March 6th, 2008 by Russ
For Jason Hann and Michael Travis, there is life afer String Cheese and it’s called EOTO,a 100% improvised live Breakbeat/ House/ Drum n Bass/ Trip Hop project. Jason Hann explains.
AUSTIN DAZE: What does a trip to Austin mean to you all and where do you like to hang when you are here?
JASON HANN Wow, well Austin is just an amazing city to always get back to. Especially being in the middle of Texas– it’s pretty refreshing. We used to go through there with String Cheese all the time. What are the name of the Springs?
AD: Barton Springs.
JH: Oh yeah. Love that. That’s unbelievable. There isn’t a better place for live music..
AD: How do you all feel about the state of the jam band scene? What about your place in that scene now that you are no longer with String Cheese Incident?
JH: It’s hard to make a judgement other than that there are a lot of bands out there these days which is great. It also seems like there is definitely an influx of Electronica into festivals. So there is an evolution happening in that sense. One thing we definitely noticed is that it doesn’t seem like kids are touring as much because there is going to be something coming through their town or they have a lot of three day weekend festivals where people would rather settle in for a three day and see an amazing amount of bands than following a particular band to a ton of cities. In that sense, it is sort of changing. Not for better or for worse, just different. There is still a lot of really good players and bands out there. I think it’s pretty healthy.
AD: You seem to have a pretty busy schedule. You are going to be in a different city every day until the end of April. How do you get to relax?
JH: Well, right now I’m on a Ferry going into Washington. The scenery is absolutely beautiful. We travel around in an RV too and it’s just the three of us. If we decide we are in the redwoods and we want to camp there for the night we can do that. We’ve planned the tour so we can sneak out and try and find time to do things. We try to schedule the tour in enough cities so that the drives are really short and we get a full night sleep every night.
AD: I don’t how you do it.
JH: Well one way we do it is to keep it fresh every night. We were just talking this morning about how we’ve done all these shows, I think we are on number 15 in a row, and we’re sort of like, “Wow it’s really easy.” With improvising you keep it new on a nightly basis. You keep evolving and pushing yourself which is good.
AD: Your new album Raised just came out in January. Tell us a little bit about that.
JH We recorded it at the beginning of last summer. It was a really big recording process and we really didn’t edit anything on there and we did some playing and experimenting with the equalizer and then mastering so it was a really big change for us but we were really happy with the outcome of it. It feels very fresh.
AD: We’re really looking forward to your coming here and playing Ruta Maya.
JH: So are we. We love playing Austin. We are going to create a little oasis for dance music.
AD: That’s what we are looking for. Last question: what words of advice would you give a musician just starting out?
JH: I think I’ve got a couple. For me, number one is just staying inspired and the way that you go about doing that is pretty much the key to it. You need to do things that really make you excited about playing music and it doesn’t necessarily have to be the project that you are currently in. Always keep yourself in something that keeps you engaged with your instrument because eventually those influences seep in everywhere. You don’t ever want your source of inspiration to deteriorate. ***