A taste of Lotus

If you made it out to Summer Camp Music Festival this past summer, you may have caught a mid-afternoon set by one of the many up-and-coming bands on the jam scene, Philadelphia’s own, Lotus. Falling in between Cornmeal’s early-day bluegrass jamboree and Umphrey’s Mcgee’s afternoon set on the adjacent stage, fans of the band and curious onlookers alike gathered in front of the Sunshine Stage for an electronic dance party in the middle of the day.
Since Summer Camp, Lotus has been making a lot of noise across the country, selling out their album release party in the Big Apple. Now, selling out a show in NYC is no easy task, but the anticipation of their 2008 release, Hammerstrike, has not only jam fans buzzing, but also music critics praising their work.
In an interview with buzz, Luke Miller, guitarist for Lotus, mentioned that the band got started in the Midwest and is excited to return.
“We all went to Goshen College in northern Indiana, and the campus was pretty conservative,” Miller said. “They had a campus-wide ban on drinking, so the flyers for our shows always got torn down.”
“When we were starting out, the college’s music scene was folky acoustic guitar,” Miller added. “So the first shows we did were advertised as a dance party — not just watching someone playing guitar. A party atmosphere is an uplifting thing for a lot of people, and they can lose their inhibitions and shed the external woes of life and just be one with the audience.”
The band’s new album, Hammerstrike, will be in heavy rotation for their sets on this tour. But don’t expect them just to play it from front to back.
“It was interesting playing the NYC set straight through our album,” mentioned Miller. “The arc of the live show and the arc of the album are different in my mind. The album peaks early, whereas live shows start strong, come down a bit, and then peak at the end.”
When asked about time spent in the recording studio, Luke shed some light on their process.
“[With] our previous albums, we built the album sound by sound. We took a different approach on this one. We all sat around a room and recorded straight into a tape machine for a raw sound. We were trying to capture the sound of a band playing live.”
The bottom line is that Lotus isn’t afraid to put on a show — no matter where or when it might be. The band will be making their presence felt in the CU area next Monday night, sandwiched between two sets from Urbana jam-maniacs Zmick. All in all, the band is excited to return to Illinois.
“A couple of us were actually born in Bloomington, so it’s nice to come back this direction,” Miller recalled. “Midwest crowds get really excited when shows come their way, whereas west coast fans are a bit more laid back. And there’s always more tie-dye here than in New York.”
So get your homework done early, grab your tie-dyes and head out to the Canopy Club, Monday, October 6, to catch this show and tracks from Lotus’ upcoming SCI Fidelity release, Hammerstrike.

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