Sound Tribe Sector Nine
Tuesday, Feb. 15
Tickets: $15 in advance, $17 at the door, 239-5151
Talent and technology, fused with a sense of purpose, make up the unique group called Sound Tribe Sector Nine. With their innovative use of computers, musical instruments and positive vibrations, the California-based quintet produces a unique environment of creative expression that is inspiring and uplifting.
Despite the absence of lyrics, STS9 speaks in a fluid, poetic language. Abstract melodies layered over danceable grooves and ambient soundscapes provide the audience with a sound that conveys emotion and can be felt as much as heard. The new album, ARTiFACT, which was arranged and produced entirely by STS9, provides a suitable soundtrack for painting, sleeping, dancing and making love. NUVO spoke with STS9 drummer Zack Velmer recently about the new disc and the group’s philosophy.
NUVO: What inspired the use of computers as musical instruments?
Velmer: The evolution. Even being at the grocery store and being able to check out yourself. Being a musician in this time where things are changing at a rapid pace through technology. It’s just more available than it used to be; and being an artist kind of pushes boundaries in that realm.
NUVO: How do you connect as a group and to the audience?
Velmer: We can look at it as two entities in a way that there is the band and there is an audience. But … we are both playing the part. [The relationship of the band members] is very harmonious. We’ve been friends for a long time. We have some roots, a communication and a relationship. To talk about it is interesting. With any relationship you are kind of like ‘wow’ when you talk about it. It’s a really neat, amazing thing that humans can have that connection. With different experiences, different inspirations there are five individuals coming together to create … a one; this one sound that is STS9. How do I feel about it? Incredibly blessed that we’re still able to do it and find inspiration and keep doing it.
NUVO: What role does visual art play in your shows and in your music?
Velmer: Visual art plays in conjunction with; it adds. It puts that sight with the sound. From the album to a poster that’s on the street. People don’t quite know the amount of energy that we put into this because this is ours. We are not with a major record label. We helped design those posters. A light show is visual. We’re involved in that as well. I think music is one of the only arts that is not a material thing. Even though the music is on a CD or a vinyl … it’s not necessarily like a painting where you can look at that painting and even touch it and get real close to it.
NUVO: How can vibrations help the world?
Velmer: Just the sense of how each person chooses to live their life. I think that has shaped our world … lately with war. The vibration is very fear-based coming from media, coming from TV, coming from newspapers from earthquakes to tidal waves to tsunamis. People that project different vibrations have different outcomes. What I think and what I choose to manifest is crucial in the vibration that I put out there. You can see what is reflected from that.
NUVO: Describe the audience of your dreams.
Velmer: I’ve got it.
NUVO: What can someone who’s never been to a show expect?
Velmer: I would say don’t have expectations, because it is what it is. It’s a cool thing.