BLURING THE LINES: LOTUS

Lotus explores the intertwining worlds of live electronica and rock on their
new album The Strength Of Weak Ties


Lotus
What happened to the performance in live dance music? We aren't talking about a couple of guys twiddling knobs or accessing prerecorded sound files on their laptops – that's not very live, is it? If you've been searching for a truly live dance act, then we'd like to introduce you Philadelphia's Lotus. This five-piece band is already an underground sensation, and they've sold out countless gigs across the country thanks largely in part to great word of mouth. Lotus' forthcoming third release, The Strength Of Weak Ties, combines the rock edge of live guitars and percussion with the synthetic bleeps and crushing beats of dance music — and it works to a stunning effect. In a live setting, Lotus plays every note; nothing is ever prerecorded. The improvisational nature of the live show leads to a spontaneity and excitement that just can't be achieved by "pushing play." Lotus will embark on their largest North American tour this spring.

Lotus — Steve Clemens, Jesse Miller, Luke Miller, Chuck Morris and Mike Rempel — formed in 1999. Through non-stop touring, Lotus' astonishing instrumental tracks quickly garnered a huge and loyal fan base. Fans started following the act across the country and traded tapes like they were baseball cards. This lead to Lotus' 2002 debut album, VIBES, recorded live in concert during the Fall of 2001. The first pressing of VIBES sold out in February of 2003. Follow-up albums released on Harmonized Records — Germination (2003) and Nomad (2004) — cemented Lotus' close-knit relationship with their fans and provided a tasty appetizer of what was soon to come. The Strength Of Weak Ties blends elements of rock, electronica, jazz, funk, and world music from India, Africa, and Latin America. The album digs deep into musical connections and explores where the familiar meets foreign - glitch-hop programming meets rock 'n' roll drums, overdriven guitars meet overdriven synthesizers, primitive drum machines meet funky back beats, and post-rock meets electronica.

"Musically, we wanted this album to contrast raw and dirty sounds like guitar feedback, roomy sounding drums, with obviously electronic sounds like drum machines, and analog synths," says Luke Miller. "We worked to give it a loose yet tight feel; have the details of a headphone trip, but still rock out." "Lotus has always tip-toed the tight rope that is drawing on multiple genres — slip one way and it's a haphazard melting pot; fall to the other and you've got a diluted derivative; but hang on and you can find something new," Luke adds. "I think Strength of Weak Ties digs deeper into musical connections than ever before. The result is simultaneously more introspective and more of an unbridled rock out."

Live, Lotus' seamless mixes and interlocking rhythms sound like the work of a DJ, but with a human touch. This results in a sophisticated yet accessible form of dance music with the versatility to react instantaneously to the crowd and atmosphere of a room. Lotus' most recent cross-country jaunt during this past Winter 2005 showcased just how well the band has grown by word of mouth and Internet communities. They sold out venues such as the Fox Theatre in Boulder, CO and Tribeca Rock Club in NYC; sold-out all of the shows on their Fall 2005 tour of Japan; supported the North American leg of the Ozric Tentacles tour, and closed it out with an opening slot for Michael Franti & Spearhead. This summer, Lotus will hit the festival circuit and perform at some of best festivals in the country — California's High Sierra Music Festival and Lawrence, Kansas' Wakarusa Festival, as well as the Green Room Festival in Yokohoma, Japan.

To date, Lotus has been featured in Relix magazine, SF Examiner, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Times Leader, Weekender, Fort Collins Weekly, Hittin' the Note magazine, JamBase.com, Jambands.com, The Onion, as well as many other regional magazines, newspapers, websites and specialty radio shows. Be sure to catch Lotus on the road when they visit a city near you!

LOTUS SPRING 2006 TOUR DATES
04.06 | Lancaster, PA | The Chameleon Club
04.07 | Atlantic City, NJ | Divinity Room at House of Blues
04.08 | Baltimore, MD | The 8x10 Club
04.11 | State College, PA | Crowbar w/ DJ Harry
04.12 | Syracuse, NY | Mezzonette w/ DJ Harry
04.13 | Burlington, VT | Higher Ground w/ DJ Harry
04.14 | Allston, MA | Harper's Ferry w/ DJ Harry
04.15 | New York, NY | Knitting Factory w/ DJ Harry
04.17 | Ann Arbor, MI | The Blind Pig w/ DJ Harry
04.18 | Grand Rapids, MI | The Intersection w/ DJ Harry
04.19 | Milwaukee, WI | The Miramar Theatre w/ DJ Harry
04.20 | Madison, WI | High Noon Saloon w/ DJ Harry
04.21 | Minneapolis | MN, The Cabooze w/ DJ Harry
04.22 | Chicago, IL | Schubas w/ DJ Harry
04.25 | Iowa City, IA | University of Iowa - Wheel Room w/ DJ Harry
04.26 | Cincinnati, OH | Poison Room w/ DJ Harry
04.27 | Pittsburgh, PA | Mr. Smalls Theatre w/ DJ Harry
04.28 | Philadelphia, PA | Theater of Living Arts w/ DJ Harry
04.29 | Falls Church, VA | The State Theatre w/ DJ Harry
05.01 | Richmond, VA | Alley Katz
05.02 | Charlottesville, VA | Starr Hill Music Hall
05.04 | Raleigh, NC | Lincoln Theatre
05.05 | Charlotte, NC | The Neighborhood Theatre
05.06 | Charleston, SC | The Pour House
05.13 | Plains, PA | River Street Jazz Cafe

http://www.lotusvibes.com

[Published on: 2/22/06]

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Comments

lonzo starstarstar Fri 2/24/2006 03:23PM
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Hey Doesn't anybody come to Toronto? We like music to.

