Expanding on a wide range of sound, Lotus is considered a multi-genre band incorporating elements of rock, electronica, jazz, jam, hip-hop, and funk. Formed in Indiana in 1999, the band has come a long way to find their sound.
Originally playing as a jamband, they leaned heavily on the sound of funk similar to Phish, Allman Brothers and The Grateful Dead. As the band developed, their style gravitated toward elements of electronic music while still maintaining the foundation of a jamband. This style of sound is often described as jamtronic music.
Lotus has developed a devoted fan base by steadily touring and jumping on festivals like Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Ultra, and Rothbury. Over the years Mike Greenfield, Mike Rempel, Luke Miller, Jesse Miller, and Chuck Morris have played countless shows across the US. Whether you are an old fan or new, Old National Centre is the place for you Thursday, March 5th.
Be sure to get there early as the opener will make it worthwhile. Turbo Suit, the band formerly known as Cosby Sweater, is making head way in the electronic scene. Indy locals David Embry, Nick Gerlach, and Jeff Peterson are celebrating their first album release under the new band name.
While the band has only been together since 2012, it looks as through 2015 will be another big year for the group. Touring with bands like Lotus, Digital Tape Machine, and Umphrey’s McGee, and making the bill on festivals like Aura, Summer Camp, and the Werk Out the band is hoping to leave Cosby Sweater behind them and head new direction. They recently released the new track “Hourglass” featuring ProbCause, streaming below.
Lotus & Cosby Sweater
Thursday March 5th; doors at 8.
Old National Centre
Buy tickets here.
If you are looking for a live music event to ring in the New Year, you should check out what’s happening at the Murat Old National Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. Nestled in the heart of downtown, the Murat has hosted so many amazing artists, and for New Years they are offering a unique event. Check out four different bands in one night.
Here Come the Mummies will be taking over the Egyptian Room, and transporting us from the time of the Mummies to 2015. This jazz, funk band is headlined by horn playing mummies that will keep you dancing into the night. Their stage presence makes each show a unique experience and I can’t wait to see what they will offer in the New Year. The purchase of a ticket to Here Come the Mummies will also get you access to all of the rooms at Old National.
In the Delux Room, which is also part of the Murat Old National Center, are two more bands. Local favorite Cosby Sweater will be joining Groovatron as they come out of retirement! Cosby Sweater offers a Jazz fusion sound, led by smooth sax melodies. They couldn’t get enough of Indianapolis and will be ringing in the New Year here for the second year in a row. Groovatron started as an home-grown jam band out of the Mid-west, they soon played huge festivals such at Wakarusa. They have a unique style of psychedelic rock that is supported by a subtle sax lines and catchy lyrics. After years of touring, they went into retirement quietly in 2013. They are ready to greet 2015 and ring in the New Year here in Indianapolis.
Get your tickets soon this event sold out last year! Purchase tickets to Here Come the Mummies to get access to over 4 different bands and ring in your new year right!
Check out the event page for Cosby Sweater and Groovatron: https://www.facebook.com/events/656721717773863/
and get access to both events by checking out this event page for Here Come the Mummies: http://concerts.livenation.com/event/05004D5485591A88?bba=0
See you guys in 2015!
On the heals of their most recent album release, Similar Skin, Regional prog-rock powerhouse Umphrey’s McGee return to their home state on July 26th for their annual show at The Farm Bureau Lawn at White River State Park. Backed by friends of the band, who also happen to be Indy-based musicians, Cosby Sweater will bring their own version of electronic-jazz fusion as the evening’s opener.
Umhpreys’ most recent album has reinvigorated love for the band from fans new and old alike. Bringing together many well-known songs that previously never had a home, Similar Skin is more of a studio up-date on band favorites than it is a shiny, new package of Umph originals.
The new album release has allowed Umphrey’s to continue to re-define the relationship a band can have with their fans: by selling out the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre for their first time; by providing exclusively intimate VIP treatment for fans; by offering Similar Skin packages that include the CD, pressed vinyl, merchandise and other goodies; and by putting on an album release party, the band continues to enhance their unique relationship with fans. Instead of just going out and playing, the band now has more purpose then ever- for themselves and for their fans. This is evident as there is a push to support the tour, the new merch and of course the album itself. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the new Similar Skin album, check it out HERE, listen to the songs and download the album- the best way to get ready for the show.
For local fans this show is sure to be one to remember; something some of us haven’t seen since the Live At The Murat recordings. Cosby Sweater is guaranteed to bring the heat, getting the party started early. We can be almost certain that Joel Cummings, keyboardist for Umphrey’s, will sit in with Cosby Sweater as they have toured along side the band on multiple occasions. The addition of Joel – regardless of how old he may be – lends a well-placed sound to the Cosby Sweater line-up. Cosby Sweater continues to release new music, most notably a crowd hit remix of the song “Cocaine Blues” as well as their most recent release of their Party Dad EP which you can listen to, or purchase, HERE.
