For those of you who like your music a bit “out there,” check out the eclectic sounds of Akron/Family at Muddy Waters, 508 E. Haley St., on Tuesday night, where if it’s anything like their stellar Santa Barbara debut, you can get your fix of indie folk, prog rock, spacey jams and noise freak-outs.
Tickets are available online by clicking here.
This will be the first show of a California mini-tour for the band, who will be releasing their seventh album, Sub Verses, this spring. For a taste, click here to check out their new song, “No-Room.”
Band member Dana Janssen (drums, guitar, vocals) answered the following questions by email.
Jeff Moehlis: What can we look forward to at your upcoming concert in Santa Barbara?
Dana Janssen: Well, I guess surprises. We haven’t played a show in a few months, and there is always a lot of excitement between us getting to play together. So I would count on there being a lot of good energy and surprises.
JM: I saw you give a great performance at SOhO in Santa Barbara in April 2011. Did you get a good vibe from the Santa Barbara crowd?
DJ: Thanks! Yeah, I remember that show. It was a great vibe! I love playing in California. I always seem to have a pretty positive experience when in your fine state. And now that two-thirds of us are officially Californians, I’m hoping it just gets better.
JM: How does the experience of playing live compare with recording in the studio?
DJ: In the studio there is a lot of room to explore so many different avenues of sound without much limitations. Live we obviously have three people playing their instruments, and so you have some boundaries in terms of recreating what happened in the studio. However, we’ve always embraced taking new approaches to our songs in the live setting. We come up with many different arrangements of our songs. This keeps it interesting for us, too, so when you hit week seven of tour you can still engage yourself and each other onstage in a proactive way.
JM: How do the band’s songs typically come together, or is there a typical?
DJ: There is no real defined process that we have. We try to take many different approaches to our songwriting. Sometimes they work with great ease, other times an idea gets scrapped. It always varies.
JM: Your last album has an interesting history, being written near a volcano in Japan and partially recorded in an abandoned train station in Detroit. How did these locations influence the music?
DJ: I feel that location will color the experience always. When you look at a mountain you feel different than when you look at a street intersection. So different moods are brought into the same scene in a lot of ways. Japan has been a big influence on us ever since we first went there. I love it there. It’s beautiful. So when the opportunity came up to do some writing there we jumped at the chance to have such an inspiring place be part of what we were creating.
JM: Did you get into any Japanese music while you were in Japan? Maybe another “family” band, Far East Family Band, or other Japrock bands?
DJ: I fell in love with a Japanese duo called Afrirampo. They are amazing players! Rippers.
JM: Any good tour stories that you’re willing to share?
DJ: I collected every different Kit Kat flavor while in Japan. Blueberry cheesecake really stood out for me. But we’re kinda boring if you were looking for debauchery stories! Haha.
JM: What advice would you give to an aspiring musician?
DJ: Keep at it. Just try everything and anything until you find your voice. But try to find your own voice.
JM: What are your plans, musical or otherwise, for the near future?
DJ: I’m working on a film score right now. It’s pretty fun. I’ve also been looking at the Pacific Crest Trail pretty hard …
JM: Do you want to set the record straight on anything about Akron/Family?
DJ: We all eat meat.
JM: Where are you responding from?
DJ: Literally a Hobbit hole in Portland, Ore.
— Jeff Moehlis is a Noozhawk contributing writer and a professor of mechanical engineering at UCSB. Upcoming show recommendations, advice from musicians, interviews and more are available on his Web site, music-illuminati.com. The opinions expressed are his own.