By Emma Speicher
If there is one band that would perfectly capture the ethereal experience of living in a neon Nevadan landscape, it would be the one and only Charity Kiss.
Fresh off their impressive six state pilgrimage, I had the opportunity to sit down with Cooper Conway (Bass), Nate Drum (Drums), Pat Hansen (Vocalist and Rhythm Guitar) and Cole Hendriks (Lead Guitar) to talk all things from band origins to new music and even a few crazy tour stories.
“We’re like if Johnny Cash played Hotel California with the Eagles and they all played super distorted.”
– Nate Drum
Like all great band origin stories, it began with Christmas gift instrument jam sessions in the garage. After freshly being ejected from a small high school band, lead guitarist and vocalist, Pat Hansen, sought out a new group of potential people to jam with and found Nate Drum and Cole Hendriks through a mutual friend. They formed Color T.V., and after a name change inspired by Marcus Aurelius’ book, Meditations, and a brief shuffle of band members, in came Reno music scene veteran, Cooper Conway, on the bass.
Together, they are Charity Kiss.
Meet the Band
Conway is the uncle that wasn’t there during childhood but slips you 20 bucks on your birthday
Drum is the (self-described) handsome, funny, fearless, leader that is good at baseball
Hendriks is the navigator, the back-end support. If he were on a boat, he’d be the GPS, and
Hansen is the Shakespearean side, the team dad, and the comic relief when it matters.
Hansen, Drum, and Hendriks have been in the music scene for around two years and have played as Charity Kiss with Conway for about six months. Together, some of their biggest achievements include playing at the UC Davis Whole Earth Festival (a multi-day art and music weekend, attracting over 30,000 attendees), competing in the Shabang X FreeTheYouth’s Battle of the Bands, and going on a multi-state tour of the pacific northwest as well as Idaho and Utah. They’ve played shows with many west coast favorites like Kilroi, Ultra Q, Bug Bath, and Big Fun, to name a few.
All members speak fondly of touring (aside from constantly being asked to show their feet). Hendriks shared a story about their time at the UC Davis Whole Earth festival, where an elderly hippie chatted up the band and offered them some obscure mystery fruit and drunkenly slept on the floor in the band’s room.
Conway even shared a story about how an ear infection turned mysterious illness led him to spontaneously defecate into a sock which he placed into a potato chip bag that he left in the passenger seat of the tour van (allegedly out of panic, but hotly contested by the other members who claim it was a poorly executed joke).
Charity Kiss has a solid fan base, spanning beyond their home base of Reno, NV. One of the best and most rewarding things for the band is seeing fans from other cities come to see their shows, citing a specific show in Rexburg, Idaho.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the music scene in Reno was debilitated, only starting to pick up again thanks to a collective of local bands hosting house shows and coming together to get more people involved. From playing music at the Holland Project, to several local houses known as the King’s Row and the Buena Vista houses, or even at Conway’s own home – dubbed Fort Ralston. Charity Kiss has been deeply ingrained into the resurgence of the stronger-than-even Reno music scene, they’ve become an iconic band, synonymous with tunes of high des wave that encourage more bands to commit to music and more people to come out and participate.
Charity Kiss will be releasing their new album in Summer 2023 and planning on touring late Summer/early Fall 2023!
Special thank you to Charity Kiss for the interview and Trevor Castillo for the photos!