Beyond Sound: An Interview with Consider the Source
I saw a photo you posted from Catskill Chill – obviously a much larger show. Do you like playing the smaller clubs/bars such as Spot Underground, or is the festival setting more comfortable for you guys? What are the pros and cons of each?
John: We started out in bars and house parties and have and always will love the raw energy of that. Some of our favorite shows have been in these intimate settings. We often feel more comfortable in smaller places because we can hear the nuances in our collective sound whereas when you’re playing in a festival that kind of delicateness is rare. Playing festivals is awesome for other reasons though. You’re communicating to much more people in a much different way. You have people from all over, from all walks of life all there to experience new music. Playing for people in that receptive state is very special. It’s a totally different kind of energy. Your sound is bigger which makes you play differently. Not better or worse, just differently.
Again, the music seemed very tightly composed – do you guys “jam”? It was my first time seeing you so I had nothing to compare it to – but what would you say (if any) the percent of your music involves some sort of improvisation?
Gabriel: Well thank you for that. We Improvise a LOT! So if it sounds composed then we are doing our jobs well. All of the solo sections are very different every night. The difference is that we don’t “jam,” we improvise more in the jazz sense. We will have different sections that we know our improv are going to have, but getting there will be diff every night. When I’m playing a solo, I draw heavily on what John and Jeff are doing just as much as my own ideas, so it’s a conversation, not just a solo. I think that’s why people don’t think we improvise nearly as much as we do, because we really listen to each other and react accordingly so it may sound like we were playing something planned out, but it was something spontaneous.
I see you have some tour dates coming up in Israel – how did that come to be?
John: We have been going to Israel for the past two years and this will be our 3rd trip out there. A few years back we had wanted to tour overseas and we had been hearing from a lot of Israeli’s that Israel would love our music. So we took a leap of faith and said let’s make Israel our first endeavor. The first time we played there was incredible. The crowd embraced us and word spread very quickly there. The next year we ended up playing with a well-known Israeli band called Eatliz who are incredible musicians and amazing people. Their fans really took to our sound and made our last visit there huge for us. So we make the overseas trip once a year to expand on that and to try to branch out to new places as well such as Germany which we’ll be touring in as well this October.
Do you prefer recording albums or playing shows? On that note – how is the live album selling/how has it been received?
Gabriel: They are very different. Playing live is one of my favorite things to do, period. When we are on top of our game together onstage, it’s pretty hard to beat that feeling. I love the idea of recording, but for us it can be a little stressful. We record all live and then overdub on top of that, but that means if while improvising I hit a bum note or something I’m not thrilled with, but it’s the best take for the band, then that flub stays. Nowadays it seems everyone records parts one at a time and can do 100 takes until they get something right. But since our playing is so interactive with each other, we have to do it at the same time to get that energy. But for our next album we are going to treat it a little more like a studio album then we ever have before, and I am super excited by that. We’ve been selling the live album well and everyone seems to dig it a lot.
Where do you see yourselves being career-wise in 5 years?
John: Well we have a lot of musical ambitions. Gabe and I have a lot of ideas that are in their incubation periods and will require years of honing our abilities to pull off. So in 5 years I see us finally seeing some of those ideas to fruition. This would mean us playing much different kinds of venues and our audience seeing a whole new side to us. I also see us traveling internationally more. In this group we try to make music from other genres and cultures work together. Going to the source (no pun intended) of where some of this music is from and showing them what we do with it is something we plan on going on a much larger scale.
Anything else you would like to add?
Gabriel: We always want to thank our fans because they are really the coolest fans. One of the things I love about this group is that our crowd is so mixed. There are all sorts of people together in the same crowd that it seems would never ever agree on the same music but dig us. And if you haven’t heard us before come out and see us! Hopefully it will be an experience you’ve never had before.