Even though they live in the same town, it’s not so easy to get the members of the Electrosonics together these days. It’s about to get even harder—after their Aug. 25 show at the Green Room, they are moving out or on toward other goals.
Drummer and percussionist, Caleb Dolister, who deals with the bands’ publicity, can’t seem to reach anyone else in the group, perhaps due to the soon-to-be scattering. Only Dolister and Justin Kruger (guitar, turntables) are available for an interview at Record Street Café, where Kruger works.
Kruger, who has been called the “social one,” sits in a white cook’s smock and shorts, his frizzy, curly hair bushing out from under a baseball cap.
“It’s not a break-up,” says Kruger. “We don’t like to use those words because they mean something bad. It’s more of a goodbye.”
Dolister is moving to Nashville, Tenn., to try to make music. Bassist Sam Minaie is going to Los Angeles to focus on his music studies. Sax player Jimmy Hoover bought a house in Reno and is going to school, and Kruger will focus on his other band, Keyser Soze.
The Electrosonics play a mix of jazz, drum and bass and ambient music. The sound is similar to jazz group Medeski Martin & Wood and is influenced by the members’ other musical endeavors. They all play in other Reno bands, and the departure of Minaie and Dolister will leave some gaps around town. Minaie came to Sol Jibe after it began, and Dolister plays in various jazz ensembles.
The group has been playing in Reno for more than six years. The members met at the University of Nevada, Reno, where they all studied jazz. The band formed in August 2001 and has progressed steadily from there. The Electrosonics has only one album, a live recording, but has constantly evolved its sound during live performances.
Dolister, wearing an olive-green driving cap and holding a beer, says the band’s high point was probably in 2003, when Jason Williamson joined and added lyrics to the music.
“That was one of most productive times because everyone was focused at the same time,” he says. “We pretty much came up with all of our songs during that time.”
For performances, the band uses many of the songs—minus the lyrics—from the work created with Williamson, who left after a year.
“Our music is like a conversation,” says Dolister. “It will switch from topic to topic but is intentional. Our mood is also a big part of the music. Using the same songs is like having new conversations on similar topics.”
The band hasn’t practiced in almost two years, and it seems like they only get together for impromptu jam sessions, but they hate the label “jam band.”
“We have a meeting before we play, and [we] think about what we want to do,” says Dolister. “We usually pick a word like ‘communication’ and try to focus on that for direction.”
The musical conversation comes to a close this weekend.
“It’s such a jumping point,” Kruger says. “We’ve done a lot. It’s like a goodbye and a retirement.”