A Quick Conversation with EOTO
Earlier on the fall tour
Before EOTO’s performance on November 29 in Memphis, Michael Travis and Jason Hann, gave Kevin Long a few moments of their time…
How did EOTO turn into the touring monster that it is today? What separated it from Zilla and some of the other side projects that you’ve been a part of in the past?
M.T.: For me it was just how excited I was in the beginning of it and how good it felt each night. It had so much potential and I have always been the drummer in every band. I loved exploring the tonal elements. It was the first time I played the tonal instruments exclusively and it felt like a whole new career for me. I had infinite energy for it.
I am glad you brought up the tonal aspects. How did it come to pass that Michael handles those duties? Was it something you discussed or did it naturally fall into place?
J.H.: I think since our first jams Travis as been playing like bass and guitar and focusing on the tonal aspects while I am playing drums. It is definitely the best way because we don’t have to confer on keys or keys of songs. We just go and he modulates between songs or themes or progression or whatever and he does not have to let me know about it. He just goes with it. Rhythmically it gives me the same kind of freedom and the music can go anywhere.
Your tour schedule is grueling and you play a lot of small markets. What brings you to Memphis on a Sunday night?
M.T.: Because we had an open date between Nashville and Little Rock. (Laughs all around) Basically we are trying to hit the big towns on weekends. We are not in the position to sell out New York on a Monday Night. We like to have all the other shows as opposed to flying out. We prefer the continuum of touring; we can modulate what we sound like more thoroughly because we are emerged in the process. Night after night the band starts to change and get better. It is a very gratifying process to go through.
It had been rumored that EOTO was going to release another studio project. What happened?
M.T.: We got all this stuff we just never got around to finishing it.
J.H.: We were this close! (Signaling an inch with his fingers)
I have to know, with every show being improvised and different each time, who comes up with the names of the tracks? I know you don’t have that much time on the bus.
M.T.: (Laughing) It’s our friends Brian and Heath from Denver. Jason sends them the shows and they decide when each song starts and ends along with the name.