Oct 18th 2016 by wearests9 • 45 Questions • 297 Points
This is Hunter Brown, Zach Velmer, David Phipps, Jeffree Lerner and Alana Rocklin, collectively known as the band STS9 and we're about hit the road on our biggest tour of the year!
Ask us anything and catch us on tour: sts9.com/pages/tour-dates
Here is proof! http://sts9.com/pages/reddit-ama
When are you guys going to co-headline a show with lotus?
Hi STS9, first off let me say thanks for doing this and for continually being so incredibly connected to your fans! It truly does foster a sense of community among us all. And thank you for bringing so much happiness, friendship, and joy to my life over my 10 years of being a fan. Also wanted to say thanks for joining Drip as this is a really incredible deal for us to get all of the live shows at such an affordable rate! And of course thanks for all the live streams in recent tours!
You guys have been just bursting with energy since the addition of Alana. I think many fans would agree that the time is right for another Re:generation festival. Can we expect that to happen again? I'm sure it would be a huge amount of work for you guys but I every summer that rolls around without one just makes me think about it more and more!
hb: thank you and we agree, the time is right for another regeneration. were going to make it happen.
I'm gonna piggyback on your question because mine dovetails and another RE:Gen would be titties.
For S9: When I got into the band around 2007, one of my favorite aspects was how many acts I heard/heard of because of you. Through 1320, events like Day out of Time and Re:Gen, openers/tweeners/afterparties, you guys seemed to be bringing along so many up and comers that are now extremely popular in their own right.
While I LOVE what you guys are doing right now as a band, are there any thoughts about returning to some of that... curation of the scene that you guys were doing so much of before?
RRX was my 36/37th show since my first, the IEV set at the tabby. You guys have been such a huge part of my life since then. So many great sets, friends made, music discovered, new places traveled to, I could go on. Even if you don't answer my question, I just wanted to say thank you.
HB: absolutely, we love sharing the stage and working with artists we admire. we have a lot of ideas and things in the works for STS9 and 1320 in the near future.
Did you change your planned set 2 at the Werk Out after that lady trust fell on Zach and his drums?
--Related question--did you guys decide NOT to release the Werk Out recordings due to her actions and the failure of Werk Out security?
Thanks for doing what you do!
ZV: yes ...we mos def had a audible with the set list
Hello, have you guys put any thought into doing another Regeneration Festival any time in the future?
ZV: you think our fans would be interested in us doing a another Re:gen...?
Is Artifact Vinyl Re-Release coming annnnytime soon? I can't bring myself to pay $200 on the re-sale market
hb: lets just say don't pay $200 for it :)
AR: Come to a show!
If you had to play one show with each band member playing someone else's instrument...what would the line up be? Who would be playing what?
JL... Hunter brown drums Zach Velmer guitar Alana Rocklin keys David Phipps percussion Jeffree lerner bass
Everytime I listen to Wika Chikana, I can't help but sing along in my head:
Wika - Chi- Con- Ah!!
Doot do da doot...... (and so on)"
I had to imagine that's where the name of the song comes from for my own sake. Can any of you offer any clarity? I've never heard of a Wika Chikana before, it might be a tough one to answer but I had to ask.
Love you guys, thanks for doing this!
ZV: ding ding!!! winner winner chicken dinner
Will Empires make a return on this tour?? say, maybe in Memphis perhaps? :)
AR: great idea
Woo hoo! First comment!
Hi Sound Tribe!!!! I've been a big fan since a 2010 and a super fan since 2012! I have a lot of questions but I think these would be fun for all. Feel free to pick and choose questions to answer as you see fit.
1) Do you still have the STS9 phone that you mentioned on social media last year?
2) Can you see or hear the audience during your shows? I'm sure the crowd can be distracting, so it's probably best to not see or hear, but I've always wondered. A part of me probably wants to know because I always try to be in the front row.
3) It seems to me that, as individuals, you stay pretty private. Is that something that you make a concerted effort to do? Or is it just a by-product of the kind of famous you are? To put it another way: I know almost nothing about any of you outside of your stage lives (which is surprising considering how much of my time is devoted to listening to, thinking about, or reading about STS9). Is that something that you have to work hard to maintain, or is it because the band is more famous than its parts?
4) Semi-follow up to 3: do you get recognized in public often? I saw you in an airport terminal after HOB Dallas last year and almost had a heart attack, but I don't think I noticed anybody else even looking twice in your direction. (I eventually said hi on the plane... best part of my vacation to Hawaii by far).
5) In general, how difficult is it to release high quality recordings of all of your concerts? There are a few smaller bands that I wish would do that, but I’ve never known how realistic it would be for that to actually happen.
6) Do you have a favorite brewery/beer?
7) I almost always make it to your Nashville shows (one of my best friends lives there), and the shows there always seem SO different from the rest of the tour. Am I making that up, or is it something you do intentionally? Ryman 2012, Halloween 2014, and WM 2015 are specifically what I'm talkin bout.
8) Will you ever come back to George’s Majestic Lounge?! That 2010 show is my favorite of all time, and I LOVED the intimacy when you went back in 2014 (although I know that wasn’t the intended plan).
Thanks again for doing this and for being such a huge part of my life. Can't wait for fall tour!!!
- yes :)
- we can see the crowd and hear the crowd sometimes depending on the lighting and our in ear mixes. -AR
- We like to maintain our privacy but its definitely not because the band is too famous:) we're just regular people who love to make music -AR
- Sometimes we get noticed. Our fans are so sweet and kind. AR
- Its challenging but we have a great team that makes it happen and thats key! Our FOH Ryan Knutson records and mixes the shows to get them out with the highest quality and quick turn around. AR
- I like Blue Moon or Stella AR
- We try to make all our shows unique and different...thanks for the compliment AR
- George's Majestic is fun...not sure when we'll be back but would love to -AR
I see a lot of footage posted from Red Rocks last year... Do y'all ever plan on releasing full video of the show or maybe a DVD or drip download of it?
AR: Quite possibly
My friends and i have a 10+ year debate about one thing: HOW IS KAMUY really pronounced??
AR: COME-why...lol it took us a minute to sort that one out ha
1) What has been your favorite song to cover?
2) Where does the vocal sample from "Only Light Remains" come from?
Also for anyone who isn't aware, join us at /r/STS9 for more discussion!
PS: I love you, Alana.
DP- my favorite song we've covered is 'everybody loves the sunshine' at red rocks this year. We used to listen to that song in the earliest days of sector 9, and to completely nail it, with a choir, was really special for me
Yay! Thank you for doing this. I like the new album, but I really always enjoyed STS9 for the instrumental aspect. Any chance you are returning to any solely instrumental tracks in the future? Either way I will still be listening!
AR: I can't say what the future holds but we will always be dedicated to the instrumental aspect of the band
Your fans seems to be split on their feelings toward the new album. Did the band ever consider that the change in musical direction would cause such an uproar?
AR: There is no decision of change and to us there is no change just evolution of song writing and being able to express our intention. TUI is a concept album with a specific story. We can't wait to open up these songs on tour and see where they go. Uproar...lol
Given the early 2017 dates released, would be there a possibility of playing Okeechobee? I won't tell anyone if it's a secret. (;
ZV: not sure hope so ....looks fun and we love to come to Florida ...
AR: Jeff Parker New Breed, Hiatus Kaiyote, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Machinedrum, Eprom....
Hi, this is Drew from Fort Collins, Colorado. I see you guys at Red Rocks every year (Circus at night two this year was tight). I've noticed sometimes the guitar, bass, and piano parts switch roles during different performances of different songs. Do you guys try and make every song different at every show?
AR: I think we try and challenge ourselves to make songs different and constantly switch it up...especially on a classic like Circus where there are so many next level versions.
Hunter can you please tell us all about that badass gold Jazzmaster youve got? Any other changes to your live rig?
i got the jazzmaster in 2012 to honor someone really close to me. i kept it at home and in the studio for a couple of years before playing it live. i put humbuckers in it and changed the wiring to give me the sound i was going for. i played it for the first time at our 1/1 Fillmore improv set and haven't put it down since.
Hello Tribe!!! Much love from Kent, OH <3
What are your pre-show rituals?
Thanks for doing what you guys do, and inspiring all of us to live fulfilling, creative lives. Can't wait to see you in a few days in Detroit! We're going to dance the city down!
AR: Detroit love!!! We have rehearsal gear backstage and spend a lot of time practicing and playing before we go on.