To recap: Cosby Sweater will be supporting Umphrey’s McGee at the Farm Bureau Lawn at White River State Park on Saturday July 26th. Tickets are still available and can be purchased here. The show is set to begin at 7PM, this is a standing event but the venue does offer lawn chairs for rent on a first come-first serve basis. If you plan on attending be sure to purchase your tickets soon as these events tend to sell out and you do not want to be stuck on the wrong side of the fence.
Festival junkies take heed: if you’re in need of a healthy dose of bass, have an insatiable urge to rage, and are looking for an inexplicable good time- Electric Forest is a must see. The festival celebrated its 4th running this past weekend starting on Thursday June 26th and ending on Sunday night, June 29th. Returning once again to the grounds of the lovely and beautiful Double JJ Ranch in Rothbury Michigan, the 2014 installment proved to be a powerhouse of rambunctious shenanigans, great music, psychedelic light shows, and improve – tomfoolery that no one will be forgetting anytime soon.
Thursday – June 26th
Thursday marked the first night of the festival. EOTO fed the crowd a healthy portion of crunchy beats and fatty bass. The sound cut out twice, but drummer Jason Hann was unphazed, performing a powerful acoustic drum solo without any amplified sound, ending just as the PA came back on to say “Yeah… to sexy for this PA”.
Later that night Umphrey’s McGee slayed the stage with their unrelenting lightshow and mind-bending improvisation. At certain points, their set sounded more like an Iron Maiden concert than a progressive rock show. During their second set, the group performed a stellar mash-up which combined MGMT’s “Kids” , Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” , Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round” and Rage Against the Machine’s “Know Your Enemy”. The crowd was in awe; some cheered with delight, while others stood there stunned and trying to figure out where they were. Later, Brendan Bayliss informed the crowd that, drummer Kris Myers was, “rocking out so hard” that he had broken a tooth…
Indy homeboys Cosby Sweater performed an insanely groovy set during the Umphrey’s intermission, creating an Umphrey’s Sweater Sandwich. The crowd was unsure at first, but was up and dancing to the funky trio in no time. The trio grooved out hard, debuting their new remix of Escort’s “Cocaine Blues”. Umphrey’s keyboardist Joel Cummins even came out and threw down on a jam.
Friday – June 27th -
Friday brought the festival in to full bloom. Ms. Lauryn Hill’s set started a bit later than expected, but the former Fugee delivered a performance like none other. Belting out songs with such swagger and confidence, one couldn’t help but think “Damn, she’s foxy.” The soulful performer delivered a tasty mix of originals, Fugee hits, and Bob Marley classics.
The String Cheese Incident set the tone for the evening upon commencing the first of their six scheduled sets for the weekend. Starting off right out the gates with powerful, groovy “Colliding”, the crowd was overcome with an insatiable urge to dance. Afterwards on a nearby stage, STS9 performed a super- spatial set that transported the audience into a dream world. The vibrant hues of the light show, cover of nighttime, and the chill vibes of the glowstick-covered crowd was the definition of bliss.
Closing the night strong, Umphrey’s McGee once again slayed the stage like no one’s business. The group ended a bit early but the crowd insisted on an encore. The band emerged to perform a three song encore which included a rendition of Pink Floyd’s hit “Time”.
Saturday – June 28th -
Saturday was HOT, in every sense of the word. The crowd seemed a bit mopey and sleepy from partying all night, but were soon up and working off their hangovers through Xavier Rudd‘s ancient ritual of dance. He impressively played a 12 string guitar while simultaneously playing didgeridoo, making guitar-and-harmonica seem like child’s play.
Saturday also saw a performance by a member of the Marley family, with Stephen “Regga” Marley featuring Ghetto Youths Crew. Stephen Marley saturated the crowd with classic Bob Marley hits, as well as a handful of originals, leaving nothing but positive vibes and smiles in his wake.
Later that night The String Cheese Incident performed a set which people are unsure really happened. During a rendition of the piece “Valley of the Jigg” the crowd became a part of an elaborate video game-infused rave party of sorts- complete with Mario-themed stage videos, Princess Peach rope dancers, giant inflatable question mark blocks, Pac Man ghosts, inflatable balls, fireworks, confetti, lasers and more. Anyone in the vicinity had their minds subsequently blown.
Upon leaving Electric Forest one cannot help but be overcome with the festival blues as they realize they must once again integrate with formal society. But never fear; Electric Forest will be back next year, only with new and improved tricks up their sleeves. So in the meantime, if you’re still in need of a healthy dose of bass, continue to have an insatiable urge to rage, and is looking for an unexplainable good time, mark your calendars for next year.
