Members of Papadosio Talk Shifts & Sound in Jax Beach

Papadosio photo collage
Papadosio plays Freebird Live in Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

"If our music was a spaceship, we’re taking little vehicles out and exploring ..."

I arrived in Jacksonville Beach a little early on Saturday to attend the “Inter-Kinnector” pre-show gathering hosted by my friends at C4 Collective at the Ananda Kula yoga studio. Anthony Thogmartin, Sam Brouse, and Mike Healy of Papadosio were leading a panel on the “kNew Paradigm” and discussing how we in the music festival community can be amicable in our pursuit of a new and sustainable model for living.

“In this community ... we have, in some way, bought into the idea of us and them," Anthony said. "And because of that, a lot of times our ideas, we feel like they fall on deaf ears … If we could do one thing better as our community, [it] is to try to relate to people. … We have to stop taking ourselves so seriously, and take what other people think of as serious, because we want to reach out to them; we want to be able to embrace them.”

Awareness of how we approach people with our truth is vital, especially in this time of transition.

“My parents weren’t all that environmentally friendly or forward-thinking until we started to be. So I feel like we are the first real generation that has a lot of forward-thinking individuals,” Sam added.

The conversation went on with several outbursts of laughter and thoughtful input from members of the circle that had formed on the studio floor. We discussed how music festivals themselves could do better at facilitating real change in the communities they temporarily occupy and living up to the “transfomational” moniker. But we also talked about the individual and how each of us has a responsibility to make an impact on the lives of those we come in contact with.

The time came to shift over to Freebird Live in preparation for Papadosio’s set. Rob McConnell was holding it down on stage with his second band, Asian Teacher Factory, a psychedelic-infused expedition through rock and roll soundscapes. I sat down for a brief interview with Anthony on the reasons behind some of Papadosio’s most recent moves.

The Imaginal Cells Fall Tour has you making a total of six stops in Florida (That’s quite a bit for you guys.), including Orlando where you haven’t been in a while. What made you decide to come back?

We haven’t been here in a while … so there’s that. I think that Florida’s an interesting place for lots of bands, because many bands don’t really have a following here. I think we kind of started something here, in some ways, with just a really good relationship with our fans. As long as we keep having experiences like we’ve had this week, we’ll always be coming back.

And we’re always glad to have you. Your Night & Day (Live) collection, which was a collaboration between you and Sewell Film Productions, was just released on Bandcamp. What was the inspiration behind putting that project together?

It was kind of out of necessity, in some ways, because we realized we don’t have anything on YouTube really. We don’t have anything really official, music video-wise.

Other people have videos of you, but —

Right. Right. So we wanted to get something official going. We had all these songs that we know everyone has heard, and so we wanted to get them out without having to release a studio album. So we did a live album instead in order to make it so that when we go to do our actual studio release that no one will have heard the songs before we release them, which has never happened before. People have always heard the songs before.

Your sound is definitely evolving, and you guys have been bringing something new to your live shows at summer festivals this year and now on fall tour. How would you describe the change that’s happening and where would you say the band is heading now?

Seems like we’re just getting more comfortable with our dynamics. General entertainment at festivals tends to be musically very loud and consistently loud. The drop gets used a lot and all these other things. So we’ve been just enjoying being more dynamic and getting quiet to the degree that some people might think of it as a risky move, I guess, taking it that far. Because I think that’s why people come to see us. They know that we’re the band that’s going to try something different, try something weird, try something strange, even if it doesn’t work.

So you’re exploring new territory.

Yea. And we’re getting farther out there, getting more daring. If our music was a spaceship, we’re taking little vehicles out and exploring, coming back.

We’re improvisational musicians and we have been. That was our root. Another thing we’re doing — that we’ve always tried to do but we’re better at it now — we’re not trying to play nostalgic sounds that everyone expects out of a festival band. We’re trying to do whatever it is that we feel like. Sometimes it’s not jammy pants music; sometimes it’s not electronica. Sometimes we want to play indie-r stuff, or we want to play driving things; we want to get experimental; we want to get noisy; we want to play rock and roll; we want to get heavy. We’ve been doing all those things recently because it just gets boring, for I’m sure the fans as well, to not have a new experience everytime. So that’s what we’re really trying to provide.

What do you think of the change? And what do you think is our part to play in creating the world we want to live in? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and catch Papadosio on fall tour now.

Thandiwe Ogbonna is a freelance writer based in Orlando, Florida. She writes for The Untz, and has written for,, and Home Grown Music Network. Tweet to her, @ThandiWay, and tell her about your next great event.

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