WHAT A WEEKEND!!! Campfire Outdoor Adventure & Music Festival, held this past weekend, was filled with friends, great music and lots of memories made. The venue, located in Lakewood, PA, is beyond perfect. Waterslides, kayaks, comfy cabins, a hot tub, fire pit, rock wall, all nestled in a natural & nostalgic “summer camp” setting. I've been to many festivals, but this was my favorite venue by far!
Saturday evening I sat down with long time friends Mike and Steve Learson of The Indobox in their cabin to chat about music and life. Indobox is based out of Boston, but Mike Carter and Joey Zarick are originally from NEPA. I grew up with these guys so they hold a special place in my heart.
Indobox was formed in 2006 for the love of music, they said. They hit the road hard playing and writing as much music as possible. They didn’t know where it would take them, but just knew they had to play- leading the band on a wonderful adventure.
The adventure has taken them up and down the east coast and west to Colorado. Bars, clubs, large venues, parties and festivals.
SM: What do you enjoy most about playing festivals?
“Playing outdoors is a perk” - Steve says… “The natural elements really come into play.”
Mike adds, “I love starting the show in the evening and watching the sunset. Ending when it’s dark, creates a whole new energy. The natural elements create that energy and the crowd feeds off it and we experience it all together. Festivals are like a huge party. We get to hang with our friends, other bands and check out new music.”
I was really delighted by their second set of the day at The Acoustic Stage. Familiar covers like, Paul Simon’s “Me and Julio down by the Schoolyard” and original tunes such as “Lollipops and Chapstick”. It was nice seeing them sitting and playing, a really relaxed vibe, opposite of their usual high energy, jamming sets. They said their last record was actually written acoustically but then recorded electrically. The band has been tossing around the idea of coming out with an acoustic album. Mike says “its an interesting experience, taking the songs and peeling away the layers, breaking them down.”
I asked Mike a True or False: You can take a man out of Scranton, but not Scranton out of a man…
TRUE, he answered. “Scranton is a place where people hold a bond, they are supportive, especially when you’re doing something outside of the box, they really stand behind it”. Steve adds in that Scranton natives have Scranton pride and it goes a long way.
Steve, does music define you? - “Yes. I wake up and to some point, even obsess about music. It’s such an endeavour to be a songwriter, and when you break it down, it’s sort of selfish. Songwriting is all about you and your life.”
Mike, why is music important in life? “Music is an emotional outlet, I don’t think about it, it just feels goods. Just like any art, it’s an expression of life. You have complete control, and when you’re writing you’re in the moment. I write at times of disarray and when life hits you with something heavy, it’s a way to process your thoughts.”
What is your dream gig?
Steve: Red Rocks
Mike: Perfect synergy from beginning to end, to be on fire, reading each other’s minds, make magic.
The fellas mentioned a little rumor that there’s a remix album in the works!! Can’t wait to hear what that’s all about. Their FALL TOUR which includes a Thanksgiving Eve show at River Street Jazz Cafe (you heard it here first, kids) should be announced any day!!! If you're looking to dance your feet off to great music, we highly recommend seeing a Box show near you.
Find out more about The Indobox:
Learn more about Campfire Outdoor Adventure and Music Festival: