This is Hunter Brown, Zach Velmer, David Phipps, Jeffree Lerner and Alana Rocklin, collectively known as the band STS9 and we're about hit the road on our biggest tour of the year!

Ask us anything and catch us on tour:

Here is proof!

Comments: 607 • Responses: 69  • Date: 

topherchris2085 karma

When are you guys going to co-headline a show with lotus?

wearests953 karma

hopefully soon

TheForrester7k29 karma

Hi STS9, first off let me say thanks for doing this and for continually being so incredibly connected to your fans! It truly does foster a sense of community among us all. And thank you for bringing so much happiness, friendship, and joy to my life over my 10 years of being a fan. Also wanted to say thanks for joining Drip as this is a really incredible deal for us to get all of the live shows at such an affordable rate! And of course thanks for all the live streams in recent tours!

You guys have been just bursting with energy since the addition of Alana. I think many fans would agree that the time is right for another Re:generation festival. Can we expect that to happen again? I'm sure it would be a huge amount of work for you guys but I every summer that rolls around without one just makes me think about it more and more!

wearests952 karma

hb: thank you and we agree, the time is right for another regeneration. were going to make it happen.

notmadeofbacon8 karma

I'm gonna piggyback on your question because mine dovetails and another RE:Gen would be titties.

For S9: When I got into the band around 2007, one of my favorite aspects was how many acts I heard/heard of because of you. Through 1320, events like Day out of Time and Re:Gen, openers/tweeners/afterparties, you guys seemed to be bringing along so many up and comers that are now extremely popular in their own right.

While I LOVE what you guys are doing right now as a band, are there any thoughts about returning to some of that... curation of the scene that you guys were doing so much of before?

RRX was my 36/37th show since my first, the IEV set at the tabby. You guys have been such a huge part of my life since then. So many great sets, friends made, music discovered, new places traveled to, I could go on. Even if you don't answer my question, I just wanted to say thank you.

wearests913 karma

HB: absolutely, we love sharing the stage and working with artists we admire. we have a lot of ideas and things in the works for STS9 and 1320 in the near future.

wearests99 karma

ZV: thanks for your continued supporting...we hope and aspire to keep creating and pushing limits and boundries....thanks

louislinaris22 karma

Did you change your planned set 2 at the Werk Out after that lady trust fell on Zach and his drums?

--Related question--did you guys decide NOT to release the Werk Out recordings due to her actions and the failure of Werk Out security?

Thanks for doing what you do!

wearests914 karma

ZV: yes ...we mos def had a audible with the set list

duvydinho22 karma

Is Artifact Vinyl Re-Release coming annnnytime soon? I can't bring myself to pay $200 on the re-sale market

wearests926 karma

hb: lets just say don't pay $200 for it :)

wearests915 karma

AR: One never knows:)

Thisisthisisthisis21 karma

Hello, have you guys put any thought into doing another Regeneration Festival any time in the future?

wearests949 karma

ZV: you think our fans would be interested in us doing a another Re:gen...?

wearests936 karma

ZV: thats good information.....

wearests917 karma

AR: Thanks everyone...see y'all on tour!!!

shit_cvnt15 karma

What's the best way to get my chakras aligned?

wearests925 karma

AR: Come to a show!

Kennyiskickass15 karma

Dear Sound Tribe,

Can you describe some of the underlying inspirations behind The Universe Inside? It’s very different than your previous recorded albums and even live performances last year; the disco-funk theme vibes are great, but it feels like some of the psychedelic roots have dissipated. Do you intend on a producing another genre based theme in the next album? Thanks!

PS: The ATL run this year was a blast and I can’t wait to catch ya’ll at Hulaween again! Your tent set at Wakarusa 2015 changed my life forever

wearests922 karma

HB: we fully embrace our psychedelic roots! i think it seeps through everything we do but i agree it might not be as pronounced on this album. we were inspired by the records we grew up on and improvising together live and in the studio.

AshleySchaefferBMW12 karma

How do yall decide on a setlist each night? Just thanks

wearests924 karma

AR: We try and look at several factors in deciding set lists...what we played last time, what we played already that week, what songs are gems or in heavy rotation, and what each individual just wants to play. Its really a group effort but Zach generally starts it off and helps us organize all the info.

larry_alligator12 karma

My friends and i have a 10+ year debate about one thing: HOW IS KAMUY really pronounced??

wearests912 karma

AR: it took us a minute to sort that one out ha

ihavebighair11 karma

Woo hoo! First comment!