Collectively, what are you favorite qualities or characteristics in each of your band mates? Like what's everyone's favorite thing about Zach? What do you guys admire about Hunter? Why is Alana a great person to have around?
AR: These guys are my brothers and they all have amazing qualities. Zach inspires me to crush that pocket! HBe inspires me to trust my creativity! Free inspires me to be open and fluid! Phipps inspires me to be confident in my sound.
Do you have any pre-show rituals that you like to do before you go on stage, personally or as a group?
ZV: yes we do....its like preparing for a big game...
ZV: its not a competition ...we inspire each other...seriously...we all loose it when we see each other kicks...high fives all around...we also send each other links of shoes in each others size...its collaborative ...
Any plans to get back to Japan? I know many people that would make the trip to see that! Also, what are your favorite places to play outside of Colorado and Atlanta?
JL....we would love to go back to Japan when we get the opportunity....such an incredible experience to play there...love the culture and history...and especially the soba...
hey STS9, just curious if you could maybe share with us what you planned to encore before the Asheville show was shut down?
AR: I can't quite remember but I do know that it was going to be dope because I was totally bummed that we had to cut it short and we played that encore somewhere else. Can't wait to be back in Asheville on this tour!
When are the songs -Peoples -We'll Meet in Our Dreams Coming back???
ZV: hell yeah ...love Peoples ...
Have you ever thought about playing at White Oak Music Hall? It is a new indoor/outdoor venue in Houston, Tx.
ZV: love it...thanks for sharing...noted
It would be cool to hear exactly how set lists night to night get constructed.
How you decide what bust outs get played in different cities, and what plays a factor in what you choose to encore with and open shows with. If the day of the week plays a difference in it, Wed night vs Sat night.
Curious if you look at your set list you've played the last time you were in the current city you're in, and try to not play that many songs from the previous year's set. Or if any of these factors matter at all, and it's just random.
Also when is 1103 and New New 4 U U coming back in full, if ever?
- lots of work and considerations
- lots or R and D ...no... Wednesday night could be someones Saturday night...
- love it...patience my friend ..
Got an equipment question for Phipps and another one for Alana. I've been noticing your Eurorack Modular setup and as a modular nerd I'd love to know more about it. What modules are you using? How are you sequencing? Is it synced to any of your other gear?
And for Alana, what equipment is in that rack on the keyboard stand next to you? Effects that you tweak with your hands? Or is it a synth you trigger with your bass (Midi?). Also, please play more fretless because you're amazing!
DP- I love equipment questions. In this fall's modular rack, I have a moog mother 32 and a morphing terrarium, housed in a super37 keyboard rack. Very simple setup. I'll be running sequences off of the mother32, clocked by hb's rig. In the past, I've used more 'spontaneous' sequencing, using a diy Klee sequencer into a flame tame machine quantizer. The tame machine is one of my favorite modules for creating repeating patterns on the fly.
Which are your favorite music festivals to perform at? Will we be seeing you on the US festival circuit again next summer? Would love to see you guys hit Bonnaroo again.
ZV: we love to perform at all the music festivals ..thats the truth each one is different and has its own uniqueness.....and we hope to see everyone this fall...we love bonnaroo...
you guys are my favorite live act period. is there a particular reason you don't play in the northeast very often? Was sooooooooo bummed when I saw you weren't playing Boston this year.
love you guys!!
ZV: we love coming to the north east...we love boston...all loves
Howdy! I'll be at the TN Theatre show in Knoxville and have seen you all many times there. How does it rank as far as venues go? Do you all ever get spare time to go hike, etc. in the Smokey Mountains?
AR: I grew up in Nashville and we went on our Honeymoon in the Smokies!!
Hello to you all! Thanks for all of the wonderful music and brilliant shows over the years!
One of the coolest additions to the performances in recent years are the improv jams backed by the analog synthesizer Phipps has added to his setup. How much preparation goes into those different sections ahead of time, and is it known beforehand how that section is going to be played out each night?
A bit of prep happens during soundcheck, to sculpt the patch, get it in tune, and test stage clock. Once we've transitioned into a 'modular section' during the show, nothing is planned. Anything goes. For this tour, modular will be on separate lines, so that I can play along as well, with more dynamics.