For grinding away at drum kits in every major U.S. market two or three times a year, EOTO’s Jason Hann has a remarkable memory.
“Man, that was like Punk Band Night,” he said of the band’s last Oklahoma City performance, on Nov. 29, 2009 — a bill shared with Ohio prog-punk duo Mr. Gnome at The Conservatory.
“There were two or three bands that went on before us, but we had a great, amazing time there. The energy was so off-the-charts. The one thing that stands out to me was that in between, for house music, they were playing Sublime. And everyone knew the freakin’ words to it and were singing along! It was like they were playing there and not us.”
The band’s crescendo started in 2006, when Hann and keyboardist/guitarist Michael Travis established EOTO as one of all-fusion improvisational legends The String Cheese Incident’s coterie of side projects. Now at headliner status — and returning Saturday to play Kamp’s 1310 Lounge — EOTO has pulled in a lot of young fans by incorporating many elements of dubstep into its sound, specifically on its last LP, 2009’s “Fire the Lazers!!!”
“It’s a mix,” Hann said of EOTO’s recent patronage. “There’s the String Cheese fans and the kids who are into the DJ scene and who go to festivals. Thanks to Bassnectar and Pretty Lights and Skrillex, every festival — not just the jam or electronica ones — has a DJ at least for one of their main acts.”
EOTO fits in well with this subculture by incorporating the Ableton Live software’s looping processes — currently extremely popular among the aforementioned dubstep acts — into its talents as musicians and years of experience with spontaneous playing.
The aggressive backbeats of “Fire the Lazers!!!” complement Hann’s skittering, technical drumming prowess, and Travis’s riffage is often scary whether it’s coming from one of his many keyboards or his Les Paul guitar.
And, like most well-loved jam bands, EOTO’s faithful followers are the sort to liken the duo’s performances to religious experiences, which makes Hann a little bit awkward to discuss.
“It continually means that people are looking toward music for a deeper life understanding,” he said. “If our music does that for them, then that’s great.”