[Interview] EOTO Talks Electric Forest, Ms. Lauryn Hill, and Chipotle Preferences
Improvised electronic music and all around awesomeness are two ways EOTO stand out in a sea of standard acts. The duo of Michael Travis and Jason Hann have been taking their unique brand of electronic music without prerecorded loops out to the masses since 2006. The group has played extensively across the U.S. and at an Apple Store near you. Always the educators, the group are happy to discuss and share how they make their music. Over the years, the group has developed more of a dubstep influence in their music. This influence has enhanced their sound and casted a larger net for fans to get caught up in all the wonderful sounds of EOTO. This combination has led to some of the coolest crowds to be in during a live set, further enhancing the entire EOTO experience.
Recently, Jason was able to sit down with us to discuss how the band operates as well as their excitement for another trip to Rothbury, Michigan.
EOTO: I think when people are putting something together to perform, they want the highest rate of success and want to present a vision as complete as possible. For music, it includes writing songs and arranging them in a way that you think it will have it’s best impact on the audience. In our case, we didn’t start with a plan to put a group together. We used to just jam on different instruments for hours and hours, and at some point, we figured we had the most fun imitating electronic beats and genres. We kept adding technology to keep it interesting for us. At some point we recorded ourselves and started thinking that maybe we were onto something to present to an audience. We didn’t feel a need to write songs since we figured our music was already sounding worthy, and the process of improvisation meant that we got to have our music fresh night after night. Even for people who are great soloists, the idea of making up your show every night is a scary thing to wrap your head around on a night-to-night basis. We’ve gotten an amazing amount of success for an all-improvised act, and I’m surprised that others haven’t tried. We’re glad that it’s still something that we can do to be unique on the music scene.
SR: Does not having set lists or songs make putting together a show easier at this point, or is it still a challenge to pull it off night after night?
EOTO: It’s really easy, actually. We don’t rehearse either. We just listen to music on our own and pick up things when we’re not touring. We have the confidence to just jump right back into things. Sometimes the process of deciding what you’re going to play has to go through a filter process, and you’d be surprised how taxing that can be just before a show.
SR: You’re coming back for Electric Forest this year! What’re you excited for this time around?
EOTO: Electric Forest gets better every year. My expectations are high. I’m super excited for the wholeness of the weekend, but getting the opportunity to play with [Ms.] Lauryn Hill is sure to be an incredible highlight.
SR: What’s a festival that you guys haven’t played yet that you’d love to be a part of?
EOTO: It would be nice to play a Coachella or EDC fest, or Lollapalooza. We might get lost in those lineups, but it’s definitely a challenge to play those types of events.
EOTO: Mine is carnitas burrito with brown rice and sour cream (Ed. Note: Same here!). It does the trick. Travis usually gets bowls.
SR: Besides the incredible live show, are there any projects on the horizon we should be looking out for?
EOTO: Collaborations happen with EOTO pretty last minute usually. If someone is around and the timing seems good, then we usually do it. We don’t usually plan to far with that.
SR: You guys have the floor. What have you got to for us?
EOTO: Since each of our shows are unique and one night only, we record them and have most available online at Livedownloads.com (search there for EOTO).
Be sure to check out EOTO’s SoundCloud to hear some of their once in a lifetime sets. In early March, the group will be taking their experience back to the pacific northwest. Be sure to stay up to date on their tour stops so you don’t miss this experience when they come by you!