I came across Papadosio while checking out upcoming shows at the Blue Note. If I’m not familiar with a band, I’ll listen to a song on YouTube and decide within two minutes if I’m going to the show or not. It didn’t even take two minutes to get completely hooked on Papadosio’s sound.
That sound has been described as live electronica with songwriting that “showcases improvisational interludes and refreshing vocal harmonies with an amplified message of transcendence, unity and universal understanding.” It sounds lofty, but that is exactly what I feel while listening.
Their live shows combine music with art and lights to create an atmosphere that transports audience members somewhere else—I’m not sure exactly where, but I plan to find out Wednesday evening.
Until then, here’s a short interview with Anthony Thogmartin:
I don’t think that “live electronica” adequately describes the music of Papadosio. Do you have any words that do it better?
I don’t think it does either. I like the word “electronica,” and I like the word “rock.” They are both very unassuming, and that’s right where we like to be. The whole premise of the band has been to never discredit a musical idea regardless of how much it does or does not sound like Papadosio. Honestly, we didn’t think people were going to be very into our sound back in our first years, but we find ourselves gaining more and more ground. I think it’s because people like variety and color. They want epic; they want emotional; they want to go on a kind of adventure. That’s the show we are trying to throw. So to define what an adventure is may be rather difficult. They should call us Progventurocktronica.
You put on a hybrid show–music, lights, art. Can you tell us how that evolved and what to expect?
Expression led to expansion. We are surrounded by creative people who inspire us and we inspire them. Some of them have joined us on the road; some of them have given us art to project live; some of them come to dance. We took all these elements and made an all-encompassing experience that changes every night. All I can say is: it’s never going to be the same night to night; it’s always going to be fresh. And this tour is going to be very stimulating for sure.
What does To End the Illusion of Separation (TETIOS–the name of the new album) mean to you?
The new album’s name came from the central theme of our life and time now. It’s not complicated; nor does it deserve a long silly scientific explanation. It’s just the most obvious thing that we are all in this together. It’s entirely up to us to learn that all life is reliant on different aspects of itself to survive and thrive. We need to learn to reintegrate ourselves as humans into this vast web of interconnections, instead of trying to dominate it as if we were separate from it. This is just one of the many ways we feel like the title is relevant to what is happening in our world. Many of the songs deal in some way with this realization too.
Artistically the album is a collaboration between us musically and twenty different artists who created a special visual piece for each of the twenty songs. So we are trying to unify visual and audible art: to end the illusion of separation between different art forms. It’s a very exciting time for us to be releasing this album. 😉
Papadosio at the Blue Note. Wednesday, August 29, 2012. Show starts at 8:30.