It may be headlining three of the four nights for the second year in a row, but String Cheese Incident is loathe to claim Michigan's Electric Forest festival as its own.
"We're always invited to play, but it's not 'our' festival," notes keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth. Nevertheless, SCI is managed by Denver's Madison House, which also produces Electric Forest and its predecessor, the Rothbury festival, so the ties are close. And SCI takes its residency there seriously.
"We've been rehearsing pretty steadily for about a month and a half, working up new cover ideas, song ideas, jam ideas, develop some new sort of eye candy," Hollingsworth, 44,, says. "We want to make every show intimate, and on that Saturday night especially we want to do something magical and special, even compared to the other nights."
What SCI will have this year is fresh music. The group recently released its first new recorded song in five years, "Can't Wait Another Day," as "a promotional tool...to get people excited for the summer and let them know we're working on new material." Hollingsworth says more will start coming later this year, mostly likely as a pair of EPs.
"The first one will be mainly instrumental and more electronically based, with a couple of vocal tunes," he says. "The next thing will maybe be more bluegrass. It makes more sense to do it that way now rather than putting out a full-scale album."
The Electric Forest festival takes place Thursday-Sunday, June 28-July 1, at the Double JJ Ranch in Rothbury, Mich. String Cheese Incident plays at 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $242.50 for the entire festival, $149.50 Saturday and Sunday only. Call 1-888-512-7869 or visit www.electricforestfestival.com for details.
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