The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



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NU Band Spotlight: The Lone Pine Cones

by Hana Nobel, News Staff

The Lone Pine Cones is one of the newest bands on the Northeastern music scene. Jon Lesh, a freshman business major, and Matt Rhodes, a freshman music industry major, swap between the guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals. Ben Hughes, a math major, plays the drums. Mike Kofron, a freshman at Penn University plays guitar, but did not join the rest of the band when they sat down to speak with The News for NU Band Spotlight.

Lesh describes The Lone Pine Cones as a “dark blues band.”

“We’re pretty heavy. We’re pretty loud.”

The band, which hails from Doylestown, Penn., also does acoustic sets and has performed in The Church of Boston, Harper’s Ferry, afterHOURS and T.T. the Bears.

Huntington News: Let’s talk about the name. What does The Lone Pine Cones mean?
Jon Lesh: My grandpa was in the Vietnam War. He has fighting with Lieutenant Peter James and they were stuck in a ditch for a while. Apparently the Lieutenant Peter James started going crazy and there were a bunch of grenades left. They were down to the last one … and Peter James started going insane and started thinking it was a pinecone. And then my grandpa said, ‘No it’s a real grenade. Don’t set it off. It’s a real grenade.’ And [Peter James] said, ‘No, it’s a lone pinecone,’ and he hurls it to the other side and apparently he saved them all and so he [my grandpa] told me the story and we were like, ‘All right. We’re naming our band after the lone pinecone.’

HN: If The Lone Pinecones were a lovechild of two bands, who would the parents would be?
Matt Rhodes: One of the parents would be Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. I would say the other would be Secret Machines.

HN: Who else are you influenced by?
Ben Hughes: Queens of the Stone Age is a big one. Led Zeppelin. Fleet Foxes recently for our vocal parts especially. The Kills and anything that Jack White does at all – The White Stripes, Raconteurs, Dead Weather. We’re really into heavy dark blues lately too. That’s a big part of our sound. We also have a whole area of doing more folky acoustic stuff too that has a lot of work with harmonies.

HN: One of your LPs is called, “Why the Hell Would Anyone Eat a Pinecone?” What is the answer to that question?
BH: We taste really damn awesome. You should probably eat it and figure out what it tastes like. We’ve tried it and we know it tastes good.

HN: How long has the band been together and how did you get together?
MR: When Ben and I were about 11, we started playing together. He got a drum kit and I was like, ‘Well I should get a guitar.’ So I got one. We went through a bunch of different names and did a bunch of covers and –
BH: And we were awful.
MR: We were awful. It’s really funny to watch old videos. Our good friend Lucas started playing bass with us. And so we were a trio, but none of us wanted to sing. Lucas left and Jon joined. Then we changed our band to The Lone Pine Cones. Then [Mike] Kofron joined about a year and a half ago.
BH: Three of us came to Northeastern. Matt and I are roommates by request and Jon randomly got the room assigned next to us.

HN: Do you have a fan base at Northeastern yet?
MR: It’s growing.
BH: We’ve decided that our music has turned out to be more geared towards 30-year-old dudes. What we’ve found is that we keep playing at 21+ places and our best response comes from older people. I guess it’s just what our sound is geared towards. People from Northeastern come to see us, but we are getting the best response from an older group, I guess because we sound more vintage or something. We get a pretty good response [at Northeastern] but it’s small and it’s growing.

HN: Do you guys have any weird pre-show rituals?
JL: We usually pray to Peter James, who is that lieutenant guy, that our heroes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, would somehow hear us and decide we were awesome and let us open for them on tour. That happens about every show.

HN: Who writes songs and where do you get your inspiration for lyrics?
MR: Jon and I wrote all the songs that we’re doing right now. Mike Kofrin has been writing some lately. He sends us videos so when we are back together we’ll play with him.
JL: Before we kind of wrote songs just to get lyrics in them. Now it’s starting to mean something. We’re trying not to sound corny … and we’re trying to make it mean something. We have some songs about girls. A lot of it’s just about life and wanting to play music.

HN: Pick a song and tell me what it’s about.
MR: “All Saints” is one of our newer songs. It’s gonna be on our EP we’re finishing up now. That EP is called Sing Us Your Lies and it should be done in the next few weeks. It will be a free download on our website []. It’s a dark, religious song. We don’t usually write about religion, but it has this dark eerie musical part to it and feel like has some weird pull to it. Over that are some dark, religious lyrics. I wrote it on All Saint’s Day.

HN: What’s the end goal for this band?
BH: We want to tour. We’re working as hard as we can to get our stuff out there. We’re pretty much just taking any show anyone will give us. The ultimate goal is to make money doing this and not have to do anything else. It used to be casual and it’s turned into something that we want to do for the rest of our lives if we can.
JL: To open for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club on tour. If that happened, I don’t even care what would happen after that.
MR: I care what would happen after that, but that would give us a great start.

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