Exclusive Q & A with Jason Hahn of String Cheese Incident


1. String Cheese Incident will return to Electric Forest in 2014:

Q: Will Cheese be at the Forest next year?

A: So many rumors around that too. Yes we’ll be there.

2. The band wants to focus on “fresh material”:

Q: What do you say to the SCI fans who tend to hate on the electro grooves? I can’t stand listening to “fans” bitch about new directions a band is taking, I personally LOVE it.

A: To each his own. Know that it’s part of the make up of the band right now, and the seeds have been planted since the late ’90s. Kang was basically the one to introduce Bassnectar to the jam/festival scene as he and Travis have been going to Burning Man since the late 90s.

Tipper was such a giant influence on Kang, me, and Travis and we have aspired to make those sentiments come across by a live band. If you listen to Kyle’s solo CDs, they have a strong electronic programming influence on there.

We only do it a couple of times a night in the same way we treat other genres such at afro and latin songs.

There’s always archives to listen to. We get so much slack from old schoolers who want to relive 1999-2001 over and over. That’s fine. We love the history of our material from the past, but want fresh material to dive into, like BollyMunster.

3. The band had a great time at Lockn’:

Q: Saw you at Lockn festival a few weeks back. I had a great time! What was the band’s take on Lockn festival overall?

A: Loved it. they had difficulties with the road on the way in, and I never got to see the camping area, but I really enjoyed the stages next to each other and the interaction of the bands set to set.

4. The process of writing setlists is painful:

Q: Can you explain how the SCI setlists are written out? Does each member come to the table with songs they wanna play for the night or do you guys ever take turns writing a whole setlist?

A: Painfully:) When we practice, we come up with songs that we want to play for a run. No matter how much we get a setlist together, it changes day of show. It really is one of the more difficult things to address as a band. We try to make sure everyone in the band is involved throughout the night and that styles and eras and instrumentation are represented. Some are more passionate than others on how the night should go.

5. SCI do not have anything planned for December 30:

Q: Are you planning a collaboration show with someone in Denver on the 30th? Perhaps a benefit concert? If not, why aren’t y’all playing??!!

A: Just wanted to do 3 shows for NYE and since it’s on a Tuesday, then Monday became a wild card. Would rather do Sat, Sun, Tues instead of Sun, Mon, Tues.

6. Hann enjoyed the Zac Brown Incident collaboration:

Q:  What was it like playing with Zach (sic) brown band i was there and it was completely awesome.

A: Zac and his people were great. had such a good time at his place outside of Atlanta rehearsing at his man cave. Hatchet throwing, wall climbing, killer listening room…

7. SCI doesn’t dislike Phish:

Q: Do you guys bump heads with Phish? Or dislike them for any reason?

A: No. They are a huge musical influence on Kang and Travis. We were honored to have Trey play 2 songs with us when we did the Boulder fire benefit a couple of years ago. I’ve been to a few show and liked them a lot. All great players and the chemistry between them is crazy amazing.

- Adam Epstein