From discussing their new album, to worldly views, to thoughts on psychedelics, the five-member-band of Papadosio bring an inspiring, positive message into the music realm. Their new album To End the Illusion of Separation (T.E.T.I.O.S.) focuses on unity and the theme that humans are interconnected with each other and the earth. It even made it to onto our list of Top 25 EDM Projects of 2012! Known for their unique sound that has no genre, the band carefully collages progressive rock with psychedelia, folk with electronica and dance music with jam, providing the ultimate musical experience.

The band members include, Anthony Thogmartin on guitar, keys, vocals; Mike Healy on drums; Billy Brouse on keys and vocals; Rob McConnell on bass, vocals and the newest member, Sam Brouse on keys and vocals.

Their remarkable performance at Canopy Club, for The Future Forest Tour, spewed out positive vibes not only through the music, but through their “out of this world” visuals. The bright, colorful visuals portrayed organic themes of ancient art and serene images of nature. Even more so, it was fascinating to hear that fans are traveling to multiple venues in order to relive their Papadosio experience a few more times. Get a better grasp on what the band is all about and check out our exclusive interview below!

UPC: When working on your latest album T.E.T.I.O.S., how and why did you establish the idea to connect your music with forms of art?

Anthony Thogmartin: We’re surrounded by it. It pretty much began when we would play and people would paint in the back during our music. We met some really good people all over the country. A lot of friends in Colorado were painting at the time. It was really fun. Ever since then, it’s been kinda what just what happens at our own shows. People just come and create in their own way. So, we thought “Why not do that with an album.”

UPC: I know that your songs relate to a specific form of art, can you please tell me more about that?

Mike Healy: The different artists we decided to collaborate with, we sent out a track to each one and either they chose a piece of previous artwork that they did or some of them created a piece to the music. Many of the different pieces of art go with the song and see the many similarities.

UPC: What was your favorite track to work on?

Anthony: I don’t think there was a favorite. There are certain aspects of recording that are fun than others. Everyone looks at solo’s as “Oh man!” and have to work on it for a while.

Mike: Some go a little quicker when in the studio, Sometimes you just nail it at your first try or at other times you take all day long, trying to nail a certain section.

UPC: Is there a certain section or track that took a long time to produce?

Mike: It’s funny, there is one song, in particular for me, that I took a very long time, “Madre de Dios,” and we lost the recording. When we came back at it again, [Laughing] I nailed it the first try. It worked out better the second time, I guess.

Sam Brouse: For me, I really liked recording the “Bionic Man Meets His Past” because I wrote it a long time ago. It was the first song that we integrated into the band when I joined. It was really nice to hear it with everyone else touches on it? It was really exciting.

Rob McConnell: I had a lot of fun recording the vocals on this album. I was finally used to it because it’s weird singing in the studio. There’s a lot of songs. We have 20 songs on this album compared to the previous we had, which had nine or ten. There is a lot more singing.

UPC: Knowing that you recorded your album in a home studio, was there any special way that you all went about to create this album?

Anthony: In other bands, we were in the studio a couple of times. It’s so much more worth it in a home studio because you don’t feel the pressure of time. We know we have to get it done eventually but it’s not difficult because you’re not thinking that you’re running out of time or charging everybody all this money. Because we can record at home, we can always go back later and do something else.

UPC: Have there been any defining moments on your recent fall tour?

Mike: We threw an event called Earth Night on December 20th and 21st. It was kind of similar to our festival and was absolutely amazing. We sold out both nights and so many friends and family from all over the country game. We had a lot of artists as well as beautiful floral decorations, arial dancers and live performance artists. The was an all day long workshop series. We have thrown a variety of workshops, from spiritual to sound healing.

UPC: How has your music evolved over the past years and where do you hope to take it next?

Sam: I think that, at least since I’ve joined the band, we’ve come together. It’s constantly evolving. Now, we have these inner-ear-monitors so we can really hear each other for the really first time on time on stage as well as we’d like to. In terms of studio work, we’ve always had fresh ideas to go with but no be scared to do certain things and write types of music. There is definitely talk about learning more about world music, and I’ve been interested in vocal harmony arrangements, like orchestral stuff.

UPC: Is there anything that you all fear in the realm of music?

Billy Brouse: I don’t think we’d ever do this but it’s to fall into the genre trap and play music that the audience expects.

UPC: When you say that you’ll bring a “message of unity,” what do you mean?

