One hundred percent improvisation. That’s what sets apart an EOTO show from other electronic dance music acts.
“You never know what you’re going to get because everything is created organically on stage, it’s not just a DJ who creates beats on stage live,” said Crawford Byers, the talent buyer for Agave in Avon. “There’s very little intention or structure, and it just blows people away.”
Indeed, the duo — Michael Travis and Jason Hann, both of String Cheese Incident — create all the sounds in the moment, using drum kits and electronic drums, synthesizers, voices and guitars.
“They’re doing it live and organically,” Byers said.
The duo perform at Agave in Avon on Wednesday. It marks the first time EOTO has performed at the small venue.
“They’re playing the Fillmore (Auditorium) in Denver and they’re playing Agave, it is kind of a coup for us,” Byers said. “They’ve been one of the big names in live electronic music over the last few years, and given that Colorado is home for String Cheese Incident, these guys have a lot of cache in Colorado.”
EOTO headlined the Global Dance Festival at Red Rocks this summer, which sold out, demonstrating how far the duo has come since their start in 2006.
“Of all the side projects that bands out there can have, these guys have done an incredible job of creating something different than what String Cheese Incident does,” Byers said. “(The music) is very applicable to where kids’ tastes lie today. The jam fans are only getting older, and these guys have reinvented themselves and created a whole different side project that goes into a different genre than what they’re known for. There are fans in the middle, but there’s a different fan base in a lot of ways.”
Hann took the time to answer a few questions for the Vail Daily, pre-turkey feast last week.
Vail Daily: Last time I talked to the band, you guys were preparing to play as HonkeyTonk Observatory with Bill Nershi from String Cheese up at the YarmonyGrass Festival. Tell me about how that collaboration went? What kind of feedback did you get?
Jason Hann: It was great. One of our best collaborations. We all went in with a really open mind as to what could happen, and it came off with such a good flow and vibe to it. We thought the initial announcement might be shocking to Yarmony Festival goers, but the reaction was more in the “that could be really cool” category. (We) definitely want to try and make it happen again.
VD: As far as the electronic dance music scene, do you think we’re in the midst of electronic dance music moving from the “underground” scene to above ground?
JH: It’s already done that. It hasn’t translated to being represented on the Billboard charts, but most kids 23 and under are into electronic dance music along with some other style of music that they like. It comes with the good and the bad of it. Any music that gets that popular has a habit of turning out a lot of bad music, so it seems like I need to sort through a lot more music to find gems in electronic dance music that are actually inspiring, as opposed to music that just keeps the dance floor moving.
VD: What can people expect from your upcoming show at Agave?
JH: Expect the unexpected. We don’t know what we’re going to do yet. It will stay in the electronic dance music zone — electro, moombahton, glitch hop, dubstep. But we’re hitting all of these other moods that we haven’t been able to put a label on yet. We’re really enjoying that we feel more creative than ever.
VD: With Thanksgiving over, tell me what you’re thankful for?
JH: Family, friends and an ability to provide. So many people are having a hard time with jobs and mortgages. Sending good wishes to the people having it rough through the holiday period.
VD: What’s a question you wish journalists would ask, and answer it.
JH: What, outside of music, inspires you? Good human beings.