Summer Camp Music Festival, Summer Camp, Scamp, the best freakin’ party in Illinois. Whatever you call it, it’s coming soon and firing on all cylinders. Taking place over four days (May 22nd – 25th) in Chillicothe, IL, it’s guaranteed to be hands down one of the best weekends of the summer. A days-long event of music, workshops, positivity, friends, and tomfoolery; in short, everything that a growing human needs.
If you don’t have your ticket yet get it soon because you don’t want to miss this. Keep in mind, though, that ticketing is slightly different here than at most festivals. A regular ticket will get you in for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Pre-Party passes can be purchased at an additional fee to get you in early for Thursday’s acts. Also, there are late night sets at the Red Barn for an additional cost. The other stages will still be in operation when it’s going down at the barn, so don’t fear. But, please remember that the barn shows that tickle your fancy will cost a little extra (for more on Summer Camp do’s, dont’s, and things to know, check out The Midwesterner’s Guide to Music Festivals Pt. 1: In Our Own Backyard).
So, do you have your ticket(s)? The appropriate answer to this query is a proper, “No sh** dude, I’ve had my ticket since February.” Next is, “I just found a ride and snagged my ticket, catch you there!” The least appropriate… “Summer Camp?”
If you’re in the latter category or are just on the fence about shelling out the dough, let this article be an inspiration, if nothing else. Please come join the party. As a disclaimer, this writer does not make money from ticket sales nor will he if sales increase as a result of the statements contained herein, so please don’t treat this as a long-winded advertisement. Instead, please accept this as a friendly invitation to The Boogie.
Given five words, what is the best way to describe Summer Camp? How would one provide the utmost meaning and deepest imagery, without losing meaning on useless prepositions? How would one convey the feeling of Scamp, without wasting a single breath? In an attempt to provide the supreme explanation, the greatest rationalization, and the most scintillating justification, these words have been chosen wisely:
Alright, so 5 words may have been a lie. But, technically, they’re hyphenated, so it kind of counts. Regardless, and without opening an English book, one thing can be agreed upon. THERE WILL NOT BE A SINGLE MOMENT WITHOUT GOOD MUSIC.
To support this statement, here is a sample schedule to give an idea of what the weekend could be like. It isn’t an ultimate schedule for everyone or even anyone for that matter. It is just a possibility. And, as every soul is different, there is no right or wrong way to Scamp it, unless you don’t see who you truly want to. The sample schedule reads:
Thursday, May 22nd:
Blue Fruit Snacks (1:30p)
Cosby Sweater (6:30p)
Funky Junk (7:00p)
Future Rock (9:30p)
Manic Focus (11:00p)
Digital Tape Machine (12:45a)
Friday, May 23rd:
The Diggity (12:00p)
Umphrey’s McGee (1:30p)
Victor Wooten Band (3:45p)
Slightly Stoopid (5:30p)
Robotic Pirate Monkey (6:00p)
Blues Traveler (7:00p)
Umphrey’s McGee (7:45p)
Beats Antique (9:00p)
UV Hippo (10:00p)
The Motet (2:00a)
Saturday, May 24th:
The Floozies (12:00p)
Future Rock (2:00p)
Greensky Bluegrass (3:45p)
The Devil Makes Three (4:45p)
Keller Williams (5:30p)
G. Love & Special Sauce (6:45p)
Break Science (8:00p)
Umphrey’s McGee (9:00p)
The Werks (10:00p)
Umphrey’s McGee (11:00p)
Sunday, May 25th:
Umphrey’s McGee (1:00p)
Yonder Mountain String Band (2:30p)
Zac Brown Band (4:30p)
Trey Anastasio Band (7:00p)
Wolfgang Gartner (8:15p)
Trey Anastasio Band (9:00p)
Russ Liquid (3:00a)
To repeat again, THERE WILL NOT BE A MOMENT WITHOUT GOOD MUSIC.
How can one truly say that there will be no moment without good tunes when the stages will inevitably come to a close each night as the microphones and amplifiers are eventually turned off? Quite easily, actually, because Summer Camp curiously happens to be populated by people like… you. Guitarists, percussionists, singers, and composers. Producers, DJ’s, songwriters, and storytellers. Artists, hoopers, contortionists, and dancers. In sum, all of the ingredients needed for a “let’s-keep-this-sh**-raging-‘till-the-sun-comes-up” gumbo that just refuses to quit. Need some examples of how this could play out?
Exhibit A: The Dub Wagon. If you are reading this and the mythical wonder of The Dub Wagon is your creation, please accept sincere apologies for the impromptu name given to the beautiful beast that you’ve wholeheartedly unleashed upon us in years past. No offense is meant by the nickname if any is taken. Essentially, The Dub Wagon is a cart of sorts, piled high with speakers, lights, and all things that glow in the night. It has been known to walk the grounds, late at night, once the grip of darkness has taken over the campground. Growls, womps, and sub-bass can be heard emanating from within its depths. And, if you’re in the right place at the right time, it will come and catch you.
