Popular indie rock band STRFKR, formerly of Portland, Oregon, has a secret lair in that most Dr. Seussian of landscapes, Joshua Tree in southern California—a few hours by car from Los Angeles, where the band is based.
"It's so trippy [there], even the humans," said STRFKR frontman Josh Hodges.
The rental house the band found near the park cost less than renting in its home base of Los Angeles, and members found they could play music as loud as they wanted. The album they wrote there, Being No One, Going Nowhere (Polyvinyl Records, 2016), reached the top 10 on the Billboard and reached the number-one spot on the Top Heatseekers chart.
STRFKR will perform in Boise at The Knitting Factory on Thursday, Jan. 25, after releasing a trilogy of albums with tracks pulled from unreleased material. Those albums, which dropped in 2017, drew from the early days of the band, before world tours and its brief stint calling itself "Pyramiddd," when it primarily played live shows in Portland.
"A lot of those [songs] were written a long time ago, around the time of the first album," Hodges said. Making an omnibus of that material "would be better than letting those songs go to waste and never be heard."
Hodges founded the group in 2007, and a decade, several lineup and name changes, and five studio albums later, the past is on his mind. He's mulling a 10-year anniversary tour and accompanying album. A lot has changed in his life: He moved from Portland to New York, back to Portland, and then to Los Angeles, where he adopted a cat and learned he enjoys live comedy.
There has been some loss along the way. Multi-instrumentalist Ryan Biornstad left the band shortly after being arrested for jaywalking at SXSW in 2011. Guitarist Ian Luxton and guitarist Patrick Morris have also departed, making way for multi-instrumentalist Shawn Glassford and percussionist Keil Corcoran.
In the meantime, STRFKR has grown in stature, with stellar record sales and lots of exposure. Its music has been used in television ads for Target and Juicy Couture, television shows like The Blacklist, Skins and Weeds, and in several films, including The Fault in Our Stars.
Some things have remained the same, like his love of music and the role he sees it playing in his life.
"The best thing for me is to just do music most of the time and not have to work other jobs," he said. "I thought I'd do anything to make music a full-time job, even giving lessons or something."