MCB: How did EOTO come to be?
JH: I use to fly out to Colorado for practice with another band Michael and I are in called the String Cheese Incident and we would practice until 7pm. After practice I would be staying at Michael’s and we would set up our gear at his place and from about 10pm till about 4 or 5am every morning we would just play. We wouldn’t put anything together, just have fun making music. It went really well, so after a while we added a lopper and electronic percussion. I suggested using Ableton live and then once we got that we would stack our parts together. From there we wanted to take what we had in front of people and start playing shows.
MCB: How did your sound evolve into the electronic experience it is today?
JH: We’re still live and completely improvised but we’ve taken to certain styles like DJ sets and the bass scene and incorporated it into our sound.
MCB: Tell me about how you incorporate vocals?
JH: Well I have a microphone set up and all these touch pads that control the mic with effects and delays and phasers. Occasionally, I use a pitchshifter to make these alien noises that don’t have meaning but they are rhythmic and they fit a certain flow of what we’re doing. I’ll also thrown in some sampled R&B or some rap thing and treat it more like an acapella on top of our music, like a producer would treat a remix.
MCB: You’re playing in Detroit during the Movement Festival are you going to check it out?
JH: Yes, we’re getting in town early. We’re coming from Los Angeles and that will be the thing to do and tell people about our late night thing that’s going on. It’s sort of a weird thing, it’s like being part of it and going up against it at the same time. But it seems like the right time to be in Detroit.
MCB: I read you have quite an elaborate light show…
JH: That’s our Lotus sculpture, which is built by this guy Blake Courtney who does all these structures at Burning Man and our projectionist who works with Sphongle and an animation team, Glassworks, that came up with 3D images that projects on our sculpture and we’re playing right in the middle of it. Colors and things fly around us and for the audience it’s a just a full visual fest. The Lotus is kind of like our shape shifting spacecraft. You have to see it to believe it.
MCB: You’ve been playing around long enough to experience the Rave scene and compare it to the Dubstep scene today, what are the differences you see?
JH: I feel it’s different, because the Rave scene wasn’t necessarily a voice to a generation. While they had their own party scene and it was underground, but it was open and everyone would show up and have a great time. Today’s dubstep and glitch hop has become more of a voice of younger group of people for the 23 year old and under, where their older brothers and sisters hate it and their parents hate it. It’s not as much as everyone coming to party but mostly the young people. The techno-rave stuff was kind of for everyone. Dubstep came from this unique bass culture that tells people to step away and be its own thing.
MCB: I would agree with except as older people we both seem to dig dubstep…
JH: Yeah, it’s become both the thing to love and to hate. If you stay close to the music you can see it is evolving.
MCB: What most surprises you playing out live these days?
JH: Probably how many DJs are out playing live and how they are doing it. Before it was just set up to play Friday or Saturday, but now you can tour all through the week. The way the electronic scene has become part of the jam scene or festival scene where every festival has an electronic late night. So it’s worked it’s way into the culture on a week night and not just part of the weekend at a posh club.
MCB: There’s like 30 things going on Sunday night, why should somebody see EOTO?
JH: Well our show is the most unique thing, both aurally and visually. If you’re up for dancing all night long it’s got that element. We hear people dance harder at our shows than any others. We feed off the crowd so much in the moment. This is our first time in Detroit so it going to be really special.
This Post by Mikel O.D. of