JAMBASE: But you understand why people ask, of course.
[Photo By: Robert Chapman]
SM: Yes. You mentioned we did those 2010 shows and those were amazing. We do talk
about ways we
could play together and even ways we could record together. He’s only in the States a few
times a year, but we do try
to line things up and hopefully we can line up something in the future. We do different
things now but I hold Charlie
in the highest esteem as a guitar player and friend.
JAMBASE: Fair enough. Talk about the new songs you’ve been writing with Ben,
Brandon and Clay. What do
they sound like, especially to folks who know the Particle sound and have been around for
more than a decade?
SM: It’s definitely still a lot of high-energy dance music, meant to pack a punch.
We carry a lot of
momentum, and the idea is still to get people on their feet and dancing. But I also think
there a lot of new songs that
show a more evolved songwriting style. Don’t get me wrong: these songs will take it to 11
every night. But we’ve also
slowed some down so we have a better balance of 100 BPM breakbeat, electronic stuff and
stuff that’s more groove-
We have some songs we plan to open up with the intention of adding lyrics. I think toward
the start of the tour,
they’ll be instrumentals but as we solidify them and add lyrics and workshop a lot of
these songs, we’ll figure out if
they can be structured for vocals, too.
I think overall we have about 15 new songs written and about ready to go and another 10 to
15 in various states of
completion. Some are less about solos and more about a group dynamic. Some have the
classic Particle high-energy
banging electro feel. Some are downtempo.
JAMBASE: Are you looking past this tour to what’s next for Particle? Are you guys
back full time you think?
SM: I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but on a macro level, the answer
is yes. On a micro level,
we just want to take it day by day and show by show. We’re ambitious enough to say we’re
going to put out one,
maybe two albums this year. We have more than 40 dates on the books and we’re going to add
more, and I’m sure
we’ll be out at summer festivals. We’re planning a big fall tour.
So yeah, we’re all thinking about the future and how to not only get back into but stay in
the swing of things. I really
missed this feeling of putting the work in. We have to make sure the Particle embers stay
lit and burning. We all have
the fire and passion, so we’re just so thrilled to be hitting the road again. I think we
all really believe in each other.
JAMBASE: It’s great to hear and it’s great to have you back. While I have you
Steve, I know you do have
many other commitments, particularly scoring video games but also with other bands. I want
to ask you about a few
of them, starting with Rich Robinson. You seemed to hit on something playing with Rich in
his solo band and now the
Crowes are once again on hiatus. Are you going to be playing with Rich again?
SM: That was a great band, and I’m looking forward to playing with it again. We did
record some tracks for
a new album, and while I’m not 100 percent sure, I think Rich is still finishing that up.
I don’t know what his plans are
but I really hope to play more shows with that band. He just came off a really busy year
with the Crowes so we’ll see
what happens next. Rich is one of my favorite songwriters and guitarists on the planet.
JAMBASE: Another one I hear fans talk about a lot is Headtronics. Is there more
Headtronics the future?
SM: Yes, and we’ve talked about doing a bunch more shows this year. Freekbass is
going to be opening
about 10 to 15 tour dates for Particle this spring – his group is doing the Midwest with
us. I’m sure once we’ve been
hanging again for a few weeks we’ll get the creative wheels turning and we’ll call DJ
Logic and put some plans in
JAMBASE: The other one I’ll mention is Phil & Friends. You were an active Friend
from 2004 to about 2008
and I know you’ve sat in with him and with Furthur a few times since. Are you in frequent
touch with Phil?
SM: We try to hang whenever I’m in San Francisco or he’s in New York and we have
definitely talked about
doing some things at Terrapin Crossroads. That’s another one of those things where it’s
all about finding the time in
the schedules. But we have been talking about how to line something up. That’s always such
experience. The people who play with Phil always leave those gigs with more than they came
with. You asked about
my plans for the future, and that Phil is still doing it at his age is an inspiration.
That’s what I want to do – go that