Described in a more straightforward manner, The Dub Wagon is a pushcart that wanders Summer Camp, blasting beats from the late night until the early morning buzz of chatter. Processions have formed, as they will again, wandering slowly behind like zombies, unwilling to give up on the night as they make their way through the camps.
Exhibit B: Jam sessions. Acoustics will be strummed and djembes will be played, hopefully to the accompaniment of a drunken poet and the occasional smiling soul. If you’re lucky enough, you might come across a DJ SOLO/Fresh Hops percussionist tag team jam. It’s happened before, and who’s to say that history won’t repeat itself?
All in all, Summer Camp is a tasty smorgasbord of music, workshops, and more. Whether is jam, folk, rock, house, dubstep, or bluegrass that gets your dance juice flowing, you’ll find it in Chillicothe. It will be a weekend tunes, dancing, singing, and drinking. A weekend of smiling, laughing, and love. Hugs will be had and good times felt. In short, it will be an unforgettable weekend, if only we can remember it.
Cosby Sweater has a new EP and they’re ready to party with you and your dad.
It’s almost wrong to call the three-piece livetronica band “local” these days, despite their varied beginnings in Indy’s music scene. In just two short years the band has grown from being a coincidental side project to a nationally touring and recognized name.
For such a young band, their list of accomplishments is great; Cosby Sweater has shared the stage with Umphrey’s McGee, Lotus, Deltron 3030, EOTO, Conspirator and performed at a plethora of top national festivals. On July 13th, 2012 they launched their first official release Hey Girl Hey.
On Tuesday April 15th Cosby Sweater will add another notch to their list of achievements with the debut of their new EP Party Dad. All six tracks (clocking in at just over 30 minutes) are infectiously danceable, making it impossible not to groove along with the winding, sensual saxophone melodies and ultra-accessible beats. It’s a fun, albeit short, trip with the trio that seems to end no sooner than it got started.
Cosby Sweater saxophonist Nick Gerlach explains, “This release is an EP so it is designed to be a little shorter. We have enough music ready for a full length release but we felt that these six tracks would be best for this EP. We have some other tracks ready for another EP that we may release soon.”
Three new full-length tracks open the album, each delivering loads of nostalgic synths accentuated with perpetually present sax, distant vocal samples, quirky sound effects, and smooth rhythm to keep it all going.
Fans will be surprised (perhaps delighted) to see special re-releases of “Open Mouth Kiss” and “Hole”, each so conspicuously reworked that they’re being included as part of the Party Dad release.
Gerlach commented on the songs’ inclusion, “Those two particular songs are from our first album and were recorded and released very early in the lifespan of the group. I personally feel the updated versions make the tunes sound better and more relevant. While they’re both recognizable, they will still seem fresh to those that have been listening to Cosby Sweater since the beginning.”
Cosby Sweater frequently experiments with mood and tempo changes, shifting from psychedelic space adventures to blissful daydreaming to electric bump-and-grinding- the latter of which is exquisitely showcased in standout track “Clappin (ft. Jfet)”. Streaming below exclusively on IndyMojo.com, the song channels the group’s innermost trap-inspired tenacity, polished with that special Cosby Sweater flair that simply can’t be duped.
In related news, Cosby Sweater made a bittersweet announcement on the day that recording for Party Dad wrapped. Gerlach again explains, “That was the same day that we announced that [drummer] Sleepy is leaving the group. The juxtaposition of those two events is sort of interesting. It’s the end of one era while also releasing new music and starting a new chapter for the band.”
Gerlach continues, “It will be business as usual in terms of touring and writing new music. We have found a phenomenal new replacement and will be sharing that information with our fans very soon. We will be hitting the festivals hard again this summer and taking every opportunity that is presented to us. One of the highlights of the summer, especially when it comes to our fans in Indianapolis, will be playing at White River supporting Umphrey’s McGee.”
Cosby Sweater, Shy Guy Says, Freddie Bunz & Friendz
Saturday April 19th, 2014
The Vogue Theatre
6259 N. College Ave.
Deltron 3030’s second album, Event II, is set 10 years after their debut album, in the year 3040, paralleling the time it took to be released. Set in a scientifically fictional dystopian society, the scene is set with the album’s first track, a monologue by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He explains that the people have begun to collapse under the weight of economic despair and anarchy is inevitable. However, there is a glimpse of hope, the return of Deltron Zero and Automator.
What ensues is an interpretation of modern day problems given a futuristic twist. For those who are familiar with the original Deltron 3030 album, it is immediately apparent that they did not want to take many risks on the sequel. The tracks on Event II sound like they could have been a part of the original album, which is not a bad thing. Dan the Automator is once again on point, creating catchy tracks that transcend your typical hip-hop beats and give the album a cinematic feel. Del’s signature rambling conversational verses seem effortless and are much more impressive than the solo material he has released as of late and Kid Koala’s scratching is as good as ever.
