Just minutes after finishing sound check at the Westcott Theater on Thursday, November 11, 2010, Jason Hann drummer from EOTO took a few minutes to give LostinSound.org an exclusive interview. Taking place in the upstairs room of the Westcott, Hann gave us his insight on the direction of EOTO moving forward, New Years plans, future String Cheese plans and a lot more. LostinSound would like to thank Jason Hann and Michael Travis for their cooperation and good vibes before, during, and after the show Thursday night in Syracuse, New York. We hope to have you back up here soon.
Big ups to Matt Elias for his help throughout the night. Video clips from the night will be up soon as well, so be sure to come back and check it out.
You just finished up Hulaween, playing with both EOTO and String Cheese Incident. What was it like to be able to play two completely separate genres, and in all essence become your own after party?
Jason Hann: I like it a lot, especially playing all the different types of genres in one evening. String Cheese by itself goes through so many different genres, and then to close out the night late-night, ya know, sorta DJ madness, dubstep, breakbeat madness, really good. In playing music, I really live for the variety of stuff… great weekend.
Since EOTO has begun, you have basically revolutionized live electronic dubstep music. Can we expect EOTO to try and branch out and experiment with even more styles and sounds over the next few years?
JH: Yeah, what we started doing, even this past week, is trying to make a commitment to using a lot of the same sounds we use for dubstep for different tempos, like house music and hip hop stuff, and just to bring the really nasty sounds to those genres. In doing that it’s making us play those styles a little different.
What kind of music have you been listening to recently that you can say has been somewhat of an inspiration to you?
JH: When we’re on tour we don’t necessarily drive with the radio cranked, its more quiet time ’cause we play so much music. We all get our MP3 players going and I like Nit Grit’s last CD, that was really good, Skrillex has been really good, I still like all my world fusion music… So really, a lot of variety of things has been inspiring me.
EOTO is known as a 100% live improv band. Before a show, how do you and Michael Travis prepare?
JH: We just go up there, we may not even see each other till we go up to the stage and really we just wing it. Recently, instead of starting with dubstep, which we started almost every night with, we start in another little genre and then bring it back.
What is it that keeps you touring with EOTO full time over String Cheese?
JH: String Cheese just doesn’t want to be a touring group right now. Some people want to be playing a lot more than others. For the balance of the group, King just had a baby; Kyle’s child is still really young, so it’s hard to say. At least what we’ve all agreed on is that we’ll be a little bit busier next year than we were this year. But still, staying with the theme of having really big weekends, and usually hosting them and really making them count, is special.
In 2009 the Fire the Lazers EP was released. Is there any plan for another recording coming out any time in the near future?
JH: Oh yeah, absolutely. We actually have about 10 songs we did over the summer, but we have to record it in a different way. Before, we used to be able to get all our tracks on one computer, now we use two computers so they have to be mini synched together, transfer the files over… its just a little bit more complicated. All the time we have on the road, we just don’t necessarily spend synching it all up. We do really need to do that on some of these drives, just when we’re out on the road, it’s about trying to get some sleep whenever possible.
What makes Syracuse, and more specifically The Westcott Theater, a regular stop for you guys on tour, when maybe some other band may skip over the area?
JH: These bands are totally missing out. We’ve been coming up here since the Westcott opened, and it’s been slow and steady growth here. Every time we get here we are so rewarded by the energy that comes back from the fans. It seems like the people who end up coming back are even more rabid then before, they want more and we want to give it to them. At this point there has been so much work put into it, and too great an audience to not include it in every tour.
Right now there is no New Years Show announced. If you guys decide to play, is there anywhere you have your sights set on?
JH: I can probably say it, last we left it off at, we just haven’t announced yet. We’re going to do New Years in Denver; Sound Tribe is playing that same night across town. The people who are promoting our show are almost exclusive, that’s the super dubstep scene in Denver. Sound Tribe is going to get a lot more jam electronica fans… I think a lot more of the really hardcore dubstep fans are going to be at our show. It’s going to be down at City Hall.
You have already done so much in your career as a musician. What other goals do you have for yourself and for EOTO going forward?
JH: The thing that continues to be fresh about EOTO is the fact that there is so much endless exploration to be had with it. We still feel like we’re just scratching the surface of what’s available for us technology wise, and what we can make happen on stage. I know Travis just got a new keyboard, a Roland Gaia keyboard for this tour, and its become his new favorite thing that he gets all the sounds off. Programming it and making it happen, and I added an auto tune feature so I can go T-Pain at any moment. Also thinking about some other things I can throw in there, from other raps, some Busta Rhymes, I threw in some Mary Jane Girls the other night in Buffalo… Turns out, one of the security guys had been Rick James‘ bodyguard for like 15 years and he loved that I threw that in there. Even if nobody else got it, that’s the shit, I like it. Just these little gems, they’re all gems in there, you just kinda have to look for it to find it all.