Jamie Janover: Rebel Without a Repertoire (Or How to Make Your Bed and Lie in It at the Same Time)
Jamie Janover is a man who knows. What does he know? Well if you talk to him, he convincingly sounds like he knows just about everything. And the fact of the matter is that it truly seems like he does. He understands the progression of music, he has a grasp on tradition, evolution, and all things relevant to the world of sound. From Burning Man to Trey Anastasio, to Americana and bluegrass to electronica and Ableton Live, Jamie Janover is a veteran in all regards. He delves into his baby festival, Sonic Bloom, life with Zilla, the inevitable driving forces of the break up (?) of the String Cheese Incident, and the icons of music past and pioneers of the future of music. Additionally, Jamie notes the geographical discrepancies in this country and how Manifest Destiny still plays a role in the music we hear today.
JH: You just helped to organize the festival Sonic Bloom. How did it go?
JJ: It went well. Basically, myself and a partner were the promoters. So it’s pretty unusual in my experience, being in the festival world for a long time, having one member of one band be the promoter of a festival. And that’s basically what I did.
It was because I threw this little thing last year, Sonic Bloom, and that was Zilla, Bassnectar, Ooah and a few other small acts. It was Mishawaka, an established venue already and it went really well. And then I thought “Let’s do it again.” And then I chose a venue that didn’t have a stage or a PA and we had to basically bring in everything. So Zilla was one of the only live acts and Sound Tribe’s live PA set, Bassnectar, Motet, Glitch Mob and a lot of DJs.
It went really well. People have given me incredible feedback. The site was amazing, the weather was great, the music went really well and it had a really good production team. All the people working on it were friends with each other, so it created a really cool family vibe for a festival. We’ll certainly do it again.
JH: So you played and did promotion. You kind of played both sides of the festival.
JJ: Oh yeah, I did everything. I had to answer all the questions. The hard part was that at the festival I played like eight times or something like that. Because I played with Rena Jones and I played with Zilla of course and Spork. And Spork and Zilla did multiple sets.
So I would be on the radio and I would be like, “Ok everybody, I’m about to go play now. All questions have to hold off until my set’s done.” You know, you’ve seen production managers at festivals on the radio every ten seconds. Well, that was me, and then being like “Ok, I’ve got a tune, hold on.” So it was a lot of work, but it was really rewarding. I’ve been to so many festivals and I’ve seen what’s effective and what works and most importantly, what doesn’t. So my theory was like, “Just don’t do anything that’s bad and everything else will be good.” And it came off pretty good.
JH: Well that’s a great theory. I guess by process of elimination it works. What was your highlight of the festival?
JJ: Well for me personally, the highlight was at the very end, the sunrise of the last day, because I finished my last set and all my friends were there. Everybody was super relaxed and the sun was coming up and a DJ named Brother was playing. It was just a perfect setting, perfect light, perfect everything. It was like “Whew! I made it. I’m done.” But other than that, the Rebel Alliance Jam was really good. It was kind of like the Everyone Orchestra. I’ve done a lot of Everyone Orchestras and Zambiland Orchestras, so I’ve done a lot of conducting. So I got to conduct at the very end. The bands consisted of Kyle, Travis, Kang and Jason from String Cheese plus the core of the Motet; Garret on bass, Dave on drums and Ryan on guitar and their keyboard player [Adam Revell]. So four Motet members, four String Cheese members and then a bunch of guest from the festival came and sat in: Sasha Butterfly, the Funginears and a bunch of vocalists and MCs sat in. So that was kind of the culmination finale, last set on the main stage Saturday night. And I was conducting at the end. It was kind of a jam. There were no set songs, nothing was rehearsed.
JH: What are your thoughts on Simon Posford?
JJ: Well, I like Simon a lot. Simon’s playing at Symbiosis as well and we’re doing a super-jam, kind of conducted thing at the end of Symbiosis like I did at Sonic Bloom and there’s talk of Simon being in that band. It looks like Kimock is coming out, so it would be really cool, I think, to have Zilla and Kimock, who have played together before in kind of the jam-tronica world, to meet up with a legend in electronica that really helped established a style that influences a lot of the people who are doing “jam-tronica” music. Certainly Hallucinogen and Shpongle are an influence on anybody who is doing that style. So if we do a Superjam with Simon and Ooah and the Zilla-core and Jasonwho else is in that jam? There are a lot of great people playing Symbiosis, and so I’m working with organizers of the event to handpick a really cool super-jam kind of lineup, and we’re calling it the Symbiotica Orchestra. Symbiosis is an amazing event. It’s a really, really diverse electronica lineup from around the world. There are DJs from every continent coming.