Like the first album, Event II has a number of skits featuring the older generation lamenting on how things were in their time. These skits worked well on the first album but feel forced and out of place this time around. The skits with David Cross fall flat and the song by the Lonely Island Boys is only moderately amusing.
The latter two thirds of the album feature a variety of guests including Zach de la Rocha, Emily Wells and Damon Albarn. This helps the album diversify from its typical sound and it is nice to hear Rage Against the Machine’s front man screaming on a new track.
Oddly, the track that stood out the most is, “What is This Loneliness,” which features Damon Albarn of Blur, and Casual. The production on this track is top-notch and Albarn’s haunting vocals create the perfect chorus. Casual’s verses on this track were the best on the entire album and Event II could have benefited from having a few more guest rappers.
The album concludes with a nostalgic look back at better times, “when love meant love.” Deltron’s rapping over the hook, “do you remember,” by Jamie Cullum ends the album on a serious note, leaving the listener with a sense of despair while they reminisce about the way they saw the world as a child.
The theme of looking back to the past, which is lyrically consistent on the album, is also fitting for the album itself. Event II sounds like it could have been made a decade ago but is worth a listen nonetheless.
You can listen to the album below. If you like what you hear, Delton 3030 will be performing at the Vogue Theatre on October 18th with Cosby Sweater.
Doors: 8:00 pm / Show 9:00 pm
To residents of Indianapolis, the name “Rusty Redenbacher” is associated with many great things. From his collaborative efforts with The Mudkids, ATFU and Birdmen of Alcatraz to his solo work as an on-air personality on various local media outlets- Redenbacher has been an active pioneer of the Naptown music scene for over 20 years.
Most recently, Redenbacher enjoyed a large and interactive following in his role as the Friday night radio host on Indy’s R&B radio station WTLC 106.7. Like fellow Indy stations WHHH (Hot 96.3), WNOU (Radio Now 100.9), and now-defunct TV station IMC TV, WTLC-FM is owned and operated by Radio One, who is in turn owned by parent company Interactive One. Despite the local stations’ best efforts to cater to the particular wants and needs of their respective Midwestern markets, it is inevitable that the antics of any corporate conglomerate eventually trickle downstream to those least removed from them.
On Tuesday October 1st Redenbacher found himself an unfortunate victim of such antics. With no warning, reprimands, or opportunity to identify and correct his mistakes, Redenbacher’s two-year stint at WTLC was terminated. Management cited a “zero tolerance policy” as the cause for his dismissal, referencing the airing of a single track, “Siracha” by local group Cosby Sweater, as the root of the problem.
WTLC took issue with the song for multiple reasons. The track apparently was not “in rotation” a.k.a. cleared by the radio station to play on air. The track was supposedly not appropriate for airplay because it does not fit WTLC’s R&B format. The final issue stems from a promotional conflict of interest, as Redenbacher does, indeed, rap on the track.
As any rational human being who is grateful for their job would declare, Redenbacher makes it clear that there was no ulterior motive or devious intent behind his actions. “If I knew I was doing something wrong, I wouldn’t have done it!” he exclaims. His counterpoints to the details of the “zero tolerance policy” are that a.) he has played tracks not in rotation before; b.) he has played non-format (specifically hip hop) tracks in the past; and c.) he was not attempting to promote or endorse the track for his own personal gain. “If I was trying to be sly about it, why would I have tweeted it [from WTLC’s Twitter account]? Why would I have retweeted all the positive things the listeners were saying about it?”
Zero tolerance policy or not, anyone with a heart and a brain begins to wonder where the line should be drawn and to what extent leniency should be applied. Redenbacher began his 12 years of service with Radio One as one of the first mixers on Hot 96.3 while also holding down part-time shifts. He then hosted ‘The Rock Block’ on IMC for more than four years. On Labor Day of 2011, he officially began at WTLC, but notes that “all the gigs overlapped too. Slim was working everywhere in that building that they needed me to.”
Over the course of all those years, Redenbacher missed only one shift. “The front wheel of my car fell off and I was sitting in the middle of College Avenue on my way to work!” he recalls. Redenbacher remembers sleeping on the floor of the studio on Christmas day because a blizzard was coming and someone needed to be there at 5 a.m. to start the morning show. And now- after 12 long and happy years of dedication to, and hustle for, Radio One- their “zero tolerance policy” has conveniently given them tunnel vision and grounds for termination because of one wrong move. No second chances, no warnings, no suspensions. Just “give us your keycard” and get out.
Redenbacher makes it clear that he’s not upset with any particular person (especially his direct line of management), but rather the larger corporate entity whom he believes pressured the decision to be made in the first place. “What they want to do,” he says as he stares at me from across the table, looking through the shape of a cube he’s formed with his hands, “is box you in.” He then peeks around the side of his hand-cube and says, “And I’m over here. I play Public Enemy, The Fat Boys, and all kinds of old-school hip-hop. I even played the [Cosby Sweater] song to close out the show two months ago. So I really didn’t think to do it again would get me fired.”
