Outside Lands 2011: Interview with Lotus

Lotus/Courtesy

Ah, Outside Lands. The plethora of people. The omnipresent haze of smoke. It’s a hectic atmosphere to say the least. But, on Friday afternoon, with the fog rolled in and the crowds in an enthusiastic mood, electronic jam band Lotus provided the perfect soundtrack for a relaxed and funky commencement to the musical festivities. Since their formation in 1999, the quartet has been steadily melding the sounds of both dynamic electronica with the raw rhythms of rock instrumental. After their stunning set of groovy syncopations, the Daily Cal met up with the band’s keyboardist and guitarist Luke Miller to talk about playing the Outside Lands festival and their upcoming album.

Despite the absence of their regular sound guy, Lotus’ set at Outside Lands still managed to sound effortless. Unlike many of the other groups like Big Boi (who didn’t play due to technical issues) and OK Go (whose acoustic set could barely be heard), Lotus’ shredding guitars and catchy beats were loud and clear. “I thought we sounded great,” added Miller who expertly switched between guitar and keyboard. “We don’t really have a set list,” Miller explained, “because we’re primarily a jam band.” It was this lax and loose vibe that seemed to be Lotus’ M.O. There’s a personal intimacy that comes with this band. “We email the songs to each other and get together for a few days before a tour,” Miller said. And the same goes for their show. On Friday afternoon, amidst a lineup of arena players like Phish and the Shins (and the Black Keys who Miller was particularly excited to see), Lotus was the perfect low-key treat with a soothing demeanor befitting their liberal, jam band sound.