Hi Sound Tribe!!!! I've been a big fan since a 2010 and a super fan since 2012! I have a lot of questions but I think these would be fun for all. Feel free to pick and choose questions to answer as you see fit.

1) Do you still have the STS9 phone that you mentioned on social media last year?

2) Can you see or hear the audience during your shows? I'm sure the crowd can be distracting, so it's probably best to not see or hear, but I've always wondered. A part of me probably wants to know because I always try to be in the front row.

3) It seems to me that, as individuals, you stay pretty private. Is that something that you make a concerted effort to do? Or is it just a by-product of the kind of famous you are? To put it another way: I know almost nothing about any of you outside of your stage lives (which is surprising considering how much of my time is devoted to listening to, thinking about, or reading about STS9). Is that something that you have to work hard to maintain, or is it because the band is more famous than its parts?

4) Semi-follow up to 3: do you get recognized in public often? I saw you in an airport terminal after HOB Dallas last year and almost had a heart attack, but I don't think I noticed anybody else even looking twice in your direction. (I eventually said hi on the plane... best part of my vacation to Hawaii by far).

5) In general, how difficult is it to release high quality recordings of all of your concerts? There are a few smaller bands that I wish would do that, but I’ve never known how realistic it would be for that to actually happen.

6) Do you have a favorite brewery/beer?

7) I almost always make it to your Nashville shows (one of my best friends lives there), and the shows there always seem SO different from the rest of the tour. Am I making that up, or is it something you do intentionally? Ryman 2012, Halloween 2014, and WM 2015 are specifically what I'm talkin bout.

8) Will you ever come back to George’s Majestic Lounge?! That 2010 show is my favorite of all time, and I LOVED the intimacy when you went back in 2014 (although I know that wasn’t the intended plan).

Thanks again for doing this and for being such a huge part of my life. Can't wait for fall tour!!!

wearests911 karma


  1. yes :)
  2. we can see the crowd and hear the crowd sometimes depending on the lighting and our in ear mixes. -AR
  3. We like to maintain our privacy but its definitely not because the band is too famous:) we're just regular people who love to make music -AR
  4. Sometimes we get noticed. Our fans are so sweet and kind. AR
  5. Its challenging but we have a great team that makes it happen and thats key! Our FOH Ryan Knutson records and mixes the shows to get them out with the highest quality and quick turn around. AR
  6. I like Blue Moon or Stella AR
  7. We try to make all our shows unique and different...thanks for the compliment AR
  8. George's Majestic is fun...not sure when we'll be back but would love to -AR

jmar11311 karma

Will Empires make a return on this tour?? say, maybe in Memphis perhaps? :)

wearests97 karma

AR: great idea

greencheesebluegrass11 karma

Everytime I listen to Wika Chikana, I can't help but sing along in my head:


Wika Chikana-

Wika Chikana-

Wika - Chi- Con- Ah!!

Doot do da doot...... (and so on)"

I had to imagine that's where the name of the song comes from for my own sake. Can any of you offer any clarity? I've never heard of a Wika Chikana before, it might be a tough one to answer but I had to ask.

Love you guys, thanks for doing this!

wearests916 karma

ZV: ding ding!!! winner winner chicken dinner

JustaWeasel11 karma

I have a question for Hunter! What information and advice would you give to a guitarist looking to learn/get into your style of playing? STS9 just has those instantly recognizable lead guitar lines that sound so stunning and full!! Like Moonsocket and Vapors then there's some groove like Get Loud and Worry No More and so many more ahhh!!! Thank you guys for doing this and keep doing what you're doing!! Much love and I'll see you guys on Halloween night :)

wearests99 karma

hb: thanks! i'm obsessed with life and music. i devour everything i can. when i pick up my guitar i do my best to let go of my ego and let the music come naturally.

