The Chicago based electronic trio IndigoSun is a band you’ve ought to have heard by now. They are a Summer Camp Music Festival staple and have been circumnavigating the soundscape on their latest releases. Read our interview and discover for yourself how they’re doing it.
Preview their Sound Cloud here.
Listen to their latest album: A Love Song for the Human Race
Axiom-Nation: It seems as though many of your tunes derive from Jazz structures and patterns, how does this reflect some of your earlier influences?
Steve: I have always considered what I play to be a strange form of modern jazz. During the era of big band swing in the 1930’s and 40’s this style was the dance music of the time. Although it sounds completely different now, the core of these songs remain the same.
Kyle: One tremendous similarity to this genre of the past has to do with the idea of group improvisation which definitely reflects our influences. Incorporating different notions of artistic freedom and pushing the boundaries of what jazz can do is very vital to the jam scene entirely.
AX: Tell me about some of your current influences
Steve: Snarky Puppy and Hiatus Kayote, to me, are some of the only ones doing things differently around here. Sometimes I feel as though where an artist is going with the song can be very predictable in electronic music and it’s alway good to see innovators.
Kyle: Even though we may be on the verge of a musical revolution, in our little jam scene nutshell its difficult to find artists who seek to make their arrangements unique. We live for he groove in new, strange signatures. Essentially, re-applying the compositional knowledge and aesthetic into an alternative fashion is what we wish to give and receive from live performances.
AX: Your album “Behind Closed Eyes” really put the band on the map for many audiences outside of Chicago-land, what’s the next step? Which sort of barriers do you wish to push with the latest release; “Love Song for the Human Race”?
Mike: We would love to represent our ideas in a cohesive way and give sort of a total musical experience. Combining the positive, yet spiritual message our music embodies and using the these aforementioned influences then composing them really is the ultimate goal as a band.
Steve: Combining these eclectic background and challenging ourselves to explore all of these unheard sounds is, in the end of the day, why we love our jobs.
AX: I understand that sax player Lucas is no longer with the group, how has this transformed your sound?
Kyle: To be honest, it was a little bit of a reset button, which of course, at first was difficult. In a sense, we could really paint the canvas in all new shades. Since the he moved on – less than a year ago- we’ve really been able to open things up in terms of improv and songwriting. In some ways it forced us to tighten up and evolve the IndigoSun sound. It really gave us the opportunity to recreate ourselves. I find this evident on the track “Miles to Go”, which is an excellent exemplification of the rebirth we have been going through.
AX: Would the band consider adding another member?
Kyle: Yes, but they must be committed to the band and more importantly, the message.
AX: I really enjoyed the concept of “Behind Closed Eyes”, does your latest release have a powerful theme too?
Steve: We’re working on an in-depth project dure due in Autumn of this year, but really our initiative now is to put out a more conceptual piece every couple of years with EPs in between.
Kyle: Obviously the full length albums are very spiritual as well as psychedelic journeys through soundscapes. In “Behind Closed Eyes” we wanted to take the listener places by offering this transcendent exploratory work that poses as one entity. Now, without giving away too much- our next album entitled “The Medicine” seeks to give our listeners a healing, meditative experience. We divided the album into chapters with each holding their own motifs. Part one is about love, community, dance and how these ideas can give people positive influences which provide an alternative way to live. The second, however, was inspired by the healing power of nature and the feeling that can evoke. Finally, the third was about the buddhist experience we share that commits to self-exploration and discovering within.
AX: Let’s hear about recording with our friend Corey from The Main Squeeze
Steve: There’s really nothing to say; he is a total professional. Came into our studio, absolutely killed it in just a few takes then hung out. He is absolutely phenomenal on the spot.
Kyle: He really brought the song to life. Though I had written the lyrics, adding Corey’s vocal dynamic breathed a vitality to the track. adding his voice as musician and composer is what gave it a special feel.
AX: How do your live shows emulate the themes from your album?
Steve: In short, they’re not as well produced or constructed to be this grand journey, however, we construct an energetic, enjoyable experience undulating with fun! This sort of adventure mimics the positivity and experimental aspects from our album.
Kyle: Too much of modern music is about sensory overload, which of course we love that euphoric feeling, but we really enjoy adding the contemplative pieces as well. So when writing setlists it’s important to add this diversity to our audience’s experience.
Mike: Agreed. We want to keep the primal, yet give an intellectual feel. Having a balance between the crunchy, vigorous aspect and technical sounds is key to our music.
AX: Plenty of artists have transitioned to the track-based system of performing live, how has this element allowed you to compose unexplored sounds?
Kyle: It has made our sound more full, but also given each of us the opportunity to play multiple instruments and give it a voice- a fourth member if you will. I think incorporating a fully-analog synth sound has brought our sound an extra harmonic element.
Mike: Constantly exploring new musical frontiers and experimenting with different devices is in essence what has shifted the musical paradigm of the jam scene.