As I listen to Redenbacher talk, I get the sense that what’s the most bothersome about the whole ordeal is the manner in which it was handled- the fact that everything he’s contributed over the years (including integrating his social media following and internet-savvy skillset into WTLC’s online efforts) meant nothing in the end. It’s the fact that the man was blind-sighted with a problem that he was given no time to correct. And most of all- it’s the fact that this is not the first time he’s witnessed it happen to a Radio One employee. “If this was just something that happened to me, I’d be a little crybaby. But I’ve found many emails in my inbox over the years saying [out of the blue], ‘So-and-so no longer works here. We appreciate their service and wish them the best on their future endeavors.’”
Hard feelings aside, Redenbacher insists that he has no regrets. As an admired and respected authority on the Indianapolis music scene, Redenbacher was only fulfilling his duty to shine the spotlight on the local talent that deserves it (check Cosby Sweater’s current touring schedule to see just how much ground their covering in attempt to put Indianapolis music on the map). He only wishes that if he had to get fired that he had done it intentionally and with more purpose, rather than under Radio One’s guise of a “zero tolerance policy” applied unjustly and out of context.
Redenbacher closes our conversation with the following summary:
“The dude they hired because he represents Indianapolis to the fullest was fired for playing one song from an Indianapolis band and if they try to say it was for anything else, they didn’t tell me. I just wanted the people that have been listening to the show to know why I’m not there. It’s cool. Radio doesn’t stop and neither do I. Life goes on. I wish pretty much everyone in that building the best. I woulda told ‘em personally, but obviously, I had to go before I could do so.”
Editors note: At the time of publication, IndyMojo.com’s request for comment from Radio One had not been returned.
Photos courtesy of
The saxophonist & ewi player breaks his nine-year relationship of face-melting funk with The Twin Cats to focus on nationally touring three-piece jamtronica band Cosby Sweater.
Over the past year and a half Cosby Sweater has grown from being a coincidental side project to a nationally touring and recognized name. For such a young band, their list of accomplishments is great; Cosby Sweater has shared the stage with Umphrey’s McGee, Lotus, Digital Tape Machine, Future Rock, and Zoogma and performed at major music festivals such as Electric Forest, Camp Bisco, and Summer Camp.
The band’s success has not come without growing pains, however. Nick Gerlach, saxophonist and ewi player for Cosby Sweater, recently made the decision to call it quits with The Twin Cats in order to make what used to be a side gig his full priority. The announcement was made public just days before The Twin Cats would play their last set together as a five-piece at Hyperion Music Festival in Spencer, IN.
Below, Nick tells the story of how Cosby Sweater came to be and the remaining members of The Twin Cats reflect on the past while looking forward to future opportunities.
MOJO: Let’s discuss the evolution of Cosby Sweater. Where was the first seed planted?
NG: Do you remember before Altered Thurzdaze?
MOJO: That was a long time ago.
NG: I know. But Dave [Embry] & Ashton [Kleeman] used to do this thing every Thursday [at The Mousetrap] as Embryonic Fluid. I would sit in with them from time to time and I kind of already knew Dave. One time Ashton couldn’t do one of their gigs at The Mousetrap in October two years ago. So Dave was like, “Why don’t you come play in place of Ashton?” Sleepy played that first gig with us, too. Dave was like, “We need a drummer,” and I was like, “I’ve got a guy. It went really well so we started working together and called it Lach of Fluid. Remember?
NG: I gave him some stuff I made on the computer and he made it way better. I’m more of a writer and he’s a producer and does a ton of writing, too. So for about three months we had just been hanging out and making music just for fun. Then then later in March Magnetic was having his first CD release party and he asked Dave to open and Dave was like, “Let’s do it!”
MOJO: So, the first time you played as Lach of Fluid?
NG: Yes and this second time we were like, “We need a better name,” and I was like, “Let’s call it Cosby Sweater.”
MOJO: Had you been just keeping that band name in you back pocket?
NG: No, I just thought of it one day in the car. I used to think it was cool back in the day and it’s probably something that’s always been in the back of my mind because I love The Cosby Show.
MOJO: What kind of responses did you get?
NG: Jason King was like, “I’ll give you 200 dollars if you play as Cosby Sweater instead of Lach of Fluid.” He wasn’t going to pay us because we were just opening and then he said, “If you play as Cosby Sweater, I’ll give you 200 bucks.”
We played that gig with Magnetic and it went really well. We kept making songs. *snaps fingers* And then we opened for Zoogma a couple weeks later, and Zoogma is with Madison House. What I’m thinking is that they saw our name on the bill and thought, “What’s this? That’s a cool name,” and checked out the music.