986squares10 karma

If you had to play one show with each band member playing someone else's instrument...what would the line up be? Who would be playing what?

wearests926 karma

JL... Hunter brown drums Zach Velmer guitar Alana Rocklin keys David Phipps percussion Jeffree lerner bass

LookingBackOnEarth9 karma

1) What has been your favorite song to cover?

2) Where does the vocal sample from "Only Light Remains" come from?

Also for anyone who isn't aware, join us at /r/STS9 for more discussion!

PS: I love you, Alana.

wearests917 karma

DP- my favorite song we've covered is 'everybody loves the sunshine' at red rocks this year. We used to listen to that song in the earliest days of sector 9, and to completely nail it, with a choir, was really special for me

pizzlewizzle5048 karma

I see a lot of footage posted from Red Rocks last year... Do y'all ever plan on releasing full video of the show or maybe a DVD or drip download of it?

wearests911 karma

AR: Quite possibly

Dvanpat8 karma

Hi, this is Drew from Fort Collins, Colorado. I see you guys at Red Rocks every year (Circus at night two this year was tight). I've noticed sometimes the guitar, bass, and piano parts switch roles during different performances of different songs. Do you guys try and make every song different at every show?

wearests914 karma

AR: I think we try and challenge ourselves to make songs different and constantly switch it up...especially on a classic like Circus where there are so many next level versions.

randyb878 karma

Your fans seems to be split on their feelings toward the new album. Did the band ever consider that the change in musical direction would cause such an uproar?

wearests934 karma

AR: There is no decision of change and to us there is no change just evolution of song writing and being able to express our intention. TUI is a concept album with a specific story. We can't wait to open up these songs on tour and see where they go.

wearests912 karma

hb: we knew it would open the door for a conversation, records always do. we just do our best to express what were feeling at the time. we wouldn't call this a change in musical direction. to us, albums are like chapters in a book, they tell a piece of the story.

Purpleorgrape8 karma

dance or woo?

wearests925 karma


Bryanmahindrew8 karma

Given the early 2017 dates released, would be there a possibility of playing Okeechobee? I won't tell anyone if it's a secret. (;

wearests912 karma

ZV: not sure hope so ....looks fun and we love to come to Florida ...

carmelocorn7 karma

The new album is BANANAS! Who wrote the lyrics? And why did you all want to go in that direction of using more lyrics/vocals? Do you think it takes away from the universality of the music? Also, COME BACK TO SUMMER CAMP!!!! WE LOVE YOU!!

wearests911 karma

Thanks so much! Hunter wrote a lot of the lyrics based on themes and motifs that we were all discussing. Audio Angel, Maureen Murphy, and Betty Idol also contributed lyrics. STS9 has been using vocals and vocal samples for a long time, so no I don't think it takes aways from the music at all. TUI is a concept record and a story so we had specific ideas that we were trying to express. We LOVE SCAMP too!!!

supmcbupp7 karma

What music are you all currently listening to?

wearests914 karma

AR: Jeff Parker New Breed, Hiatus Kaiyote, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Machinedrum, Eprom....

samsteers7 karma

Yay! Thank you for doing this. I like the new album, but I really always enjoyed STS9 for the instrumental aspect. Any chance you are returning to any solely instrumental tracks in the future? Either way I will still be listening!

wearests912 karma

AR: I can't say what the future holds but we will always be dedicated to the instrumental aspect of the band

trippy-vibes6 karma

Hello Tribe!!! Much love from Kent, OH <3

What are your pre-show rituals?

Thanks for doing what you guys do, and inspiring all of us to live fulfilling, creative lives. Can't wait to see you in a few days in Detroit! We're going to dance the city down!

wearests97 karma

AR: Detroit love!!! We have rehearsal gear backstage and spend a lot of time practicing and playing before we go on.

12MinuteWika6 karma

Collectively, what are you favorite qualities or characteristics in each of your band mates? Like what's everyone's favorite thing about Zach? What do you guys admire about Hunter? Why is Alana a great person to have around?

wearests915 karma

AR: These guys are my brothers and they all have amazing qualities. Zach inspires me to crush that pocket! HBe inspires me to trust my creativity! Free inspires me to be open and fluid! Phipps inspires me to be confident in my sound.

Goatwreck6 karma

Whats up Tribe? Had a blast at night 2 of Red Rocks this year. I have two questions

1.) How much of what you do on stage is improvised? (Setlists, jams etc.)

