"Dude, ya brah. I'm so pitted"- said in a recent interview with Papadosio bassist Rob McConnell. Just kidding-it wasn't actually like that- at all. Not willing to stay within the binding stereotypes of what many will classify as "Jamtronica," Rob and his four bandmates are really just...different than that. Or so it seems. I just got to speak with Rob for a bit, but it really seems like these guys (Anthony Thogmartin: guitar/vocals, Mike Healy: drums, and brothers Billy and Sam Brouse: keys/ synth) are trying new things, and getting experimental right up on the boundary- you know- where you get outside your comfort zone and experience the magic happening - so to say. Building from a psychedelic rock-rhythm-foundation, and weaving through juxtaposed sound combinations, they are "known for producing eclectic yet ambient music loaded with break beats, high energy dance tracks, soaring vocals and top-notch musicianship. Yet what truly sets Papadosio apart from other acts in the genre is their understanding of technical proficiency, while maintaining a singular and open relationship with their fans; that promises nothing but growth and evolution in their future."
Upon the release of their most recent album, To End the Illusion of Separation (T.E.T.I.O.S.), the five bandmates originally out of Athens, OH, have just embarked on their 2013 Future Forest Tour to spread positivity and unification of all like-minded, music-loving, spiritual pleasure seekers of the utmost joy. So, won't you come imbibe? Here are some reasons to check them out...
1. Papadosio aims to merge technology with nature for a multi-sensory experience
According to Rob, the name "Future Forest Tour" is derived from the idea that technology and nature can actually go hand in hand. ”We're trying to have the idea that technology and nature can coexist rather awesomely, and be positive together," Rob said. He noted that while they will mix it up each night, that they will be utilizing local artists' plant installations on stage when possible, an LED wall, and local visual artists to help them tie it all together. They will also be streaming video taken from all over the world, including the natural wonders of Peru, to mesmerize the crowd with organic imagery, as it coincides with the band's outpouring technological masonry to create the sounds that make us dance. Sounds like a good idea to me.
2. The band prides themselves on not getting comfortable, so even if you've seen them before, this show will be different than the last.
If you like any type of modern music, you have probably heard, said, and been annoyed by the over-usage of the phrase, "we're getting weird." Papadosio is on that tip, though, as they are starting to explore a new range of sound previously uncharted, at least by them. The maturity from their previous album, Observations, to T.E.T.I.O.S. is quite noticeable in the development of more complex rhythms and the decrease in the overall "electrojam sound" aka as I like to call it professionally- "beep boop beep's." Not that I didn't enjoy the older albums, I did; it's just impressive to see the growth, and as a fan, it's encouraging to know that if you love music, and you embrace the unknown, you can strap in with 'Dosio and prepare for a fun ride as they evolve and get better and better. "We're really starting to crack into some new ideas," Rob said, "and its an exciting time to be in this band." He expanded on this by adding that they are not tied to one sound. "Everyone (in Papadosio) is so diverse in what they listen to and play outside the band. It's gonna be cool to see what new sounds we come up with this tour." As we continued on this topic, I got excited to see what he means this weekend in Chicago, at my home Future Forest spot, House of Blues, where they will headline a show Saturday night (buy tickets here). They will be opened up by Dopapad -another SWEET band with a vibrato worth your while to see, who have played a lot alongside Papadosio, and who Rob calls their "road brothers, and a real inspiration." Speaking of that...
3. They want to inspire you.
One theme throughout our conversation, was that the band really wants to inspire their audience. And who doesn't want to be inspired? When we chatted about the artistic discovery process for Rob personally, he said, "Playing by yourself is satisfying. You're taking your time to speak the language a lot better so that the next time you speak to people, you're able to speak... better. I create better with people, but when you come up with something by yourself, you get a little smile on your face like ...that's mine, it came out of my head. Playing in front of people, with other people who have been practicing the language on their own, is a whole different buzz." I thought this was a cool way to look at the "improvisational conversation," as it was called by Railroad Earth's mandolin player, John Skehan, when we spoke just last week. For musicians who play in a jam fashion like Papadosio, catching each other's cues while improvising is an art honed over time and with lots and lots of practice. Now that the band is reuniting after having a few months off, I think they're all excited to share the new skills they've picked up while playing in their side-projects or even local open mic's in their current hometown of Asheville, NC that they kept busy with while "off," just because they love to play music and really just can't live without it...if they want to be happy at least. Rob added that, "What is satisfying about playing live, is sharing all that practice and love and time you've put in over the years, and trying to inspire people and create a great energy that we can all share in together in one space." Let's all share space. As Papadosio reminds us, we are not separate, we are all connected. So let's have some fun on this Future Forest Tour; let's get inspired, enjoy some high-frequency tunes, and be good to one another in the name of Rock n' Roll. Cheers.
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