Tone Sober

Interview with Colfax band Tone Sober

As featured in the Whitman County Gazette Fair EditionPhoto courtesy of Tone Sober

Local Rock band Tone Sober is slated to perform at this year’s Palouse Empire Fair on Friday, Sept. 8, scheduled for two separate one-hour sets at 2:30 p.m. and again at 5 p.m. 

The members of Tone Sober gathered in the Gazette office for an interview on Monday, Aug. 21, to discuss playing at the Palouse Empire Fair this year. 

All from Colfax, the five band members: Nick Wright, 31, singer; Judd Thompson, 28, bass; Ryan Reynolds, 25, guitar and backing vocals; Daniel Tate, 27, guitar and backing vocals; and Jonathan Buri, 33, drums and occasional singing, are all looking forward to sharing covers and originals with Palouse fairgoers. 

Thompson said the group started as a church band, “that’s how we all really met and started hanging out,” he added.

“Somebody asked if I still played in a band,” Wright said, adding that it was at a bar called Rose Garden, “I did not, but I just called these guys and winged it through like thirty songs,” he said.

“So yeah, somebody asked Nick if he had a band, and we played at a bar,” Thompson laughed, “the rest is history.”

After moving back to Colfax from the west side, Buri joined the band later. 

“A couple of years of light playing here and there, and then around 2018, we started playing every summer,” Buri said. 

Reynolds added that at that point, they had figured out what they would do for their original stuff and what covers they would do.

“Was it 2019 that we released our first single?” Tate asked his bandmates.

Thompson responded, “Yeah,” followed by a nostalgic “Crazy” from Tate.

“It’s been really busy leading up to that and since,” Buri added.

“It was two days before our show, and we needed a band name,” Reynolds said about coming up with the name Tone Sober, noting that when one of them brought it up because they like their tones, that one stuck, and they rolled with it.  

It will be Tone Sober’s third time playing at the Fair, “It’s been a long while,” Buri said, “probably four or five years,” adding that it’s exciting but a little different than what the gigs they usually play.

“It’s a different setting,” Wright chimed in. 

“We do a lot of bar and grill like later gigs,” Buri confirmed, noting that they’re not so used to ones in the middle of the day that are family-friendly, “most of us have kids, so we’re pretty much looking forward to that,” Buri said. 

“We like gigs where our families can come,” Tate added, “It doesn’t happen a ton.” 

Since they all live in Colfax, the band members of Tone Sober have all been to the Fair and are excited to have their family and friends get to see them perform at it.

Wright explained that their following is pretty good at the moment, “It’s hard to get your stuff out there because there’s so much,” he said, adding that the people who like the band are excellent supporters. 

“It seems like no matter what we do, if we do stuff that’s a little different, people are cool with that,” Wright added.

“I’d say since we released the first song that was ours, and people started seeing that we were writing our songs and releasing those, it’s been kind of picking up steadily since then,” Reynolds added about their following. 

The band touched on some of their musical inspiration, Buri mentioning The Beatles shirt he was wearing as his favorite band, “I’d say I like the oldest music of the group,” he added, noting that he likes pop singer-songwriters from the 50s and 60s a lot. 

“I’m pretty heavily influenced on the more classic rock side,” Tate said, mentioning Hendrix, Guns N’ Roses, and Pink Floyd. Tate also has more modern influences like John Mayer and Avenged Sevenfold. 

Reynolds said that his biggest influence playing-wise right now would probably be a little bit of a newer band called Sleep Token and Periphery, “they’re pretty heavy,” he said.

“I like a pretty diverse range of music,” Wright said, adding that he likes a lot of Rock, “that’s pretty much where our influence comes from, just covers that I used to listen to,” he said. 

Buri added that Wright’s taste tinges more on Southern Rock, like Lynyrd  Skynyrd, “Fair enough,” Wright said, Reynolds adding that Hip Hop and Rap make it in there too.

“My influences would be like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine, Rush,” Thompson said, adding that he loves listening to those crazy Bass players. He noted that he grew up listening to Punk Rock and Alternative music. 

The band has 1.1 thousand followers on Facebook and recently released the single “Existence is Passenger,” an original song. 

The band members talked extensively about how they look forward to enjoying the Fair and performing at it, “Do they have Jumbo shrimp,” Wright asked, with everyone laughing and chiming in about mutant shrimp. 

Tone Sober has their music streaming on several platforms, including Spotify, Apple, Tidal, Pandora, and iHeartRadio.

“We’re hoping to have CDs at our show,” Buri added. 

“Hope to see you at the Fair,” Reynolds said, “We’re very excited to be there.”

“If you’re curious about Tone Sober being from Colfax, come see us,” Wright added.


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