JH: You’re from Boulder, correct?
JJ: I’m originally from New York. I was raised in New York City, but I’ve been in Boulder Colorado for 11 years.
JH: Have you notice any distinct discrepancies between the East Coast electronic scene and the West Coast electronic scene?
JJ: Yeah. I’d say it’s pretty much reflective, in a similar way, of the East Coast jamband scene and the West Coast jamband scene. As a kid from the East Coast, you grew up in that vibe. The second I hit the West Coast, I was like “Oh! Here’s where all my people are! This is where I’m supposed to be.” I mean, I don’t want to say anything negative about the East Coast, but the East Coast is super old-school, in the sense that the East Coast was the first place settled in the United States. I think there is just a lot more tradition and an old money kind of vibe there. It seeps out into people being a little bit more hardened on the East Coast.
The density of the population on the East Coast I think just sets people up for having to deal with more traffic and more hassles and the West Coast is just more laid back and spread out and there’s more room. I think people are just a little bit more chill and they’re also a little bit more aware on the social, environmental, forward-thinking realm. And so the vibe of the electronica and festivals out here, people are much more about fashion and really cool new designs of clothing. People are like designing their own clothes. So the vibe of the crowd is a little bit more Burning Man-like.
The East Coast is a little bit more like “Lets see how fucked up we can get,” frat kind of vibe. But that’s just from years of experience of doing Berkfest and High Sierra and stuff like that. Man, the Shakedown Street at Berkfest was some of the craziest festival scene I’ve ever seen. Just the vibe of the people is a little bit more raging and party oriented, while the West Coast is a little bit more like community “let’s make a social change difference here with what we’re doing instead of just partying and listening to music.”
JH: The hammered dulcimer is a very unique instrument. How do you feel its sound fits in compared to other digital tools more commonly used in live electronic music?
JJ: The thing I’ve noticed with electronic music, having gone to Burning Man forthis will be my ninth Burning Man. And Burning Man is an amazing place to see every style of electronica being played by DJs, all over the place. So I’ve listened to a ton of this music over the last decade and one thing I’ve noticed is that most DJs who produce their music by using computers, which most DJs are doing now, there’s very little guitar in that music. Like very, very little guitar. And most of the “live” electronica bands that I can think of now have a guitar player, including Sector 9 and Lotus; bands that are dipping into the electronica realm but are very rooted in the jamband world, because they have the sound of a guitar doing most of the melodies. As soon as you have a guitar, it really calls strongly in the lineage and tradition of guitar-jam music. I think one of the important strong points of Zilla is that when there’s that one melody that’s like the hook that happens over the muscle beat and the wobbly-bass line, it’s not a guitar, it’s a hammered dulcimer, which has a very different tone and a different sound than a guitar.
I mean, I can’t bend notes like a guitar player can, but I can do these percussive kind of geometrical fact, rhythmic, intimate patterns that are unique to the dulcimer. And then I put my dulcimer through a huge rig of effects, much like a guitar player would, so I change the sound of my instrument. I can make it sound like a keyboard or sound like a marimba or sound like a kalimba. I also have an electric kalimba in my rig and I have a sitar and a tambora, so I’m bringing some Indian instruments into the mix. And I guess the whole idea with Zilla is that we’re always seeking to find new sounds to incorporate into the music.
Some DJs, like Tipper for example, you wouldn’t be able to listen to a song and recognize a single instrument, and be like “Oh yeah, there’s a mandolin playing,” or “There’s a piano.” A lot of DJs create a lot of their sounds from scratch and that’s like a whole field in itself, which is known as sound design. People like Richard Devine, who collaborates with STS9, he is mainly known as a Sound Designer, not as a DJ. He’s really good at inventing sounds from scratch that have never been heard before. This kind of music, I think, is reaching into the future, relying less on the past and leaning more heavily into the future. And that’s the main thing that is most interesting to me right now, the stuff where it’s totally stretching into new realms and not building on tradition, but like trying to reinvent the wheel every minute, you know?
JH: Would you say that jamband music in general is moving towards a more electronic edge and style?
