The Mile High Makeout: Signal Path plans a very busy 2011By Eryc Eyl | February 4th, 2011 | 1 Comment »
“Our last gig before we took time off was at Bonnaroo for 20,000 people. I remember talking to my dad after that show and saying, ‘If we never play again, I’ve accomplished something with this dream. We went from our basements to Bonnaroo in just a couple of years.”
Drummer Damon Metzner is reminiscing about the unlikely rise of his band — the live electronic outfit Signal Path — and the even more unlikely decision to call it quits at the height of the band’s popularity.
“We toured for four years solid,” explains guitarist and keyboardist Ryan Burnett. “We bought a 45-foot bus, built ten bunk beds, and loaded up the dogs, the girlfriends and the gear.” And then, they just got tired. “I’ve got a family of my own and I want to balance my life so I’m not totally insane.”
And though things are a little quieter these days, Burnett’s idea of balance might not match yours. The band — now a trio with bassist Matt Schumacher — has scheduled eight shows in eight cities in ten days this month alone, and is also planning to release four free EPs this year. Welcome to Signal Path 2.0.
Burnett started Signal Path in 2001 while living in Missoula, Montana, but the project really got going when Metzner moved from New Orleans to the remote college town in 2002. At first, they weren’t sure there was a fit.
“I was playing funk music,” recalls Metzner. “I was like, ‘I only play the funk, but I’ll come down and try it out.’” He and Burnett laugh at this shared memory, but it wasn’t long before they were on the road together, beginning that four-year touring binge that culminated in the Bonnaroo performance.
“We’ve never had time to really focus on the music — ever,” marvels Burnett. “The project came together magically, and we were on the road and didn’t come off for more than a couple weeks at a time for years. And now we have time to make the music as awesome as we want it to be.”
That’s not to say that the music wasn’t awesome before. With seven full-length albums to its credit, Signal Path’s output is nothing short of impressive. However, after the band took a couple years off, Signal Path settled back in Burnett’s hometown of Denver in 2009 and released “Clash,” which represented a new beginning for the project. The group continued to develop with 2010′s “Imaginary Lines.” Both albums are available as free downloads from the band’s Bandcamp page. Combining elements of drum-and-bass, house, dubstep and other electronic styles with live instrumentation and improvisation, the trio creates music that appeals equally to fans of jam bands and electro.
“The whole idea is just to play awesome electronic music with human beings there to create it, as opposed to standing behind a laptop,” Burnett says. “I love this kind of music, but I hate it if, when you go to see it, it’s just a guy. You want to feel like it’s actually happening in front of you.”
Pages: 1 2