Anthony: Our album is called the “To End the Illusion of Separation.” If you’re really paying attention to the album and what’s going on, we are the ones who create the differences between each other. We decide that we are different. Biologically, we are not that different whatsoever. I think that this entire existence is starting to move toward this realization. If not right now, I think they will eventually. I have complete faith that people will realize that we are all in this together. We have a propensity to empathy. When someone is sad, we are sad. When we see someone happy, we are happy. We like so badly to try to separate ourselves from people through our thoughts. But really, the happier people on earth and the one’s having a better time are the one’s who are doing it together. It’s super obvious. I think that you can tell that the status quo of the world is behind itself. The corporate idea of competition and being like “you’re winning and I’m losing.” Even in music there is competition with people thinking that “this” band are better than “that” band, but when has music ever been about winning or getting in first place? The message of the album pertains to about everything. I think soon enough, people will have no choice but to band and work together.

Mike: People will realize that we are a single organism just trying to survive. We need to do it together and not be incredibly greedy and masculine about everything. We need to listen to the earth and revert to the old ways of the earth.

UPC: What fascinates me is what enabled you all to think so differently?

Mike: Me personally, I’ve been brought up to believe this way and I feel everyone in the band thinks similarly as I do. I feel like a lot of people, especially in the music world, know that we are all interconnected. Many people are just scared to admit it because it’s the “hippy” thing to say. Like “hippy-dippy, spiritual, peace, love” message that people are afraid to be positive. I think that right now, a lot of music is very negative and nihilistic. It does not really have any positive energy in it except in just freaking out and partying insanely hard and screaming. It’s just about having the most ridiculous and most intense time and thinking “man, I raged so hard!” but what kind of message do you walk away with? There are only a few bands that I completely appreciate because they are actually saying something, like the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Radio Head, Tool. There are bands that do it but there are only a few. Most people are scared to say stuff because they think they are going to lose fans and not pay attention to them. We will never be afraid to say what we believe.

Anthony: I’m also, now, not afraid to say that the psychedelic experience woke me up a little bit. I think that we live in a time where these amazing devices and tools that show you how things really are, they all are derived from plants. I think that the earth itself tries to talk to people through these plants and that you can kind of access this place through these plants. The ego-ic, separational, duality perspective of the corporations and people who are in power are so incredibly terrified by the idea of things not being the way that they are now because of the structure and all the interest in keeping it the way it is. It translates to people because [the corporations] set up this propaganda that the psychedelic experience is a dangerous thing. The most unfortunate thing that happened in the century is that we forgot about plant medicine and what it can do for society. Also, on the flip-side of it is that people are so gung-ho about plant medicine that the over use it. Especially in the music world, if people don’t get “high,” then they don’t understand or enjoy the show. It’s as if they have to do it. We’ve forgotten how to constructively use the psychedelic experience to shape how we see the world. I can say personally that I’m very changed because of the psychedelic experience. It wasn’t really even the drugs as much as it was the understanding of communion that you experience with the infinite. I’m not trying to say that everybody should go and eat mushrooms and take of all their clothes and run down the streets. It’s not really like that. There’s much more of a pragmatic and responsible and intelligent way to approach learning about the world through plant medicine without all the things people assume with the experience. Yes, it puts you in a vulnerable place. Yes, it puts you, maybe, in a confused place sometimes; you’re afraid. I think that a lot of people need a nice kick in the face a little bit. We’ve lost half of the life forms on earth. Half of the species are gone because of human beings and the choices we make. We live in such a crazy time and when you do these plant medicines, you are confronted. Especially ayahuasca or mushrooms, those that you don’t really have to do anything to make them active. You are presented with that message right away so with many people, it terrifies them. But if you can get past that specific terror, then you learn that you can be friends with the world and understand different kinds of things.


UPC: What do you think of the current music scene? Do you ever attend shows that are not your own?

Mike: I have had some positive experiences but there has been plenty of negative experiences too. I’ve been to a lot of music festivals where I’ve watched people party their lives away and almost die and surround themselves in unhealthy environments. But there have been other festivals where I’ve seen the most beautiful, connected safe environments that are incredibly refreshing. There are many beautiful gatherings around the country that have the right idea. It’s just about getting connected with the people who are into that kind of vibe.

Billy: We all go see shows when somebody comes through. It’s good to expand our horizons. When you do playing music for a living, it is different to go see a show because you know what’s going on. Personally, I’ll always notice if the sound guy is blowing it during the show and I’ll feel bad because everyone else is having a great time but I’m just thinking about the sound quality. I think in general, the music scene is an okay thing as a rule because it’s part of the world. It’s a good part of the world, even if it’s not your favorite kind of music or if people are freaking out, they are doing it to themselves and not someone else. If they are going to be destructive towards themselves at least they are not harming others. Yeah it’s kind of weird and frustrating at times but at least they are not shooting or robbing people; there are way worse things. Also, when it comes to music, I have a hard time letting go at a show because I just can’t stop focusing on what’s happening on stage. So I’m just sitting there being very critical.

Rob: I can’t dance at shows!

Mike: I think for us, it’s just a curse because we play so much music all the time and surrounded by it then we can’t relax.

