It’s been a while since we’ve chatted with members of NYC’s Consider The Source, but they haven’t slowed down one bit since our introduction last year. With their fusion of Middle Eastern/Jazz/Funk/Progressive, the trio (consisting of Gabriel Marin on guitar, John Ferrara on bass, and Jeff Mann on percussion) brings to the stage one of the most unique musical performances on the market right now.
Currently on a run that will take them all over the East Coast, Consider The Source has also been (once again) added to this year’s installment of Catskill Chill, where they will perform (2) very special all-acoustic sets. If last year’s response is any indication, these will be some of the highlight moments of The Chill, so make sure to check them out if you’re going.
I met up with the band during their stop in Syracuse, NY to talk about their recently completed mini-tour with Germany’s Panzerballett, their just-announced appearance at Catskill Chill, and where they hope to find themselves in 2013!
G- What’s up guys, and thank you for taking the time to speak with Live High Five again!
JF- Thanks for having us!
G- How’s everything been going on the run so far? It’s been a while since our last interview, and you guys have stayed plenty busy, so how’s it going?
GM- Great year for us! I think the best year ever. So, good so far!
G- Would you guys agree?
J- Yeah. It started off a little crazy… Well, by now, it’s 2013. I count it in the actual year from the time.
G- The 12-month time period?
JF- Yeah, so it was crazy, but it ended up really great.
GM- It was a year ago last week that we played our last show with Justin (Ahiyon- Drums,) so that’s been the year for us, because that was the big event. March 30th we played our last show, so everything has settled nicely. A nice uphill ride!
G- Nice. And how’s everything been with your new drummer Jeff over here? Any fun initiation rituals?
GM- Close your ears, Jeff.
GM- We like him a lot.
JF- He can’t hear that, though!
G- Nobody likes the drummers, man! I’m a drummer, too, and we always get shat on.
Anyways… Let’s talk about this run you just completed with Panzerballett from Germany! It looked like an incredible time, and I didn’t get to see any of it. How were the shows and what did you think of your and Panzerballett’s performances, and how were the turnouts for the shows?
JF- I thought the shows were fantastic! We’ve been listening to Panzerballett for a long time, and we were introduced to them through a friend of ours from Timbre Coup. He showed it to us 3-4 years ago and were blown away, and then when we wanted to started touring overseas, we hit up Panzerballett to see if they wanted to come over here, too. So, we did a sort of show exchange with them.
JF- Anyway, the shows themselves were fantastic. Their music is inspiring and incredible, and they’re really cool people. Every show was well attended, and…
GM- One sellout and two came within 10 of selling out, and the other one was really good.
JF- Yeah. And I think the coolest thing about it, too, was just seeing our crowd’s reaction to them, because they’re weird! Their jazz/metal/funk. Everything!
GM- You can’t dance to it at all.
GM- People complain when they come to our shows sometimes that it’s hard to dance to, and if you can’t dance to us, well wait til you hear this!
JM- It’s definitely weird, but the coolest thing about playing with those guys is, like, every single person in that band is unbelievably talented, and as weird and as crazy as it is, you can’t deny that they’re all monster musicians! So, it’s kind of like a shock to the audience… They don’t know what to do, they don’t know if they like it or not, but they know that it’s good.
G- Alright. Well, since we last spoke, or emailed or whatever, what would you say is the best performance you’ve had since we last interviewed prior to Catskill Chill 2012? Either the best one attended or the one where you were all just like “Yesssss! It’s on!”
JF- Well, I feel like the whole Panzerballett run in Germany was amazing, especially the first show.
GM- Right! Catskill was before that! So, we did the run in Germany with them which was amazing, and then we did the run with them here. Playing with them is really great because most of the time we’re, by far, the craziest, most intense music of the night. So, we’re the pill sometimes for everyone.
So this time, it was really awesome to go on a tour with a band that was like ‘Alright… this is going to be a night of crazy instrumental music.’ No one was expecting anything but crazy stuff, so we didn’t plan a set or worrying about danceables. We just played our stuff, and it was really fun. It was really great!
G- And actually, speaking of The Chill (because Destiny will kill me if I don’t bring it up,) you were just announced as one of the featured performers at this year’s Catskill Chill festival in September, and you will be playing (2) all acoustic performances.
Now, it’s really unique for a band to be able to translate from an electric to an acoustic set, and you’ve done it a few times before… Are the acoustic shows something you plan on building into your repertoire more frequently, or are you planning on keeping these a special treat for the fans?
JF- Well, we always wanted to do more acoustic stuff, but it was always hard to find the time to do it. You know, we would try to grow the band and play venues where it wasn’t the kind of place to do an acoustic thing.
Also, it’s a whole other thing to practice, you know? It takes a lot of time, and it’s just as intense as our electric stuff, it just has a different vibe, you know? Gabe’s playing different instruments, I’m playing different kinds of basses, and Jeff has a whole different set up. So, we finally just said ‘Screw it… Let’s just do it.’ Finally, after all this time, we have a bit of extra time, so let’s do it.
GM- Trying to do it ‘We’re going to bring an acoustic song into the set,’ but it doesn’t work unless there’s going to be the best sound, proper lighting, the proper venue. It would just be ‘Ok we’ll play some crazy stuff, and then we’ll sit and play an acoustic song,’ and people talk over it and it’ll sound weird in the crowd. Something will sound quiet, and then we’d play.
