Lotus fans were given a heaping double dose of tasty tunes this past Thanksgiving weekend. Lotus took the stage at the PlayStation Theatre for both Friday & Saturday nights and totally rocked the house. Opening for Lotus was a fun and funky trio hailing from Denver, Colorado known as Spectacle. Spectacle is comprised of Jessica Rose Borth on violin, Michael Lee Mahan on guitar and Rob Brandon on percussion. Spectacle has a refreshing twist on electronic music, and successfully incorporates different elements such as the violin and melodica creating an innovative and eclectic sound. The band was an upbeat opener that got the crowd moving from start to finish. Keep an eye out for this trio as they continue to cultivate their sound.
Lotus started the weekend with an elated and euphoric evening on Friday. The band opened the show with ‘Tip of the Tongue’ and kept the night going with crowd pleasers such as ‘Suitcases’ and ‘Wax’. However, Friday night was just a warm up for Saturday when the band really brought the heat. Lotus threw it back with ‘Spiritualize’, a classic favorite & kept it fresh by bringing out guest vocalist Mutlu. Mutlu accompanied the band for two songs from their most recent album ‘Eat The Light’. Mutlu’s vocals were well received and blended with Lotus flawlessly. Overall the weekend was stuffed with success. In true Lotus fashion the band left the crowd basking in musical satisfaction.
Before Lotus kicked off the Thanksgiving weekend I was able to catch up with bassist Jesse Miller and get some of his insight on their latest album ‘Eat The Light’.
You are almost done with your fall tour right now, how’s that going? Any highlights so far?
Yeah, we didn’t do a really big tour we were just kind of doing some select weekends. Starting in September our Red Rocks show and then the following weekend a big show in Philly and those were big shows in our two hometowns and in really cool venues, so those were cool. Since then we played two nights in Buffalo, two nights in Chicago and were doing two nights here; they have all been good.
Awesome. So you guys dropped your latest album ‘Eat The Light’ in mid- July. How do you feel about the response from fans so far?
I think like all our albums, it is always a little mixed. We always try to do something different with our albums and this one in particular goes a little bit further away than some stuff we’ve done in the past since there is vocals in all of it. But I have gotten a lot of great feedback on it and to me it is like, albums are the way to reach outside of our fan base to me. It is somewhat important what the hardcore fans think, but in other ways for me it is more important to get outside of that base and not just give them exactly what we do at the shows. So that’s why we always try to push and do something different and also you know for our own sake we like to mix it up.
I would say that Lotus definitely stepped outside of its comfort zone and took quite a few risks on this album.What pushed you guys to go in this new direction?
We had always been writing songs for singers and this was like a way of instead of having a couple songs with lyrics standout amongst other instrumentals, just make that the focus and go after it, so we kind of built it around that idea. And the idea of keeping stuff more upbeat and dance-y so that kind of is the thread goes through that whole album.
Ok, cool I know you collaborated with a few different artists on this album, how was that experience?
It was good. I would describe it more as working as producers, bringing in people to sing parts that we had written for them. But once were in the studio maybe making some adjustments to make it comfortable for them, adjust stuff for peoples ranges, stuff like that. Yeah, so that’s kind of like where me and Luke moved from writing to producer role, which I enjoyed anyway.
Did you feel like it changed the song writing process significantly bringing in these other people?
Not really, I would say in almost every case we wrote the songs before we knew who the singer was going to be. So we were working on the songs and then after they were written we were going out to find people that we thought would work good with the songs. And then making adjustments from there. But as far as the writing goes it wasn’t that kind of thing, where we were writing specifically for this person. I think that’s also why we didn’t try to go after any big names to come in and sing on this. Just cause we’re not singers doesn’t mean that’s not a part of our voice. So it was like we wrote all the songs, we wrote all of the melodies. I’m personally not a super strong singer even though I sang on a couple of the songs but there is certain stuff I just think other people are better at pulling it off than me.
Can you give us any hints on future collaborations with other artists?
Right now we are not planning any specific studio collaborations, we’re kind of at the starting phase of writing and recording for the next project. We’ve written a bunch of material though, actually next week Luke and I will be in the studio starting to give some of that some more shape. But usually anything collaborative tends to come toward the end of a project if we want to give something a different kind of sound. There have been a few exceptions to that like Basin to Benin, it was a track we did with Soul Rebels a New Orleans horn group. We had been talking about doing a collaboration so I started writing some things and sent them the parts. It turned out to be less like collaborative writing and more just them playing some of the parts that I had written, but that was something specifically written to have these horns.
What is something fans do not know about the album that you wish they did?
I don’t know. That’s a good question. I guess a lot of people don’t see the technical notes if they are listening digitally; I was careful to go through and kind of note all the different keyboards and synthesizers we use track by track, which I always find interesting, I don’t know if other people do. But we definitely used like all analog and synths and all really old classic key boards. In some ways the albums modern but we always kind of look back to these older classic sounds as far as like a starting point for kind of whatever we are doing. We aren’t trying to do the latest digital thing that really isn’t our sound.
So the rest are just a few fun questions; your music is very upbeat and energetic when you are having a bummer day who is your go to artist?
Maybe like Explosions in the Sky or some instrumental guitar stuff, something in that vein.
Thanksgiving was just yesterday, can you tell me one thing you are thankful for this year?
I am thankful to have a career in music and we’ve been doing it quite a long time and just to be able to pursue. Its not just music, I mean having a band it’s like working on lots of creative projects whether its video related or art related. I am just thankful to have a career where any day I get up to work is going to be something creative.
Awesome! This is the last question; if you could collaborate with any dead musician who would it be and why?
I mean 2016 it’s really hard not to say Bowie or Prince, I think Prince might be really tough to collaborate with but Bowie was such an interesting musician I thought. He really touched on a lot of different territory. That’s probably a really cliché answer but I’m going to have to go with it this year.
Featured photo by Mulvey-Hudson Photography