As originators of the H.O.R.D.E. Festival, along with fellow maiden
H.O.R.D.E. bands Phish, Spin Doctors, Widespread Panic and Aquarium Rescue
Unit, Blues Traveler is definitely about to get their moment in the sun.
This year marks the fourth migration of the band and their traveling show:
consisting of similarly gifted, tour oriented acts. It also marks the
platinum status of Blues Traveler's fourth album, titled four
which was released in 1994.
Fresh from finishing up an interview for People Magazine, complete with a
Salmon fishing trip and first ever show in Alaska, I caught up with the
band in Canada, where they were performing as part of "Another
Roadside Attraction" (the Canadian version of H.O.R.D.E.). John and
Brendan were nice enough to take a moment from their always overbooked
schedules to chat with me on the phone and help explain what makes the
H.O.R.D.E. tour so uplifting and unforgettable.
Whose idea was it, really?
John: The idea for H.O.R.D.E. really developed from the
first group of bands that went out. We figured if we could pool our draws
together, we could play big outdoor sheds in the summer, which is much
more fun than playing indoors. We organized the meeting, and made it
happen. I suddenly found myself on the phone a lot more, I guess that's
how I ended up in charge.
Describe your emotions when you took the stage at the
first H.O.R.D.E. show
John: The first show was in Maine. We had planned
everything so thoroughly that when we took the stage my one thought was
"it's about time." The show that really stands out was the
Garden State show. It was huge and sold out. We walked out to a sea of
people that belonged to us. It was very memorable. It was like everyone we
knew that was a part of our scene suddenly had jobs. We were there with
all of our friends.
Brendan: I think there was about 8,000 people in
attendance at the first show in Maine. It was just us and our friends,
Widespread (Panic), Spin Doctors, Phish, Aquarium Rescue Unit - and this
was our own. We got to watch it grow.
Which band would you most like to see participate in
H.O.R.D.E. living or dead?
Brendan: I'd love to see Led Zeppelin, Neil Young,
Santana you know some of those legendary musicians, like Eric Clapton, do
even one show. I think it would integrate the old with the new. These are
the bands whose footsteps we are following in from years ago, it would be
nice to see it come full circle.
John: Well we'd love to get Phish again, Widespread
Panic, the Dead, Jimi Hendrix. Part of what is cool is that we keep
changing it up. There are so many cool new bands. I guess I would have to
pick the new ones we don't even know about yet.
How does the process of choosing acts for the tour
Brendan: There is somewhat of a H.O.R.D.E. corporation. I
turned in a list of 50 bands that I would like to see on the tour. I know
that our band along with some others and some managers (etc.) were polled.
It is a very democratic process. It has a lot to do with who is willing
and who is available.
What is the one thing that you would like your audience to
take away from the show?
Brendan: They are all unique experiences. Different
things happen at every show. I would love for someone to be able to call a
friend in a different part of the country and swap stories about who
jammed with who.
John: A very warm feeling of communal enjoyment. The
ability to bring people together in some way is fun - whether or not it is
important is up to them, but it sure is fun.
One last question, what has changed now that you are a
platinum selling artist?
Brendan: That's easy, the amount of questions people are