AustinJams star Fri 2/24/2006 03:55PM
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AustinJams

Lotus is bad ass i will admit. But i dont like this authors indirect dis on STS9. I think that was uncalled for and disrespectful. Lotus may be good, but they are no STS9. The fact that STS9 uses samples is not a detriment to what they do. Every sound coming from their laptops or them twiddling knobs is a direct reflection of what is going on in their creative minds, and is every bit as much or more art as what Lotus does. Lets embrace all the good bands we have, and respect their differences.

adamlangolf starstar Fri 2/24/2006 07:42PM
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I agree with AustinJams. I don't think it needs to go past that but I totally got the STS9 reference and I happen to like both bands. I am from Indiana and you would figure I would be partial to Lotus but STS9 is busting out the hot shit that people like me who dig Tortoise, Prefuse, TTV, etc... well that is my opinion. Everyone has one. "Peace is necessary"

groovyphisher starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/24/2006 08:22PM
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True to the word of AustinJams.

danknugget Fri 2/24/2006 09:38PM
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didn't read the article but lotus is sick and is worth giving a listen. I got into them because they will be at Langerado 06 and I can't wait. they cover a wide range of styles and seriously go from glow sticks to twirling in the same show. check them out they deserve it. go to archive.org and get 3-20-05 tracks 4 and 7 give me goose bumps

VIBESCRIBE starstarstarstar Sat 2/25/2006 04:10AM
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VIBESCRIBE

Austinjams has a point. They're simular, but totally different; each masters in their craft. Can't wait for the new album. Luke's description entices me even more. BTW, the photo above; Luke's gaze is freaky! "Go by our albums...come see us live! Do it!

HARPER

Death Cube K Sat 2/25/2006 09:11AM
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Death Cube K

yea, front on sts9. i dare you

lawnboyMK09 Sat 2/25/2006 10:22AM
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lawnboyMK09

I love lotus I saw them in Michigan about four years ago. They rock it! Cant wait to see them again. What up with the West Coast?!?

dedhed6111 Sat 2/25/2006 10:25AM
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dedhed6111

I hope that wasn't an "indirect dis" of STS9 AustinJams. It certainly would be disrespectful in an article describing a band that was chiefly inspired by Sound Tribe. (check the liner notes of germination, first and only band thanked) I love lotus, but I jokingly refer to them as Sound Tribe Sector 4 1/2 to my Philly phriends. I'm going to let this little faux pas pass and assume that the author was talking about Aaron Magner twisting his little knobs and not my Tribe.

Huntdeezal starstarstarstar Sat 2/25/2006 12:32PM
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Huntdeezal

LOTUS kicks supreme ass!

nakedmusic starstarstarstar Sat 2/25/2006 03:24PM
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Can't wait for the new album to drop. The last one Nomad has gotten a lot of play.

Ghettoyeti Sat 2/25/2006 05:17PM
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STS9 destroys anything Lotus has ever or will ever do. The author's back-handed disrespect didn't go unnoticed, and it makes one wonder if he has ever even heard Sector 9. Because if he did, he would realize that Lotus has more in common with Particle or one of the other 10,000 noodley "electronica" clone bands that it does with the intergalactic 5 headed beat behemouth of STS9.

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} Sat 2/25/2006 05:44PM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

Funny how music fans are sometimes slow to react.. So now, they are finally getting attention. They remind me of oldschool sector 9, thats right before soundtribe was added.
I loved lotus from their first album, and nomad was even better.. They got a deep groove for every tune, they make us wanna dance. STS9 is a different band from the early nineties, but I wont go there. Lotus has the energy, the funk, and the minimal samples, relying instead of computers to generate the sound; you got great bass, perc, drums, guitar and keys. The samples are minimal, and that is the best way to prove you are a good musician, and not a electronic composer. To each his own, I prefer real playing to button pushing anytime.. peace yall.. go lotus!!!!!

mbridges star Sat 2/25/2006 07:52PM
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i'm with AustinJams!i like Lotus,but i immediately thought this article was a direct jab at STS9,which happens to be all that i've listened to in the past 2-3 months.i dont see a name taking credit for the article so i will assume the bands publicist put it out there....which is unfortunate.