2.) Who are you favorite artists currently touring?

wearests97 karma

AR: 1. We plan the set lists so they're not improvised. It would be hard to give a percentage on improvisation but there is always large sections of songs that are completely open and its completely off the cuff.

TheForrester7k6 karma

Any plans to get back to Japan? I know many people that would make the trip to see that! Also, what are your favorite places to play outside of Colorado and Atlanta?

wearests96 karma

JL....we would love to go back to Japan when we get the opportunity....such an incredible experience to play the culture and history...and especially the soba...

wearests95 karma

ZV: we would all love to go back to Japan...its AMAZING...

at this point in our careeer we love to go everywhere...each place is so different and hard to pick "favorites"

OrdaenerysTargaryen6 karma

Alana, what is it like being a woman who is absolutely killing it in a male dominated industry? What advice do you have for other ladies going into such fields?

(I've followed you guys since the mid '00's...thanks for some of the best experiences of my life!)

wearests911 karma

AR: Thanks so much...I never really think about it too much and have just tried to be the best musician I can be, female or male. I do hope that just me being visible can be inspiration to any women that she can do it too!!!

wearests95 karma

Thank you! Its been a lot of fun getting to connect with all of you! We'll answer more of your questions in the coming days. Hope to see you on the road! Check out our dates for our fall tour at

jesuslovesdabs5 karma

Hi tribe

Can we expect more axe the cables shows next yr ? ATL was such an amazing run, please play Vapors at Hulaween!!!

wearests95 karma

ZV: played vapors last year at hula...we love doing the axe shows...its soo fun

iswearimnorml5 karma

What would y'all say are your best/worst/most memorable experiences while touring and performing? Not asking to name names or cities, just wanna hear the stories!

wearests913 karma

ZV: best....this past summer leading up to RRX... all the summer festivals we re so fun and the fans were soo connected. worst...waking up on the side of the road wondering if we were gonna make it to the next show... many ...this life we lead is all about those memories and this journey we are on together...

swimmer42005 karma

Hunter can you please tell us all about that badass gold Jazzmaster youve got? Any other changes to your live rig?

wearests917 karma

i got the jazzmaster in 2012 to honor someone really close to me. i kept it at home and in the studio for a couple of years before playing it live. i put humbuckers in it and changed the wiring to give me the sound i was going for. i played it for the first time at our 1/1 Fillmore improv set and haven't put it down since.

ajpayday5 karma

who has the freshest shoe game?? alana and velmer i c u

wearests915 karma

ZV: its not a competition ...we inspire each other...seriously...we all loose it when we see each other kicks...high fives all around...we also send each other links of shoes in each others size...its collaborative ...

BlessYourTart5 karma

You guys are always so great to your fans, thanks for doing this AMA! What's it been like transitioning into the jamtronic scene, and what do you think of how much the scene has changed over the last decade?

By the way, if you guys ever need a chef on tour, you've got a huge fan in Georgia who would love to make you all dinner sometime.

wearests912 karma

AR: Thanks bud, I hope one day we could have a chef on tour. In my humble opinion STS9 created what people call "jamtronica". When I saw the band in 2001 I had not seen anything like it and so many people have been inspired by STS9 including myself!

Stella_Novella5 karma

I recently read in an article that each of you have a song you would like to bring back into rotation and out a new spin on. What song did each of you pick?

wearests918 karma

JL...1103 ZV...empires DP...itzamana AR....tooth HB....native end

nm1185 karma

Kabuki at Boulder Theater last year was played differently than it usually is, what made you decide to change it up for that show? I thought it was amazing and would love to see it played like that again!

wearests920 karma

AR: That particular Kabuki is a throw back to the original version that was d&B

touchthesun4 karma

you guys are my favorite live act period. is there a particular reason you don't play in the northeast very often? Was sooooooooo bummed when I saw you weren't playing Boston this year.

love you guys!!

wearests95 karma

ZV: we love coming to the north east...we love boston...all loves

jgaver084 karma

Have you ever thought about playing at White Oak Music Hall? It is a new indoor/outdoor venue in Houston, Tx.

wearests94 karma

ZV: love it...thanks for sharing...noted

Stella_Novella4 karma

Do you have any pre-show rituals that you like to do before you go on stage, personally or as a group?

wearests94 karma

ZV: yes we do....its like preparing for a big game...

