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The Bad Plus' Reid Anderson Talks New Music

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Monday September 17, 2012

From The Thread

Interview: Reid Anderson of the Bad Plus
By: Brian Howe

The new Bad Plus album doesn’t hit stores until September 25, but if you live near Durham you can cop it early at the venturesome jazz trio’s pair of Motorco shows on Sept 21 and 22. Circumstantially, Made Possible harks back to 2005’s Suspicious Activity? Both records were recorded outside the band’s native Minnesota and both feature only one cover, which is notable for a group that made its name on muscular acoustic jazz versions of rock and pop songs. The similarity ends with Made Possible’s blending of synthesizers and electronic percussion with the acoustic palette of Ethan Iverson’s piano, Dave King’s drums, and Reid Anderson’s bass. We recently spoke with Anderson by phone to learn more about the new record, the upcoming premiere of his first evening-length work, and the status of On Sacred Ground—the group’s epic retooling of The Rite of Spring—since it premiered at Duke Performances last year.

There are electronic synthesizers and drums on Made Possible—are we talking electronically treated drum pads or drum machines?
There are drum machines, synthesizers, and samples. There’s some electronic drum pad stuff that Dave played live, and then there are drum machines that I added.

Are you the driving force of the electronic side of the group?
That’s fair to say, yes. It’s something I’ve been passionate about for a long time. A lot of my personal time away from the band is spent on electronic music. It’s just something we felt like it would be interesting to try and bring into the band. It’s not done in a really overt way; we didn’t make an electronic music record. But it’s sort of orchestrated by these various sound elements.

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