The Bassist for the Electronic Rock Group Lotus Shares Insight on the Band's 2017 Schedule
On Saturday, February 4 Jesse Miller, bassist and sampler for Lotus, took time out of his busy schedule at the Gem and Jam Festival to speak with Samantha Harvey.
The band headlined the Gem and Jam Festival on Saturday evening, and continue to tour across the globe to entertain audiences.
CV: Here we are in sunny Tucson, the weather is beautiful. The festival is beautiful. Are you excited to be one of the headliners here at the Gem and Jam?
Jesse: Yeah, I’ve never been to this event before.
CV: Yeah, me neither.
CV: You guys have a new album out, Eats the Light, and it looks like you have a pretty full touring schedule ahead. Is there anything else you’re really looking forward to on tour or in the upcoming festival season?
Jesse: Yeah, I mean there’s some big shows coming out. We don’t get out to the West Coast very often, so it’s great to be out here for a couple of weeks. We have big show in Denver at the Fillmore on the 18th, I think it is. And then, making our way through some cool venues, most of them we’ve played before in the Midwest.
CV: Lotus, has been around for a long time, since ’99. Can you talk to me about how your musical style has evolved or matured over time?
Jesse: We’ve just taken on and tried out a lot of different things over the years. I think the very earliest Lotus was more like loose and a lot of jamming. We still do a lot of improvisation, but I think one of the biggest changes or evolutions is becoming much more focused and having really clear direction while we’re improvising. On the composition side, it’s just writing tighter material. And growing from the early days, it was just two guitars, bass, drums and instrumentation. We’ve definitely added on more things, especially electronic elements over the years.
CV: That being said, after being together for so long, how does the band keep the energy fresh?
Jesse: I think just trying out new styles. When we’re off the road, I’m always recording and writing. To me, that’s what keeps it exciting is working on new material and pushing ourselves that way. I think if it got to the point to where we weren’t working on anything new, it would just be a drag or get tiresome. I mean we still play our old material, but to me one of the most exciting parts is developing new music.
CV: Who would you say your biggest musical influences are, both currently or growing up? Who has inspired you?
Jesse: For Lotus, or me personally?
CV: I guess for you personally. However you want to answer.
Jesse: Talking Heads are definitely big. Herbie Hancock’s fusion stuff from the late seventies. Some of the stuff in the last 5 or 6 years, I’ve been really into this minimalist rock stuff like Spoon, Deerhunter, the OC’s, and stuff like that which doesn’t really sound like Lotus, but it’s the kind of stuff that I listen to and inspires me to write even though it’s not like Lotus’ music.
CV: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me! I really appreciate it