TheForrester7k4 karma

Can you provide any details on the 2002 Mishawaka soundboard compilation? While the audience recordings of these shows are great, any chance we could see an archival release of the full soundboards of these two most incredible show, undoubtably two of the most historic in your history?

wearests912 karma

ZV: If you can find the soundboards to that show please contact us ...there will be a reward!!!!! LOL jkjkjkjk

Quantum37214 karma

Favorite psychedelic experiences?

wearests938 karma


thetrademark4 karma

Hi Tribe, thanks for doing this. I'm really looking forward to the Detroit show this weekend! As for my question, what are some specific songs that really inspire y'all? Maybe not necessary influences or anything, but songs that hold some sentiment or meaning?

See ya this weekend in Motown!

wearests93 karma

ZV: just because you said MOTOWN i mean yes yes yes...we love all of everything MOTOWN

Hexagon_Sun334 karma

Question for the band, Saxtons light show is top notch insane production. Sometimes I wonder as Im looking on stage are the lights disorienting or make it more difficult to play? I would get lost in all that fog and light.

wearests96 karma

ZV: Saxton is a bad ass.....we love him and he is like a 6th member...

Hexagon_Sun333 karma

But does it make it difficult to play?

wearests93 karma

ZV: nope

Treyn9ne4 karma

It would be cool to hear exactly how set lists night to night get constructed.

How you decide what bust outs get played in different cities, and what plays a factor in what you choose to encore with and open shows with. If the day of the week plays a difference in it, Wed night vs Sat night.

Curious if you look at your set list you've played the last time you were in the current city you're in, and try to not play that many songs from the previous year's set. Or if any of these factors matter at all, and it's just random.

Also when is 1103 and New New 4 U U coming back in full, if ever?

wearests93 karma

  1. lots of work and considerations
  2. lots or R and D Wednesday night could be someones Saturday night...
  3. yes,
  4. love it...patience my friend ..

The_Badfish3 karma

Hello Tribe! Thanks for being here. I've been following you since I was lucky enough to see you for the first time at Bisco 2013. I was thrilled to hear about The Universe Inside, I love a lot of the tracks on the album. However a number of the tracks are already well known to those who listen to your live recordings.

What is the motivation behind releasing the album with a significant amount of material that has already been made public on tour? Has this been a regular formula for the band on past albums? (Maybe I would know the answer if I had been following you a few years earlier!) Can we expect the same kind of thing for hypothetical future albums?

Can't wait to see you in Philly next month!

wearests95 karma

AR: Hi! I think theres always a difference in a studio version and a live version so we wanted to record those songs. TUI is a concept album and a story so those songs are a part of that story. Its also hard to wait to play a song after you write it!

jgaver083 karma

When are the songs -Peoples -We'll Meet in Our Dreams Coming back???

wearests911 karma

ZV: hell yeah Peoples ...

NYCulture3 karma

Which are your favorite music festivals to perform at? Will we be seeing you on the US festival circuit again next summer? Would love to see you guys hit Bonnaroo again.

wearests911 karma

ZV: we love to perform at all the music festivals ..thats the truth each one is different and has its own uniqueness.....and we hope to see everyone this fall...we love bonnaroo...

FuckingGrapeSoda3 karma

What are all of your favorite foods?

wearests93 karma

AR: Mac and Cheese, Matzah Ball Soup

Triumphkj3 karma

How do you feel about playing a shorter festival set as compared to the standard two set show on a tour? Do you feel festival sets help to expose you to fans who may otherwise not have discovered you?

ps: Very excited to catch my 9th STS9 show in Silver Spring next month

wearests910 karma

JL... I love playing both...shorter.festival sets are fun they are kinda like a sprint...happens really fast...where as standard two sets is more like a marathon.. they each have there unique challenges and rewards

unoleian3 karma

Hello to you all! Thanks for all of the wonderful music and brilliant shows over the years!