JJ: That’s a good question. I think that the trend that we see right now is going to continue. I mean, the mainstays of jamband music over the past several years are starting to fade away. The Grateful Dead stopped playing and then Phish overlapped with the Grateful Dead for a little while. I remember I would look at my calendar and it would be like “Grateful Dead, Grateful Dead, Grateful Dead” and then three days later “Phish, Phish, Phish,” and man, that was the day. And then Phish was like holding it down and Widespread obviously is still playing a lot and String Cheese stopped, and both String Cheese and Widespread are very deeply rooted in Americana – whether it be bluegrass or southern-rock or country or just plain rock n’roll, and that’s very American music.
And electronica, in the purest sense, with a really well produced muscle-beat and a wobbly bass-line and a keyboard kind of sound, and some spacey trippy sounds, is not American. It is universal music. And when we busted out our sound in Japan, the kids went crazy. They went insane. I don’t know if we were a bluegrass band and played there, if they would go as crazy or not, but it definitely feels like Zilla is pretty universal music.
We never play a blues line. There’s never a moment where Zilla goes bluesy. And there’s not really a moment where Zilla ever plays anything bluegrass or Americana related; it’s more related to our space than it is to America. We’re very conscious of that and we have a lot ofin our beliefs, lets just say, in things out beyond our immediate being and we really are trying to speak to something larger than the roots where we came from. Although I love the Grateful Dead and Led Zeppelin and the Beatles, the music that we play is not trying to be something where we take that foundation and build upon that. It’s more like trying to have a foundation that’s rooted in electronic music from every country in the world.
When you listen to a really good DJ, you can’t say “Oh yeah, this sounds like its French,” or “This sounds like it was made by an Australian DJ.” It just sounds like really good electronica. And in other styles of music, you might notice that it’s from that country, because they’re singing in French or its got banjo and accordion in it, or something like that. And I’m taking a traditional American instrument, which is related to instruments from all over the world, and putting it through a bunch of effects and playing it in the context of electronic dance music. To my knowledge, being a dulcimer player that’s out there in the world all the time, I really haven’t encountered another dulcimer player that’s doing that, in this genre.
So, you know, it’s pretty fun for me to be this kind of oddball. I’m playing now more now at electronic music festivals than I am at jamband music festivals. Because like Sporque for example, and Zilla, are playing things like Emerge n’ See and Rain Dance and Symbiosis and Sonic Bloom and festivals where there are more DJs than there are live bands. So its pretty fun for me to show up to a festival where there’s barely any live music, it’s mostly DJs, and bust out my 125 strings and tune them up and play acoustic instruments in an electronic context, because its really a different kind of flavor to throw into the curry of the festival.
JH: Do you tune all those strings individually.
JJ: Yeah. I have 85 strings on the dulcimer, 13 strings on the sitar and 19 strings on the tambora, or something like that. It adds up to 125 strings that I tune each time Zilla plays. Plus setting up the whole rig with all these multiple instruments and electronics, it’s kind of a process. And each member of Zilla has this circular rig of gadgets and electronics all around and, you know, we’re trying to sound like a six-piece basically even though we’re a trio. And we do that by at least fundamentally having two parts going. Travis and I usually have a beat going. He plays drum-kit and I play mini-kit, which I invented. At the same time, we’re thinking melody and/or hats or harmony or some other tall, percussion sound. And then Aaron is playing always the bass line and then usually some other melody or keyboard line at the same time.
Because we’re doing multiple things at the same time, we can’t play really fact, complex, note-y solos. It makes us play in a very kind of restrained, compositional way, where instead of being like “Ok, it’s guitar solo, now it’s bass solo, now it’s keyboard solo,” it’s more like we’re all contributing a third of the music and it takes all three of us to interlock to make it be that we have these patterns and sections and parts. And the real challenge for us is that we have no songs at all. We didn’t have a single bit of repertoire.
We can’t get into a situation like at Camp Bisco, where we’re in front of a lot of people and it’s our last song and we’ve got ten minutes left. They give us a ten minute cue. Most of the time, when you’re a band and they give you a ten minute cue, the band members look at each other and are like “Ok, we have to blow off that other song and we’re going to go to our big finale song. It’s a song that we know and everybody’s going to go off and love as the highlight of our set.” Well, we don’t have that. We have to literally just come up with that out of thin air. And that’s our challenge. We have to rise to the occasion from having no foundation to rely upon. And I think that’s what makes us a little more different from some other bands. We don’t have that compositional element where we’re going to bust into a “Reba” section; unbelievably well composed and intricate kind of thing. And so for the fan of jam-music, we hope that they really enjoy what we do, because that’s basically all we do. And that’s our essence. But we’re not jamming in the sense of “Check this out!” Just like raging flurries of notes. It’s more like Shpongle.
