Blues Traveler lead singer and harmonica virtuoso John Popper has been
at the fore of the new wave of old sounds since he and his band first
kicked out the jams in the late '80s. In 1992, Popper and Co. founded
H.O.R.D.E., an annual touring music festival that provides exposure for
inheritors of the Grateful Dead's aesthetic mantle and to eco-conscious
political views. Now the show has gone interacive, with the release of the
CD-ROM All Access: The H.O.R.D.E. Festival (see review on page 72).
"It's technology way beyond our understanding," says Popper, who
lent a creative hand to the making of the double disc. "But it's cool
that we've been able to really express ourselves through it."
Are you surprised that a lot of the people who are drawn to
multimedia are the same kind of hippie-ish kids who like Blues
John: That doesn't surprise me at all. A lot of the
people who get into computers are college kids. And college is also where
you tend to meet the kind of music that we play.
Do you see any connection between interactivity and the kind
of musical improvisation you do?
John: Yes. The way we've always looked at things as a
band is just to try stuff we want to do. It's reaffirming for me to
discover the Internet. There's a whole lot of people who want to do
Do you surf the Web?
John: I try. I'm a real novice; I only mess with the
little waves. I splash along in the water and body-surf. But I don't just
wander the beach looking for shells. I wade in.
What do you look for?
John:Everything. I'm the kind of guy that, when I'm
looking up a word in a dictionary, I get distracted cause I'm like,
"Wow, they have a definition for life here." I'm going along [on
the Web] and trying to figure out the words to that Phish song, and then
they'll have a reference to some other thing in blue [a hypertext link].
And the next thing I know, I'm looking up the history of turnip