But then we did some sets that were all acoustic, and they went over really well, and I love playing these weird acoustic instruments, and we’ve had these great acoustic jams for a long time. You know, we recorded acoustic songs on our first album, and people loved ‘em, and then we never did that. So now, we’re going to have some acoustic stuff on our next album. So, people will have that side of us so when the album comes out, they’ll have a reference for it.
G- I think, honestly, that you guys are one of the bands that could have an ‘Evening With…’ type situation for the band, and I think it would be awesome, since you’re doing it anyway, to do the acoustic/electric sandwich.
G- That would be dope, because it would showcase the 2 different sides of the band!
GM- The dream is to come out and play a killin’ electric set, take a break and play an acoustic set, and come back and play like 45 minutes of super-intense electric, 30 minutes of chill acoustic, and then just hit it back electric again. One day…
G- Right on. Now, let’s talk about merch, because merch is important. Consider The Source recently released a very limited edition pin via your website, and first of all, do you have any left? And also, what are your future plans for merch? Do you have any cool designs or any cool pieces we should look for in the near future?
JM- Well, we were just on the way here talking about different shirt designs and stickers coming really soon.
GM- The coolest thing is we have this art gallery. There are a lot of people that paint at our shows, amazing painters in tons of different cities, and they paint at our shows and people come up to them and say ‘That’s amazing!’ So, we’ve been talking to some of those artists, and osme of those artists have given us some of those pieces and people have bought them. So, it’s very beneficial for everyone involved because it’s wonderful for a band like us to have someone with that visual aspect in the painting, it’s great for them to paint it because it gives them some exposure and the fans can buy it. So, it’s something that more and more we’ll be able to have the paintings that people are able to buy and stuff like that.
G- That’s an awesome idea, actually!
JM- Yeah. This one artist in particular, Pat, who is kind of spearheading it for us, he painted at a few shows of ours. One in Florida, one in NYC, and another one in Florida.
JF- Yeah 2 in Florida.
JM- And he kind of came up with a similar theme thing, so he’s going to have a set, a 3-piece set available…
JM- So, we’re always appreciative to see musicians and artists who are appreciative of what we do, so to buddy up a little bit and collaborate is really beneficial for us. We’re excited to do anything with artists and happy to incorporate it into our music as much as possible,
G- Well guys, if you ever need a finger-painter, let me know! I’m good with that stuff.
So, 2 last questions for you this evening… CTS has been receiving praise for your musicianship and performances all over the place lately, and you’ve already toured in several places around the world. Any plans to extent your touring into new areas this year or in the near future? Where do you hope to perform in 2013 that you haven’t yet?
JF- Possibly India.
GM- Yeah we have this tour in India that we have people planning. It almost happened, but it’s just hard for us to find the time to go overseas for a couple of weeks when it’s going so well here. But, that’s going to happen. We’ll do an India tour and get back overseas, try to get back with Panzerballett, try to do something in Israel. I would love to go back to Turkey and play…
JM- We also want to get out west a little bit more. We really want to get out west, and we have a lot of people saying that they want us to play Chicago, Colorado, California… We haven’t quite made it that far.
JF- Definitely more Midwest things.
G- Dig it.
JM- As far as new markets, that’s a new one for us still.
G- And to finish up today, you’re still building and building very well, but there are a lot of people, possibly a lot of our readers, who may not know who you are at this time. So, if you could someone who’d never heard Consider The Source before only give 1 song to try and make a new fan, what song would you offer them?
GM- I’d say “Moist.”
JM- I would say “Moist” too.
G- Why is that?
GM- It has a lot of elements. It’s Eastern European and very unique. It has that Eastern sound that we’re known for, and it’s in 4/4 which is good for people who haven’t heard us before (laughing). It’s approachable, time signature-wise, especially the live versions nowadays.
We all get to play some cool stuff on it, and it’s… It’s composed and it’s also a jam. It does a lot of the things that we do. We all play cool stuff on it.
But the song that John said would be a great one, too. It’s a different side, because we have a lot of the eastern songs, and we have the songs that aren’t at all eastern. So, it’s kind of… If you said 2 songs, “Moist” and “Dubious.”
G- I’ll give you that. I’ll give you a little bit of leeway on that.
GM- We have a bunch of different sounds, you know what I’m saying? So, “Dubious” is really good because it has electronic in it, and really pretty elements…
JM- It could potentially be from 2 different bands if you didn’t know. It gives you an idea of the range, I guess.
G- Alright. So we’ve got “Dubious…”
GM- “His Dubious Honor” and “Moisturize The Situation.”
G- Ok thanks you for clarification! If I went to search those to link them, I’d have been ‘D’OH!’
Anyways, guys… Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five today!
JF- Thank you, man.
G- I’m very excited to see the performance tonight. On the rest of your run, I know you’ll play well, so travel safe, and if I don’t see you beforehand, we’ll see you at Catskill Chill!
JM- Cool! And we didn’t answer, but I think we might have some pins left.
G- And there it is! But hopefully, they’ll be gone tonight. Thank you guys very much!
JF- Thank you!