In case you’ve been hiding under a rock or you just haven’t been paying attention, I’d like to inform you that the IndyMojo crew is bringing EOTO to the Vogue this Thursday, April 28th! Now you probably know a little something about EOTO, but in case you don’t, their bio reads like this: “Throbbing bass and thudding beats are the signatures of this project from drummers Michael Travis and Jason Hann. Born out of their shared love of electronic dance music, EOTO’s M.O. is to take the free-wheeling party vibe of a DJ set to the next level by using organic instruments, innovative performance technology, and uncharted musical exploration. Live drums, guitars, and keys, and vocals are mixed, remixed, and sampled on the fly using cutting-edge programs. This is all done without a script, and without a net.”
Something else you may or may not know is that Travis and Hann are also members of The String Cheese Incident and certified warriors of the road; their current tour features an astounding 60 shows in 64 days! Even with a grueling schedule offering little down-time, I had the opportunity to conduct a phone interview with Jason Hann about EOTO’s time on the road, what it takes to make an EOTO show successful, and the addition of VJ-extraordinaire Peter Berdovsky, better known as Zebbler.
After a quick introduction and a confession of how “giddy excited” I was for the chance to talk with him (yes, I said giddy), we started off by addressing life on the road and having only 4 days off in just over two month’s time. What I really wanted to know was how they find the time to relax with that kind of schedule. Without hesitation, Jason exclaimed, “We after-party every night! After a show, we’re really revved up. When we after-party, we get to party and relax at the same time.”
Coming off a show in Pawtucket, RI, the EOTO crew was heading to West Dover, Vermont that night for an intimate charity event that would only have about 100 people in attendance. So, how does a band whose entire show is improv and normally draws from the energy of hundreds of people connect with such a smaller group? Hann explained, “No matter who is there, we just try to rock those people as hard as possible. For a smaller audience, we will experiment more; there’s more freedom to do something different…something quirky.”
It seems to me that trying new things has greatly added to the intensity of EOTO’s shows over the past few years. If you check out early EOTO recordings, you’ll find a lot of the jams are more progressive psychedelic in nature rather than the harder, dub-laden shows of late. Hann confessed, “When you are at shows and you see people entrenched in and responding to more aggressive bass lines, you start to see how they are affected by it.” He went on to clarify, “[EOTO shows] are a roller coaster ride between the aggressive stuff and the mellower electronica stuff to keep people with us. If we stay with electronica for too long, people just start to stare at us.”
EOTO in 2007
Discussing different types of shows and how the energy of a crowd doesn’t necessarily rely on the number of people led us to the topic of Zebbler, a visual performance artist with a keen eye for stellar effects and a poignant approach to lighting live shows. “He’s been a huge, awesome addition to shows. It’s all original content and with all the visual, it isn’t hard to let your mind go somewhere else.”
A sample of some of Zebbler’s work with EOTO
One of the most intriguing aspects of EOTO for me is how different their sound is from SCI. “String Cheese is a different type of musical experience,” affirmed Hann, “if we recreated something String Cheese-y, it wouldn’t be honest. We aren’t the main songwriters of that band. EOTO came from jamming ourselves for hours on end and enjoying doing so.”
The final subject I wanted to touch on was how the Midwest measures up to the other regions they had and would be visiting during this run. “Besides Colorado, the Midwest crowd is probably the strongest in the electronica scene. We’re always pleasantly surprised by how much further into it they are each time we come back.” When I brought up the Indy scene specifically, Jason proclaimed, “Indy always has a great turn-out; it will be nice to get back in there!”
With a dying phone battery, Jason didn’t have much more time, so I thanked him profusely for the time he had spared and wished him and Travis safe travels until I see them at the Vogue.
I totally have a crush on EOTO.
If you still aren’t sure about hitting up this show Thursday, April 28th at the Vogue, check out EOTO’s website to help make up your mind.
For additional information about the show, go to the IndyMojo presents… EOTO @ The Vogue event page.
Thursday April 28
Doors open at 8pm
BUY ADVANCE TICKETS and GET FREE EOTO DOWNLOAD!
Please forward your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the link and password to download the New Year’s EOTO show in Denver.
Oh, and don’t forget to hit up the show early and check out Kodama. He’ll be bringing his mix of electronica beats to get the party started!
Until then, stay safe and dance in the rain!