The fourth annual Catskill Chill Music Festival will take place September 6-8, 2013 at Camp Minglewood in Hancock, NY. After selling out in 2012, organizers have announced that, in an effort to preserve the intimate feel and family vibe of the Chill, capacity will remain the same in 2013 and will not surpass 5k guests.

Camp Minglewood is an intimate lakeside venue with less than 5k capacity. The Catskill Chill features free parking, free camping, on-site cabin rentals, and outdoor covered stages. Activities include an Open Mic Stage, Yoga, Drum Circles, and a communal bonfire each night. The 2013 event will offer more music than ever before with 60 acts performing live on five stages during the 3-day camping festival. Featured artists include: The Meter Men featuring Zigaboo Modeliste, Leo Nocentelli and George Porter, Jr. with special guest Page McConnell; Lotus; Galactic; Conspirator; Lettuce; Papadosio; Tea Leaf Green; The Motet – Funk is Dead; Particle, Dopapod; Kung Fu; Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds and many more.

Many artists on the lineup are making huge waves within the jam music scene. Ghost Owl, comprised of members of the now defunct Perpetual Groove, is getting creative and wowing audiences with their ingenuity.  The members have switched up the instruments they play, changed their sound to include indie influences and more synth, and give you a completely unexpected experience each time they perform.  Returning to Catskill Chill for the first time as Ghost Owl, Appalachian Jamwich is excited to get a little insight about the band before we meet them at Camp Minglewood. 


Ghost Owl’s sound has a lot of indie rock influences, what are some indie bands that have inspired you?

      MATT: Definitely a bunch of different bands from all walks.  Off the top of my head, I know we all have heavily listened to The Flaming Lips, M83, Cut Copy, Wilco, and LCD soundsystem. 

      ADAM: Those have been in heavy rotation in our countless hours together in the van.

Though the sound is very different than Perpetual Groove, what experiences playing for that band contribute to the sound or performance of Ghost Owl?

     ADAM:  Everything.  Whether that be the business of being a band, how to perform best, ideal conditions to create and execute great shows and good times on the road, or how we write together. 

     MATT:  Everything we learned with PG were all lessons that we apply in Ghost Owl.

Do you think jamtronica/livetronica is the next big thing in the jam scene?

     MATT: I think it’s been well established in this community for a long time and for good reason.  Bands like STS9, Lotus, & Zoogma, are 3 generations of “jamtronica”.  That label is here to stay, and the scene is better and more diverse for it.  However, I don’t believe Ghost Owl is jamtronica. 

     ADAM:  After more people become familiar with our music, I think most will realize that the jamtronica label doesn’t really fit us.

What drives you to continue making music?

     MATT:  So many things, the easy answer is life and that it’s not a choice, it’s just the way you are.  There’s a connection that happens when you make music, especially at the live show.  It’s the “highest” you can ever be – when that moment happens that the entire room, concert field, or club is totally in sync and you get to be the medium between the music and the crowd – you feel all that energy coming through you and at you.  That’s a driving force that keeps you coming back for more and more.  On a more personal level, it’s also been about showing my children that they can be what they want to be when they become adults.  They’ve seen the ups and downs and know that being what you want to be is never easy; it takes hard work and sacrifice, but it can be worth it and bring happiness and satisfaction to your life.  That’s one of the most important lessons I could ever show/teach them.

Some of you multitask instruments and duties within the band, have you always dabbled in other instruments or is this a new challenge for you?

     MATT:  We’ve both played our “new” instruments for years.  I’ve played guitar since I was 13 and Adam has been playing keys for years.  We both dabbled with these in the past and wanted to focus more on them with the new approach in Ghost Owl. 

Who comprises the videos for the projections and what inspires them?

     MATT:  We made the decision to focus on the projection art early on for several reasons.  We’ve always been drawn towards the visual arts and feel that our music is very cinematic.  Adam was a video major at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) and we wanted the show to be very different than anything we had done in the past.  With our kickstarter campaign, we took the theme of “lessons” and collaborated with other artists around Athens, GA.  That kickstarter and approach allowed us to meet and work with visual artist Adam Barfield here in Athens.  AB did a lot of the initial art and since then, as we’ve been adding songs, both Perry and I have started making more video content.  It’s fun because we’ve been shooting a lot of the content on the road.  There’s one song we do every night where we’ll take footage from that day and use it in the show that night.  We did that the first time at a festival this summer and the crowd loved seeing shots of themselves and sites from the festival during the day we got.  We did a FL tour this summer and shot footage one afternoon at a friend’s birthday party.  Most of the folks from the party that afternoon were at the show that evening and it was very cool to see people point and smile when they would pop up on screen.  It is just yet another example of the creative energy that surrounds this project and the community we’re all part of together.  It’s a lot of fun.

How was your experience at Catskill Chill as Perpetual Groove and why are looking forward to going back this year as Ghost Owl?

          ADAM: Catskill Chill is a fantastic event. The environment is great and very conducive to creation.  I’m excited every time we get to play the new music and share what we have been making, but it’s gonna be special at this event. We’ve been in the studio for a bit and it’s going to be nice to showcase the refined sound that usually occurs when any band hits the studio and really starts to dissect the approach of every song.

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