My Interview with Jason Hann!

There’s nothing secret about Monday Night Miracle. Zmick and Underpaid Packy have been playing the Canopy Club for free every Monday of the current school year [in Urbana, IL], and although a few past Monday nights have had nationally touring bands come through, those particular shows charged cover. That will not be the case this week [Monday, April 13th}. EOTO, made up of Michael Travis and Jason Hann from String Cheese Incident, will play a free concert in Canopy Club’s concert hall. But what would a free Monday night concert be without the band that started it all? That’s right—Zmick will be kicking off the festivities around 9 pm. One hundred eighty-nine. That’s how many concerts EOTO played in 2008. Of course, with String Cheese Incident on hiatus, it was a feasible accomplishment, but it was by no means an easy one. Travis and Hann hit the four corners of the country with one goal in mind—get people dancing. After years of playing in a band with a following that loves to groove, it’s no surprise that the two musicians would choose to make dance music in their side project. While the band was making their way through the Massachusetts forests to yet another show, buzz was lucky enough to conduct an interview over the telephone. I was able to dig deeper into the psyche of drummer Jason Hann and just what goes into an EOTO show. buzz: Describe EOTO’s music in a few of your own words. Hann: Club/dance music that’s totally improvised. buzz: One hundred percent improvisation? What goes into all of that? Hann: We start with a clean slate. Travis has nine slots for tracks and I have twelve. Once we lay down a groove we can stack, manipulate, delete, and restart previously recorded tracks. buzz: How does preparing for an EOTO show differ from preparing for a String Cheese Incident show? Hann: With EOTO we typically set up the stage and then chill until we hit the stage and go with it. Getting ready for a Cheese show requires sound checking and thinking about the night’s set list. A lot of time and thought always had to go into our setlists, because we considered what we played before in that city. None of that really happens with EOTO. buzz: Who has been influencing the group recently? Hann: DJs like Bassnectar, Shpongle, Tipper and SPL are great inspirations. buzz: What would you say to someone new to the scene to encourage them to come? Hann: Well, you can’t beat a free show! But really, it’s all about dancing and having a good time. It’s live electronica with a DJ feel to it. The music never stops, so everyone is just free to wander about or dance the whole time. It’s spontaneous. buzz: Do you think that making music is still “organic” in today’s technological age? Hann: Making music is still the same process in the hands of a different generation. Most top ten songs of the past couple years were made with a computer, whether or not that’s a good thing. Computers are so prevalent and that allows for easy access, and the programs allow musicians to diversify the way they create sound. Good songwriting still has to come from within. Now that you’ve gotten to know EOTO a little bit better, come on out Monday, April 13 at 9 p.m. to catch two Summer Camp ’09 artists, Zmick and EOTO, for free in one big event that’s sure to bring the fire.
Sun 4/12/2009 11:04 PM