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Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Alternative Electronic




"Sutro Interview: SXSW 2010"

If you like silky vocals mixed with analog synths and very groove-laden bass, you might give Sutro a listen. The San Francisco/Oregon band features Tyler Stone on lead vocals and programming, Patrick Hinds on guitar, Keenan Wayne on bass and Jesse Gay on keyboards and programming. Spinner spoke with Stone by phone, a few days ago in preparation for their trip to SXSW this year.

Who's in the band?

Tyler Stone is lead vocals and programming, Patrick Hinds is guitar, Keenan Wayne is bass, and Jesse Gay is keyboards and programming.

Describe your sound.

If I were to give you the elevator pitch, I would say Goldfrapp meets Zero 7. It's silky vocals mixed with analog synths and very groove-laden bass.

How long have you been together as a band?

Five years as a trio. Our first CD came out in 2006, then recently Jesse joined about a year ago.

Is Jesse pulling his weight?

Yeah, he definitely is.

What is the origin of the name "Sutro"?

We were looking for a name that didn't mean anything, but when you said it, it would invoke our sound. Sutro is a very San Francisco-sounding name and it is all over the place there, but you kind of have to be from there to really know about it.

What's your biggest vice?

Red wine, no question, and that goes for the whole band.

What's in your festival survival kit?

Red wine, for sure. iPhones are essential -- and coordinating outfits.

Who was your first celeb crush?

Do I have to say this? I think it'll embarrass my band ... Donny Osmond.

What's your musical guilty pleasure?

Patrick says that he has Bananarama in his collection, and that would probably be his guilty pleasure.

Beatles or Stones?

No-brainer: Rolling Stones. Their album Black & Blue is one of my "if I got stuck on a desert island" Top 10.

What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?

Maybe the craziest thing is that we all get along so amazingly as a band. We're foodies, so we eat a lot and play. Also, this one time after a show, there were some stuffed sheep in a hotel lobby where we were staying in L.A. I thought they were cute, so I named them and proceeded to conduct an interview with them. They were pretty silent. So maybe they didn't like the show that much.

Or maybe they liked it too much.

Yeah, that might have been it. They were in awe.

What is your favorite show you've been a part of?

We played two sold out nights in a row in Portland[, Oregon] with Thievery Corporation. A close second being the time we opened for the Brand New Heavies. - Spinner

"Q/A: From San Fran to PDX, meet Sutro"

by Annette Zuzio
It’s only recently that Sutro went from its original trio to the current four member lineup. Once upon a time, the three lived in SF and were members of a music collective, Poly’s Playhouse (DJ Polywog), where they became friends. Like any musical friendship, they started to jam.

They had no particular direction in mind other than to see what would happen when a jazz-tinged, house music diva joined an indie rock guitarist and session bass player. Rehearsals began with food, wine and conversation, and without realizing it, this had more to do with their direction than their musical influences–the red wine set the tempo. Pulling from ’90s trip-hop and broken beat and electronica, they created structured songs with the dynamics of live musicianship adding substance to what were static, groove-based genres.

With honey-dripped vocals pouring honest lyrics that cut to the listener’s heart, Sutro is led by renowned producer/remixer Tyler Stone (vocals, production) while the spectral guitar, textured synths, intricate bass lines–provided by Patrick Hinds (guitar), Jesse Gay (keys, production), and Keenan Wayne (bass) respectively–and infectious beats create the score for the upscale underground.

Their down-tempo sound is influenced by acts like Massive Attack, Zero 7, and Goldfrapp while they’re currently grooving to artists like Little Dragon to Cat Power for enjoyment and inspiration.

Fast forward to 2010 and there’s a couple of changes… a new zip code for Patrick and Tyler, a welcome addition of keys and production from Portland DJ/producer Jesse Gay (CNS Engineering), and an agenda to play more Portland gigs.

Prior to any official release, a demo version of the track “Temptress” was snatched up for the first Destination Lounge San Francisco compilation by Revive the Soul, an album that went on to become that year’s #1 locally produced Dance/Electronic album in the Bay Area. Shortly after, Sutro delivered their debut EP, How Things Transpire, mixed by Grammy award winner Joe Chiccarelli (U2, The Shins, Beck, The White Stripes).

“I love the combination of live instruments and programmed material,” said Chiccarelli. “There’s a wonderful mood to Tyler’s vocals that brings a very haunting [quality] to all these songs. It’s the perfect combination of darkness and light with a message and a groove.”

