JBO Talks to SCI’s Jason Hann About All Things Hulaween, The Next Album, and Big Plans for 2023!   | JamBandsOnline.com

JBO Talks to SCI’s Jason Hann About All Things Hulaween, The Next Album, and Big Plans for 2023!  

October 18, 2022

In a post Covid world, it is nice to see our favorite bands get back out there finally and bring back the jams and community we were missing so badly and slowly, but surely, all our favorite artists are getting back to the kind of schedules we were all used to before the pandemic and The String Cheese Incident is no exception. 

I had a great chat last week with the bands enthusiastic percussionist Jason and here is some of what went down:

JamBandsOnline: What are you and the band up to today? Rehearsing for Hulaween by any chance? 

Jason: We are in pre production mode. We’re going to record and album soon, so we’re with a new producer that we’ve been with this week and are just going through all these new ideas and getting everything all flushed out with some arrangements and some different approaches to songs, and its been a real amazing kind of creative week, so we are all super psyched.

JBO: Well that is just awesome bonus information, because the possibility of recording a new album wasn’t even on my list of questions, but it is now. Tell me more about this new producer?

JH: His name is Brad Cook and he has a great production resume.  He has a really different take on what we do, and he really wants to get to the heart of the stories of the songs and have them be a little more intimate. It will be interesting to see how it goes, but this week we’ve just been going through the songs and doing some arrangements on them. So once we get in the studio with them, we will get a better idea of how things will be tracked and how the songs will really be treated, but right now this whole week has been about the songs, the lyrics and you know? Just what’s going on at this moment of our career.  We are all just in a really healthy and creative way and its all being explored. 

JBO: So with Hulaween coming up, I’m guessing the actual recording will take place after the festival? 

JH: Yes, some time in mid November. Its good, because we will have about a week and a half off now and then we go into Hulaween rehearsals and Hulaween is usually just as crazy for us as Electric Forest where there’s a little more pressure, because we are the hosts of the event and we are trying to pull off something special. 

JBO: So how much preparation is actually needed to get ready for a big event like Hulaween considering you have that extra special Halloween set on Saturday with lots of musical covers and theatrics and you personally get to have a say in the creative direction of the cover set?

JH: It’s always open for us to be as involved as we want to be, but sometimes there’s other stuff going on, like we just had the festival in Santa Cruz a few weeks ago and before that we had a pretty busy summer and then everyone was on vacation after we did our Red Rocks shows, so some times it can be tricky for all of us to get on the same page, so to a certain extent we let management or Hulaween ride with a certain theme and we’ll either try to match that or we’ll take some initiative with what vibe we want to go with. So it all gets tweaked over some meetings over a few months and so now we start to feel the crunch as things start to get more specific and dialed in. The theme this year is Horror Disco, but I cant give away any of the song choices.

JBO: I am so excited about that. Sounds like so much fun. I can’t wait! By any chance Do you have any plans to sit in with any other bands? You always seem to be the one SCI member that joins other artists during festivals. Is it something you plan ahead or is it more spontaneous? 

JH: Yeah, that’s always super last minute, but probably, because there are just so many friends out there, but the thing that happens at a Hulaween is our band schedule is so crazy busy. We are including singers and horn players and those practices are usually so intense because there’s a lot to cover in only two days and so in addition to us playing our three and a half hour show on Friday, then we also try and get in a 5 or 6 hour rehearsal. So if there’s any chance I get away and it works out with the set times I’m usually down for sitting in for sure. 

JBO: Now that the pandemic is getting farther and farther behind us, do you think Cheese will tour a lot more in 2023? I remember there was a ton of great venues booked in 2020 with shows of yours booked that didn’t get to happen, so I’m hoping next year can make up for it a bit. 

JH: Oh yeah! We’ve got some pretty big plans for 2023. This year a lot of things were too daunting for a fall tour, because prices and availability are just too high since everyone else is also back out on the road and traveling again, so everything from hotels, to flights, to tour busses are threw the roof and everyone else is out on tour at the same time so it put such a strain on resourses. But we have some winter things scheduled including Jamaica of course, some spring stuff and the summer is going to be pretty crazy, so were all very excited. 

JBO:  Yeah, that all makes sense actually.

We all want to be playing a lot more, but I think we made a really good decision to not tour as much during this fall and do this preproduction for the upcoming record instead, not only because of the prices and all of that, but really I think the whole inustry still has a strain on it, because it seems everyone is trying to get back to work at the same time, because there was so much work that was missed out on, so in general people are trying to make the money back. So it’s a crazy time and we feel like, as a group and management, we are psyched to be doing all the new song writing and getting this preproduction going and that invigorates us for Hulaween and New Years too. 

JBO: Well this has been so very informative and fun getting to know the answers to these questions and I have more, but I will let you get back to the band and the new producer for now. See you at Hula! 

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