5GB Interview With The Helio Sequence; Playing Black Cat, Nov. 16


Looking for something to do Friday? Look no further, Oregon based band The Helio Sequence takes the stage at Black Cat for what I’m sure will be a great night of rock. The band has been together since 1996, and have honed their sound with three releases on Sub Pop Records. Their latest September 2012 release, Negotiations, was described as “a sorority girl’s Ambien dreams” – which makes sense and is kind of a perfect description. The reverb-heavy songs are something I’d enjoy while sitting on the bank of a river catching some fish. It’s almost like The Walkmen, but with a little more emotion. Brandon Summers joined us for our 5GB interview series below, with some awesome stories to share (they opened for the PIXIES!). Be sure to catch them at Black Cat tonight!

What’s the first gig you ever attended?

My first ever “big show” was seeing The Jets and Stacey Q in Salem, Oregon with my Dad and sister in 1988 when I was 8 years old. It was a typical rainy Oregon day and we were outside in a strange amphitheater, but the spectacle of it all overcame the cold and damp. Stacey Q looked like the real life incarnation of a Jem and the Holograms cartoon character and her keyboardist wore gigantic six inch metal fish earrings. The Jets had a huge stage show complete with a full on Polynesian fire dancing routine…what more could a kid ask for at his first show?! I remember going up to the HUGE PA speakers and feeling the bass rumble through my whole body and marveling at the amazingness of it all. And to top it all off, it turned out that Stacey Qs keyboard player was an old family friend and we got to go hang out with the bands backstage in a tour bus. Nice!

What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?

Well the “best” is for someone else to decide, but there have been so many memorable shows over the years…playing our first hometown show in Portland in 1999, having the amazing opportunity to open for The Pixies. We’ve toured and played in so many places… from Radio City Music Hall to the amazing Howe and Sons Pizza in Visalia, from a hot SXSW in Austin to a cold rainy night in Sherwood forest…it’s all part of the longer journey.

What is the best gig you have ever seen?

The Charles Lloyd Quartet in the basement of a Marriot at the Portland Jazz Fest! A friend had tickets to the fest and couldn’t go so he gave them to me. I asked Benjamin along expecting “just to see some Jazz.” We were totally taken off guard and blown away. It was a spiritual experience…one of those out-of-body-experience shows. Deep stuff. His drummer, Eric Harland, is phenomenal. Words can’t do it justice… if Charles Lloyd is coming to your town go see him!

Gig you would most like to play?

The next one.

What would be the lineup for your dream gig?

I’d like to see Roedelius, Rufus Wainwright, Charles Lloyd, Bill Frisell and My Bloody Valentine on a bill together… can we make that happen?

See The Helio Sequence Friday, November 16th at Black Cat!

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