Friday, February 22, 2019

Archive for February, 2008

images courtesy of Madison House Publicity

Andy’s phone interview with Jake Cinninger, the guitarist for Umphrey’s McGee, who is pretty sure this is his third time at Langerado.

Festival Cras
hers: Do you enjoy the festival scene?

Jake Cinninger: It’s the best time for bands, we’re usually cooped up in clubs and theaters with stale air and smoke and what not. It’s nice to be out in the open, the best experience for bands.

FC: How many times have you played Langerado?

JC: (Lots of discussion between him and the band on the side as to how many times they’ve played there) This will be our third … we think.

FC: Now that you’ve had a bit of time to reflect, how do you feel about the New Years show and what it meant to celebrate 10 years as a band?
JC: I guess after the fact is when we thought about 10 years gone by. It was such a fleeting moment to do the whole New Years run, we were so wrapped up. In hindsight it’s quite special, 10 years smelling each other in the van. It’s a virtue to get to this far.

FC: How does it compare to Bonnaroo?

JC: Personally, the time of year is perfect. It’s when most of the nation is under a freeze zone. When can we get to play outside? We gotta go to Florida. It makes total sense. They can go get a little sunshine in Florida. It’s perfect in terms on timing. When people are ready to go out and dance a bit and party.

FC: Which is your favorite festival to play?
JC: I would say, the favorite I’ve been to is the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan. It really set the bar for putting on a festival. Artistically incredible, millions of dollars were put into the look and gave it a great visual aspect. The vibe was great and the fans were cordial and they picked up every piece of trash. Cigarette butts in the cigarette butt canister, and plastic forks went in the plastic fork canister. It was a really great experience all around.

FC: Which bands a
re you most looking forward to seeing at Langerado?
JC: I’m gassed to see the Beastie’s. The line up is ridiculous. It’s all about how much can I see and still be able to put on a good rock show.

FC: How does it feel to be on the s
ame bill as bands like REM and the Beastie Boys?
JC: It’s amazing. It’s maybe the whole jam band world is falling into the classification of rock and roll period. Not jam versus rock. It’s coexisting together. I’m flabbergasted, really.
Photo by Jennifer Hall, courtesy of Madison House Publicity

FC: Do you guys try to tailor your set to a festival crowd?

JC: Yeah, we have about 100 or so originals. There’s a lot to pick from. Tempo, key the song is in, those are things we consider. When should we hit the crowd with big vocals? When should we stretch out a jam, or get the place in a dance vibe? There’s definitely a pre thought put into constructing the set list. Nice ebb and flow to the energy. Love making and rampant sex.

FC: How does a festival show compare to your regular show?
JC: It’s not too different. It’s all about atmosphere and energy, recycle and regurgitate. Some has to do with the band feeding off the crowd’s reactions what state they’re in. With that being said, a small venue can be as energetic.

FC: Now that you guys have gotten the chance to headline a couple of festivals and are getting better time sl
ots, do the festivals mean more to you guys?
JC: As far as momentum as a band, these slots give us something to prove. There is a nervous energy. 10,000 people, it’s like a super bowl performance for a rock band. It provides a nervous edgy energy.

FC: What should fans expect from your set at Langerado?
JC: It’s gonna be a night time set, we’re considering what songs work well with lights and production. To be outside it’s a completely different atmosphere at day or night. We try and put together the most exciting show for nighttime use. Heavy hitters that sort of visually entice.

FC: How is the new CD coming along?
JC: Oh, so exciting. We’ve been working very diligently. All new songs. Back to a more progressive, edgier sound. Less singer songwriter sound.
We all go through phases. More orchestral rock band sound. King Crimson meets Yes. Big production, multi layers, multi colored. Doesn’t sound forced. Making sure it sounds naturally flowing. Continuity. Songs written, and conceived. Now it’s all about how we turn them into teenagers and send them into the world.

FC: Who are your favorite people you’ve gotten a chance to play with?
JC: That’s a good one, Adrian Belew, he’s an amazing guitarist. I’ve been seriously influenced by him and to have him with us for a week on the bus and telling us stories was really great. Joshua Redman, one of the premier living sax players right now, critically acclaimed and it’s funny he would want to play with a bunch of rockers like us. Our experiences with Phil Lesh, it’s awesome when those big guys want to play with the little guys like us.

FC: What’s your favorite concert you’ve ever been to?
JC: I’ve seen so many styles. I’m a metal head, so I’d say my favorite metal show was Napalm Death, Obituary, and Black Sabbath in one show. For like a jazz show, John Scofield at the Vic Theater. For rock and roll, I’d say Pink Floyd at Soldier Field.

FC: The last couple of years you guys have really branched out with some side projects, how important is it for you to have another creative outlet?
JC: It’s really good for everyone in the band to dabble outside of the box. You get away from it for a while and realize why you love it. I’ve got a studio at home. I’m more of a studio cat than a live cat. I’m constantly in that creative mode. Some songs I write are for Umphrey’s, and some aren’t. It’s nice to sit down and do writing really like that. Gives my artistic view a wider scope.

