Annie in the Water, with their combination of reggae, rock, funk and jam, is an Albany-based band that originated as a duo with Mike Lashomb and Brad Hester in 2007. This past spring, the duo added three more members, which you can imagine has had significant impact on both the sound and the overall feel to their music. NYS Music spoke with founding member and lead guitarist Mike Lashomb about that change and what fans can expect going forward.
Erin Clary: Before it was just you and Brad, and now you’ve added two more members to Annie in the Water. What brought on the change and how did this happen?
Michael Lashomb: It’s been an interesting learning experience. Brad and I started back in 2007. Back in 2011 we had a drummer play with us and he kind of just up and left when we were starting to get bigger and booking venues and stuff like that. So Brad and I started this looping, jam kind of style. As time went on, just trying to connect with the jam scene and we felt we were kind of in between all these different scenes and we didn’t really connect the way we were hoping to with our style. So as time went on we understood there was definitely a progression that needed to happen. There needed to be some way that we could branch out and diversify our sound and also our personnel and people. We added our bass player, Lucas, three years ago and then we added piano player in the summer of 2014, Dillon. Having Lucas Singleton on bass really added a big low end kind of contribution with a lot of his style. Then Dillon on keys was this different kind of musician oriented but transient, experimental sound. So it was good to have Lucas who brought in a lot of specific playing and structure and Dillon who was outside of the box with his expression and style. And in that time, Brad would constantly update his looping with the four of those guys, having them on and off for shows. Then this past winter we knew we wanted to get a drummer involved and really up the jams so we could switch around grooves, time changes and cues. Josh West was finishing up with Lucid as they decided to tone down the touring and everything and it was just a natural…we met him at Nectar’s as he was playing with his old band, Tar Iguana, and it was just a natural relationship that blossomed into a really cool band relationship. Kind of different evolutions and progressions brought us to now.
EC: Are there different challenges you find when switching from a duo to a full band?
ML: Definitely a change. Brad has pretty much grown musically and matured with me as his counterpoint. I had played in different fusion bands and different guitar bands since I was in 8th grade so when we added the full band together it was definitely a whole new experience for Brad. It’s something that to this day he is totally changing and morphing in such an awesome, progressive way. So yeah there is definitely more personality which calls for more contribution artistically, personally and emotionally. It’s different. We went from having only a few people on the stage to suddenly having a lot more room being filled up. Not only physical space, but sonic space and musical space. A lot of what we had to do too was rehearse as we played shows because we had all the prior engagements set up with Duo shows but moving out of one house, just a lot of different things off the stage we were dealing with. It has been a really interesting transition but a really positive transition because everyone is really open to communication and evolution for sure.