Billy: The more I like the music, the less I dance. It’s like “Ohhh what is even happening!” [Laughing] “Why did you do that?!”

UPC: I never would think someone could experience a show like that! Are there any non-musical influences that inspire your music?

The entire band: Bill Hicks, he’s a comedian. One of the best comedians ever! He died like 20 years ago. He was ahead of his time. Such a great message.

Anthony: Comedy and music are alike. Comedians are awesome because they can say whatever they like without scrutiny since it’s a joke. No matter what they say. We hopefully create an entertaining experience that we can still say somethings that need to be said. Music and comedy is an art form. It’s an art form that you can load up with a message or not. We’re always listening to standup comedy on our rides. We also read a lot. I’m really into somethings David Wilcox has been saying recently, Edgar Caysey, Allen Watts, many writers, thinkers, philosophers, Alex Grey’s message–he’s a guy who places messages in his art, Amanda Sage, more visually I think.

Rob: I definitely was first turned on by Terence Mckenna, who is just a guy who likes to talk a lot and is very smart. I heard him on a radio program. That was the first time I ever heard about December 21st, 2012 at an early age and I became obsessive with that. I listen to talk radio about geology and ancient archeology. If I could do anything besides this, I’d become an archeologist. I don’t even know how you become one! Do you just start digging?

Sam: I really dig Luigi from Mario. He’s a huge influence.

UPC: Weren’t video games one of the first things you started to remix?

Anthony: It’s the first musical recognition I ever had as a kid. It’s awesome adventure as a kid! It’s like being in a movie. We’re talking Atari and Nintendo games. Nintendo was really the first thing that had musical themes when you were dong your stuff.

Billy: What’s really funny is that the first Earth Night at Skidmore was basically based around Jason’s thesis, which was comparing Mario to the Mario Brothers plot line and what happens to the Mario Brothers to psychedelics turning you on and you saving the princess. There are a bunch of metaphors. You can go look up on YouTube and find ten minute videos of Jason talking about playing Mario. There’s a lot more depth than that… It’s not just Mario!

UPC: I stumbled upon Earth Cry on your new website. Anthony, can you tell me a little more about that?

Anthony: Well there is a lot of music that I had sitting around but didn’t really apply to the band. I still wanted to express it. Then I discovered that there is a huge world of data on the field of sound-healing with bi-neural beats. Bi-neural beats are when you take two different frequencies and play them together. The adulation between the two frequencies creates a very low-frequency, which can literally change the stage of your mind. There are solfeggio frequencies, which are more subtle and based around healing and different moods. Then, there’s frequencies for joint pain, indigestion and anything you can think of. There are thousands and thousands of things that you can do. I thought that if would be really fun to down-tune or up-tune other ideas I had with this idea of frequencies and have fun with it. It’s still very early and I don’t have an album finished yet but it’s just a nice place to put my music. I make a lot of music. It just happens to me so I tend to have it sitting around. Not all of it applies to the band. Like I couldn’t ask Rob, for example, to play the same bass line the whole song or he would shoot me! There are just musical ideas that do not apply to a live setting or band, and I respect that. It’s very early in it’s stages so it isn’t anything huge yet.

UPC: But it’s cool and very interesting! I’m looking forward to hearing more. Having to constantly travel, what has been the most eye-opening or memorable place you have been and is there one place that you have not performed yet that you all yearn to one day?

Sam: I really want to play in Japan just because I think it is kind of wild over there.

Anthony: I think it would be really interesting to play in a county that doesn’t have shows. We could bring in the show and for the first time have people see that kind of production, like in Mongolia where we have a couple of friends that doing stuff over there. Places that have never seen something like this and finally see it. That would be “The Gig.” That would be the Gig from the Sky for me. That would be awesome.

Rob: It would be cool to even just play somewhere out of the states. Playing in the states have been amazing but it would be so cool to play on every continent.

Billy: I’d love to play in Rekovic, Iceland. Something about Iceland, like all the music that comes out of there, are just so awesome and unique. I would hope some of that would just rub off.

UPC: What will 2013 bring for you guys?

Anthony: I can say that because we have this new way of listening to ourselves on stage that everyone can look forward to us doing more daring improvisations. We just got an LED wall to take around with, which is better than our projector board, so we can show our videos a little more clearer. We also are recording a multi-track of our performances every night. So we will start collecting a huge database of stuff and will be working on releasing shows every once in a while. And, maybe on top of that, releasing a live album of performances that we’ve had. Many things are happening at the same time; it will be a really big, fun year.

Sam: We have really stepped up our level and worked so much these past couple years. Last fall we played 50 shows and have gotten tighter as a band. It will be a whole new level of letting loose and hearing ourselves in a way we haven’t before.

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