The day has finally arrived. Disc Jam Music Festival kicks off at 2pm with a performance on the CEG Presents main stage with The Mushroom Cloud, followed by several other talented bands. We’re in for a truly special weekend with major performances by lespecial, Turkuaz, Manic Focus, Esseks, and many, many more. To add a cherry on top – the weather for the most part is shaping up to be spectacular, with the exception of a potential passing thunderstorm tomorrow. Apart from that, we’re looking at highs of 78 degrees today, 73 tomorrow, 79 on Saturday, and 88 degrees on Sunday.
In preparation of the main event, I caught up with Joe Davis, lead guitarist of Albany’s Formula 5, to discuss their plans for Disc Jam, the inception of the band, new music, and much more. Contrary to the group’s name, Formula 5 is a four-piece jam band comprised of Joe, Greg Marek, James Woods and Matt Richards. The group has been making large strides in the jam community since its transformation in 2012, and is slated to perform from 3:30 – 4:30 in the Innova Tent Stage this weekend. Check out what Joe has to say, and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone this weekend!
Sound Fix: Hey Joe, thanks for taking some time to speak with us here ahead of the big gig. So to kick things off, tell us about your past experiences with Disc Jam and what we can expect from Formula 5 at the festival.
Joe Davis: This is our third time at Disc Jam, and our second time with Matt, our current keyboard player. I love Disc Jam, it has such a great vibe. It’s a small festival and the people who put it on keep each artist feeling accommodated. Disc jam maintains a good environment to create some good music, and we always have fun at the event. Last year our keyboardist Matt sat in with Gubbilidis, and that was great, and honestly it’s such a good community festival, so we always like to bring our best set to Disc Jam.
SF: Cool man, so you mentioned you have a new keys player, tell us more about that.
JD: Yeah! Matt’s been in the band now for a little over a year and a half, and he’s fit in nicely with us. We feel we now have a lineup we can take the next level.
SF: So with Matt in the mix, have you made some new music?
JD: Well we actually just released a brand new album in April called All Points North (check it out here) and that is our first sutdio album in three or four years, and Matt was a huge paert of that from a writing and performance standpoint. That record have a lot of new style compared ot our last two discs, it’s certainly a different kind of vibe but it’s the same old high-energy fun music with a little twist that Matt has definitely injected into our sound.
SF: So how would you describe that new vibe or twist that you just spoke of?
JD: I guess we’ve relied more on composition, not that we didn’t before but we put out shorter songs, writing what’s best for the track, and as far as the genre we’ve incorporated a bit more jazz, groove, R&B, neo-soul type music, which you can hear on some new tracks on the album, which is something we’ve never really done before. There’s straight-ahead psychadelia at points, and it’s just been really a fresh twist on what we’ve done with our previous band!
SF: So looking in the past now for a second, what’s been the best moment of 2017 so far?
JD: Yeah I mean, the last couple months have been a lot of fun. We’re starting to get very comfortable with the new album’s material which has been in our headspace for the last four months or so, but I would say our album release party on the 15th of April where we performed the whole album front to back, was probably one of my favorite shows of the year. We also played a couple concerts out in Colorado that were really fun. We also performed a show on my birthday at Hudson Falls on February 18th that I thought was a really good performance by us. So we’ve really had a ton of good shows this year and it’s always hard to pick, so my answer has to be somewhat ambiguous here.
SF: Looking forward to Baker’s Dozen and this summer, what should we keep our head up for with Formula 5?
JD: Well, we’re really looking forward to The Werk Out in Ohio in August. We’re very excited to be out there playing in Ohio for our first show in the Midwest. In addition to that, we’re thrilled to be performing a Phish Baker’s Dozen After Party in New York City on August 5th at Lucille’s (tickets). That will be our frist CEG show, and we couldn’t be happier about the gig. Besides that, we have another mini festival with Goose in the summer that we’re really looking forward to as well.
SF: Now to wrap things up here, tell me a bit about your history. For someone who’s new to Formula 5, how did it all start?
JD: Well for me I’ll give you our take. I joined the band in 2012, and before that it was a five piece band hence “Formula 5.” Then we paired it down to one guitar player instead of two, and at the time it was me and our drummer Greg and our old keyboard player, but we really feel the inception of what is now Formula 5 happened in 2012 when we paired it down to four versus five members. At that point we started to jam more, and from that launching point we really became a true jam band. With this current band we love to jam and provide an experience to our listeners that’s completrekly unique to each show, and that’s how we want it to be!
SF: We always close with an open forum, anything else you’d like to share here?
JD: Come see us perform at 3:30 on Saturday at in Innova Tent Stage!