Can live music be spiritually invigorating? It may sound heavy-handed, but it’s something The Nadis Warriors strive to accomplish with each show. The Austin-based psychedelic jam outfit joins forces with Jacksonville natives and Pensacola favorite S.P.O.R.E. to present a fresh, palette-cleansing take on electronic music on the sands of Pensacola Beach. Here, guitarist Jared Ingebretson talks about his initial attraction to the electronic world and the unique worldview his band promotes.
FMB: You and your bandmate Jared are half-brothers. Growing up, you guys had to listen to stuff all across the board, right?
Ingebretson: Yes, most definitely. Jason and I have always been big fans of Pink Floyd and the jam scene, especially Phish. I went to school here in Texas. Being around a lot of blues and roots-based music has always been important to me. As the electronic scene blossomed so significantly, I got into bands like STS9 and The Orb.
FMB: What in particular about electronic music drew you to that world?
Ingebretson: The possibilities are endless with electronic music. We as four people are able to create a soundscape as if we were a 30-person band. We’re able to utilize the technology that’s out there and mix it with the organic music and make it something new and refreshing.
Getting further into trance music, it’s all about the state the music puts you in and the way that the drumbeat moves you. With the repetitive beats of electronic shows, you see this giant energy being transferred back and forth between the musicians and the crowd. It becomes a co-creative experience. I see that in both the electronic and jam scene.
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FMB: That feedback loop is one of the main reasons I love jam music so much.
Ingebretson: Exactly. It’s why I love what we get to do. You not only get to have a computer to use but you also have the other musicians on stage. The drums, keys, synthesizers, and guitars that can make the live experience something different than a bunch of DJ tracks. It moves more. We have the flexibility to change the way energy is portrayed that night, like jambands do.
FMB: How do you feel about the current state of electronic music now that it’s ever-present and relatively shallow in a lot of instances?
Ingebretson: That’s definitely true in some cases, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It might not be people’s first intention to get into electronic music. They might just be getting into it because it’s something popular, but who knows? They might find a positive scene like the ones that are blossoming right now. Scenes that are about expression, community, dropping baggage, and healing. All in all, I’m excited about where this whole thing is headed.
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FMB: Your website mentions the collective consciousness a couple times. This might be one of those huge unanswerable questions, but what does the collective conscious mean to you?
Ingebretson: That’s a big one. There has been tons of baggage purposefully built up through the years to divide us. The movement of the 60’s was surrounded and promoted by the arts. You’re starting to see that now as well, but people are also starting to look within themselves for answers. That’s really where it all starts – within ourselves. If you want change, be the change.
FMB: What do you see as some current barriers to that collective consciousness?
Ingebretson: People are trying to explore, but they’re looking in the wrong places. You’ve really seen that in the last few months with the Molly epidemic and the deaths at Electric Zoo. Those gross underbellies of the scene will stop the movement in its tracks if people don’t wise up.
FMB: What’s the most difficult part of playing in a band that’s so psychedelically entrenched? Do you find yourselves getting stereotyped or pigeonholed?
Ingebretson: Yes and no. As a band, we are what we are and aren’t pretending to be anything different. I want our music to be a landscape of what the psychedelic space might mean to us. In psychedelic space, I’m not saying necessarily only finding that through other means. The mind is a powerful thing and sound is something that absolutely fascinates me. The way sound can affect vibrational frequencies and affect movement is flabbergasting.
FMB: Are there any added difficulties in playing cities that may be less socially conscious? Let’s face it. Your music might be hard to grasp for the uninitiated.
Ingebretson: That’s hard to say because we’re from Austin and it’s such a hot bed right now for all this stuff we’re talking about. We get great receptions in places like New Orleans. When we play some of the other places that might be off the beaten path, it might take a song or two for people to get into it, but the are true people throughout the country that a part of this. We are everywhere.
FMB: When you guys are playing outside and within nature, does that affect how you approach your set?
Ingebretson: There are some weird sounds that can happen outside with the monitor mix. Whenever you’re indoors, you’re obviously in a more controlled environment. Cool stuff can happen outside though, like the wind picking up synchronistically while you’re playing. Those energies add to the ambience of the experience as a whole. We’re really excited to be out on the beach in Pensacola. It should be a special evening.
Photo: Nadis Warriors Official