NG: They approached us. And then I was like, “Sooo, now we need a manager.” Our manager is Dan Rucinski and he lives in Chicago. He’s in Digital Tape Machine. He manages Strange Arrangement and Eumatik…
MOJO: So how did you know Dan Rucinski?
NG: Just from the scene. He books The Twin Cats. I like how he worked. So all that happened and we signed with Madison House, which is really weird because we’ve done three gigs [at that point]. So we’re really lucky.
MOJO: Three gigs in?
NG: Yea. We’re probably the luckiest band ever. Then they started booking us gigs. We were making music, we put out an album. It turns out me and Dave are pretty good at making music together.
MOJO: So it just started snowballing?
NG: It started snowballing. There was nothing I could do about it. It was weird. It was almost embarrassing. I almost felt bad for my other friends that are musicians. But then on the other hand, I’ve been busting my ass for like, ten years.
MOJO: Right. So all along the time you’re kind of managing all your other stuff on the side?
NG: Right. So because DR books Twin Cats he was like, “Alright. I’m gonna balance this out.” And at first it was cool. Last summer Cosby Sweater wasn’t nearly as busy because we were still getting out there.
MOJO: Still kind of a 50/50 split?
NG: 50/50, maybe even more Twin Cats than Cosby Sweater. Last fall was about the same and then in the spring we started getting really busy because we were going farther.
MOJO: You credit that to Madison House?
NG: I credit that to everybody involved. A booking agent is essentially a sales person. They can’t sell a bad product. They have connections, but I credit all involved. Not just the manager and the booking agent- but they are definitely a catalyst in how fast it went.
So they’re based in Colorado and they were getting us shows out there and then all the festival stuff started popping up. You saw our fall tour; it’s ridiculous. There’s no way I could play in another band. So I sat down with The Twin Cats [to talk]. The fall tour hadn’t really been booked yet, I was just warning them. I was like, “I have to make Cosby Sweater a priority.” This is an opportunity that I just… if I say no, ten years from now I’ll be kicking myself.
MOJO: How recently was this?
NG: This was back in June when I really saw what was going on. Then the fall tour came out and I had to miss Kammy’s Kause. There was a Mousetrap show the next weekend and I was booked for that, too. And then I saw we were booked on Halloween I was like, “Okay, I can’t do this anymore.” It’s just not fair to them.
I’m not trying to make it sound like I’m being totally unselfish here- because obviously I’m being a little bit selfish- but you gotta think about yourself sometimes. It’s not like I’m never gonna be seen on stage with them again but for the time being, I’m out of the band.
MOJO: What was their reaction?
NG: They’re supportive. They’re happy for me. No one’s mad at me. No one hates me.
MOJO: How long have you been in the band?
NG: Nine years. That’s longer than my parents were married, you know? It’s cool. They’re not like, talking shit behind my back. It helped that I sat down and talked with them face-to-face.
MOJO: So you’ve been with The Twin Cats for nine years. And Cosby Sweater is a year and a half old. And look what’s happened. What’s different that kept The Twin Cats from making that leap?
NG: One thing is that the Cosby Sweater style of music right now is a little more marketable. Not better, but more marketable. There’s more of a market for that; those are people who are paying to go see things. Also, Madison House is super connected. So they’re putting us out there, but when we go to those gigs we are delivering and we’re getting asked to come back. You’ve seen the photos from Electric Forest. I mean, Madison House can get you the gig, but they can’t get 2,500 people to your set. It’s not that people didn’t like The Twin Cats; I think it has to do with the style of music.
MOJO: Right. It’s part of the EDM bubble.
NG: One thing that I like about Cosby Sweater is that it’s not just straight-up DJ stuff. We’re still a band, too. So I think we have a good chance of lasting. We have some staying power. And we write so damn much music. We released two EPs and two LPs in a year. So we’re doing the work, too.
So going back to The Twin Cats- they’re all cool. Some people will naturally have more of a problem than others. But they were a band before me, too. I think people forget this. I was the last guy in.
MOJO: How long had they been around before you?
NG: A long time. I don’t know. Since high school. They’ve just always been doing stuff as The Twin Cats no matter who the band is because that’s their band name. The twins are The Twin Cats. So it’s cool and it’s going to be seriously a great time tomorrow. We rehearsed yesterday and I was like, “I’m picking the set list.” We’re not doing any covers. Just gonna play some tunes that I like playing. It’ll be classic Twin Cats.
I’m sure it will be emotional but, you know, it wasn’t a hard decision. People think it was a hard decision but it wasn’t. I’ve been wanting to be a full-time musician since I was 15 years old. I’m 32 years old now. I don’t have time to wait for opportunities. I have to take the opportunities that are given to me before all my hair falls out.
I like the music, too. It’s not like I’m just doing it for the gigs. I really like the music. It’s cool to do something different musically. As much as I love The Twin Cats and I love that music- and I’ll never not love it- after a while you want to change it up.
MOJO: You gotta keep setting the bar higher, too.
