Earth People Orchestra – Tue 2/3 – Mid East Upstairs

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Whether in a basement, on a stage, or even at the train station, Earth People Orchestra have some important things to show you and they are rolling deep. This 16 member group plays what they like to call “cult-pop”; sing-a-long’s drenched in uplifting melodies with the lyrical melancholy of Soft Bulletin-era Flaming Lips. Unlike any musical project in Boston, EPO have been moving people since their inception through a unified chorus of passion and excitement for what it possible when lots of people share one voice.
Q&A w/ Dan Wholey of Earth People Orchestra
Q: Who’s idea was it to start this project? and what differences are there between the original vision for the group and how the band ended up turning out?

A: It was my idea, I guess. I was sick of guitar/bass/drums and always thought it would be cool to have an enormous band. Originally I wanted to play Eno and mic everything and run it through a computer but it soon became obvious that it wasn’t necessary and also would be a pain in the ass. I wrote some songs and people kept coming to practice to play them and the project has become fairly self-sustaining at this point.

Q: With sixteen members in the band I can only imagine that coordinating practices and gigs is not an easy task. What other bands are represented by members of EPO?

A: It’s actually pretty easy because we are all nerds and have Gmail and use it kind of a lot. I’m probably missing someone here but Andy is in Jean Claude Jam Band and World Map, Joe and Brian are in Draculas, Ryan is in Sunrising and is “about to release a solo electronic album called “helicopter attack super oddyssey” (sic) which is an original soundtrack for a video game,” Matty is in Naranja, Supriya is in Thousands and the Emeen Z Band, and I think that’s it. Shakir raps as Theory Engine and he needs to record more stuff with Danny.

Q: What is the most flattering/sickening musician/band comparisons you have received from fans, friends, family, press etc…?

A: The Polyphonic Spree is a pretty obvious one. Some Irish guy who lives across the street from the apartment we practice in kept saying we sounded like the Arcade Fire one day. I try not to get sickened or flattered by stuff like that. Some of us have settled on cult-pop as a descriptor. 

Q: Some of the lyrics to the song Earth People Anthem are, “We’ve got a lot of work to do but we don’t mind cause we’ve got time and important things to show to people we don’t know”. What exactly are these “important things”?

A: I guess it’s not really that important but singing songs to people is generally what we do. Now that you mention it, that is kind of a lot of gravitas to hang on a bunch of kids with melodicas.

Q: If you could play a show in Boston with 3 other local bands who would they be and at what Boston venue would you play?

A: Ramming Speed, Mmoss, and BJ Snowden at the Bank of America Pavilion.

Listen to Earth People Orchestra

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Grinding Tapes Showcase

Mr. Sister

Elijah Whitman (NC)

The Points North

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