Trippin’ out

Trippin’ Buddha’s plays eclectic music with an emphasis on fun

Trippin’ Buddha’s take some time out for a moment of zen.

Trippin’ Buddha’s take some time out for a moment of zen.

Photo By David Robert

For song clips and information on upcoming shows, visit

Rumor has it Buddha is alive and well in Reno. Of course, I’m talking about local band Trippin’ Buddha’s, not transcending dimensions, although that is exactly what founder Matt Erven strives to do with the band’s music. This band with the funky little name (and yes, the grammatical anomaly is intentional) is an energetic Reno band with an attitude and an eclectic style that exceeds its years.

In the beginning, lead vocalist and founder Matt Erven’s vision was to hand-pick a band from the ground up that would be able to write versatile music, yet remain a predominately live band “with an emphasis on jamming.” With the recruitment of songwriting lead guitarist Dan Salas and percussionist Lance Robbins—whom Erven describes as a drumming “freight train"—and the recent addition of bassist Gabriel Traverso, whose early Motown influence gives him what he describes as “a blues sound with the syncopation of funk,” Erven is quite pleased with his work.

The members of Trippin’ Buddha’s describe their style as “loosely controlled chaos.” When asked what their collective musical influences are, Erven smiles.

“Man, everything from the Dead Kennedys to the Grateful Dead,” he says. “People demand eclectic sound, and at the same time they want to dance and have fun.”

Erven is the main lyricist of the band. He says he’s “just up there tellin’ stories” about “life, love, existence and [his] past drug addiction.” He says most of his lyrics “are just poems transcribed into lyrical form,” and yes, “[Jim] Morrison is a definite influence.”

But Erven relies on the artistic influences of the rest of the band to complete the circle of songwriting. The finished product, as heard at a recent gig at Decades in Carson City, lands somewhere between The Pixies and The Dave Matthews Band. It’s hard to pin Trippin’ Buddha’s down, but then again, I think that’s what they intended.

So, where does Trippin’ Buddha’s go from here? The band hopes to hit the road within the next year for a two- or three-month tour. They’re also in the process of cutting a full-length album, which should be available in a few months. Trippin’ Buddha’s next show will be in South Lake Tahoe in a few weeks, so keep checking for information on upcoming gigs, song clips and lyrics. Trippin’ Buddha’s also sells a four-song live EP, including songs such as “Our Time” and “Medicine Wheel,” on the site.

Bassist Traverso says he feels that the band is "just now starting to tap into Reno," but he demands that the notoriously fickle Reno "[fans] have to come out and support local bands!" So if the Trippin’ Buddha’s style sounds intriguing, you know what to do.