New World Cocek
Those We Do Not Speak Of
The Transported Man
You Go Squish Now
Keep Your Pimp Hand Strong
I’ll Fight For The Imp
Do Not Shrink Me Gypsy
The Great Circuiting
Encore – Ol’ Chomper
If you haven’t been introduced, New York City natives Consider the Source are a fusion of jazz, rock, funk, metal and an unmistakeable middle eastern sound. The combination creates an awesome live experience that your ears and feet will thank you for. After playing together for 5 years, and on the heels of a busy tour schedule, the trio got together to play what might have been their most monumental performance to date. Drummer, Justin Ahiyon, has decided to take his career in a different direction with this, to be his final show with the band. Subsequently, the evening’s show would also be the last live performance of any kind at the storied Hiro Ballroom in New York’s West Village. Closing its doors for good after this show, the stage was set for an emotionally charged rager. Consider the Source did not disappoint.
I must mention the Consider The Source fans. Metal Heads dancing alongside Jam Kids, these guys are rabid for their CTS. They came out in full force this night, and everyone was grooving hard. The set started slow and comfy before CTS started to bring a hard and familiare shred drawn from all three albums. A crowd favorite, “Keep Your Pimp Hand Strong”, is an epic piece infused with the familiar Star Wars theme. Improvisational nastyness! If one were to close their eyes, you would swear that Gabriel Marin was playing a heavenly saxophone and not his bad ass, double neck, fret-less guitar. In “Do Not Shrink Me Gypsy”, John Ferrara’s slap bass grooving and Marin’s heavy shredding setup an extended drum solo, in which Justin absolutely killed it. After a fiery set that had everyone amped and dancing, it was time to say goodbye. The room was an emotional scene as the band encored with “Ol’ Chomper”, and Justin said his final goodbyes. Coming out into the crowd for hugs, there was lots of love and sweat being shared in the crowd. Before the show, I had an opportunity to sit down with the guys and talk about the nights gig, Justin’s decision to leave, and the future of the band. Check it out:
L4LM: So there’s got to be all kinds of emotion happening for you three. Talk to me a little bit about what this show means to you and what’s going through your head as you prepare to rage together one last time as Consider The Source.
John: Well, ya know Justin and I have been playing together since we were kids. Since 13 or 14 years old we have been in a bunch of bands together. This band has been going strong for a while and it is hard to imagine where it’s going to go. We’re still very optimistic. We have some big plans and a tour coming up. I don’t know, It’s hard to say….it’s crazy and sad.
Justin: It’s all very confusing. It’s also been hard because we haven’t really seen each other in a while. It’s all been so intense and we’ve been touring together so much, I guess it was just a needed break…It wasn’t for any other reason than we just weren’t really calling each other. I’m in a crazy kind of state. But most of all I’m really excited to just be with our fans. They make us feel at home. They give us so much energy and so much love that I know they are gonna carry me through it emotionally.
L4LM: Justin, tell us what the major motivating factor for your decision was. What’s next for your career and do you currently have any projects lined up or in progress?
Justin: Really it comes down to the fact that I like to play drums with my hands more than with sticks. I think that’s really always been the case. But somehow over time I wound up playing with sticks over 90% of the time and without really paying attention as much as I should have. This has come up before for me, but I guess it just got to a point where I know what the band needs to do right now is be on the road non-stop for a while. I realize that now is the time. It’s a bit of a leap of faith. I love the band, I love these guys and the music and what it stands for. It’s something different. But this is something, that personally, when I’m at home alone with my instrument I need to fulfill certain things that I haven’t been able to fulfill. I think the three of us will definitely make music again at some point and in many different ways. There’s such chemistry and the way the band started was just jamming and having a chemistry. It was just very natural. But right now, I just need to get away. I’m working on a ton of music but nothing is specifically lined up. I want to take a little break from performing. When you are performing every night, I feel like it’s really great, but it also can be hard as an artist to always be putting your art out in front of people and not just making it for yourself and your own ears. Since I have had more time to do that, and I will have a lot more time going forward, I already notice massive changes, growth, and inspirations that are coming out. It’s really exciting.
