Particle is back in full force. After taking a good long time off touring, 6-7 years, the guys are back on the road with a new lineup and an album soon to drop. I sat down with Steve Molitz, Keys, one of the original members of Particle to talk about the groups return, the new album and what the guys have been up to in the off time.
As you may have heard,
P. Sunkel: Could you tell me a little about your guys time at AURA?
Steve: AURA was amazing. I love those grounds, we’ve actually played a lot of different festivals there. I was really existed though to see how AURA would be different since it was our first time playing it, we really ended up having a blast. It was really high-energy and the festival was just a lot of fun. The people who organize it also ran it very well. We got to see a lot of great bands and like I said, it was a blast.
P. Sunkel: I actually caught you guy a couple years back when you played at Wanee. Now, theres been some changes in Particle since then and now. What’s been going on with the lineup changes?
Steve: Particle hasn’t really done any extensive touring in about 6 or 7 years. We’ve only been playing about 15-20 shows a year because we’ve all kind of been focusing on other projects. I was out touring with Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes, Eric Burdon from The Animals and WAR. I’ve also been doing some scoring for film and video games, that kind of stuff. Some of the other guys have chosen to pursue some projects outside of music, start families and spend more time at home. So we really weren’t able to tour as much as I wanted to.
P. Sunkel: But somehow you worked it out to get back on the road as Particle?
Steve: In the last six months, I really have just felt a call to the road & to bring Particle back to the stage. So I worked with Eric and Darren, the original rhythm section who I founded the band with back in 2000, and after talking it through it just made the most sense that, Since I wanted to tour and they wanted to spend more time at home, that I would go out and tour with a new rhythm section. Its been a blessing to carry on the Particle name and I’m just so happy with the way this has all gone, we just finished an amazing tour.
P. Sunkel: So who do you currently have in the roster?
Steve: We’ve got Clay Parnell, who you might know from Brothers Past, on bass. We’ve got Brandon Draper, he toured with a band called Quick Sonic, on drums and Ben Combe on guitar. We just had a three week tour and we’re gearing up for a month long tour which starts March 27th out on the West coast and works its way out through the Southwest, Midwest and ultimately end at Jazz Fest down in New Orleans on April 26th.
P. Sunkel: This past tour was really good though?
Steve: It went incredibly well. It feels so great to get back out there and reconnect with the fans by playing good music. The response was incredible, it was just great to see everyone out there getting down. The band is also just getting tighter and tighter as each show passes, I can’t wait to see what this next tour will bring.
P. Sunkel: Well that kind of leads me into my next question, which is really about the new album you guys are working on. Is the album complete or are you guys still working on it while out on the road?
Steve: I’m actually working on the album right now. I’m headed out to Connecticut to record some guitar parts with Ben next week. We’re hoping to have some of the songs ready for the Spring tour. We may release it in two parts. We might release some it now and some it late but we’ll see how it all shapes up. We’re writing songs though that definitely capture the spirit of what Particle is in terms of it being high-energy dance music and something that you can really groove to. A bunch of the new songs actually have lyrics. I think when people see the new band, they’ll really get a sense of the new lineup but that this is still Particle just forging ahead to new territory.
P. Sunkel: Moving ahead into this new chapter for the band, what do you think is the most exciting aspect for you?
Steve: I think the most exciting thing moving forward is knowing that we’re forging ahead into new territory. We’ve always been the kind of band who loves to improvise within our concerts and our music but the same kind of thing applies to a macro level of our lives and to the experience of being in Particle. So I’m really looking forward to trying new things, playing new cities, getting back to all of our favorite towns, putting out new albums. Really just moving forward into uncharted territory. It feels really good to have this blank canvas to use and create to share with the fans. I’ve really been feeling the desire to get out and tour with Particle a lot over the last five years.
P. Sunkel: And now Particle is finally back!
Steve: Its been a long time coming and just a matter of figuring out how to do it. I’m just really looking forward to all the things that this new and exciting chapter will bring, you know? New album, playing at festivals, jamming with special guests, you know all the fun things that go along with playing 50-100 shows. We’re definitely having a lot of fun writing and rehearsing, we can’t wait to share the new music we’ve been working on with everybody.
P. Sunkel: It definitely sounds like you missed hitting the road as Particle.
Steve: Oh yeah and I’ve been touring a lot over the years with the likes of Phil Lesh & Friends or Rich Robinson. So I’ve always loved touring and love the road but I really missed touring with Particle specifically. I just really missed these songs, this sound and the vibe it creates.
For tour dates and more check out: ParticlePeople.com