Fans of SoundTribeSectorNine know to expect a new show every night
Even though the band SoundTribeSectorNine combines samplers and laptop computers with their live musicianship, percussionist and effects man Jeffree Lerner is uneasy with the awkward genre word that's been bandied about their kind of music.
Never Quite the Same Song
» When: 9:30 p.m. tomorrow
» Where: Hard Rock Cafe, 1837 Kapiolani Blvd.
» Tickets: $10 presale and $15 at the door
» Call: 955-7383
"It's not really 'livetronica,' " he said by phone from his Santa Cruz, Ca., home before STS9 left for a couple of Japan dates. "That description doesn't do it justice. Our music is drawn from an incredible amount of resources that we all grew up with, rooted in all kinds of forms.
"There's a certain organic root foundation we're based on, where technology and nature can come and fit together."
Lerner and the rest of his groove crew -- keyboardist David Phipps, guitarist Hunter Brown, bassist David Murphy and drummer Zach Velmer -- have been steadily building a rabid fan base since the band's inception almost nine years ago.
STS9 has been touring since August behind both their latest album "Artifact" and its fine remixed counterpart "Artifact: Perspectives." After two nights in Maui in Makawao and Kihei, the band is expected to pack the Hard Rock Cafe here tomorrow night.
STS9 prides itself on never playing the same thing twice -- ever. Samples from their studio recordings are broken down and fitted in with their live playing, thereby stretching out their instrumental parts. "It opens up parts of any given song we're doing, extending it in concert," Lerner said, "while maintaining its certain integrity."
With so many musical elements to mix and match, it's no surprise that the band has already based their live performances of two remixed "Artifact" tracks, "Possibilities" and "ReEmergence," the first a rap version by the Atlanta, Ga., Collective Efforts crew and the other a bit of drum-and-bass courtesy of Indian percussionist Karsh Kale.
"It's good to keep branching off the vibe, reaching out to artists we really respect. It keeps it fresh, to get input from different parts of the world.
"The improvisational aspect is crucial to our performances," he said. "It's like we look at this house we live in, and redecorate every day. It brings a feeling of general openness to each concert date and for the fans to enjoy.
"The best metaphor I can use is the music is like a conversation. We're all listening to each other, and while we sometimes change the conversation, we give respect to each other and keep our listening aware."
STS9 averages, according to Lerner's count, about 200 shows a year. And usually, about a week-and-a-half to two weeks' later after any given gig, soundboard recordings are available for downloading from the band's Web site at www.soundtribesectornine.com.
The band did a high-profile gig at this summer's Lollapalooza festival in Chicago organized by Perry Farrell. "Unfortunately, the city was experiencing a heatwave at the time -- 112 degrees with 97 percent humidity. As honored as we felt to be there, it was tough, considering that we played at 4 in the afternoon."
Things should be a bit cooler at the Hard Rock Cafe tomorrow, but expect to experience a bit of a heightened mood, both musically and spiritually.
"Sometimes at our shows, we have guest painters come by, we have crystals set up, and there are food drives at almost every show to help bring community awareness. A couple of weeks ago, we raised $18,000 in Santa Cruz for Hurricane Katrina relief. I feel it's real important to give back.
"I'm also raising my awareness on the native people in Hawaii," Lerner said. "I've been to Hawaii a number of times, taking time off from the band, and through my friends that live there, I've been inspired by the beauty and nature of the islands, particularly on Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island."