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Published: 2017/02/09
by Matt Inman

Auld Lang Syne: Jesse Miller and Mike Wilbur

Jesse Miller and Lotus released both Eat the Light and Eat the Light Remixes in 2016. Miller is currently touring with the group and will appear with his new project the Octave Cat, in March.

What will you remember most about 2016?

The election of Trump. The deaths of so many influential musicians.

On the positive side – releasing Lotus’s album Eat the Light after working on it for three years. Writing and recording with Octave Cat.

Which album or albums have you listened to most this past year?

Released this year:

Parquet Courts Human Performance
Tortoise The Catastrophist
The Kills Ash & Ice
Car Seat Headrest Teens of Denial
Audion Alpha

Older, re-discovered albums:

801 – 801 Live (live recording of English super-group with Brian Eno, Ray Manzanera and more), Herbie Hancock – Sunlight (some cheesy vocoder on here, but also some serious grooves. Check the final track “Good Question” with Jaco on bass and Tony Williams on drums)

What was your favorite show of 2016?

Lotus shows:

Our Halloween show 10/29/2016 at Town Ballroom in Buffalo featuring the “Space Disco” set. I brought out a full modular synth rig and we wrote and performed an entire set of new music. I think it really took the band into some new musical territory and jumpstarted the writing process by forcing us to put together a lot of ideas very quickly.

The Mann – Philadelphia 9/24/16 – This show was the culmination of a lot of work expanding our production. Serendipitously, the weather was perfect. Looking out over the hometown Philly skyline as the sun set and then playing this show with so many friends in attendance made it amazing.

Shows I attended:
-Parquet Courts – Union Transfer – Philadelphia 5/11/16 – Minimalist rock is still great.
-Dungen – Boot and Saddle – Philadelphia 6/19/16 – I’ve seen this psychedelic Swedish band six times I think, but this show really stood out. Such great guitar tone.
-Holy Fuck – Boot and Saddle – Philadelphia 7/22/16 – Somehow they really rock out on broken Casios, DIY modular synth rigs and a bunch of film run through a projector manually.
-Grimace Federation – Kung Fu Necktie (upstairs) – 5/13/16 – Johnny Kimock joining in for a dual drum kit rock out on old school Grimace tracks jammed into a tiny room with 60 other people

What emerging artists should we watch out for in 2017?

(shameless plug) Octave Cat – my new trio with Eli Winderman and Charlie Patierno. We just finished mixing our album and will play a few shows in March in Philly, NYC and Baltimore. It is inspired by ‘70s synth funk and fusion as well as some classic electronic/dance elements. Very analog and warm, gritty recordings.

(more shameless plugs) – Hopefully some of the projects I’ve been working on with Damn Right! and Grimace Federation will be released this year. We have some great sounding studio recordings that I’d love others to hear.

If Car Seat Headrest releases another album, I think it will be big.

Any big plans in the works for 2017?

There are always a lot of Lotus projects in the pipeline that I’m working on—albums, videos, writing and recording. We just kicked off a large tour that will keep us super busy for the next 8 weeks.

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