By Hana Frenette
They’ve been busy since the last trip to town. The atlanta-based Constellations have been recording, collaborating with Cee Lo Green and planning an extensive summer tour. While driving to Asheville, N.C for a show, the Constellations’ Wes Hoffman took some time out to discuss life on the road and what it’s like to return home.
IN: How did you guys meet? How did the band come about?
WH: Well, the most recent album we released, “Southern Gothic,” actually started out as a studio project of Elijah Jones (singer) and producer Ben Allen. I was urging them to release the album. Everyone who ended up playing on the album kind of already knew each other from working or playing in other bands around Atlanta.
IN: So it all just kind of came together?
WH: Yes, and the members of the group now are the true, holdfast ones. We’ve seen a lot of people come and go. The band is often a collective of musicians, you never really know what you’re going to get.
IN: I see you guys have a pretty extensive tour lined up from now until the end of August.
WH: We’re on the road right now with reggae artist Mishka. And we’re going to be doing the whole Vans Warped Tour. They’re trying to rebrand the Warped Tour a little and make it so it’s not just punk, but a little of this and a little of that. We could end up rising like a lead balloon or it could go over really well.
IN: Have you played any other festival-type things?
WH: Yeah, we were on the festival circuit last year. We played Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Music Midtown and DeLuna Fest. Festivals can be really cool. It’s fun playing to an audience that big, but at the same time, you can’t really vibe off the energy of the people in the crowd because they’re so far away.
IN: What is life on the road like for you guys?
WH: We’ve got a van, pulling a trailer behind it. It’s just a bunch of stinky dudes. It’s really not very glamorous. It is fun, though. We like to hang out and have a good time. Ninety percent of the time is spent driving from city to city.
IN: What do you guys like to do if you have a free night on the tour?
WH: We’ll probably go to the closest, cheapest bar. The more dive-y, the better. Just give us a cold PBR and some whiskey.
IN: I saw that you collaborated with Cee Lo Green, how was that?
WH: It was great. He kind of just showed up and did his thing, drank some Patron. I think that’s all he drinks. He’s actually pretty shy and keeps to himself. He is just this amazingly talented singer, composer, songwriter, etc. He walks in and just knocks it out of the park on the first take.
IN: Might we expect any other collaboration with artists in the future?
WH: We have some ideas of who we would like to work with, but I can’t give any specifics because it’s kind of in the works now. So, the answer is yes.
IN: Were you working on anything prior to planning out the tour?
WH: We were actually recording all winter. We spent a month in the studio and we’re trying to make some of the new stuff available to the public. We want to get some of it out before the Warped Tour. And we just put out a video for the song we did with Cee Lo, “Love is a Murder.”
IN: What do you do when you’re not on tour?
WH: We all live in Atlanta and everyone just kind of works a random job so they can put a little cash in their pocket when we’re not on the road. I work as a bartender at a little café and some of us work as a deckhand, or in a retail shop. We end up keeping to ourselves and just hanging out with each other a lot. We’re not really home that much so we really don’t have many friends here. A lot of people know who we are, but it’s different. It makes it kind of hard to keep relationships.
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24
WHERE: Vinyl Music Hall, 2 S. Palafox