We’re trying to sound like Shpongle and Bassnectar and we’re not trying to sound like the Grateful Dead, String Cheese, Phish or Sound Tribe. Although, that being said, those are huge influences on all of us. Obviously Travis is a member of String Cheese and I saw many, many Phish shows, many Dead shows, sat in with Phish, you know, all that kind of stuff. So that’s very deeply entrenched in all of our brains but at the same time, the Burning Man thing and the DJ thing has been such a huge influence in the last five years that we desperately try to sound like a DJ, but we’re incredibly influenced by jamband music. That’s I think how we bridged this gap. And we started doing Zilla, in the very beginning, it was a goal, from the very beginning, before these two scenes fully merged, that we wanted to bring together the String Cheese fans of the world and the Bassnectar fans of the world – to the point where the people who found String Cheese because they were big bluegrass lovers and they got into the more electric, until they got to the point where they were like “Well, I kind of like it when String Cheese goes into those electronica-trance jams.” All the way to the point where those bluegrass fans were like “Wow! I actually like electronica. I didn’t really know that I would be into that.”
And I think String Cheese has done the same thing for the fans of electronica. Maybe it’s a stretch for them to go to see String Cheese, and then they hear some bluegrass and they’re like “Wow, I actually think bluegrass is alright, even though I only listen to DJs.” Because a lot of the stuff is the same tempo and has the same energy. It’s just the sounds and the beats that are different. And pretty soon, we’re going to see even more merging and blending.
I have in the back of my mind that I really want to do a bluegrass-electronica concert, because there was one Zilla show where Jeff Austin from Yonder Mountain sat in with us on our last song and we played like a fast drum and bass. And the last 30 seconds of the show, Travis went into the full train-beat. We did the full bluegrass thing, with Aaron playing the big bass line. People freaked. And you can imagine, you get Yonder Mountain up there with huge electronic bass sounds and Zach from Sector 9 on drums or something. Man that would be some future music right there. Bring together the Americana and the future space music. To my knowledge, I haven’t heard anybody doing that and I’m all about trying to do stuff like that.
That’s why I love these huge jam shows and working with the folks at Symbiosis to put together a band. I like listening in my head to imagine different players together and I would love in the future to throw a meeting-of-the-minds show, where we do purposely try to like bring Honkytonk Homeslice and Zilla together with other players and really like do that. Travis and Aaron have been resistant to this idea because we’re not bluegrass and they don’t want to go into that, but I want to find some other people that ready and willing to do bluegrass-tronica.
JH: In the recent SCI issue of Relix we got this interesting quote from Travis where he said “I listen to nothing but electronic music and that’s all I want to play.”
JJ: And that’s part of why I think why String Cheese is ready to stop. They started out on the same page, as a four-piece band with Travis playing congas, accompanying the other three guys who were playing bluegrass music. Travis was like playing hand drums to support the bluegrass things. And even adding hand drums, that was kind of an innovative thing, because most bluegrass bands, they had no percussion at all. Even adding hand drums was like them stretching the style. And then Travis was like “Well, maybe I’ll start playing drum kit.” And then it was a bluegrass band with drum kit. And then they were going “Well, Leftover Salmon is doing these really cool things with bluegrass where they’re making it more rockin’. Leftover was a big influence on String Cheese in the early days. Then they said, “Well, let’s add a keyboard player.” And they found Kyle, and then they sounded even more like rock or other styles and over the years, String Cheese wandered farther and farther away from their bluegrass roots, to the point where you hear Travis say that all he listens to is electronic music and that’s all he wants to play.
But then you have Billy, who over the years, has continued to love the bluegrass thing, so much so that he wanted to get rid of the drums and the keyboard, so he formed a band with his wife and Scott Law where he can really dig into what his heart is speaking to him, which is, “I just really love roots and bluegrass and Americana. That’s all I listen to and that’s all I want to play.” So you have, just in the example of Billy and Travis, two members of the same band who don’t listen to the same music at all anymore. They started out on the same page and they’ve wandered farther away from each other. So it makes sense that now, String Cheese members are now going to be able to go deep into the little slices of the pie that made up String Cheese and just work with that slice for a while. I’m pretty curious to see what’s going to happen now when Travis has free time to like fully dig into what he wants to hear and Billy gets to dig into what he wants to hear and Kang gets to work with really broad musical styles, and also a social network to develop his non-profit called Our Future Now, which is a really great project for Kang to work on. Keith is getting all these calls to work with people and Kyle’s got three different projects that he does occasionally.
