So you’re headed back for Vegoose weekend, except this time there’s no Vegoose festival …
Yeah, we played [Vegoose] all three years, and last year we also got to see Rage Against the Machine and Daft Punk, which were both incredible shows. That was a great festival, and it’s kind of a shame they’re not doing it this year … maybe they just overextended themselves a little bit. But for us it just seems to slot right in there perfectly, so we’re staying with tradition and coming to Vegas around Halloween time. It’ll definitely be different not having 20,000, 30,000 concert fans there, but it should still be a real good time.
More than most other jam bands, you guys seem intent on creating a nonstop dance vibe, which in turn seems to attract an atypical number of music fans from outside the jam world. Agreed?
I think it’s definitely happened over the past three or four years—we’ve seen our audience change and shift. There was definitely a point [earlier on] where there would be a lot of jamming going on, and it was not all danceable. But I think being instrumental, we felt that the dancing side of our music was the engaging side for the fans, so we started honing in on that more and more. I don’t think it was ever an intentional thing to gear it that way; it just felt more natural to us. That’s where we found a real connection to the fans.
As Election Day draws near, is STS9 actively supporting a presidential candidate at its shows?
We encourage people to be involved—this year, in particular, it’s really important that everyone gets out there and votes and gets involved, and at more than just the presidential level—but we take a nonpartisan stance on it. In the 2000 and 2004 elections, we were very biased against Bush. But the more we get out there and meet our fans, the more we realize that there are Democrats and Republicans at our show, believe it or not. And at the same time, people are coming out and spending their hard-earned money to be entertained and to get away from [the election]. That’s kinda the last thing people wanna hear when they get out to a concert on a Friday or Saturday night after they’ve been watching the news all week and hearing about that stuff. So we feel it’s better to encourage people to stay involved and leave it at that and not try to make anyone feel out of place.