How Things Transpire and their two follow-up remix EPs have been featured on the iTunes main page, Indie Spotlight (Dance & Electronic), and iTunes Staff Favorites. In addition, Sutro has held two top ten positions on the music discovery site OurStage and have supported top artists including Thievery Corporation, Brazilian Girls, Dengue Fever, Brand New Heavies, Ghostland Observatory, Asobi Seksu, Calexico, and Nuspirit Helsinki.

Sutro’s music has been licensed worldwide for compilations, websites, preloaded mobile content (Nokia), and video games (Tap Tap Revenge 3) and continues to receive high radio rotation on stations Groovera, Below Zero (debuted at #1), SOMA FM, and Portland’s own Something Different with DJ Santo on KMHD.

OMN was able to chat with two of the foursome: Tyler Stone and Patrick Hinds–who are incidentally married but for some reason never mention this tidbit in interviews. What’s up with that? privacy, schmivacy! There’s something special about these good folks and it’s not just because they’re fabulous at a glance. Proper foodies, über stylish, true taste makers here and elsewhere, and by the way, they also know their way around the decks rather well if you’re lucky enough to catch them there!

Your website says you’re based in Portland and San Francisco–how does that work?

Keenan, our bass player, is the only one currently living full-time in San Francisco. However, the rest of us continue to keep one foot in the Bay Area. Jesse is from there and after almost 20 years in San Francisco, for us (Tyler and Patrick) it’s still home. It’s been challenging to continue the writing and rehearsal process with one member in another city, but because we have such a solid foundation of rehearsals and gigs under our belt, we have been able to make it work. In addition, we have been exploring different technologies and are getting ready to start using Jamlink to do remote rehearsals. (Jamlink is a hardware box that lets musicians connect over the internet and play together in real-time.)

Who, what, when and why Portland, Oregon?

Oh, such a loaded question! Patrick and I (Tyler) felt stagnant in San Francisco and we wanted to go somewhere that would inject new fuel into our creativity while reducing our overhead. With a small army of SF transplants already in Portland, and it being a creative hub, it seemed like an obvious choice. However, I’m not sure we succeeded in reducing our overhead because we bought a house.

Your house is incredible, tell us about the Rummer homes ?

In the mid ’50s and ’60s a developer in California named Eichler built a series o - Oregon Music News

"Bandwidth by Delfin Vigil"

San Francisco history buffs know that Adolph Sutro was 24th mayor of the city, during the 1890s, and that his name has been immortalized via a water tunnel, giant antenna tower, park, mountain tip and swimming pool turned creepy ghost town. Sutro fans will be happy to know that they can now add a down-tempo and trip-hop trio to the list.
"Sutro helped shape the physical and cultural landscape of late 19th century San Francisco. As musicians and artists, we, too, hope to help shape the cultural landscape of our city," say members of the band Sutro, which was christened when Patrick Hinds and Tyler Stone invited Keenan Wayne to flesh out a few songs over a bottle of red wine. "We had no particular direction in mind other than to see what would happen with a jazz-tinged, house music diva, an indie rock guitarist and a session bass player," says Stone. "Rehearsals began with food, wine and conversation. ... Before we knew it, we had created a soundtrack for the upscale underground and released our first EP, 'How Things Transpire.' " Take a dip into Sutro's pool of sound as it helps premiere the new "Shift/Tilt" showcase at 330 Ritch on Saturday, and find out how its electro vibe transpires on a live stage. Sutro's reception is sure to transmit crystal clearly.
Lineup: Patrick Hinds, guitar; Tyler Stone, vocals, programming; Keenan Wayne, bass, programming.
1. Sutro's music should be filed between:
A bottle of Pinot Noir and a dirty martini. In other words -- Portishead and Goldfrapp.
2. The soundtrack to what movie would your music best match?
Claude Lelouch's "C'etait un Rendez-Vous." Ahhh ... Paris 1977!
3. If you could collaborate on a song with any person, living or dead, who would that be?
Jared Matt Greenberg from Charles Atlas. Oh wait, we already did!
4. If a junior high school asked you to play a cover song at the next talent show, what song and school would you choose?
Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall," at Jefferson Middle School in the "505."
5. What is the meaning of life?
A movie by Monty Python.
Check them out:; - San Francisco, Chronicle

"Lucky 13 by Toph One"

"Lounge" is such a stupid term. If I could walk into an airport bar and hear Sutro playing, I just might start flying more often. Basically, this band is what Sade listens to backstage at her own concerts - sexy, liquid, cinematic soul that just happens to have enormous commercial potential. - XLR8R

"Broken Business by Peter Nicholson"

Before we head off for our usual globetrottin' tour de bruk, I thought we'd start off with a small dose of homegrown goodness. Sutro is a San Francisco - based trio headed by long-time player Tyler Stone, and the lady herself turns in a very nice busted mix of their "Affected" on the new single for Decoy Recordings. Definitely uptempo but Stone's muted vocals and some chilled out pads keep things smooth. - XLR8R

"Indie Band Sutro Produces Debut In San Francisco Studios"

Grammy Award–winning engineer Joe Chiccarelli and “iTunes Originals” producer Gordon Brislawn worked on the debut EP from San Francisco electronica trio Sutro, entitled How Things Transpire. The trio comprises remixer/producer Tyler Stone (vocals, programming), Keenan Wayne (bass) and Patrick Hinds (guitar).

