EP3 at Karma Music Festival

This Saturday, some of the Midwest’s finest jamtronic groups will convene for a single-day music festival at HomeGrown HideAways in Berea, KY. The event, slated to start at 1 p.m., will run for more than 14 hours and feature 12 different bands and artists- most of which are connected to some form of electronica in one way or another. In addition to the typical festival attractions (eye-popping light shows, fire and light poi performances, community fire and drum circles, live painting), Karma will also offer onsite overnight camping with the purchase of a standard ticket- an amenity not always guaranteed at single-day festivals.

Now just days before the festival, I recently had the opportunity to converse with Patrick Scalambrino, the bassist for EP3. The band will play from 10:15 to 11:45 Saturday night at Karma. Next week, you can catch EP3 and Bad Dagger at The Mousetrap on Wednesday May 4th. Below, Scalambrino tells me how the band’s name was derived and attempts to define their unharnessed electronic jam music.

DANIELLE: When/how did EP3 form?
Originally, EP3 was formed while driving home for Christmas on a chilly December afternoon. My roommate and I came up with the name while discussing inter-galactic activity. He told me that scientists had discovered a planet that is 10 planets past Pluto, TP3. “What an awesome name for a band,” I thought. Later my drummer at the time, Steve Homan, disagreed and said he didn’t want toliet paper being thrown at him. Instead, we decided on eight (rather than ten), so basically it’s E℗ to the third power.

DANIELLE: How has your current sound evolved from the band’s inception?
The music we are creating is nothing like the original sound, but I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to grow with my musical fixation without that first idea.

DANIELLE: When did you join the label Underlying Themes? How have they helped to open doors for EP3?
Underlying Themes couldn’t have helped us at any more of a needed time. EP3 had been going strong and building a name in northeast Ohio, but after an uprooting and replantation in Atlanta, we were left without a keyboardist. Charles F. Moreland joined and with this new installment came ample opportunity. Not only does Underlying Themes give us a place to practice, but they also joined in our belief of world domination, opening a new door to many needed aspects of business.

DANIELLE: Are you a “jam band that plays electronica” or an “electronic group that jams”?
I would like to believe we are an electronic rage rock group that plays whatever we connect to in an inter-galactic realm. I guess if you had to compare our music to other livetronica acts, I would say we are “The Punk” of the an ever growing electronica scene. We are coming to your town to play whatever we feel in the moment: electro, dub-step, drum & bass… and if you don’t like it, we’re sorry- we’re going to play it anyway.

DANIELLE: A common criticism of electronic music is that when you see a DJ live, he’s just pressing buttons. How do you beat that electronic typecasting with your live show?
I mean, we do have backing tracks and sounds that normally couldn’t be made with an instrument. When we get on stage we play our instruments and aren’t afraid of where the feeling (or idea) is going. Every night is a different set with different jams and different ideas.

DANIELLE: You spend a lot of time in the studio. So I wonder, how much of a role does improvisation play in your live set?
When in the studio we are creating the sounds and intonations to use live. If a song is developed in Ableton or in a studio setting, the only thing that changes live is that the instruments are actually being played, and the jams are actual thoughts being processed through our instruments. Using technology is really starting to change the way we look at composing music. With the right program and VST’s you can make any sound you can imagine; if you want the wind or an ocean, it’s there.

DANIELLE: You’re increasingly active in the festival circuit. What’s been the best festival experience(s) thus far?
I can’t speak for all the guys, but I would have to say Wuhnurth Music Festival and Big & Hearty [Gainesville, FL] were my favorites. There’s a lot in the works for this year and our summer is definitely going to be crazy.

DANIELLE: What’s on your plate right now?
Bitch Please [EP3’s keys/synths player, Charles F. Moreland III’s solo side project] will be touring for a few months. Also [EP3 guitarist] Dan Cox has started a project called Members Only, but I’m not sure if there is a tour in the works. As for EP3, we will continue to put out music and tour, trying to create a movement through our ideals.