Trippin Buddhas: A rock band seeking a little enlightenment |

Trippin Buddhas: A rock band seeking a little enlightenment

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer

There is a long-held story about the Buddha that when he was 36, he tripped and found enlightenment.

When Matt Erven’s band read the story, they decided that while they hadn’t found it yet, enlightenment was a good thing to seek. So the Northern Nevada-based band created a name designed to highlight their search for understanding. They called themselves the Trippin Buddhas.

That was eight years ago, and the group has worked toward playing music full-time ever since. They cut their first album, a self-titled release, in 2005. and hope one day to be able to quit what they call “their other jobs.”

“Performing, that’s what I love. The more people we can get up and dance, and shake and scream, that’s the best. That’s the ride we want,” Erven said.

The band consists of Erven on vocals and guitar, Erik Jorgeson on vocals and keyboards, Chuck Smith on vocals and bass, and Lance Robbins on drums. They play several local venues, including the Re-Bar in Carson City.

For Erven, his dream of playing full time didn’t show itself until his early 20s. But when it took hold, it wasn’t about to let go.

“I picked up a 12-string acoustic guitar when I was 22 and just haven’t stopped playing. I write and play as much as a I can,” he said.

While the band continues to work for bigger things, Erven spends his days as machinist and his nights on stage.

“I don’t mind it,” Erven said. “There are actually some similarities. There’s a lot of mathematics involved, and you never stop learning with both.”

Erven hopes the Trippin Buddhas will someday be able to write and produce albums full time.

The band’s goal is to get to the place where music can be the only job. The only problem is they don’t know how to get there.

It would seem the name is appropriate: They have the desire, but are simply seeking a little enlightenment.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.