Escort Takes Refuge in BBQ, Martinis

Photo Credit: Jody Kivort

Escort is a band that doesn’t stop.  Comprised of seventeen, high-octane players they’re a party in and of themselves that electrify even the fussiest critics.  We caught up with them for a few words before their Hopscotch set, which unfortunately was nixed due to weather a few hours later.  They didn’t seem to have difficulty entertaining themselves in the City of Oaks.

Donkey Jaw:  You guys have been called NYC’s best live band by everyone from Time Out to Pitchfork.  Does that create any kind of unwanted pressure, say on a night when you maybe just aren’t feeling 100%?

Eugene Cho:  It’s extremely flattering, and it definitely raises expectations. It might be a concern if Adeline wasn’t around, but she’s such a fireball that we could do a Kanye set-up where you don’t see the rest of the band and people would still be entranced.

Adeline Michele – Having such a positive rep makes us want to live up to it and raise the bar higher each time. Every show is always exciting. Sometimes a night that starts out not quite 100% turns out to be the best. The moment we set foot on that stage, it’s just pure fun.

Speaking of shows, how does a seventeen member band prepare for a show? Careful planning or go with the flow?

AM:  No specific ritual.  The best part of my preparation is finding my outfit.

EC:  We kind of make stuff up as we go along. Everyone holds onto this invisible mystical handrail that guides us through the underground journey of our set.

Living in Brooklyn you are surrounded by everything on the verge when it comes to all things creative.  What do you think will be the next trend we see with dance music?

EC:  The timbres and feeling of club music have been adopted by so many artists over the last few years. There’s been so much dance music fusion, with pop megastars and bedroom rockers alike. Interest in pure “traditional” dance music is gaining. Chicago house, Detroit techno and classic disco have always been championed by some, but now producers all over the place are beginning to realize what’s great about it to.

Your self-titled album came out last fall to rave reviews. What are you folks creating these days?

EC:  Babies, lots of babies. There are three brand new parents, myself included. We are coming up with band names for their future world-famous supergroup.  We’ve been putting together some remixes too, of our stuff and for others. We just did a nice remix trade with RAC that we’re very excited about.

AM:  And more shows. A big Halloween show at Webster Hall October 27th. Continuing to let the world know about our album while we prepare for the next.

What are your thoughts on closing out three days of amazing Hopscotch music with the Roots?

AM:  Super excited. We love playing festivals in general because the crowds are usually very excited and come with a super positive attitude. We are big fans of The Roots,  so this bill is a big deal for us.

EC:  We’ve, been a fan for years. I remember years ago at a small show just after Do You Want More came out, some clowns kept asking them to let them rhyme during a show. Tariq finally relented and they ended up being terrible emcees. He took the mic back after they embarrassed themselves and tore them to shreds with a vicious a cappella freestyle.  Then without missing a beat, he brought the band back in and said,  “I shall proceed and continue to rock the mic… ” Classic moment.

We caught up with Eugene a few days after the big rain out to find out what they did in Raleigh after their set was canceled.  They had no trouble finding a good time, which doesn’t surprise us in the least. 

What did you guys get into once you heard your set was cut?

EC:  We had to take refuge at the lobby of the Marriott. There happened to be a debutante ball going on. So it was us all dressed in our stage gear surrounded by other concertgoers and debutantes. We all enjoyed a fair share of surprisingly good Manhattans. After the storm finally passed we got the news. We proceeded to take all our hospitality to our hotel room where we could watch The Roots play while we enjoyed a smorgasbord of Carolina BBQ.

You’re always rolling the dice with outdoor venues. Our drummer Benny spoke with the monitor man in the middle of the storm. The rain was beginning to wane and Benny asked him if he thought it was even safe to go out on the stage to get his stuff. He said, “I think so. I mean it rained at a show I did last week and I got shocked two times. It wasn’t so bad.”

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