Tristen has ‘tour legs’ ready for Lifestyle


Tristen Gaspaderek is a young lady with an old soul, at least musically, venturing back in time to when the line between rock ‘n’ roll and country music was regularly crossed.

But much has changed since those days, Tristen (she performs under her given name only) told The Beat. Where once the accepted way to start a band was to play and play and play some more, most often on cover tunes, until you were good enough before heading into the studio to make a record, the modus operandi for the modern music industry is reversed.

“Technology allows you to hash it out on the recording,” she explained, adding that home recording negates the need for once-limited and expensive time in a professional studio. “I figured out a good process that works. It helps you find your unique voice.”

Of course, she allowed, if you’re going to play your studio-polished tune in front of people, you still have to play and play and play some more.

Which Tristen and her band have done in the year-and-a-half since her debut full-length, Charlatans at the Garden Gate, was released.

“We call it ‘getting our tour legs,’ ” she said. “You get better and better if you do it all the time. We’ll play wherever.”

A native Chicagoan, Tristen moved to Nashville a few years ago with an eye toward becoming a professional songwriter.

“Songwriting has always been the main focus there,” she said. “But with the easy access to technology ...
“Songwriting for me is connected to recording. The production and arranging – it’s deeper than just guitar or piano and voice.”
Tristen confesses to coveting control over her work – “a sort of DIY thing.” But she’s also glad to have found such a crack group of sidekicks to play with her.
“In Nashville, everyone’s good,” she laughed. “When you’re putting a band together, if you have a demo with parts already worked out, the players can come in and say (lowers voice) ‘I am awesome on my instrument, better than you.’ And they can elaborate on the part in the way only that person can.”
The incessant touring means not only is the band getting better, but that Tristen could leave her “day job” of waiting tables (which she did about the time Charlatans was released), and also that she hasn’t had time to record the next record, for which she has completed enough songs, she said.
“I’m writing all the time,” she said. “I work every day, whether it’s writing, recording, organizing rehearsals. But writing fuels the fire.”
Some things never change.


Tristen opens for The Airborne Toxic Event and Minus the Bear Sunday, July 15, at Lifestyle Communities Pavilion. Tickets are $22/$25. Visit