug Off One-Hit-Wonder Fears

Lumineers Mountain Jam 2013
Paul Brasil

The Lumineers may be the biggest little band in America. On the strength of their megahit ‘Ho Hey’ and latest single ‘Stubborn Love’ — presently burning up the charts and ensuring the continued relevance of their self-titled debut, an album released more than a year ago — the band arrived at Mountain Jam 2013 as, well, kings of the mountain.

Before the Lumineers took the stage Saturday night (June 8), chatted with barefoot piano player Stelth Ulvang and shoe-favoring bassist Ben Wahamaki about the band’s meteoric ascent and the secret behind their name. Check back later for video of the full interview.

Do you know the origin of your band’s name?

Ben Wahamaki: It’s kind of a weird one, actually. Jeremiah [Fraites] and Wesley [Schultz] were playing at an open-mic-style show, and the guy came out and announced them as “Lumineers” — no “the.” And they were like, “Man, that’s pretty cool.” I guess it was a band that had played the weekend before.

Is this your first Mountain Jam?

Stelth Ulvang: It’s our first “Mountain Jam,” in quotes, but we’ve had a lot of “mountain jams” in Colorado.

You’re headed to NYC next for the Governor’s Ball. What are you looking forward to the most?

SU: Kanye. Also, the Avett Brothers. We’re basically opening for the Avetts.

You’ve had major success with the song ‘Ho Hey,’ which has been all over the radio. Do you worry that you’ll end up being known for just that one tune?

BW: I don’t know if we can determine that or get a say in the matter. I think we’re really proud of the record, and people seem to be singing along to the whole record and buying the record, and I hope that’s what they love. And I hope that’s what history will show.

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