The Seattle band Theoretics represents the sort of critically acclaimed act your very own local event Conscious Culture Festival is increasingly able to attract. There are certainly bigger acts than the Theoretics, but few are better, nor more exceptionally suited to headline CCF this year.
The band was selected to play at Sasquatch in 2014. And this summer, it is booked at the Capital Hill Block Party and Summer Meltdown. It’s profile continues to grow, which is no small accomplishment considering the incredible U-turn it was forced to make less than a year ago when both of their charismatic MCs officially left the group.
Rather than trying to replace what they lost, Theoretics members struck off boldly in a new direction. Harnessing both its legitimate jazz chops and an authentic grasp of the direction of contemporary Electronic Dance Music, the band released the EP Fugue State in 2015, pleasing critics and its loyal fans.
A headlining spot at Conscious Culture Festival means the band will be playing a late evening show under the bright lights of Stone Love Mainstage. It’s a unique opportunity to see a band of this caliber under the best possible circumstances.
Rather than getting tucked away on a smaller stage during a lazy sun-baked afternoon, attendees are in for a an audio-visual treat as the Theoretics spread its electronic wings and pulse along with the future shocked choreography of a dozen lasers. In the spirit of its latest release and the recording’s collaborations with strong female artists, the Theoretics will feature performances alongside J. Ross Perrelli and other big names involved in the festival this year. Anticipate surprises.
The following is an excerpt from my recent interview with Theoretics bass player Birch Pereira, regarding his group’s upcoming appearance at Conscious Culture Festival.
Davin: Theoretics have gone through a pretty incredible evolution over the last since you played that great set at Sasquatch last year. Can you describe your new direction and how that reflects on your new EP?
Birch: Man, it’s crazy but that was actually two years ago if you can believe it. Since then, we went from a seven piece hip hop band with two emcees to a five piece electro-instrumental group, which actually was a complete circle back to how we started. The EP reflects our electronic direction and also features two guest spots with the amazing Hanna Stevens and Maiah Manser.
Davin: As a group of musicians heavily influenced by both Jazz and Electronic music, how does a festival atmosphere influence the way you approach to a headlining gig like CCF compared to your sets at Seattle venues like Neumos, etc.?
Birch: We often open for touring acts coming through those spots like Neumos in Seattle and you want to put together a short and sweet set that will grab the crowd, who’s there to see the headliners, attention. When we headline at a festival that highlights jam bands we feel comfortable stretching the music and taking chances we might not otherwise.
Davin: What are some of your biggest current influences in regards to the Theoretics music are now creating today?
Pretty Lights, Com Truise, SBTRKT, James Blake. People that have some element of organic soul in their electronic explorations. On the newest Pretty Light’s album Color Map of the Sun he got a bunch of amazing instrumentalists together, jammed, recorded it, then spliced it into a gorgeous, cohesive album.
Birch: Your latest recording features some very notable collaborations with vocalists. as a songwriter, which guest appearances surprised you the most during a particular tunes evolution?
Birch: I think both our collaboration tunes came out incredible. With Spiral Arms, Hanna Stevens had all these cool melodic lyric ideas, but it wasn’t a pop song yet, it was more of an art song. We all made edits and moved things around, repeated certain ideas, and bam, I think it’s one of our best singles now. It went down very differently with Maiah Manser on Exit Signs where she recorded scratches while on tour with Mary Lambert and pretty much the arrangement was set when we recorded her. She improvised on the end of the song and the first take gave me chills when she did a slow glide up to the highest note of the tune.
Davin Michael Stedman is a songwriter and entertainer involved with Conscious Culture Festival. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.