Whitman rockers Plateau build success on the road

caitlinhardee

For most Whitties, September is time to settle down in Walla Walla, but for resident rockers Plateau, life on the road rages on. The Pioneer called the band members as they were heading to a Friday concert at the Emerald Downs racetrack in Auburn, Wash.

Whitman senior and bassist Matthew Sweeney enthused over the show.

“This is a really good-paying gig, and probably a bigger crowd than we’ve ever had: we’re playing for a couple thousand people,” he said.

Plateau have been steadily building up to their current level of touring. When we last spoke to them, the band expressed plans to “cruise around a bit,” maybe even make it to Portland. In the end, Plateau carried off a bona fide summer tour, traveling considerably farther than Oregon.

“We must have played almost 30 shows this summer, we went on our tour, so we went all over the place. LA, San Diego, all the big cities down the coast,” said alumnus Adrian Tuohy, lead vocalist and guitarist.

Not only did the band travel over the summer, they also hooked up with some Northwest legends, opening for alternative rock group The Posies.

“We got to meet them, it was really fun,” said Tuohy. “After the show there was kind of a private party thing. We just chatted with them, drank a whole bunch of really good wine. They’re super nice guys. We had a great time.”

Tuohy, who graduated from Whitman last year, has stayed in Walla Walla, working at a local brewery while continuing to write music and tour with his bandmates.

“It’s pretty weird: when I first came to Walla Walla there were hardly any places to play. Now, since there was one place that opened in town that did live music, now every place is competing for live music,” said Tuohy. “There’s actually good money in that, so we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing. It’s a good environment to keep the band going, keep writing songs.”

For Sweeney and Plateau drummer senior Alex Folkerth, touring with the band requires a delicate balancing act. Both must also fulfill the rigorous demands of senior year.

“It is very challenging,” Sweeney agreed. “I have an 80-page thesis due.”

Folkerth and Sweeney seem up to the task: in addition to Plateau activities, both are continuing with associated project King Friday, together with junior Bo Sagal and senior Ryan Barrett. Folkerth filled us in on the return of the King.

“We’re working on our new album, we have like six songs done, and I think we’ll probably be done by the end of the semester, maybe throw a party and invite people over to listen to it,” said Folkerth.

King Friday will be playing Coffeehouse on Friday, Sept. 9 at 8 p.m. Plateau will be playing later the same night at a house party, and Saturday, Sept. 10 at Walla Faces.