Behind the brand / band - RUMTUM

Photo: Tom Z.
I just feel like art and music is something I can control
— John “RUMTUM” Hastings


John “RUMTUM” Hastings is a versatile artist. Hastings’ body of art over the last few years as a musician, producer and visual artist have propelled him to levels untouched by most. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Hastings’ has called Colorado his home for a little over four years now. The now Denver-based artist has been honing his craft in printmaking, street murals, album art, and more -- while continuing to be one of the most talented, and prolific musicians around.

Hastings and his creative endeavor, RUMTUM Creations is gearing up for his first Denver Flea this weekend, and will not only will he be showcasing his recent works of art he’ll also be closing down this weekend’s Flea with a two-hour set of dynamic, ethereal sounds on the main stage. Now, on the heel of the 10th Denver Flea, we were lucky enough to catch up with the one and only RUMTUM right in the middle of his crazy production schedule to get a glimpse inside of Hasting’s melodic, and thought provoking approach to making visual art, music, and loving every minute of it, while Carl Douglas’s “Kung Fu Fighting” played in the background..

What does the name RUMTUM mean? And where did it come from?

It’s a spiritual name (laughs). I got the name from an old Native American Indian in Hawkings Hills, Ohio, actually. I found myself wandering around, and I ran into this old guy who told me that my spiritual name would be RUMTUM, I think he was kinda drunk, actually… but, he basically named me as RUMTUM. I was asking him about some various fishing spots, and we just got the talking and eventually.

Photo: Ian Fohrman


My first record ever produced on vinyl comes out in September called, “Moratuga


You can check out all my artwork at


I’ve always been a fan of supporting local, which is why I’m so excited to get involved with The Denver Flea

Photo: Kate Holstein

How did RUMTUM get its start?

Ha. Basement shows back in Columbus, Ohio when I was in art school. I lived in a big art commune back then, and was the only one with a sound system. So in order for the others to throw parties, they either had to use my equipment or ask me to come play. I’ve always done art, so the whole music and art thing just went hand in hand for me. RUMTUM got started because my main goal was to put out vinyl records, while putting out the best music I could make, and by pushing myself and experimenting in the world of recording. The whole artist, or visual process just kind of fell in line with what I was doing at the time.

Where do you find inspiration to create your art?

Nature, bottom line. And, by getting outside to experience things. I studied architecture and I’ve always loved geometric shapes and designs, so I think a lot of my geometric patterns that you’ll be able to pick up at this weekend’s Flea are inspired from that -- my love and fascination of architecture.

What have you been working on as of late?

I’ve really been putting my head down to just create as much as possible in anticipation of this weekend’s Flea. I’ve got a big album release party coming up for my new record that’s coming out soon, I’ve been working on some murals and some other art shows coming up in the not too distant future.


With this being your first Denver Flea, what does it mean to be a part of the event?

I’ve been coming to the Flea for a while now, and it’s a huge honor to be a part of this event! Overall, I’m just excited to be there with an opportunity to not only showcase my work for the people of Denver, but I also get to perform on Sunday on the main stage. I’m feeling very lucky and I can’t wait to get there. I’m excited to see all the other vendors, meet new people and really take in everything that the Denver Flea has to offer. You can’t get the experience that the Denver Flea has to offer anywhere else. It’s really a special place.

What can people expect to discover at your booth this weekend?

Like I said, I’ve been working really hard in anticipation of this weekend. I’ve got at least 10 new prints that have never seen the light of day (maybe more), and an awesome DJ set on Sunday at 4 p.m. But, this is an experience for me, I’ve never done anything like this and I’m gonna be feeding off people all weekend for inspiration, and I’m very excited to be there. I’ve got some stuff that’s a take on pop-art, some stuff that looks like it could be in a children's book and it’s kinda all over the place. But, these prints are going to be great. I just want to see people smile

Catch RUMTUM at this weekend’s Denver Flea, and make sure to check him out on Sunday at 4 p.m. on the main stage.