I think everybody’s going to blossom now into their new realm. And everybody asks me, because they know that I know String Cheese, “Is String Cheese really breaking up? When are they going to get back together? Are they going to get back together?” And no one really knows the answer to that. But my intuition says that just like Phish, those guys need to feel like they’re done and not have String Cheese looming on the horizon, in order for them to be able to psychically and emotionally dig in to what they really want to get into.
I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a day some day in the future where they say, “Hey, that was really fun. I kind of miss those shows that we used to do. Let’s do a show.” I can see that there’s potential for that to happen again. But I don’t think that there’s any pre-conceived notion of when that will be. On the contrary, I think it’s important for them all to feel like there isn’t any plan for that to happen again, so that they can really feel like they have a clean slate. It’s like breaking up with a girlfriend, you know? Until you really actually break up and don’t see them for a while, it’s not until then that you really feel like you’re ready to start a relationship with somebody else. I think that they’ve had all these side-projects going, but it’s always been like “Oh, I’d really love to go do more shows or that tour or that offer, but we have to rehearse with String Cheese during that week, so we can’t do that gig.” And now, they’re going to able to just go and do what they want. So that’s a good thing for everybody, except for the String Cheese fans who are going to miss them.
JH: In terms of the jamband scene moving more towards this electronic orientation, who do you see as the pioneers of the past for that and who do you see as the pioneers of the future?
JJ: Well obviously Sound Tribe Sector 9 has been kind of the leader of this movement. I saw Sound Tribe play at the High Sierra pool party in 1997, so ten years ago, and it was like “Wow, these kids are cool.” They were just cool. They didn’t sound like they do now, but they sounded really good, especially for how early on and young they were in their playing of their instruments and stuff like that. I’ve been watching them from the wings for a long time.
I’ve been friends with Jeffery especially for a long time. Jeffery Lerner and I have a little known side-project called Lernover, which is me and Jeffery and tabla player named Jagjit Chadha. We did High Sierra one year and we’ve done a couple of gigs like at 12 Galaxies and stuff like that. And those shows went really well. Jeffery plays laptop and he uses his knowledge of Ableton Live to create deep sounds. He just plays laptop and I play my whole rig that I play with Zilla and Jagjit plays Tabla. And I hope to get to do that some more. But Sound Tribe has been an influence, for sure and I think that those guys are like the pioneers of the genre in the sense that they were the first band that was like playing in the jamband world but only really listened to electronic music. I’d see them and they’d be like “Oh man, have you heard the new blah-blah-blah album.” And I’d be like “No, who’s that?” And they’d be like “Oh, he’s this great DJ from blah-blah-blah. Have you heard of these guys, or these guys?” And I’d be like “No, I don’t know any of this music. I’m still a solo acoustic dulcimer player guy and I don’t really know all these DJs.”
And so it’s partly true of Sound Tribe. They were like pioneers showing us that yep, you can in fact be a jamband and play in a really reserved style and not have flurries of notes wailing away and bluesy raging guitar solos as part of your mix and still get a huge crowd riled up by building up the energy in a different kind of way. Because the buildup in electronica is to drop out have it be very minimal for a while and then slowly bring in more elements and build up like a big snare-roll or something like that and then hit the top of a jam and hit it really hard. But it’s not, in the sense of what like Trey would do, building harmonic and rhythmic tension and then hiding the one and then dropping down really hard on the one, that’s more of a traditional jamband methodology for building up energy and then releasing it. It’s tension and release. And I’ve had long conversations with Trey about all this stuff and I think it’s great.
But the other way of doing it in the electronic world is much more minimalist. It’s not about building rhythmic and harmonic tension; It’s about building something that’s very structured and concrete and stays very much in time. You don’t hide the one. You are notating and keeping reference to the cycles of measures as they go by. In a very long cycle, like a 64 bar cycle, you build and build and build until you hit the one and everybody drops into their part, even harder and louder than they were before. And that’s the electronica DJ version of building up tension. And there’s classic build ups where it goes “Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo (increases and gets faster) and then it just disappears into nothing and then something super-heavy drops in.”
JH: Do you know how hard that’s going to be for me to transcribe? I’ll just draw diagrams.
