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Published: 2017/12/27
by Sam D'Arcangelo

STS9: 20 Years Together and Still Looking Forward

Well you just touched on two things that I’d like to ask you about. First, there’s the Artifact show at Red Rocks earlier this year. That record is truly fan favorite, so what was it like to dive back in and explore that music you guys wrote so many years ago?

It was so exciting, from where we are now, to go back in a see how timeless it is. Honestly, there’s a lot of Artifact songs in our repertoire right now because we went back in it. And it’s not that we’ve revamped them, but we have definitely jolted some new life into them. We had so much fun doing it at Red Rocks that we really wanted do it again. So we did do it again while we were in Knoxville. We were in the South and it was kind of a surprise thing. We were doing two night so we felt like we wanted to do it again since it was so fun. It’s so cool to play a record in its entirety like that and think “wow, it really does make sense.” (Laughs). The flow of it even makes sense in a show environment. It’s not just for your or in the car. It can be presented this way. It was great to experience that and let our fans experience that. They were pretty stoked too.

You also mentioned the singles you released over the course of this year. Can we expect some more singles in 2018? Is a full follow up to The Universe Inside in the works?

We have a lot of cool things in the pipeline right now. We’ve got some new singles, we have a piece of music we’re going to share. We have a lot. A lot of music. Like I said before, the best is yet to come. We’re releasing more and more music. I don’t see us slowing down with that any time soon. We have a studio in Santa Cruz and we’re there almost every day. Whether it’s rehearsals for a particular show or tour, or looking at new music we’ve recorded and figuring out how we want to release it, or if we’re looking at old stuff that isn’t on a record and has never been released. We’re look at stuff like that too. You should see our dry erase board. It’s pretty packed. (Laughs). But you know, we would also like to do some writing sessions with other people. We want to work with our contemporaries, other artists and have fun doing that as well.

The band is gearing up to close out 2017 with a run of shows in California, including three nights in San Francisco for New Year’s Eve. It’s been awhile since y’all celebrated New Year’s on what is nwo your home turf. What brings you back this year and do you have any surprises in store for the fans?

We were just super excited to play close to home. Our families can come, and it’s sunny California. We were just excited to do something different because we’ve been going back and forth between Atlanta and Denver, doing this sort of flip flop every year. So wanted to switch it up and do California. The Bay Area and the West Coast has been very vocal, and they want more STS9 out here. So we listened, and we want to be out here too. It was a perfect of things to make it all happen.

And absolutely, man. New Year’s is always a spectacle. It’s a retrospective of the year, but you’re also looking forward. We have some cool things planned. It’s always such a fun party. That’s what people can expect. A fun evening and STS9 at its finest.

I know you guys have a bit of a mountain tour planned for early in 2018. Is there anything else you can tell us about?

We’ve got a ton of stuff. There’s a ton of festivals. We’re doing Okeechobee, and there’s actually like five or six festivals right now that I don’t know that I’m allowed to say. We have a cool festival summer and some other treats for two-nighters and other experiences in different parts of the country that we’re stoked about as well.

You guys do your acoustic “Axe the Cables” shows from time to time, and they’re always a big treat for the fans. Are there any plans to revive that in 2018?

I’m sure that we will. But as of right now, I think the reason they’re so special is that we don’t do them all the time. I think another thing that’s important is that it’s done in a correct way and a special way so that people really do feel that. Like I said, we’re close to getting all of our plans locked in for the year, so we’ll so how it falls. So hopefully yes, but there’s nothing exactly on the books as of now. It needs to kind of manifest itself.

20 years is something special. Do you have any advice for young bands that are looking to attain that kind of longevity?

Just have fun and stay authentic. I think that would be my advice. Have fun, be yourself and be as authentic as you can to your art. That’s all that you can really do, and when you’re authentic to your art that’s what shows. So many people try to grasp onto different trends or different this or different that. When we write music or play music, it’s more about what comes to us. It’s not like, “oh we need to write a song that or like this.” We write music that comes from the heart and that we feel comes from the heart. It seems like it’s been working, so we’re pretty blessed to be doing what we’ve been doing.

Finally, is there anything you’d like to mention before we go?

I’m really stoked about the releases and the artwork. There was a gallery that we did during the Red Rocks run that was a really cool thing. It was kind of a 20 year thing with some of our art. We’d like to do more stuff like that shows that we do more than music. There’s so much art that comes out from our albums and stuff, and it’s all a process. We don’t just go to some artist and say, “hey create this.” There’s always a whole lot of intention behind it, so there’s more of that to come. But like I said, there’s more music. It’s exciting.

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