Stone programmed drums and keyboard parts in her home studio using a MOTU 24I/O audio interface, MOTU Digital Performer 4.5, MOTU MachFive software sampler and outboard synths. Hinds and Wayne recorded their parts directly using Line 6 PODxt Live and Bass POD modeling processors, respectively.

The trio then moved to San Francisco’s Sy Klopps Studios. Stone’s vocals were captured with a Neumann M 149 tube microphone that was run through a Manley SLAM! stereo limiter and mic preamp. Special guest Jared Matt Greenberg of Charles Atlas played a Yamaha Grand piano, adding to the cinematic feel of the track “Temptress.” To record the subtle nuances of Greenberg’s playing, Brislawn used five microphones, placing a ribbon mic underneath, two small-diaphragm mics on the hammers and two large-diaphragm mics in the classical position.

Chiccarelli then took the helm of San Francisco’s only SSL 9072 console, mixing the final tracks in two marathon 10-hour sessions at SF Soundworks using a Pro Tools HD3 system. “I love the combination of live instruments and programmed material,” Chiccarelli says. “There's a wonderful mood to Tyler's vocals that brings a very haunting [quality] to all these songs."

For mastering, Sutro went to frequent Chiccarelli collaborator Michael Romanowski at Paul Stubblebine Mastering.

For more information, visit,, and - Mix

"Future Soul by Chris Horgan"

Do you love Portishead? Then rush to Amnesia for the anniversary of Future Soul, a monthly dedicated to bridging the gap between electronic and acoustic, head noddin' and booty shakin'. SF heavyweights SUTRO open up the evening with an ethereal set of down tempo that will make your heart throb, then melt. Meanwhile, Beatropolis, will amaze you with original Portishead inspired tracks and covers. DJ Rob Bliss drops funky breaks and DnB between sets. If you love Portishead, then come see what makes Future Soul one of the better underground monthly gigs in SF. - Nitewise

"Pop Beat by Bill Picture"

Five live down-tempo bands from the Bay Area have joined forces to start a new monthly event focusing on dance music's mellower and more sophisticated cousin. More specifically, the members of the just-formed Shift/Tilt collective are interested in showcasing what is happening right here in San Francisco's thriving underground down-tempo scene.
Shift/Tilt will feature live performances by local down-tempo bands (not laptop artists, but instrument-toting musicians and vocalists making soulful, real-time trip-hop and chill-out music), including Sutro, Artemis, Beatropolis, Return to Mono, Karmacoda and Moped, plus Bay Area DJs from the Energy 92.7's "Below Zero" show spinning the latest chill-out tracks. Shift/Tilt happens at 330 Ritch St. on the last Saturday of every month. Go to for details. - San Francisco Chronicle

"Pop Beat by Bill Picture"

Catch trip-tempo trio Sutro on Wednesday at Madrone Lounge. Sutro is a live electronica collaboration between bassist Keenan Wayne, guitarist Patrick Hinds and singer Tyler Stone. Stone, a renowned producer-remixer, has racked up her share of Billboard Dance Top 10's reworking tracks for Sting and Everything But the Girl, to name two. Sutro's first EP, "How Things Transpire," is due soon. Get a taste at - San Francisco Chronicle

"Pop Beat by Bill Picture"

Also on Thursday, across town at the Bar of Contemporary Art (BOCA), local downtempo trio Sutro is celebrating the release of its premiere EP, "How Things Transpire." Among the songs included on the mini-album, which was co-produced by Gordon Brislawn, who has also worked with Goldfrapp, Nouvelle Vague and Phoenix, is Sutro's tripped-out lounge take on the Disney classic "(It's a) Small World." - San Francisco Chronicle

"Sutro in Zero 7 Remix Contest"

One part of the PDX/SFO trip-hoppers Sutro is participating in a Zero7 remix contest. Check out vocalist and programmer Tyler Stone’s mix, and, of course, vote if you like it.