L4LM: With the departure of a 1/3 of the band in Justin, many loyal fans are a little on edge regarding what is to come of their favorite Sci-Fi Middle Eastern Funk group. Tell me what direction CTS heads after tonight. Will you be changing up your sound/style at all? Is this a chance for CTS to do something different as well? With obvious exception to the actual drummer, what will change and what will stay the same?
Gabe: There’s only three of us so of course it’s going to change but of course its going to stay the same. John and I have very strong identities as players and that will always be there. It’s still going to be the eastern stuff and a lot of crazy improvisation and everything. With the new person it will go in new directions but it’s going to build on what we have now. Songs have changed from our first album till now anyway. So we just grow as a band regardless. We are just going to try and keep making the best music we can.
L4LM: By the time this interview is posted, you will have already press-released the name of your new drummer. Briefly tell me a little about who that is and how he was tapped for the job.
Gabe: Well it’s interesting. We auditioned like 20 people at least….a lot of cats. There was a lot of amazing musicians and that was eye opening, but it was also eye opening to realize that Justin has huge shoes to fill. The guy who we chose is the drummer from my band when I was 16-25 years old and he is actually the guy who introduced me to Justin in the first place. So it’s almost like keeping it in the family, ya know what I’m saying? His name is Louis Miller, someone we have known for a long time. He’s a great musician with a great ear.
L4LM: Is this the perfect time for you guys to get back in the studio start recording a new album or is that something that will take some time?
John: We have a whole bunch of new songs. Some of them are in their incubation period, some of them we have been playing with Justin also. For me personally, this is a drummer that is incredible and we have a great vibe with. I have been jamming with him for a long time, but in this setting we need to get to know him as a musician. Gabe has been playing with him for a long time, but as a unit we need a lot of “Hi, how are you? Let’s get to know each other and play some shows.” Justin and I have been playing together since we were kids. We have written and played all sorts of different stuff together. So getting to that level is going to take a long time and just getting used to it and getting comfortable is going to take some time too. I wouldn’t feel comfortable recording until we have that cohesion.
L4LM: After tonight, you embark on a full scale tour. Tell me a little about your schedule and what you look forward to this summer?
Gabe: I feel like we are pretty much playing every single night straight through April into May.
John: We are playing an Umphrey’s McGee after party as one of the first dates, which is going to be a whole lot of fun at the New Earth Music Hall in Athens Georgia. Honestly though, what sticks out in my mind is not so much any specific dates but just that its going to be CTS Mach 2. It’s a weird, crazy, exciting change. I’m excited to see what our audience will think of the new guy and I am excited to have that live energy and see what happens.
Gabe: We tour a lot. So for us it’s just like “all right we’re going on tour” and we don’t even think about it. Our new guy hasn’t really been on a tour in a couple years so he’s kind of freaking out about it too. It’s gonna be a whole different thing to be with someone who is like “Oh my God, I get to play every night!” It’s like we’ve been playing every night for a long time, ya know, so it’s gonna be a different change to play with someone who it’s a whole new thing for.
L4LM: Is there anything you would like to say to your long time devoted fan base out there?
Gabe: Thanks for sticking with us. We’re gonna keep on doing what we do. God willing, we will keep getting better and better and keep on expanding and playing.
John: Our fans have always been, from the beginning, the most open minded and awesome and beautiful people. What we do is natural and organic, and has been since the beginning. With a new guy it’s going to be different but it’s going to be the same organic live CTS energy.
Justin: What can you say… the fans are the best. They take me up to such heights. I’m really gonna miss that. Thank you guys so much for everything and I’ll be seeing you all real soon.
And thank you guys! Be sure to check out Consider the Source 2.0 as they embark on what will surely be a raging and redefining tour.
Written by Andre Reddy