Listener is a spoken word rock band that started in 2002 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The current lineup consists of vocalist and bassist Dan Smith, guitarist Christin Nelson, and drummer Kris Rochelle.
Listener originally started as a solo underground hip hop project of vocalist Dan Smith beginning with the commercial release of the album Whispermoon on Mush Records in 2003. He has also contributed to several collaborative albums with the groups Deepspace5 and Labklik, both of which he is a founding member of.
With his second release Ozark Empire in 2005, Smith began his first "Tour of Homes". This consisted almost entirely of traveling from home to home around the United States (the European leg of the tour was titled the "European Tour of Homes") in a grassroots style of touring. The European leg consisted more of performing in standard live music venues as well as houses, coffee shops, art galleries and warehouses. It was also during this period that Smith invited drummer Andrew Gibbens and guitarist Erik Olsen to join him on tour, thus starting the transition away from traditional hip-hop performances toward a live band format. Gibbens and Olsen remained until they departed the band in December 2006. Regardless of using the name Listener for his solo work, Smith decided to continue using the name as the project developed in to a live band.
It was during the Tour of Homes in 2005 that Smith met musician Christin Nelson at a house show in Las Vegas, Nevada. After finding out that Nelson played drums, Smith asked him to join the group in June 2007 and the band released the album Return to Struggleville.
After a year and a half of touring, Listener released their third studio album, Wooden Heart, in July 2010. Later that year after being introduced to the band The Chariot, Smith was asked to collaborate on the song "David De La Hoz" on the album Long Live.
Dan Smith - vocals, bass, mellophone, trumpet, mustache,
Christin Nelson - guitar, washing machine,
Kris Rochelle - drums,
Andrew Gibbens - drums,
Caleb Clendenen - guitar,
Erik Olsen - guitar,
Kristen Smith - bass,
Wolfgang Robinson - drums,
Jon Terrey - guitar