The band says:

Our very own Tyler Stone has produced a sumptuous and driving remix for the Zero7 Remix Contest. Please follow the link to hear the track and help get her the 500 votes needed to make the top 10! Let her know how much you care and vote vote vote! - Oregon Music News

"Radio & Podcasts"

92.7 FM Below Zero
KZSU 90.1 FM
(#2 Electronica, #17 Top 30)
KMHD DJ Santo's Something Different

Giant Step
(Tom Thump's The Enthusiast's Hour)
Well Made Music
(Edinburgh, Scotland)
Electrical Language (UK)
Dave's Lounge

- ***


Just Gettin' By - single
How Things Transpire EP
RE:fected - The Affected Remixes
Temptress: Remixed
Destination Lounge SF Vol. 1 (Temptress)
Destination Lounge SF Vol. 2 (Undying)
SF Essentials (Affected)
Digital Bliss Vol. 1 (Undying)
Test Press Compilation (Affected)



If the indietronic band SUTRO had one goal with the quartets new full-length album release "Broken Distance", it was to up the energy level from downtempo to, well, midtempo. But the band had far more than one goal. It wanted to up the game overall, with more fully realized songs, richer melodies and production, and a bolder sound. And with the assistance of producer Joe Chiccarelli, SUTRO has made good on its plans. Says Chiccarelli of the endeavor, "They are the perfect balance of beats and atmospheric electronic elements and accessible pop song writing." The album inhabits a sonic territory, a genre-inclusive zone, where everything from electronic, to indie, to pop can hang out on the same street corner and harmonize. The LPs ten tracks are seductive throughout, often emotionally moving. And it's earwormily listenable, with tons of little grace noises that make you want to spin it again and again, to get at every bit of it: delicate glitch effects at the opening of Heaven, snatches of muted trumpet on Surrender, delicious synth work, and pneumatic percussion throughout. 

SUTROs music is determinedly from the near future. It's a willful indietronic hybrid part live-band drive, part DJ sensibility and the splendid tension of the music is listening to that hybrid, that graft, come to fruition. The new recordings add live drums to SUTROs sound and emphasize richer-than-ever songwriting, yet technology remains at the core of what SUTRO does. You can hear the digital sheen in all the songs think Metric or Phantogram with the deep, rhythmic pulse in the programming of lead singer TYLER STONE and the studio- as-instrument work of keyboardist JESSE GAY. KEENAN WAYNE's complex, melodic bass lines do more than just hold down the roots, while Guitarist PATRICK HINDS textural elements can often seem more like a synthesizer. This LP solidifies the SUTRO sound, says Keenan, "There are songs that have been gestating for awhile, balanced with others that still have that new-car smell, but for the first time, there is a thread of cohesion, with no filler."  Says Tyler, "Joe challenged us creatively and took us a little bit out of our comfort zone to help push the music over the top." 

When SUTRO was just beginning to record, the group was deep into chillout, deep into downtempo, deep into the sounds that had come to rightly define San Francisco nightlife dance musics mellower and more sophisticated cousin, wrote Bill Picture in the San Francisco Chronicle. Our intention has never been to make dance music, says SUTROs Tyler, but to fuse the elements of electronic music with a live aesthetic. Before SUTRO even managed to finish its debut EP, a track from it, "Temptress," landed on the San Francisco edition of the hallowed Destination Lounge series. It made perfect sense for SUTROs brand of loungey pop-tinged music to appear between house and of-the-moment electronica. The magazine XLR8R described SUTRO as "sexy, liquid, cinematic soul that just happens to have enormous commercial potential." XLR8R was onto something: A SUTRO song would appear in the video game Tap Tap Revenge 3, and their music was licensed by Nokia, suiting the brand's composite image of global style and next-gen tech. SUTRO shared stages with the likes of Thievery Corporation and Brazilian Girls, and earned comparisons to trip-hop acts Portishead and Massive Attack. A move to Portland for Tyler and Patrick brought them into contact with Jesse, who says of his contribution to the band: "I set out to bring my analog synths/studio, keyboard playing, and production abilities in order to make a fuller sound."  Keenan keeps SUTRO rooted in San Francisco, where he lives, and the band uses jamLink to bridge the distance to Portland and rehearse in real time. 

With Tyler as the siren in the machine, SUTRO makes music for and about relationships in the age of rapidly iterating technology, technology that both brings us closer, allowing for constant contact and ambient awareness, and tests our relationships with countless new distractions. And for all its emotionally dark underpinnings, the LP manages to stake out its own patch of sunlight. Part of that sunniness is the resilience of Tyler's vocals that as bad as things might get, there is always a new day, a new romance, a new song.

Band Members