Darkstar16 starstarstarstar Sun 2/26/2006 01:50PM
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Recently got to check out Lotus for the first time at the sold out Stone Church show. Absolutely unbelievable. These guys are fucking ill. "Lotus may be good, but they are no STS9"...couldn't agree more with this statement, they by no means are STS9, but I mean that in the best way possible. Give Lotus the time that STS9 has had to develop and these boys are going to be blowing the Tribe of sound out of the water.

lizzyjo starstarstarstarstar Sun 2/26/2006 09:48PM
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Umm...I think the author simply said it like it is. The truth is; Lotus is an awesome live experience because one can see instruments and real people playing them! Sure STS9 is a creative group, but after all, it was an article about Lotus wasn't it?

Dicky79 star Mon 2/27/2006 01:05AM
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no doubt. if it weren't for sts9, baby 9'ers like lotus wouldn't exist. the only reason they dont have lap-tops or such gear on stage yet is because they dont know how to use it live. shit ain't easy.

cozmicdawg Mon 2/27/2006 04:59AM
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Yeah, that whole article was really directed at sector 9, or sound tribe sector 9, or STS9 or whatever they are calling themselves nowadays. Get your panties out of that wad.

MikeMosher Mon 2/27/2006 12:05PM
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MikeMosher

I love Lotus... but STS9 is my fav so don't mess with my boys! K...

VIBESCRIBE Mon 2/27/2006 12:40PM
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VIBESCRIBE

These comments are hilarious. Reminds me of that movie...umm Warriors or something like that.

It's music y'all. Enjoy it! Both bands are huge fans of one another and have the utmost respect for one another and what they do live and in the studio. Mad props to both band.

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} Tue 2/28/2006 06:59AM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

I must apologize for my opinion. BUT> the introduction of laptops to bands equipment list takes the SOUL out of the music. Am I the only one? It doesnt seem to me that pushing a button on a laptop to generate a sound takes much talent. Real jambands like the grateful dead, widespread panic, SCI, The Allman Brothers, play with talent. Maybe I am too old for this new generation of electronic music, perhaps I will always prefer OLD school jamming. Dont get mad at me, just because I think laptops are ruining the jamscene. If you like it then good for you. Peace Yall!!!!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} Tue 2/28/2006 07:01AM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

I love LOTUS, I saw them smilefest 2003, they smoked!!!

AustinJams star Tue 2/28/2006 10:31AM
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AustinJams

I in no way meant disrepect towards Lotus, i did intend to criticize the author of this article. They actually had to edit my post a little because i had thought Jambase themselves had part in the writing of it. So you really didn't get to read my whole post. So for the record. Jambase did not have anything to do with this article. But the writers comments,

I Quote, "What happened to the performance in live dance music? We aren't talking about a couple of guys twiddling knobs or accessing prerecorded sound files on their laptops – that's not very live, is it?"

This is completely directed at STS9 and basically calls them talentless hacks that dont know how to or are incapabable of live performance. Which is absolutely ludicrous. I tend to agree with Ghettoyeti that whoever wrote this hasnt even ever seen STS9 "perform" which they most certainly come to do every single night. I'll defintly go see Lotus if they ever come to Austin ( Not sure if they have ever come to texas ) But I'll be front row in Amsterdam watching Hunter shred my mind with his "performance" in Warrior and Be Nice. I dont think i'd ever travel across the world to see Lotus. Period. End of discussion.

rulosa01 Tue 2/28/2006 10:53PM
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Lotus totally rocks socks. This article totally bashes STS9, and they also rock socks. What gives?

nfenne starstarstarstarstar Wed 3/1/2006 07:27AM
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nfenne

I like STS9 but every show I've seen has parts that drag. Their music is really good and I think they're very innovative but the energy at their shows can be lacking. Every time I've seen Lotus they tear it apart. In addition to being great musicians they're very cool guys. I would love to see STS9, Bisco, Lotus, Particle and The New Deal all play the same show... that would be a cream dream.

dannymo Wed 3/1/2006 12:55PM
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Hey AustinJams, all I have to say about calling STS9 talentless hacks is.. if the shoe fits baby! Laptops are for storing music not "making" it!!!

AustinJams star Wed 3/1/2006 03:08PM
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AustinJams

Its called evolution baby. Can't stop it. Can't beat it. You might try it sometime.

dedhed6111 Wed 3/1/2006 11:01PM
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dedhed6111

Who was it that helped invent the MIDI with the intention of applying it to his music? Oh yeah, Jerry Garcia. Who was it in the 80's that was playing horns, drums, and god knows what else on his guitar? Oh yeah, that was Jerry, too. As for the specific comments regarding the grateful dead and Jerry Garcia, the man was a technology junkie, and you better believe if his beautiful heart was still beating there would be a damn computer on the stage with him

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} Mon 3/13/2006 08:38AM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

THANK YOU DANNY MO!!!!

tynkershell84 starstarstarstar Tue 4/4/2006 09:39AM
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is Luke still in the band??? i saw Lotus on New Years and i don't beleive i saw him rockin on stage?! or did he get a haircut and just looks different? someone let me know!!!