A new leaf


Gabe Hulse, Alex Stevens and Corbin Cliften of Treedom at the 2015 Reno Earth Day festival.

Gabe Hulse, Alex Stevens and Corbin Cliften of Treedom at the 2015 Reno Earth Day festival.

Photo/Anna Hart

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/treedomband.

Where did the band name Treedom come from?

“The name doesn’t have any special meaning, aside from us liking trees and freedom,” said Alex Stevens. “We wrote a song called ’To the Trees’ once. Girls get songs written about them all the time. But do trees ever get anything? No.”

The Reno alternative rock band Treedom was originally formed by childhood friends Gabe Hulse and Stevens. Hulse is the bassist and Stevens plays guitar and sings.

The most recent addition to the band is Corbin Cliften, a 19-year-old drummer from their hometown of Yerington, Nevada. He's also the youngest member, by about five or six years.

“I don’t even notice the age difference,” said Hulse. “I guess Corbin is just so mature.”

“It’s not that I’m mature, only that I’m more mature than these two—which doesn’t say much,” replied Cliften.

The music of Treedom stands tall within the genre of alternative rock, yet carries a distinct reggae influence. But the band doesn’t employ specific musical elements characteristic of the latter genre. Instead, they inhabit the aesthetic. What Treedom’s music may lack in call-and-response or the rhythmic base of reggae or ska, it makes up for in the laid-back groove and the harmonic mood overall.

As far as the lyrical content goes, much of it is inspired from the experiences as 20-somethings, covering topics that range from partying with friends to endeavoring to achieve personal growth.

Throughout their music, there’s a calculated ambiguity, metaphors that leave the meaning up to individual interpretation. It allows for their music to be widely relatable on a fundamental level.

“Music is inspiration in itself,” said Stevens. “If you listen to good music, it just makes you feel a certain way. That’s the music that we want to make.”

This spring has meant a surge of opportunities for Treedom. Since February, the band has played numerous shows and, most recently, Treedom made an appearance at the Reno Earth Day Festival in April.

But that’s not to say that it’s been all smooth sailing.

Hours before the band was set to play at the Elbow Room in Sparks, Stevens and Hulse were pulled over for a routine traffic stop. The stop ended with Hulse being arrested for a past traffic violation.

“I got out 20 minutes before we were supposed to play, and Alex and Corbin were waiting in the parking lot,” said Hulse. “We got to the venue so fast I didn’t even know if my bass was tuned when we started playing.”

The next chapter for Treedom starts with a change in lineup.

Recently, Cliften, who had played with the band since last spring, moved to San Diego, making his official departure from the group in late April of this year, just days after their last performance.

The split was an amicable, leaving the group with fond memories.

“At the second practice it just clicked. It was so much fun. … I remember just banging on stuff while [Hulse and Stevens] did all the hard work,” laughed Cliften, reminiscing on his first experiences as part of Treedom.

Currently, the remaining duo refuses to let their ambition wane. As of the most recent update, Treedom is in the midst of writing new music with hopes to record, as well as beginning the search for a new drummer.