Tag Archives: EOTO

EOTO at The Blockley Pourhouse, 10/15/2011

Standard

You might think that Jason Hann and Michael Travis from String Cheese Incident are used to packed venues and scalped tickets, but with their small side project EOTO, they’re right back to humble beginnings at the local venue. Even after the performance at Electric Forest you would think that their show would be beyond sold out, but bands don’t typically blow up like that, and though they may have experienced fame with SCI, EOTO is no exception.

EOTO, forgive the quality, taken with a droid.

On Saturday night, after Philly favorites DAMN RIGHT! opened the show, the Blockley Pourhouse was slowly filling up with ravers and Dead heads alike, plus your average college party seekers, who definitely came to the right place. It’s these kind of bands that give local acts hope, and DAMN RIGHT!’s 3 part jamtronica dance music was the perfect compliment to EOTO’s style.  The young musicians seemed honored when Travis and Hann came on stage to start setting up their gear, and the house was more than ready for them.

Jason Hann

They started off on a fast note, immediately diving into their untz-ier material and setting an almost rave-like vibe for the night. Throughout the set, Jason’s beats stayed at a quick tempo and he treated the crowd to a lot of high hat action. Michael broke out his bass and dug into a few heavy lines, but it seemed like they were figuring out their sound and balance over the course of the set. Not so much between each other- they were smiling and their parts were flowing seamlessly- but in setting the sound levels and figuring out the space apparently took more time than usual.

Michael Travis, barefoot 🙂

True to form, the late crowd finally made their way to the Blockley by set break and had the building filled. Pleasantly, glows ticks and flashy toys did not overwhelm me, but their presence was noticed and I supposed may have been missed at an event like this. And, as soon as second set started, the sound was crisp and clear, unlike in the first set. EOTO went mellow to start back up, and everyone in the house seemed to love the smooth grooves they were getting into. Airy and spacey, the set reminded me of their original name, End Of Time Observatory- E.O.T.O..

EOTO

The set ended fairly abruptly- no encore, no lingering on stage, it was just over. The gorgeous visuals that danced behind Hann and Travis, the swooping lights, and the throbbing crowd simply ceased and that was that. Besides getting a coat stolen and one obvious incident of too many drugs, the scene was very positive and safe. The Blockley will see me again, and I will definitely be seeing EOTO again, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Jason Hann Interview IN FULL!

Standard

SOOO As Promised- the whole interview! Edited for your listening player and set to a live EOTO show from July 10, 2010 in Louisville, KY. Please excuse me clickclickclicking away in the background, I compulsively type responses to questions as they happen, though I hear now that I should just wait to transcribe until after the interview. Live and learn, folks! I’m trying. SO HERE IT IS!

Jason Hann Interview!

Standard

Here it is folks! My interview with Jason Hann of EOTO and the String Cheese Incident, transcribed for your reading pleasure. WARNING: It is NOT transcribed in full. These are partial answers to partial questions that I could type as we had a regular speed conversation. For the FULL LENGTH INTERVIEW, check back tomorrow under The Weekend Trip tag and I’ll have it up for you, PLUS a few great bands for you to check out and new tracks from your favorite artists. ENJOII

Jason Hann behind his kit and congas. 

When did you start playing drums?

I started playing about 30 years ago and my dad is a musician too from Miami. He got a gig 5 days a week starting at 3 pm at a marina, so I could come home from school and go check it out. I did some choir and piano lessons, but it wasn’t to be a musician, but I just had access to it. When my dad started playing close to me that’s when I started thinking I would want to be like these famous musicians he was playing with. I had my first conga drums when I was 11 and about a year later I had learned all his songs and his drummer was out so he asked me to do it. He wasn’t sure if I could do it but I was, so I went for it and it was pretty amazing. That became my summer job for junior high and high school, which in Miami at the time probably wasn’t the best influence, ya know Miami in the 80’s.

Who did you first play with professionally?

Some of the more high profile name, Herbie Hancock is one of the most amazing musicians of all time, another singer Vinx I heard of when I was in high school, he did a lot of concerts just voice and drums and he did two years opening for Sting and being in Stings band and when I moved to LA I ran across him and he had me play at his concerts, that was huge for me because I listened to him a lot. I met a lot of players when I moved to LA which was awesome, if its one off shoot gig, or in the studio.

For a full explanation of artists that Jason has worked with, listen to the interview.