NG: Yes, exactly. I don’t even know exactly what my goals are, but I know they’re not to play in the Midwest.
MOJO: A lot of people are okay with local fame.
NG: And that’s not even a bad thing. There has to be people like that. It’s like an ecosystem.
MOJO: It’s like a cycle, too.
NG: People have to quit after a while so people can take their place. Just like any business.
MOJO: That’s one of the things I’m most excited to ask The Twin Cats is, “What does the future hold?”
NG: This is an opportunity for them.
MOJO: It’s an opportunity for them to evolve and I’m excited to see what they come up with.
NG: I know they’re gonna do a couple shows and then they’re gonna take a little break, I think, for the rest of the fall. Probably reorganize. Phil’s gonna get married. Seth just got engaged. Everybody’s growing up in the band, you know? I’m not growing up. I’m gonna do this while they grow up.
MOJO: Finally, what are some of your special or favorite Twin Cats memories?
NG: The blatantly obvious one was the ESPN show. I don’t even need to say it.
All the Halloweens. Especially the first couple Halloweens, when it first started being a thing.
MOJO: What was your favorite Halloween costume?
NG: Well, it’s hard because we didn’t always do themes. Sometimes we’d just all do our own thing. I think my personal favorite of mine was “guy caught in a windstorm”. I put a wire in my tie.
The first Summercamp was a good memory. It was in ’07. We were playing the camping stage. No one was there but it was like, “Finally we’re playing a big festival.”
The Werkout last year. I think it’s the best set we ever played, musically. I think it was like textbook Twin Cats. Funky, raw, rockin’ out. We’re not the most polished band- we, they, whatever it is now. I think there’s a rock element. Maybe not in a punk rock way, but just raw. That was just a raw set. That’s one of my favorite sets, musically, especially in the last year.
So the ESPN gigs. For some reason last year’s Werkout is always gonna stick out to me. The first Summercamp. And all the Halloweens. Oh- and that Mousetrap show when we got back from tour after we got robbed. That tour was fucking crazy and there’s no other way to put it.
The Twin Cats’ Adam Catron, Seth Catron, and Phil Geyer reflect on the past while looking forward to future opportunities
MOJO: I’m curious if you’ve given much thought to what happens next in The Twin Cats.
SETH: Basically, we know where he lives so… there’s got to be some kind of transition, you know? It’s like The Bloods and The Crips.
ADAM: There’s always going to be rivalry. Gotta be gangster.
SETH: Yeah, we’re gonna duke it out in the streets and be like The Sharks and The Jets. It is on.
ADAM: We’ve talked about it and, you know, we were The Twin Cats before Nick so it’s just like we were before Nick joined the band. It kind of gives a little bit more space for everything but yeah- we’re going to keep rockin’.
PHIL: We’ve got some shows for the remainder of the year. At some points we’ll be doing four-piece stuff, at some points we’ll do some sit-ins with special guests and things like that.
SETH: Obviously, it’s going to be a different show. There are certain things that we’re going to bring back. We’re going to be playing stuff that we’ve been writing. It’s going to be real new and interesting. Every time there’s a change in the band, there’s that transition period. We’re doing some really cool stuff as a four-piece.
MOJO: You’ve been practicing as a four-piece?
ADAM: We did Kammy’s Kause as a four-piece and it went over really well. Like I said, we were The Twin Cats before Nick. We’re all used to playing with each other. We’re going to fill in the gaps here and there with different people.
SETH: Yea, we’ve got some people sitting in with us. There are some really good jazz chops from some of the players we’re getting in. I’m not a jazz soloist but it’s one of those things that I think fits our sound. I could do one jazz solo and then somebody else has got to take the next one. *laughs*
PHIL: I think it depends on the exact situation of the music but sometimes in the four-piece one of the remaining four steps up and fills the void (or tries to anyways… Nick made a lot of noise) other times you just do some minor rearrangements of the song to kind of smooth it out and make it more applicable to a four-piece band. As far as long term future I think we’re still kind of playing it by ear at this point. We don’t really have something set in stone necessarily.
ADAM: It’s going to give us a good opportunity to write some more stuff. We’ve kinda become known for having people sit in, too- like Rusty and Skittles [aka] Skitz and the guys from The Breakdown Kings, different horn players. Open it up for us to have a horn section some nights; just completely different. Bring out the horn section for a couple songs or something like that. So it really is kind of opening things up for us.
MOJO: So is everything cool between everyone?
MOJO: When you look back and the whole nine years flash before your eyes, what moments stand out?
Looking ahead, The Twin Cats predict an R&B/soul movement converging with the jam scene in the near future. It’s a sound they feel their special blend of funk and jazz is especially conducive to. Be on the lookout in coming months for one-off sets with a revolving list of special guests as The Twin Cats open a new chapter of experimentation and rediscovery.
And as for Gerlach and Cosby Sweater? They’ll be in a town near you soon.