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Tempe band ready to hit the national stage

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the Tempe Compass. It was republished with permission.

PHOENIX — When Jared Kolesar woke up one morning in 2011, he got the urge to call guitarist Larry Gast, a friend of a friend, and ask him if he wanted to start a band.

Until then Kolesar had spent the majority of his musical career as a solo artist playing at house parties around Arizona State University and wherever else he could find an audience.

Gast agreed to meet and have a practice session. After a few sessions, and along with a few more friends, they created their band, Jared and the Mill. The group practiced songs together for a while as a hobby and eventually got a gig.

“We got a show and we figured that the show would be the end of our career and something we could just do as an experiment of sorts,” Kolesar said. “But during the show, our bonds grew stronger and stronger and after it ended, it felt weird to call it a day on our music, so we decided to keep doing it and it has paid off.”

The band has had a busy last few months. They played a show at the New Year’s Eve block party on Mill Avenue, as well as the P.F. Chang’s Rock and Roll Marathon. They’re currently gearing up for perhaps the biggest show of its young career.

On Feb. 13, the band will be playing a show at the Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix hosted by 97.5/103.9 Trending Radio. The show is a kickoff concert to Jared and the Mill’s five-state, five-show tour that they hope will begin to get the band the national recognition they feel it deserves.

The band’s style is hard to describe. Your first thought will most likely be that they sound like Mumford and Sons, a folk-style band that admittedly has a very similar style. Jared and the Mill, however, is much more diverse in its style of music. All six members of the band have different genres in their background, so you’ll hear pieces of all six during each song.

Five of the six band members went to ASU, something Kolesar said is a huge part of their early success.

“It was really cool to a go to a place where there were always open mics, and there were always opportunities to play. It was really cool to develop as an artist in such a warm, hospitable place. It makes it really easy to make friendships and connections that you may not have been able to make otherwise if you weren’t in a place that was so kind to you as an artist.”

While at ASU, Kolesar had an internship at Live Nation, a website that offers an in-depth compilation of concert schedules and bands available on the Internet.

“It gave me a great inside look on what it takes to be a national act,” he said. “It also shed some light on how much of a process it is for everyone in the music industry. It was crazy for me to see how much painstaking energy and work people who aren’t performers put into setting up a show.”

From the band’s experience playing small shows and parties, to their wide background in music, Jared and the Mill offers a style that is bound to hit the national radio waves sometime in the near future. Kolesar and the rest of the band, though, won’t forget us here in the Valley when they hit it big.

“If we hadn’t all ended up in Tempe, we wouldn’t be a band right now. Tempe holds a great significance for us. It’s a place we’re proud to be from because it’s very supportive of the arts and the music it comes from. It has its quarks, but it’s very easy to fall in love with.”

For more information on upcoming shows, and to hear the music for yourself, go to