JJ: I guess the way to transcribe it is that it’s building up with less into more, instead of hiding the one, tension building, harmonically playing notes that are out of the scale and making it sound all dissonant. I mean Trey is the freakin’ master of this. We sit around and talk about this all the time. Man, that stuff has been done so many times and it has been done so well, that for any band to try and do it better than Phish did just seems like a daunting task. And that’s why we, early on, decided that we weren’t going to go for that.
Aaron used to play guitar in Zilla. He used to put the bass down and Travis would play a bass line on keyboard and Aaron would play guitar. Every time we did that, we would sound more like some of these other bands. And it got to the point where, on his own, Aaron just decided “You know what? I’m not going to play guitar anymore.” And we have no guitar and no guitar amps. We got rid of it. That’s how fully we wanted to try to expand upon stuff. Instead of following another tradition, we wanted to reinvent the whole thing and be as creative as we could.
We used to be a four-piece, also. We had Steve Vidaic on keyboards. He got a gig with Citizen Cope and then he got really busy. We had a tour, and Steve called us up and said “Guys, I’m really sorry; I can’t make this tour because I’ve got to go on this Citizen Cope tour.” So we were like “Oh no! What do we do?” So we decided that what we were gonna do was go out as a trio and we had to fill up all that space that was left after there were no more keyboards. So Travis and Aaron both added keyboards to their rigs and I added sitar and tambora to my rig and expanded out my repertoire and that’s when we became more focused on doing multiple things at the same time, because we no longer had a keyboard to lay down this lush bed that we would build on. We had to make the bed and lie in it at the same time.
So we all started tearing down what we do. I can’t play a big flurry of notes and a beat at the same time. But I can play a beat and go over to my dulcimer, which has a big effect and a delay on it, and go “Doo-Doo” and do a two note melody that repeats over and over. That’s how you really get people into a trance and get people to flow, instead of being tangential and going off in a jazz kind of way and playing a lot of different things that are somehow related in a chord progression or whatever. You just sit on something and then just do it again and do it again and do it again and then maybe it changes a little bit and then you just keep going and going and going and it evolves slowly over time.
Sound Tribe is a really great example of how you can be a jamband and be incredibly patient. They’re super patient. They’ll build something up and when you think they’re going to peak out, they don’t. They keep building and building. And Phish would do the same thing, but they would do it with Trey adding in a lot of harmonic tension. The electronic bands are playing really beautiful, aesthetic chords and beautiful tones and not going into the dissonance world or the blues world so much, and staying more in like the realm that makes people like look up, put there hands in the air and stuff like that. Which is, I think, a great thing.
JH: Do you feel that a genuine electronic or trance band requires a lack of vocals?
JJ: It doesn’t require a lack of vocals. An electronic band can have a really great free-stylist or MC that instead of being in the traditional style of “singing” or vocal harmonies is more like doing rap or freestyle beat boxing and stuff like that. So I think that they just have a new take on it. It’s really interesting to see now that the Disco Biscuits have had this resurgence that has had a big influence on a lot of other electronic bands. And I think the Disco Biscuits themselves, having talked to Brownstein a lot, it sounds like they themselves are evolving their own sound now, too. They’ve been together for a long time and they’re reinventing their own sound right now. I remember talking to Brownstein not very long ago “Have you heard of so-and-so? Have you heard of Bassnectar?” And he was like, “No, who are these guys? I want to know about that stuff.” I was like “Man, you should go to Burning Man. Because have you have ever heard of so-and-so, because that was a while ago, and now here they are very much collaborating with some of these DJs that have only been around for a little while.” There’s so much incredible music being made by DJs that have only been out there for a short time.
JH: Computers have found themselves as an increased presence onstage in electronica acts. How do you feel about software such as Ableton Live?
JJ: It hasn’t been around for very long and I think it is the most powerful instrument, I would call it, ever made. I mean Ableton is an incredible program. It’s called “Live” for a reason. They call it “Ableton Live” because it’s meant to be something that you use live. With a lot of work in your studio ahead of time, you can make basically any type of sound, any kind of beat, any kind of chord progression and then bust that out live and perform live over it and do infinite variations on it. These kids that are growing up todayback in the day, when we were kids, you’d grow up and you’d be like “Man, check it out. There’s this new cool effects pedal that does loops!” Now that’s like old-hat and there are 14 year old kids who are busting their Macintosh with Ableton Live on it and playing this incredible music at a really young age. So there’s like many, many, many pioneers of electronic DJ music now. Like thousands of them sprouting up all over because of the atmosphere and culture and technology that exists right now. So I really do see the jamband thing progressing more into future music and moving a little bit farther away from tradition.