On the heels of their eighth studio album, Wake (Typhon Records), Portland, Ore.-based psychedelic prog-rock trio Floater is going to do what they've been doing for 16 years: play high-energy shows.
It's sort of strange to write "psychedelic prog-rock" after writing "Portland, Ore.-based." Floater's frontman, Rob Wynia, would agree.
"We just did a few days on the road with a reporter from the Willamette Week" Wynia said. "A recurring theme of his journalistic inquiry was, 'Why do you think you're so uncool?' It's weird because there are a lot of bands here that play for 150 people and the media can't stop saying they're the most awesome thing since sliced bread. And then there are bands like us that play for 2,000 people and [we're] silly. He was just trying to solve the riddle of why fans think we're cool but the press thinks we're not."
While most of the rest of the Northwest is strumming what one mixing engineer called "banjos and beards music," Floater still makes music not too far from where they started: a kind of nu-metal/psychedelic rock hybrid. As uncool as that may be, they are, again, touring behind album No. 8 and they do, again, play for crowds of 2,000. And they don't have day jobs. Floater is what they do. Wynia has a theory as to why his band has been so successful.
"We have a lot of fans that are younger," Wynia said. "We're not teenagers anymore ... but we're such incredibly immature people, that crowd [of 15- to 20-year-olds] works for us. What I've noticed is that younger people have not started analyzing why they like something. They just like it. Older people have to have a reason for why they like something. They think, 'What does it say about me that I like this music?'
"They're the last people who will jump up, all sweaty, and start leaping around when you're playing because that would make them look silly. Younger people? They just don't care. They don't examine it all to that level ... they're more likely to read something that says, 'This is a joke,' and say, 'Right on. Count me in.'"
Want to know what the joke is all about? You can catch Floater tonight at the Knitting Factory with locals RevoltRevolt and Red Hands Black Feet. Show starts at 8:30 p.m. and tickets are $15-$30. Visit bo.knittingfactory.com for more information.