Interview with Jesse Miller of Lotus

It’s hard to pigeon hole Lotus into a genre of music. Are they Rock, Electronic, Post-Rock, Jamband, Electro? All of the above? What we do know is that they put on one hell of a live show! Before they rock a crowd at FDR Park this Saturday, we spoke with Jesse Miller, the man behind the bass and sampler, to get some inside info on what we can expect this weekend, and beyond, from Lotus.

Independent Philly: Who came up with the band name “Lotus”?

Jesse Miller: The other guys were playing together for a little bit before I was with them and the story is that they started out when they were just out of college and they booked a gig really soon and had to come up with a name really quick. Someone put Lotus out there and it just stuck.

IP: It’s been almost exactly a year since you released your last album, have you been working on any new music since then?

JM: Yeah, a ton of new music. We actually got about, I would say, three new albums in the works.

IP: Do you have any set release date for any of them?

JM: No, they are in various stages. One is almost done, we just need to work out a few details on the masters. The next one we’re going to be mixing in, in the next couple months, to come out early next year. And then there’s a lot of additional things that we’re working on as well. We’re not exactly sure what those will be quite yet.

IP: You guys have been known to throw lots of themed shows in the past. Is there one that really sticks out as being your favorite?

JM: The David Bowie one we did for Halloween a few years back was really fun. It was really fun just to get into the details of his music and learning it. Just going through someone’s music in that close of detail when you’re trying to learn it, you suss out pretty quickly what’s going on, and that was definitely fun to dive into. And then the costume designer for the show just did a really great job and made some great costumes. So yeah, that was one of my favorites of the themed shows.

IP: Is there a dream themed show that you’d like to do that you haven’t done before?

JM: I’ve been trying to sell the band on a Kraftwerk themed show for years, but I think I’m the only one who’s really a huge Kraftwerk fan.

IP: You have a show coming up this Saturday in FDR Park (with MiMOSA, Ghostland Observatory, Michal Menart, and Sonic Spank). What can fans expect from a live Lotus show if there’s never seen you perform before?

JM: It’s usually a very dance oriented show but we do like to mix it up and we do have a pretty large catalog, so we try to get a good mix of older material, newer material, and keep a little dance in, but we might bring it down here or there. I’ve always felt that Lotus crowds are really invested in the set and they pay really close attention and they’re really feeling the music. So, I’d hope there’s not a lot of passive listeners out there. At least that’s not what I see from stage. People are really getting into it and spending some energy, and sending some energy back our way.

IP: Do you have a favorite memory of a past show in Philadelphia?

JM: Last New Year’s was a really fun show. We set up down at the Festival Pier and just kind of built our own venue around that tent that’s there, and you know, having a sold out show there, that’s down on the river, and ringing in the new year was really special. The crowd was great and we all had a really good time. And there were fireworks right over the bridge there at midnight so that was just icing on the cake.

IP: You spend a lot of time in Philadelphia. Are there any up and coming bands or producers that you don’t think are getting enough attention right now?

JM: One group that I’ve been doing some stuff with, some friends of mine down here in Fishtown, are called Damn Right, and we’ve played a few shows together and they’ve opened up for Lotus a few times. I think they have a new EP coming out in either October or November. I actually saw them play on Sunday at a festival right after our set and I think they’re making some pretty great music. And some other friends of mine who are doing great things is Grimace Federation and I’m always pumped to see them live.

IP: Tell us something that would surprise or even shock our readers…

IP: Well I don’t know if everybody really knows that we’re actually split between Philadelphia and Denver. Half our band and crew live in Denver and half here, so we’re across a couple time zones.

Independent Philly will be on hand to cover the show (presented by Deathwaltz Media) on Saturday! If you’d like to join us, you can purchase advanced tickets here.

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