Connect
To Top

Introducing The Pollen Collective

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Ma’ae, Brian Howell, David Nelson, Steve Lavering, Kristi Tretter-Frisby and David Harper.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I sent some demos that were at least 20 years old to Brian on January 29, 2018. He dug ‘em. So much so that he offered his services to any venture involving these songs.

Dave, after seeing all the music equipment I’d inherited from my (then) recently reposed father asked, “What are you going to do with all that music equipment?” and before I could answer, followed up with, “Let’s start a band.” I said, “Yes”. That was February 1, 2018.

Brian & I play our first impromptu set at his home for family & friends on March 3rd, 2018.

The following month on April 20th, Brian, Dave & I, along with our newly acquired banjo & dobro virtuoso, Steve “Dobro” Lavering, play our first set, officially, as The Pollen Collective.

By late June of 2018, we acquire the brilliantly talented Kristi Tretter- Frisby and thus round out the core unit of what The Pollen Collective is to this very day.

1 live recorded E.P., 115 shows at over 40 locations later, and we’ve only just begun.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Overall, and for the most part, I’d have to say it’s been mostly a smooth road thus far. We’ve gone through some hard lineup changes and have wrestled with the idea of having percussion added into our sound but I think, mostly, it’s been fortunately manageable.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
We’re a Band.

We’re a band that plays a mixture of what we call “SoCal Bred American Roots Music” which, to us, is a fluid blend of folk, rock, alt-country & blues which makes for a distinctive “California Sound”.

Our live show experience and the ability (and original music) to play 3-hour gigs, 4 to 6 times a month is what we’re often known for and what we’re most proud of. This all stems from our love of music and the work ethic we enjoy putting into it.

If you come to a Pollen Collective show for the first time, what becomes immediately evident is our sincere love for each other and how that gets translated through the music to the people. Folks who don’t even care much for our “style” of music often return because of the “vibe” the gigs give off. We’re definitely a community.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Our family and friends are at the heart of what we do and that includes our fans who have become friends.

Rule number one of the band is always family first.

We have been getting busier these days and could not do what we do without their support and understanding of why we do what we do.

Contact Info:



Image Credit:

Savannah Knowles, Cheyenne Knowles

Suggest a story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in