RC: Anything else coming up that you’re looking forward to?

JC: Heading to Europe for the Jam in the Dam. Always excited to sight see, get in touch with the roots. Europe is what it’s all about for musicians. Key to the highway so to speak.

Chris Wood Interview

Posted by admin On February - 29 - 2008

AS: Do you enjoy the festival scene?

CW: Yeah, we do. They’re all different. We always like variety. We like it when it sounds good, so we can have fun playing the music. Certain festivals are pretty fun. Langerado is growing and it has a nice feel to it.
AS: Are there any bands that you’re looking forward to catching at Langerado?
CW: I’d love to see the Beastie Boys, I’ve never seen them. It’s my chance to see music. I rarely get out to see music, and some of those festivals are my chance.

AS:How does it compare to a larger festival like Bonnaroo?
CW: Bonnaroo is kind of over the top. It’s such a huge festival, especially at this point. It seems like Bonnaroo has become the model, there’s a lot of imitating going on. Not that that’s a bad thing. In a lot of ways, they’re the same. You got a whole bunch of people out in a field stages, vendors, etc. What gives them the different flavor is where they’re at. What part of the country they’re in, the organizers, etc.

AS: Which is your favorite festival to play?
CW: We had great experiences at Bonnaroo. But also, last Langerado we did was really fun too. 10,000 Lakes was great. Summerfest was really good too.

AS: What is your favorite part about going on tour with MSMW?
CW: In a hard way to describe, it’s easier than just playing a MMW gig. There’s another soloist in the band. Billy [Martin] and I take solos, but it’s easier for a front instrument to take the pressure off. Billy can function easier. We improvise, and we have certain tunes that we play. It’s a different role for us as a support. MMW, we’re always trying to reinvent ourselves, we lay back more with Scofield.
AS: Do you believe that MMW fits into the jam scene or more of a jazz scene?
CW: That’s all relative. I don’t even like to think about it that way. I don’t even think those two categories are fair. Jazz has become a meaningless 4-letter word. To some people jazz means Duke Ellington, and for some it means Kenny G. The word jam describes the audience, not the band.

AS: What is your favorite part about playing with MMW?
CW: They’re amazing musicians, and they’re always challenging me. Billy’s one of the greatest drummers there is. His rhythm is special. John is a freaky genius, bluesy and soulful, but he has a lot of classical and contemporary music under his belt too. He can go a lot of directions.

AS: What made you decide to make a children’s album?
CW: Well, this company Little Monster approached us to make a record. That’s really why it happened. We got really into it once we got into the studio. It was a lot of fun. We’ve been playing that music too. It’s not just for kids.

AS: Are there any more plans in your future for conceptual tours?
CW: Yeah, this year we’re doing three different tours. One is coming up February, one this summer, and one in the fall. We’re getting together before the tour and writing all new music. We’ll play it on tour, and when we get back we’re going right into the studio.

AS: Will we hear more from the Wood Brothers?
CW: Yeah, we got a new record that comes out April 1st. It’s called Loaded, on the Blue Note label. Medeski produced it.

AS: What made you decide to do the Wood Brothers tour, which is so different musically from MMW?
CW: My brother has been a professional musician for as long as I have. So we’ve both been doing it our whole lives. We just hadn’t been doing it together. It came time that we realized it was time to do something together. We just went for it, it was natural.

AS: Was jazz or folk music a bigger influence for you growing up?
CW: Both, I gravitated towards jazz, it was fun to learn my instrument learning that. My father was a folk musician, he played with Joan Baez. He sung to us, and played to us as kids. Wood Brothers was a way for me to turn back to that.

Langerado Checklist

Posted by admin On February - 29 - 2008

1. Be front row for a show.
2. Crowd Surf.
3. Eat gator meat from a vender.
4. Eat five dollar baked goods.
5. See 10 shows in a day.
7. Share a campfire with strangers.
8. Pass out at a stage.
9. Make friends with someone with an R.V.
10. Be a part of drum circle.
11. Go in a fountain…or any large body of water.
12. Find someone dancing topless and join them.

…I’ll keep adding to this list as we go. I’d love to hear your suggestions…

The birth of Festival Crashers

Posted by admin On February - 29 - 2008
The Langerado preview article and the scheduling conflict debates provided Zack and I with probably our first opportunity to write together. The next day, while g-chatting, Zack proposed the idea of a writing identity that we could assume. As products of the Comedy Mafia generation, and avid music fans, the name Festival Crashers seemed to make sense.
No, we aren’t going to literally crash festivals and sneak in without tickets or passes. It’s more of a challenge for ourselves. A way to set the bar for our festival participation and provide a view through the looking glass at our musical adventures.
If all goes well, hopefully we will revisit our pseudonyms for more music this coming summer and beyond. In the short term, we want to provide all-encompassing coverage of the Langerado Music Festival, and tell a few good stories along the way.

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