Prepare for The Chill: Interviews with Catskill Chill performers Jeff Bujak, Particle and Timbre Coup

The 3rd annual Catskill Chill Festival will return back to Camp Minglewood in Hancock, New York for September 7th-9th. This years lineup includes: Yonder Mountain String Band, Lotus, Conspirator, Soulive, Lettuce, EOTO, JGB with Melvin Seals, Rubblebucket, Cornmeal, Particle and many more bands as well as DJs. With three stages consisting of jam bands, reggae music, funk, jazz, blue grass, electronica, and rock and roll, there’s something for everyone. Besides great music, the festival offers a fire show by SOPF, bonfire drum circle, an open mic stage and yoga classes.

Festival goers have the option of free on-site camping or renting on site cabins. Cabins range in size with private cabins that sleep two to large double bunkhouses which sleep 32 people. The Catskill Chill Music Festival is also offering buses from New York City to Camp Minglewood for only $60 per person. The bus ticket gives city slickers a round trip ride from Bryant Park in Manhattan, straight to the front gate of the festival.

For more information, go to catskillchill.com or like them on Facebook. Some of the artists attending The Chill this year spoke to UpstateLIVE about their music, upcoming shows and Upstate New York.

Jeff Bujak

Susan Rice: How do you perform differently during a silent disco vs. a “regular” non-headphone wearing show? Do you find yourself watching the crowd more during one over the other?

Jeff Bujak: When I run my show audio through wireless headphones, I have the advantage of hearing exactly what the audience hears. Same mix. Same stereo audio feed. I’m able to mix in full stereo and have fun with panning and such. I can do more intricate progressions and get more complicated since everyone is paying attention. When I perform through a PA, everyone hears the audio differently, so I try to mix the audio for the best of the room and keep it intense to keep the audience’s attention. I’m up against other people’s friends talking to them; not the case with headphones. I can’t get as mellow or intricate. Being louder and bassier can get a crowd into a frenzy, but the audio quality usually suffers so I play more heavy and simple to keep that attention going. 2-different shows. I love them both. And I never really look at the crowd for either show. It disrupts my playing. As much as I want to, I try and mess up.

SR: You have a busy schedule for the next few weeks from traveling all over the east coast. Do you think your tour will end with a completely different sound from when you originally started?

JB: My sound varies from night to night. I’m pretty much a traveling experiment to see how far I can push myself; mentally and musically. I can always feel the rust coming on when I have a week off, and it takes a show to get moving again. But, once my mind is loosened up, I’ll try new things and see if I like it. By the end of a run, I usually have new parts and new things to practice with that week.

SR: What is it about Upstate New York that keeps bringing you back to perform?

JB: I grew up in Syracuse, NY so upstate NY has always been a hotspot for music in my world. All of the bands and clubs that have been in and out have created a great scene and I love being a part of it. There’s more clubs/bars down the Thruway to keep a band touring for a couple weeks. I hate tolls, though.

Particle with Steve Moltiz

Susan Rice: You have played multiple Phish After Party shows in New York, Massachusetts and soon California. Do you get to see the Phish shows often? What influence does the band hold for you?

Steve Moltiz: Whenever Particle plays a Phish after party, we all go see the Phish show together. It’s an inspiring way to start the night, and it really opens our mind up to taking a more expansive approach to our improvisation…

SR: After touring the west coast, what new skills and sounds are you bringing for the folks on the east coast, especially those attending your first show back, the Catskill Chill Festival?

SM: We just incorporated a Pink Floyd theme into ou recent West Coast shows, so I’m sure we’ll work in some of the Floyd highlights into our Catskill Chill set. It’s really a blast for us to “Particlize” the Floyd tunes by merging their psychedelia with our funktronic rock…

SR: What inspirations do you get when traveling and touring through Upstate New York that you can’t find anywhere else?

SM: Upstate NY is a very peaceful place to get away from the usual distractions of technology, and allow yourself to reconnect with some of the more subtle rhythms in life (your breath, heartbeat, etc.). We love playing up there, and can’t wait to see you all at the Chill!

Dan Gerken of Timbre Coup

Susan Rice: You attended moe.down 13 this year for the first time as a performer. What were some of your favorite moments? What were your fans reactions?

Dan Gerken: moe.down 13 was amazing from top to bottom from performers to organizers of the event. It was very special to us playing with such awesome national acts in our own region and we found that a lot of our core fan base came out to support us. Some of my favorite moments include the Saturday moe sets, hanging with the Umphreys Mcgee guys and being videotaped by multiple cameras at the same time. My pinnacle moment was chatting with Stanley Jordan after the Umphreys set and being able to talk music with such a legend and positive soul such as him.

We feel as though we introduced ourselves to many new folks who hopefully become fans. Sometimes it’s difficult to put all your eggs in one basket and go catch a club show of a new band but at festivals you can get this introduction without having to go out of your way. I believe a lot more fans will be following us and we all feel as a band that we all put on a good performance in a key situation at moe.down. We were happy with our sets.

SR: You have 13 shows lined up for your fall tour including The Catskill Chill festival. Where do you see your music branching out over the season?

DG: We will be adding many more unannounced shows to our calendar in the next few weeks leading up to Catskill Chill but….. as far as what we have up as of yet we are excited to get down south again (10/18 Knoxville TN, 10/20 Savannah among others) and get invited back to a few spots as well. Look for us in the Northeast quite a bit too with stuff in MA and all over NY (September 20 Rochester, September 21 Buffalo). http://www.timbrecoup.com for details

SR: Having grown up here in New York, what were some of your favorite events to attend in the Upstate region?

DG: I personally have been in NY since I was 14. There are many things to do in the summertime tied in with nature and the Adirondacks as well as music and culture and we as a band have always enjoyed when the two came together. Mountain Jam, moe.down, Camp Bisco and Backwoods Pondfest are just some of the many events we have attended in NY and are some of the biggest festivals in the country as well so this is clearly a place where both nature and culture can come together as one entity.

Gabriel Marin from Consider the Source.

Susan Rice: You have a fall tour of 4 shows scheduled in Germany. What to you hope to learn most about while there?
Gabriel Marin: We are also playing Israel for the 3rd year in a row too. This is also our second year doing Germany.We have a really big fan base in Israel, so that is always a blast, and we are excited to tour in Germany opening for Panzer Ballet, who is really amazing. God willing by the end of this tour we will have a sizeable following in Deutschland.

SR: Which artists do you enjoy sharing the line up with at Upstate New York venues?
GM: Upstate is the first region out of NYC we starting playing, so we have a ton of great friends from upstate. Timbre Coup, Arm Cannon, Peanut Brittle Satellite… Im sure I’m leaving some out by accident. Even though they aren’t from upstate, we play a lot of festivals and upstate gigs with our homies in Dopapod.

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