Photo of Billy Brouse by Bradford Watkins Creations.

This year will be the sixth annual for jam festival Resonance, which is thrown by Essential Productions and has  historically been headlined by Papadosio for multiple sets.  It only seems natural that the ever-growing music and arts festival is now being presented in part also by Papadosio, who will be playing 4 sets this year, celebrating band member Sam Brouse’s birthday, and like the rest of us, exploring the new beautiful venue at Slippery Rock, PA.  I have been counting the days until I can be back at Resonance, so I was excited to get Billy Brouse on the phone to give us a little inside scoop.

I just saw that you guys played in a cave, which looked amazing. What was that like?

I didn’t know what to expect, honestly, because I still didn’t think it was real the day before. I had never been there, I had seen pictures, but it was just unbelievable.  We went from 85 degrees out, so hot, and then when you go down in there it’s like 20 degrees cooler.  Like you could see your breath in there when we first got there, before it all filled up. Dustin had his big projector there, and brought a bunch of little projectors, so almost the whole cave was projected on. It was wild. And the sound was great, I didn’t know what to expect in that regard, either, but it was great.  Probably my new favorite venue.

I’m going to have to make it out there, I’m sure the pictures don’t even do it justice.

I mean you can imagine, and it feels so nice…I mean it’s a little bit dank, in the classical sense of the word.  So it is dank, physically, and as a place that exists, it is dank.

So you guys are presenting Resonance this year, in what capacity are you involved with it?

As little or as much involvement as we want, really. We’ve been talking with [Essential Productions] this whole time, and Jake and Anthony have been working on the workshops.  We are more responsible for the workshops and art, and curating how we would like it to look. We are in the beginning phases of our involvement right now, but we will probably get more involved as the years go on, and I think you’ll be able to see our influence there.

Awesome! Yeah I’m excited to be helping out with the art installations this year and am always really excited for the arts side of the festival.

We’re hoping there will be an even more artistic yield to it this year, but honestly I haven’t been to the new grounds yet.  I know Casey and Zack have, but none of us have been there yet, so I’m really excited to see it.  I really like Legend Valley, but it’s nice to get a change.

I haven’t been there either, inside, but I’ve driven past it and have seen the castle.

There’s a castle there?! I didn’t know this.

Yeah! It’s where SCA, the Society of Creative Anachronisms, has their annual meeting every year, they have a joust and I think a feast and everything.

Yeah! Well I knew that was going on, and that’s why I thought “I bet this place is awesome,” because they don’t mess around, but I didn’t know there was a castle!

Photo from the Cooper’s Lake website

Well, it’s made of wood, it’s not a full-on castle, so don’t get too overhyped.

You said castle, so if it’s not awesome I’m going to be pissed.

No! I just told you not to get too excited [laughter].  It’s this wooden structure, but it’s going to be really cool, I think Zack said that Dustin is going to do some projections on it, it will be amazing.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure Dustin will be doing that.

I hope so! So, how many sets Papadosio playing at Resonance this year?

Well, let’s see. There’s four:  I don’t think all the different types of sets have been announced yet, but we have announced that one of the sets will be a Gorillaz set.

Yeah I definitely saw the Gorillaz one had been announced. Who came up with that idea?

We’ve played Gorillaz covers before, and we were just thinking about what would be fun to do.  I don’t remember if any one person thought of it, I think all of us were just like “Yeah, of course, we should do the Gorillaz.” We are kind of set up for that, we have a lot of synthesizers, and a lot of friends in Asheville who are gonna help us out with it, and there will be more than just us on stage doing it.

Oh ok, cool!  I love the art of you guys as the Gorillaz characters, do you know who did that art?

Yeah, I mean, it’s perfect. Buddy Welford did the art. Mike’s character, I don’t know why that isn’t Mike’s profile picture, because it looks exactly like what Mike would be.

I know, I think Mike’s was the best one, it was spot-on.  So what’s your favorite Gorillaz song?

I think my junior year of college Demon Days came out, and that summer I stayed in Athens.  It was my sophomore summer when I got my first apartment down there, I listened to Demon Days almost every day that summer. That album is my favorite album, but as far as my favorite song…I really like “Super Fast Jellyfish,” I’m pretty sure that’s what it’s called.  It’s not on Demon Days, but it’s great.  “Kids with Guns” is up there as one of my favorite Gorillaz songs, too.

Have you guys been writing any new material lately, or have you just been concentrating on touring?

We’re always writing, working on new stuff. I guarantee we probably have enough for a full album right now.

Oh, damn.

I mean, not necessarily together, all of us separately have enough songs that would collectively be enough for an album.  We might be getting back in the studio this year at some point.  This would be the year to do it, but I’m not sure when exactly.  It’s on the docket.  We just released a new song at The Caverns!  It’s a very dance-y, almost drum-and-bass kind of vibe. Like 150bpm, it’s really fast.

I can’t wait to hear it! Well, I don’t have any more questions for you, but are we going to get some hang time at Resonance? We didn’t get any hang time at Werk Out and I apologize for that.

Oh, it’s all good. I hope so. Sam and I actually have a set, too, so I’ll be playing five sets over the weekend…but you know me, I’ll be hanging out.

Awesome, well I hope we hang out because it’s Taco’s birthday weekend.

Yeah, it’s Sam’s birthday, too!

Oh awesome! What day is Sam’s?

August 23rd.

Yeah, Taco’s is on the 22nd! It’s going to be so much fun. Well, I’m going to let you go, brother, but I am so excited for Resonance, it’s one of my favorites that I look forward to all year, and it sounds like you guys have some really cool stuff in store for us.

Yeah, it’s going to be a real special one for sure. I don’t get very excited for festivals anymore, because we’ve played a billion, but this one I get excited for.