When Trichome got its start, it was more about being a good-time party reggae band, said the group’s frontman Evan Daldegan.
The Trichome of 2013 is a far cry from that of 2007.
The Fort Collins band has evolved from a reggae roots party band to an electro-funk-dance fusion group hoping to make the move to professional touring act.
“It’s almost like the shoe didn’t quite fit,” said the band’s frontman Evan Daldegan. “I think we finally started settling down to what we are most comfortable in.”
It’s been about two years since the band considered itself a reggae act, although getting the rest of the world to come along has taken some additional time.
“There’s been this interesting modification of our fans,” Daldegan said. “There are a lot of old Trichome fans that miss the reggae part of Trichome. And there’s a portion of fans that were post college for us, that are just in love with our electronic-funk-modern disco-take on music.”
And the fact that they used to be a reggae band? Well, that just adds to the mystique.
“We’re lucky because it feels like the old has embraced the new and the new is curious about the old,” Daldegan said. “It just makes them like us even more. It makes us more dynamic — like, ‘These guys used to be a roots reggae band? That’s crazy.’ ”
It was a much more gradual process than just putting on the brakes and shifting gears, said Mike Windham, saxophone, keyboards and synth.
“When I joined the group in 2007, at that point most everything was reggae but there was a tune that we played called ‘Reggae Lives,’ which was a bit of an ironic title because it started with a reggae beat but then we would do a dance/techno section that was anything but,” Windham said.
That song opened the door, he said. The band began adding everything from electronica to funk to modern disco and R&B. “We realized that we couldn’t play all of those things and still call ourselves a reggae band,” Windham said.
The band had spent years opening for some of reggae’s biggest acts, including The Wailers and Groundation.
“We actually ended up having a lot of success with (reggae) but it’s been a double-edged sword,” Daldegan said. “It’s been kind of tough to keep the ball rolling and letting the scene know that we’re not a reggae band anymore.”
But losing the “reggae” title has made it harder to define the group when introducing it to new fans and new markets, Windham said.
“It’s easier when you can say, ‘We’re a reggae band.’ People automatically have a conception of what that is,” he said. “With the direction we are taking, there isn’t anything readily available to explain what the experience is going to be.”
Windham has experimented with various genre names, including “world funk” and “electro-world-funk,” but said at its core, Trichome is quote “a dance band.”
Just like it was in 2007.
“Trichome has always played music that makes people dance,” Windham said. “We haven’t changed that about ourselves.”
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