This week I had the opportunity to interview Eumatik, the eccentric funky-electro band based in Indianapolis, IN.
Ever wonder what skill-based computer music sounds like combined with real instruments? How about electronic-based funk with a heavy emphasis on synthesizing?
The three piece electronic band features keys, played by Ashton Kleeman, live drums, played by Adam Hoffman and a synth wizard in the flesh, Josh Lockwood. The high energy is a constant in their music and something they strive for in every show. Audiences feel it, and move to it. Chatting with members of Eumatik, I could feel the energy myself.
What is your musical background?
Josh: I’ve been playing music all my life, starting with piano and guitar at a real young age. I started making electronic music in 7th grade with Fruity Loops. Then I went into music school and did that whole thing, and I got a Bachelor’s in music. I also played in different bands in high school.
Adam: I started playing drums in 2nd grade, and after awhile I was playing with a bunch of bands around. I went to Capitol university for jazz studies and was in a different band. We opened up for Eumatik while playing a show in Cincinnati, and I ended up talking to them [after the show]. I worked on a cruise ship for year, really learning how to read music really well. Then I moved to Indy in February.
How would you describe your live show?
Adam: Really high energy. Extremely high energy and very diverse. We play anywhere from four on the floor techno to laid back harmony driven jazz. There’s definitely not a dull moment. We try to avoid dull moments and it's all about the music.
What influences your music?
Josh: A collection of everything we love about music. Everything from jazz to funk to electro.
I couldn’t help but notice some of the 8-bit sounds in your music? Did games play a role?
Josh: Yeah, we were definitely influenced by gaming. We all grew up playing old nintendo games and whatnot.
How do you use Ableton Live in your performances?
Josh: I go in session view, and as the show progresses through the set, I change sounds. I usually limit each [session view file] to an hour set, assuming we’re playing a two and a half hour show, so I’ll usually load two Ableton Live sets for a show. I color code everything to help it flow through the set. I’m a big dork about [keyboard] shortcuts.
Tell me more.
I'm really into making my own instrument racks. With my ATC controller, Ableton automatically routes to the 8 knobs in the instrument rack. I like to have those all set up, all 8 knobs set to different think. I also have an Akai MPK which I like because it automatically maps its 8 knobs to the instrument rack. Really it’s limitless in Ableton what you can do in an instrument rack. Another thing we do is have Ashton playing live keys in live sets. I’ve got a cord which goes into my laptop, and a lot of times we will in real time switch out the synth in his solos. We will modulate his solos live. Really, there’s a lot of different ways to do the same thing in Ableton, but really we focus on making our shows different. I’ve got a system to where I drop my sets in in different ways and copy and paste things around to make each show more unique.
How do you practice/rehearse?
Adam: When we're writing stuff we get together and all write individual parts and then we send it out to each other and practice it independently. We have a version without solos and then we have a studio version with all the solos. When we rehearse, it’s about running parts we haven’t done in awhile.
What do you like the most/least about being a musician?
Adam: What I like the most is the energy. The crowd is really hyped up and there's a lot of dancing.
What I like the least is the fact that all the electronics can be sketchy, with all the wires. That can get kind of stressful.
What advice do you have to up and coming bands in Indy?
Adam: Be true to yourself. If you’re writing to please the crowd and it's something you don't dig then it’s not going to be fun to play and the audience will feel that. If they don’t like it, that's ok, if you like it, that’s what’s important. Also, having a good attitude overall is important, especially when meeting other bands and gigging all the time. It’s good to have a good personality.
Josh: The advice I would give to electronic producers is to have a backup of all your hardware. As a mac user, Superduper! Is great to backup your drive of your computer. You could boot your computer up on another computer if yours dies.
Eumatik will be playing in Spencer, Indiana at the Good People, Good Times festival on June 9. Be sure to check them out there or on one of their social media platforms below.
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