In just a few days Particle rolls into the city by the Bay to wrap up a country crossing tour that has given them only four nights in the last three months in their own beds. From two super buzz generating appearances at the Bonnaroo Festival to shows with Les Claypool to a small run down the West Coast, Particle is rapidly becoming one of those bands you hear people talking about at shows everywhere.

Three special elements anoint this particular show: The giddy release of a tour’s end, the vibe of San Francisco itself and a marathon late night set that happens to fall on a Friday the 13th. A Particle live experience is always charged with the kind of passion & intensity that recordings only hint at but with these extra elements thrown in audiences are likely to participate in something truly special this Friday.

Risking life and limb, drummer Darren Pujalet spoke with JamBase from the topsy turvey back end of their tour bus.

JamBase: You guys are getting real well known for your late night gigs, what’s so special about these dawn breaking shows for Particle?

Photo by Earl Gardner
Darren Pujalet (DP): The late night creates a completely different musical environment than people are used to. People have had a long day and by the time they see us they’ve really left a lot behind. Usually the crowd is really into the music and the musicians are so excited to play. You can let your hair down in a different way. When you play a late night you don’t have to worry about time as much. If a song is a 10-minute song on average then it might become a 20-minute sonic voyage that takes on a new shape or new vision no one has seen before. And it really allows us to dance and get more intimate with the music. We play really well when we’re a little sleep deprived. A little quirky, real relaxed, very adventurous.

JamBase: Do you find that you fall back on less of your standard musical tricks when you’re sleepy like this?

DP: What happens when we’re sleep deprived is we let go of that bag of tricks. We let things make their own space instead of worrying about where it’s going. This is the time when if we want to play a 20-minute ambient groove song we can let it roll and be free and breathe. We’re free to improvise a lot more. It’s a forum to experiment.

JamBase: San Francisco seems like a special city for Particle. What’s unique about this place for you?

DP: San Francisco has made such a big mark on our career because we played our very first gig there on a boat cruise. So, our origin is there. The beat of San Francisco, the lifestyle of the place is in our blood. We always look to San Francisco as our first stepping-stone, the place we slingshot our career out of.

JamBase: One last question. What’s the difference between ‘space porn’ and regular porn (Particle themselves have used the term ‘space porn’ to describe their sound on a number of occasions)?

DP: When you think of ‘70s porn the music, it’s very funky, very groove oriented. It’s synonymous with music like Barry White or even Parliament. When you encapsulate that idea with ‘space’ you get more ethereal & ambient soundscapes that add a more electronic flavor to it. We’re a funk band with a lot of electronic overtones and obviously really really high-octane energy.

Darren goes on to tell me that every single night when they come off stage people ask them how they do it. Their affection for the music fuels them and pushes them to give everything they have each time the lights go down on the crowd. They possess a sound that seems to go beyond their own limits when they play and in turn inspires audiences to push their boundaries an inch or two to fully absorb what they are laying down.

Particle plays this Friday night, September 13, at Studio Z @ Transmission Theatre, across from Slim’s and the DNA Lounge on 11th Street. Advance tickets are available here. DJ Motion Potion will open the festivities at 9:30 PM and the band plans to play until approximately 5 am on Saturday morning.

This is a 21 and up show but the Particle’s two-year anniversary at Knitting Factory West in Los Angeles on October 5th will be an all ages show. Both events are perfect opportunities to shake your bag o’ bones and watch a new sun climb over the California skyline.

Dennis Cook
JamBase | San Francisco
Go See Live Music!

[Published on: 9/10/02]

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