Interview: Consider the Source geared up to play AURA Music & Arts Festival
The one of a kind NYC trio Consider the Source is set to play the Fourth Annual AURA Music & Arts Festival this February 15-17,2013 at Spirit of the Suwanee Music Park. Consider the Source is breaking into the Florida music scene with style. Not only will this be their first visit to AURA, it’ll be the furthest south they’ve performed at a festival. If you haven’t heard them before, you’re in for a Middle Eastern progressive rock fusion treat. The band recently spoke with Sensible Reason about their first ever trip to AURA. Read the interview here:
Gabriel: Certainly. We are just getting our feet wet in the Florida scene and everyone has said that it is a great time. So, it will be nice to play in front of some new fans.
Since it’s your first time playing this festival, what are you more excited for?
John: Every festival has its special things. I hear that the campground itself is amazing, so I’m definitely excited to check that out. This will also be the furthest south we’ve done a festival, so I’m excited to see what the reaction will be after a year or so of touring down there a lot. We also have a a lot of buddies on the bill — Kung Fu, Dopapod, The Heavy Pets, and Perpetual Groove. Hanging with them is always a great time for us.
Gabe, you previously played with a female fronted rock band, ‘Earth Stood Still’. How has the transition been for you to a Middle Eastern funk progressive trio?
Gabriel: Well, in Earth there were a lot of the ingredients for CTS already in play. We had a big Eastern influence as well as a heavily classical sound. It’s funny, the first CTS album “Esperanto” was written and recorded while I was still in my old band and using most of my classical stuff with that group. So, there is only like one song on that album that has that sound. By the second CTS album, this band became our only focus. The classical side started becoming a big thing for us — and now we’ve all run with that aspect compositionally, definitely not just me. The Eastern aspect is a huge part of my playing. That just comes out unintentionally, so honestly the transition was pretty easy. I really enjoy being able to deliver the melody like a singer, but without having all the baggage that comes with having a singer. My playing and writing are very melody based, so it was hard for me to play behind a melody, and not the melody itself. It may have made things more difficult career-wise by not having a singer, but musically it’s right for us. Having the ability for the 3 of us to really all be equal and communicate is really important to us.
What three things would you tell someone who’s never seen CTS before?
1. Expect to experience something that you’ve never seen or heard before. We take our art very seriously and try to bring it every night to our fullest capacity. We never cheat our audience. We love what we do; the music, the energy, our amazing fans, and the newbies who are in the crowd checking us out for the first time. So, expect to get smacked in the face with Middle Eastern progressive rock metal jazz, the likes of which you’ve never seen!
2. Most of our song names are references from shows/movies or books. If you get the reference, let us know!
3. We’ve hired a bouncer who tours with us, whose sole job is to castrate people who call out “Free Bird”. So I dare you….
Jeff Mann recently took over as drummer for the band. What music dimensions does this add to your sound?
Gabriel: Now, we are more Mann-ly. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that. But in all seriousness, Jeff has brought a lot to the table — not just as a musician, but vibe wise too. He is a great player, a great listener, and has a fresh approach to the drum set, which we are really digging. The old songs sound and feel fresh and the new ones we are writing are very exciting. He has a relaxed energy that is great for us, cause me and John and our manager Jordan can be pretty high strung New Yorkers. So, it’s nice to have someone who is just as focused and hard working, but still calm.
Do any of you have a favorite venue to play? Why?
John: The Georgia Theatre is such an incredible venue — one of the only venues in the country that has both prestige and integrity. I say this because the sound is amazing, the staff is super cool, and the talent buyer Scott Orvold is a real stand up dude who gives up and coming bands a chance — which is a very rare thing in the music industry these days. They believe in the music they bring in. They treat the bands really well — and anytime you see people at a show there, they’re having a blast. For a touring band, it’s gold, baby.
Is there anything that you take with you to every show? What’s the most unusual thing in your own rider?
Gabriel: Our coffee maker comes with us everywhere. Even though coffee is listed in our rider like 8 times, venues still forget often. Honestly, our rider is boring. I don’t drink alcohol and John and I are vegetarians, so the massive roasted pigs and tubs of beer aren’t really exciting for us. We’ve thought about putting a few things in like “a single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man’s hat” or something just to see how people respond. Really our biggest request is a quiet room backstage to warm up in. Ideally, we really try to put in a different kind of energy than other bands — and it’s really difficult to get into that head space without quiet time with the instrument and brain/heart before you play.
For years now, CTS has been touring almost non-stop and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. What is your favorite part about touring?
John: There are so many things, seeing different parts of the world, eating different foods, hearing new music. Perhaps the most rewarding part is seeing our fans and friends all over the place. When you tour as much as we do your fans and friends on the road become your second family. You know all about them and they, you. Every time you go to a new city and see your buddies there, it makes you feel really good when you can connect to so many people and see that they appreciate the thing you decided to base your life around. It’s a great life.
Over the past few months, you guys have gained a new level of notoriety. How does it feel to be playing outside of your home region and in front of crowds who may have no had the chance to catch you live?
Gabriel: It feels great! It is a blessing to be able to play this crazy uncompromising music for such an increasing audience. The buzz about us seems to be really really spreading and building fast, and we really believe that if anyone comes to see us in person, they will have an experience they haven’t had before. We’ve been working hard to get this momentum, and we’ve had some setbacks, but God willing it looks like things are going in the right direction — and more and more, people will hear about us and check us out.
Which musicians/bands are the primary influence for you guys?
John: Between the three of us, we’re into pretty much everything. There really is no primary influence, as we are all into a ton of music — and have played and/or studied a lot of different kinds of music. If there was one band I’d say we all agree is unreal and hugely inspiring to us, it would be The Bad Plus. They’re a trio who mixes jazz, rock, classical and a myriad of other sounds and perform in the most honest and passionate way a human can be capable of. We don’t sound too much like them, but we definitely are inspired by their energy and outlook. We are also very inspired by jazz players like John McLaughlin, balkan/jazz players like Matt Daririau (who we’ve had the honor of performing with), Chick Corea, and a lot of rock like Tool, King Crimson, Alice in Chains, and Radiohead, to name a few. There’s also a bunch of metal, funk, traditional folk music from various parts of the world, Tom Waits.. Ahhhh, I don’t know man. We can literally talk about bands we like and who’ve inspired us from now until we die and I’d still feel like we didn’t scratch the surface. In a nut shell, collectively we pull from an infinite amount of sources (no pun intended).
Just want to extend a big thanks to Consider the Source for taking the time to speak with us. If you’re headed down to AURA this Presidents’ Day weekend, make sure to give them a listen– you won’t be disappointed. Make sure to also check them out on Facebook and Twitter.