02 Nov 2010
- By Brandon Chiat
- Published on November 02, 2010
Papadosio hates competition, seeing it as an ugly vehicle for division. And competition goes against every principle Papadosio holds as artists.
Strengthened by the Zen belief that there is “more to art, than art,” this upstart group has been turning heads in the scene in a big way. Whether it’s through their successful Rootwire festival held this past August in Ohio, extensive summer and fall tours or their willingness to respond to fan criticism, Papadosio actively attempts to inject the jam scene with a higher artistic consciousness.
Their approach has been well received by fans and other artists, generating a rise in notoriety which the band has taken humbly in stride. And despite their dislike for the competitive process, Papadosio has had recent success in the realm.
Papadosio further solidified their growing reputation by securing a bid to play the ninth annual Jam Cruise festival in January 2011 through the “Vote to the Boat” competition, beating out the likes of Lubriphonic, Spiritual Rez and Future Rock.
[CHECK OUT all the bands Papadosio beat out for a spot on Jam Cruise.]
“This is the very last competition [we’re going] to be a part of,” guitarist Anthony Thogmartin wrote in an e-mail. “[Competition] divides fans of their respective bands and, worse, divides people.”
Jam Cruise, one of the most unique and intimate festivals, is held off the coasts of Florida, Honduras and Mexico and will offer Papadosio a wealth of networking opportunities both with industry professionals and their true bosses – the fans.
[BUY tickets to Jam Cruise featuring Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bob Kreutzmann, Galatic and Lotus.]
But the band holds a laid-back attitude about the event.
“Honestly it’s more of a vacation than a gig,” Thogmartin said.
Despite their up-and-coming status among the ever-expanding livetronica genre, Papadosio comes across as a group of mature artists with a clearly defined vision founded around lessons learned on the road.
“We realized that, as long as our intentions are genuine and we focus on the music first and foremost, we can accomplish whatever we want,” keyboardist Billy Brouse wrote. “The only limits are the ones we place on ourselves.”
His bandmate explained the process.
“We had to define what we are. Not just as artists with a cause, but as a musical family,” Thogmartin said. “Us, the fans, the other visual and musical artists we have connected with – we’re a part of something that’s constantly evolving.”
Back to their roots
To them, Rootwire was the natural progression of this artistic evolution. Planned and orchestrated solely by Papadosio, Rootwire served as a collective space for fans and artists to rediscover the organic creativity which the band so deeply desires.
“Certain bands and touring agencies have a stranglehold on the scene,” Thogmartin said. “That’s another thing Rootwire stood for. We made the point that smaller bands, given the same production as the big names, can play better shows and bring fans to a new level, a higher trance, a more tangible energy space than grandpa's big money jam bands.”
[FOLLOW Papadosio on Facebook.]
Some fans are attracted to the artistic integrity that Papadosio offers, while others are in it simply for the deep grooves. Either way, the increased notoriety is forcing the group to refine their tactics and expand their expectations.
“With increasing fame also comes increasing attention to detail in our music and acceptance of oddness,” Thogmartin said.
According to the band, Papadosio’s largest criticism has been with the lack of fluidity in their live shows. Unlike some bands, they take the suggestions to heart and have responded.
The band vows to jam in and out of songs more gracefully.
Apple brand guitars
Papadosio is out to prove that the computer is the new electric guitar, and it can be bent and manipulated into a viable improvisational machine.
The addition of second keyboardist Sam Brouse, Billy’s brother, to the permanent lineup reflects the band’s attempt to become a more cohesive unit. The newer Brouse, who has never played in a nationally touring band before, is trained in jazz theory and brings a creative professionalism the former lineup was lacking.
“My brother brings an element to the band that can’t really be described until you see it,” Billy said. “The shows will have an extra flair to them that people aren’t used to with us.”
[LISTEN to Papadosio on their MySpace.]
Not a group to be content with their previous achievements, Papadosio finds themselves pushing the boundaries of their own originality – a trait that helped land them on the boat for Jam Cruise.
But winning the competition means the pressure is on. People wanted them there, so what will they deliver?
“We’ll be bringing a crazy dance party right when Jam Cruise needs it,” Billy Brouse said.
With rumors of a themed concept album in the works, complete with a film to accompany it, the band’s future looks to be one of change. But Thogmartin says one thing will always remain constant – their artistic mission.
“We are trying to portray a message, and it is on our minds everyday how we can better artistically present it.”
Papadosio is in the middle of the Southeast portion of their fall tour. For tour dates and more information on the band, visit their website at www.papadosio.com.