Still Dialed In:
The String Cheese Incident Brings the Heat to Brooklyn This Weekend
Interview by Corinne Casella
Photo by Scott McCormick
For over 20 years, the String Cheese Incident (SCI) have been making a “Joyful Sound” with their genre-bending music. Tour after tour, legions of fans have migrated to their shows in anticipation of a multifaceted set. More than just your average jam band, SCI creates distinction with their music through a balance of styles and irrefutable stage charisma. After years of evolution, subsequent breakups and new material, SCI is stronger than ever. In their live shows, the band has taken on a symbiotic relationship, one that makes peace with its past and lives in the present, perfectly in-tune. On the heels of a two-night run of shows at Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre, bassist and founding member Keith Moseley caught up with us about the current climate of the band, and what the future has in store.
You guys have been touring pretty hard, how do you feel it’s stacking up against your personal expectations?
KM: This summer has been great, I think we’re playing at our highest level ever, actually. I think we’ve had a really super strong summer, and it’s been fun to feature some new material that we’ve been playing. I just feel like everyone’s excited, and we’re really hitting on all cylinders.
Are there any new albums on the horizon after the tour?
KM: Yes, we’ve got new material that’s up right now on the web page. There’s four or five new songs that are up there now, we’ve got the rest of the album in the can and will be released before the end of the year.
Great, so there’s a lot coming up in the future for you guys.
KM: Yeah, and beyond that we have more new tunes that are ready to be recorded, so we’re in a really fertile time right now as far as our creativity goes. It’s very exciting.
For me at least, one of the best parts of an SCI show is the diversity of genres. Today, after getting back together, what’s the processing of balancing, say, the electronic part of your music to bluegrass?
KM: Oh, balancing. The whole set list preparation is a long, thought-out process for us. We always try to balance all the factors of the show. Make sure that everybody gets to sing one of their tunes, make sure that we are featuring Kang on the fiddle, make sure that we’re getting a taste of the EDM, the programming songs in the set, making sure that we’re getting a taste of some more bluegrass or Americana in most sets. So it’s really kind of a tedious [chuckles] process getting the set list together to try to make it flow, and feature everything we do. So we do spend a lot of time on that every show, trying to get it dialed in just right.
How would you say things are different now after the time apart? I know it’s been a couple years but how does it feel now?
KM: Well, I think everyone is excited to be back together and bring a little bit of their own explorations to the group process. Some time away has afforded everyone to pursue their individual musical interests. And then when we get back together, I think everyone– it’s kind of a two-fold thing. Everyone both feels fulfilled in doing what they did outside the band, and so you can bring your experience from what you did outside the band to the band. But also, I think everyone comes in with a little more patience and understanding, having been fulfilled individually outside of the band. Does that make sense? Do you know what I mean?
Sure. So you’re able to do your own thing, but then take what you learned and put it together.
KM: Yeah, and bring it back to the group. So you’re bringing new experiences to the group, but you’re also feeling satisfied when you show up to the group. So it’s not like, “Oh, gosh. I have to make the band play this song every night while we’re on tour.” It’s a feeling of appreciation of being back with your family and the guys, and like, ‘Hey, whatever we do is okay because it’s just so great to have this family atmosphere together.’
Do you still feel a need to have any side project, or you’re feeling pretty complete with the band?
KM: I don’t have any one side project, but I definitely have a lot going on outside of the band. I just attended the Rocky Grass Bluegrass Festival this weekend and did a lot of playing with friends there. I’ve got my own gig coming up at NedFest here locally, and then a gig with Keller Williams on the calendar, and some other things brewing. So I’m as busy as I want to be. I feel like I’m in a great place, between String Cheese and then having some time off for some other pursuits as well.
Catch SCI at the Kings Theatre this August 13 & 14. Get your tickets here!
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