Getting to Know STS9
Sound Tribe Sector 9—STS9 for short—is one of the biggest acts on the electronic music scene right now, and with good reason. They expertly craft their own unique sound, which they have deemed “post-rock dance music,” by masterfully combining instrumental rock, electronic music, funk, jazz, drum and bass, psychedelia, and hip hop. This interesting blend of music, coupled with their amazing stage presence, makes the quintet a must-see. They are one of the awesome headliners for this year’s Camp Bisco (which will be taking place July 11th-13th outside of Albany, New York), so let’s take a closer look at STS9.
STS9 was founded in Atlanta, Georgia back in 1998, and consists of Hunter Brown on guitar and midi keyboard, Jeffree Lerner on percussion and handsonic, David Murphy on bass and midi keyboard, David Phipps on keyboard, and Zach Velmer on drums. The group has its own record label, called 1320 Records, on which they have released 11 albums since 2000. The group’s newest album, When the Dust Settles, came out in 2011 and drew high praise. The EP landed on Billboard’s Top 25 and debuted on iTunes’ Electronic Charts at number 1, while the first single, “Scheme,” was downloaded over 100,000 times in its first week alone.
STS9 “Scheme” – the Great Cycle Spectacle Tour at Best Buy Theater November 3, 12.
XLR8R Magazine stated that STS9 is:
“one of the country’s most intriguing, innovative outfits,”
and, judging by the positive response to its 11th album, it seems thousands of fans would agree. This popularity can be seen whenever Sound Tribe Sector 9 hits the road, as well. Pollstar Magazine frequently places the band on its list of top-grossing touring acts, and they average almost 5,000 tickets sold per city. The group has played dozens of festivals, and this will be their first trip to Camp Bisco since 2009, so you can be sure diehard STS9 fans will be there in force.
It isn’t only fans who have taken notice of STS9’s incredible talent and immense popularity, but also other performers. Touring with some of the premiere musicians in the country, notable opening acts for Sound Tribe Sector 9 have included: The Glitch Mob, Bassnectar, Snoop Dogg , Pretty Lights, Big Boi. It definitely speaks to the band’s musical ability that so many diverse performers have been on tour with them—certainly a show of respect.
The group’s live performances not only feature their smooth music, but also an amazing lightshow. See for yourself:
Sound Tribe Sector 9 also uses their incredible popularity to help others. In addition to providing listeners with great music, they have teamed up with a number of non-profits to make a positive impact on the world. They’ve driven in a carbon neutral bus and donated money to help promote using renewable energy, and in 2008 all proceeds from their album Peaceblaster went to the Make it Right Foundation, to help build a house for a family that lost theirs to Hurricane Katrina. These guys are clearly not only great musicians, but also good people.
In a past interview, Lerner acknowledged the group’s name stems from Mayan cosmology, stating, “During the 9th bactoon of the Mayan culture, they were flourishing and supposedly, this is when they ascended. So the way they see it the Sector 9 is the space of ascension, in that respect.” The guys of STS9 seem to draw a lot of influence from Mayan culture; it’s lucky for us then that the Mayan calendar did not prophesize the end of the world, humanity did indeed live beyond December of 2012, and we will now be able to see Sound Tribe Sector 9 this July at Camp Bisco. It’s going to be awesome.
Listen to more Sound Tribe Sector 9. This is a full show from All Good Music Festival on July 14, 2011.