When did your interest turn to house and live electronic beats?

As far as groups that I was in or wanted to be in, I never leaned towards electronic beats. I got my first drum machine at 13 and a guy in Miami who produced many great records learned how to program a Limb drum machine. It sounded so realistic that a lot of drummers lost their studio gigs. He was a good friend of my dads before he made that jump and when he did a session with my dad I was blown away with how to program these drum beats, and then later on I was playing with professionals, DJs would ask me to play on records for them, more house music and hip hop, I would be hired to play live percussion but at that time I was into traditional percussion I wanted to travel the world and learn, but EOTO was the first group where I really ventured to do dance music.

The music in traditional settings is not separated from the ceremony or the lyrics or the singing or the dancing, so I learned a lot of songs when I learned the drumming of those cultures. Not necessarily the language but doing it so I could participate and not sound out of place, and now in EOTO there’s enough syllable and rhythmic ideas that I can make my own language and people are intrigued, that’s been fun. And then in general playing electronic dance music is not really the opposite of traditional drum music. Mostly you’re setting up a style of music that is sort of in the same vein, sort of trance-y vibes, and in an indigenous setting it’s the same thing, just a different way. As far as playing wise, I definitely draw from that and watching the dancers move, I get influenced by watching body language and getting people going, not necessarily the intensity of the tradition. Watching people and asking how can I make you dance harder?

How long have you been working with Michael Travis on EOTO?

We’re both in the String Cheese Incident, which I joined in 2004. I sat in with them in 1994 and again in 1996, then he called me out of the blue in 2004 and asked me if I wanted to possibly join the band so I tried that and it worked out. All these guys worked out in Colorado, so when I went out there, I stayed with him and during those times is when we set up and just played around with stuff, and during down time we would listen to internet radio and heard down tempo, fun stuff that we wanted to replicate, all around 2005 and ’06. During that period we got our own set up together and in the beginning of 2006 was the first time something was going to happen, and we were asked to basically open for SCI at one of their shows. We did that few times and it took off from there.

Jason Hann, Michael Travis, and the String Cheese Indicent

How would you describe your partnership?

Well, when we first started we had hand signals, and we could mouth things to one another trying to figure out how to communicate, but as the years have gone by- and we’ve probably played over 700 shows, we’ve just gotten comfortable in the groove. We barely look at each other, and now you can hear when something needs to change or slows down. But if it doesn’t happen naturally, we’re both in such a mode that it just works.

It’s been a mixed thing, we have so many dates, and when we originally started we were so ambitious and people didn’t really think it was a serious project but we wanted to go for it. It took a couple years to get our own crowd and people who didn’t necessarily know who SCI was and were just going for an electronic show and we were doing this right at the time when this whole thing was growing, so we were hungry to keep going and at the time, SCI was broken up as well, so now that SCI is back together and doing more shows, we’re not gonna have time to practice, but like this tour is only 6 weeks, then Halloween no days off, but we have a good solid thing going and we want to see where it takes us.

Why do you think your sound resonates with the jam band scene and has so many crossovers with the jam band fans?

Believe me, there was a time when we didn’t think we could do it. Then all of a sudden you see a few DJs at festivals, like Bassnectar or STS9 and bringing other DJs to showcase late night, now it feels like more of a bridge and there’s all sorts of kids who have never been to a Cheese show, but have been to 12 EOTO shows. Now it feels like it’s come full circle, we have al sorts of new faces and people coming out to the show.

Does EOTO mean anything?

Sure, originally the name was End Of Time Observatory, but we came up with 20 other names that didn’t really work, we were excited about that being our name and a name that long gets shortened always, so our fans actually starting calling it EOTO, and then some Japanese kids came up and told us EOTO means “good sound” in Japanese, in the Philippine language it means good love or something like that, so that feels right, that feels like destiny.

EOTO

For someone who has never seen your live show, what would you tell them to expect?

Well we’re live musicians playing electronic dance music and its gonna have a DJ set feel where the music never stops and we’ll take you on a journey, we keep the vibe going, it’s a full on dance party. You’re gonna hear house, you’re gonna hear jam but its all about getting down as hard as you can and if you watch us, all the music every sound you hear comes from us, its sounds prerecorded it sounds like one guy with records but its just us two, we want a fully realized live electronic set and that’s what were hoping to deliver.