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

  • LA’s Most Inspiring Stories

    Every neighborhood in LA has its own vibe, style, culture and history, but what consistently amazes us is not what differentiates...

    Local StoriesSeptember 27, 2021
  • Portraits of the Valley

    It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them...

    Local StoriesSeptember 24, 2021
  • Portraits of Hollywood

    It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them...

    Local StoriesSeptember 24, 2021
  • Hidden Gems: Local Businesses & Creatives You Should Know

    Every day we have a choice. We can support an up and coming podcaster, try a new family-run restaurant, join a...

    Local StoriesSeptember 22, 2021
  • Heart to Heart with Whitley: Episode 4

    You are going to love our next episode where Whitley interviews the incredibly successful, articulate and inspiring Monica Stockhausen. If you...

    Whitley PorterSeptember 1, 2021
  • Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories: Episode 3

    We are thrilled to present Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories, a show we’ve launched with sales and marketing expert Aleasha Bahr. Aleasha...

    Local StoriesAugust 25, 2021
  • Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories: Episode 2

    We are thrilled to present Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories, a show we’ve launched with sales and marketing expert Aleasha Bahr. Aleasha...

    Aleasha BahrJuly 21, 2021
  • Heart to Heart with Whitley: Episode 3

    During Women’s Month I had the honor of having a heart to heart with two powerful women in the creative space....

    Whitley PorterJune 26, 2021
  • Check Out the Newly Launched ART SQUAT Magazine

    One of our goals at Voyage is to encourage others to start independent, non-corporate, non-VC backed media publications.  We think the...

    Local StoriesMay 20, 2021