Interview with Jesse Miller from Lotus


Interview by Scott Preston

For those waiting for a concert experience with the dynamics of a rock band, the dance inducing rhythms of club music, and the sophistication of modern electronica, an unlikely musical alternative has arrived in the form of the band Lotus. Formed at the Mennonite college that had banned on-campus dancing as late as the 1980’s, Lotus brings their club-worthy beats and rocking instrumental anthems to club and theaters throughout the country as well as a solid Japanese following and breaking in to Europe. No glow-stick bracelets, pretentious Can trivia, or expensive distressed fashion required.

The five-piece band has creatively fused electronic dance music with instrumental post-rock for eight years. The result is an explosive live show that has made crowds get down across the US, Canada, and Japan. Armed with a massive light rig and one of the most energetic shows on the circuit, Lotus proves why they have become a go-to act for late night festival slots. (from

LOTUS will be coming through the Ohio area on Memorial Day weekend to play at Spring Hookahville 2008 at Legend Valley Music Center in Thornville, OH. LOTUS will be playing for the early bird campers on 5/23 (Friday) on the main stage.

Cincy Groove: I noticed that LOTUS toured Japan a few years ago, how did that tour go?

Jesse Miller: It was great, we actually have been over there twice now. It’s really interesting to go over there , most of our shows were sold out. Going in everyone was telling us that crowds were more reserved over there in Japan, waiting until the end of the song to clap. It wasn’t like that at all. Everyone was dancing and having a great time.

Cincy Groove: How many shows does Lotus play in a year?

Jesse Miller: Last year we did 85, the year before that we maybe did 100. The year before that maybe 115. As our fan base grows we are able to scale back our schedule a little.

Cincy Groove: Has Lotus played in Europe yet?

Jesse Miller: Not yet, we are going over to play the Jam in the Dam festvial in March in Amsterdam.

Cincy Groove: I noticed Lotus had a busy year last year releasing 2 albums.

Jesse Miller: Yeah, we did a live album and this remix album. Its a little different because it lets us concentrate on working on material for our new studio cd while still being able to release some new cd’s. We did a live release quite a while ago, but we really wanted to put a high quality live recording. Our shows are available on, but we just wanted to put something out that would be miles above any of those recordings.

Cincy Groove: Are you guys recording yet for a new studio cd?

Jesse Miller: We have 11 tracks recorded. Since the last album came out we probably have written 30 – 40 new songs. Some of those have made it into the live rotation, some of them we have recorded and the rest we are still working on. It’s a project we have been spending quite a bit of time on and still have a lot of work left.

Cincy Groove: Who are some of your musical influences?

Jesse Miller: Lately I have been into a lot just straight up rock, like Wilco. Stuff that’s a lot more guitar driven. But at the same time, we have definitely taken a lot of influence from the electronic world. Even where those 2 worlds are meeting , bands like Broken Social Scene.

Cincy Groove: What do you like to do when your not playing music?

Jesse Miller: I like to read, hang out in Philadelphia, there’s a great scene there. I like to go see shows too when I’m not on the road. I know a lot of touring musicians don’t like to, but I still like to.

Cincy Groove: Where does the band reside when your not on the road?

Jesse Miller: Two of us and most of the crew live in Philadelphia, PA. We have one member in Pittsburgh and two in Denver, CO.

Cincy Groove: What’s your writing process like?

Jesse Miller: I feel it’s something that I just have to work on continuously. I feel if I just sit around and think about it, nothing will come of it. It has to be constant work and if that means throwing out a hundred ideas to get one that works then so be it.

Cincy Groove: What does the band like to do to kill time between gigs while your on the road?

Jesse Miller: Well anymore there’s very little time between gigs. But if we have a day we like to golf if there’s a course nearby. That’s definitely the activity of choice if it’s a possibility.

Cincy Groove: I see you are playing Spring Hookahville this year.

Jesse Miller: Yeah we are excited because I think there will be a lot of people who haven’t seen us before. We always try to get into events we haven’t played before to expose new people to our music.


Upcoming Lotus tour dates:
For complete show info visit Lotus’ website:
03/16/2008-Jam in the Dam
03/27/2008-State College, PA
03/28/2008-Northampton, MA
03/29/2008-So. Burlington, VT
04/03/2008-Plains, PA
04/04/2008-Troy, NY
04/05/2008-New York, NY
04/08/2008-Columbia, MO
04/09/2008-Lawrence, KS
04/10/2008-Ft. Collins, CO
04/11/2008-Boulder, CO
04/12/2008-Boulder, CO
04/15/2008-Boise, ID
04/16/2008-Seattle, WA
04/17/2008-Portland, OR
04/18/2008-Eureka, CA
04/19/2008-San Francisco, CA
04/20/2008-Crystal Bay, NV
05/23/2008-Hookahville 29 Thornville, OH
05/24/2008-Summer Camp 2008 [IL]
05/30/2008-Mountain Jam IV [NY]
07/03/2008-Rothbury Festival [MI]
For complete show info visit Lotus’ website: