What happens when four respected musicians break off from their previous groups all around the same time? Well, they just might cross paths and create the next big thing. The feature band of this article did just that, so we’re thrilled to introduce you to the Ex-Presidents.
We’re driving up to Backwoods Pondfest in upstate New York the weekend after next for some coverage of a classic grassroots festival. Unlike a majority of the festivals in the United States these days, this event is truly trying to build an affordable music experience with limited profits. A ticket for two days of camping and two days of music amounts to a measly $75. In fact, check out this screenshot from the festival’s ticketing page:
When we first glanced at the lineup, a couple fantastic bands popped and drew us to the weekend of music: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s “sunset set,” Particle, Lucid, and Mihali of Twiddle’s storytelling performance. Just yesterday, however, I decided to take a deep dive into the artist list, where I struck musical gold. Ex-Presidents is on the top of the lineup for a reason, and that’s because it’s a brand new band comprised of four celebrated musicians:
Todd Stoops – RAQ’s and more recently, Kung Fu’s lead keyboardist. Earlier this year, the guys from Kung Fu sent Todd an email articulating their desire to replace Stoops with their current keyboardist, Beau Sasser. Todd’s essentially taken the lead with Ex-Presidents off the back of this abrupt break up.
Eric Gould – Particle’s former bassist and lead founder. In 2013, Gould decided to step down from the livetronica outfit to take care of his newly adopted daughter from China. After leaving Particle, Gould focused on his project, Pink Talking Fish, a tribute act to Pink Floyd, the Talking Heads, and Phish.
Andrew Block – Big Sam’s Funky Nation’s former guitarist, as well as Gramatik’s and Pretty Light’s favorite recording guitarist. If you had the privilege to catch any of Gramatik’s 2014/2015 shows, you probably noticed a guy shredding soul guitar on stage up in the booth. That guy was Andrew Block. Also, you might’ve noticed some gnarly guitar samples in Pretty Lights’ The Hidden Shades. That was also Andrew Block.
Neal ‘Fro’ Evans – Dopapod’s former lead drummer. Evans left the band back in 2013 to focus on a couple projects, namely Elephant Wrecking Ball with Scott Flynn of Pretty Lights. In his farewell message to his Dopapod fans, he wrote: “After 4+ years of growing with this family, living in a van, laying down the beats, putting on amazing shows by playing music that I am very proud of, and most of all meeting/performing for countless amazing humans (and aliens), I am going to move on to something else.”
So, now that you know a few things about the founding members of Ex-Presidents, why not learn a bit more about the band itself?
- The name of the band is a tongue-in-cheek in origins, as Stoops brought together friends from former bands. Stoops also mentioned the name is a reference to Point Break, one of his favorite movies.
- The band plans to record and perform “heavy metal space funk dance music,” which sounds absolutely delicious to us here at Sound-Fix.
- The members of Ex-Presidents come from bands with completely different genres: Stoops (Funk), Block (Soul), Gould (EDM), and Evans (Jam).
- Backwoods Pondfest will be the FIRST time this supergroup performs, and it’s unclear, according to Stoops, if they’ll continue. This being said – get your ticket to Pondfest here to cheer them on and drive them forward.
To the best of our knowledge and research, this Ex-Presidents performance could be the breakout set for both the festival and the band. We’re thrilled to make this introduction to you, and will certainly report on our findings after they perform. If you have any more questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com, and stay on top of our content by joining the Facebook group here.