One of the coolest additions to the performances in recent years are the improv jams backed by the analog synthesizer Phipps has added to his setup. How much preparation goes into those different sections ahead of time, and is it known beforehand how that section is going to be played out each night?

wearests98 karma

A bit of prep happens during soundcheck, to sculpt the patch, get it in tune, and test stage clock. Once we've transitioned into a 'modular section' during the show, nothing is planned. Anything goes. For this tour, modular will be on separate lines, so that I can play along as well, with more dynamics.

Mrminer63 karma

Howdy! I'll be at the TN Theatre show in Knoxville and have seen you all many times there. How does it rank as far as venues go? Do you all ever get spare time to go hike, etc. in the Smokey Mountains?

wearests93 karma

AR: I grew up in Nashville and we went on our Honeymoon in the Smokies!!

The_3x_Wide3 karma

Hey All! Just want to say thank you for all of you, and what you do! What are your favorite Venues to play? Inside and out? See ya'll Friday!

wearests96 karma

AR: Thank you right back! Indoors- TN Theater, Fox Theater, 9:30 Club. Outdoors - Red Rocks, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater!

ElDoctor3 karma

Got an equipment question for Phipps and another one for Alana. I've been noticing your Eurorack Modular setup and as a modular nerd I'd love to know more about it. What modules are you using? How are you sequencing? Is it synced to any of your other gear?

And for Alana, what equipment is in that rack on the keyboard stand next to you? Effects that you tweak with your hands? Or is it a synth you trigger with your bass (Midi?). Also, please play more fretless because you're amazing!

wearests915 karma

DP- I love equipment questions. In this fall's modular rack, I have a moog mother 32 and a morphing terrarium, housed in a super37 keyboard rack. Very simple setup. I'll be running sequences off of the mother32, clocked by hb's rig. In the past, I've used more 'spontaneous' sequencing, using a diy Klee sequencer into a flame tame machine quantizer. The tame machine is one of my favorite modules for creating repeating patterns on the fly.

wearests912 karma

AR: I trigger an Acces Virus TI Snow using my bass as a midi controller. My bass is modded with Frettrax so I have midi triggers in the frets.

wearests93 karma

Thank you guys soo much ...that was super beyond... see you on fall tour at


chillypt72 karma

Thank you so much for those kick ass Itzamana’s in ATL and RRX.. easily my favorite moments with Tribe ever. Also, that was my first Tabernacle show and holy crap did you guys kill it.

  • Will you guys ever release the soundboards from Werk Out? Or at least the second set? I need that Hubble > Orbital > Hubble in my life!! Please!

  • Is Maureen going to be a regular thing from here on out? Can we expect her at much of Fall tour?

  • Do you guys consider Saxton the 6th member?

  • For Free: Will the hang drum be making its way into some live performances?

  • For Phipps: What was going through your head when your sound wasn’t turned on during that Really Wut intro at the Tabby? You started sorta just dancing after a minute lol.

  • For Zach: Do you like being the mic-guy? I cut the clip of you saying “sooooo goooood” from the end of Kamuy at EFF this year and use it as my text tone.. Love it and it makes me smile every time.

  • For Alana: How many pairs of sneakers do you own? Your kick game is always on point.

  • For HBe: Will we ever get any more original artwork? Is that something you still enjoy doing even? Also, you freaking slayed that Instantly > Nautilus transition. I can’t stop listening to it.

Lastly, please come back to Telluride again this winter! I would do dirty things to get to catch you on the slopes or in the gondola. And thanks for doing this AMA!

wearests96 karma

DP I hope sections of that show get released, for sure

Just a few appearances for Maureen this tour

Saxton is absolutely the 6th member

I was a bit panicked at the tabernacle, but had luckily been practicing my dance moves.

wearests93 karma

AR: Werk Out is tough...the power went out at a certain point so we don't believe we have the whole show. Not sure how many pairs but thanks!

thekevvbot2 karma

hey STS9, just curious if you could maybe share with us what you planned to encore before the Asheville show was shut down?

Just thanks.

wearests94 karma

AR: I can't quite remember but I do know that it was going to be dope because I was totally bummed that we had to cut it short and we played that encore somewhere else. Can't wait to be back in Asheville on this tour!

scorezine2 karma

Thank you for your music. Thank you thank you thank you. Can't wait for y'all to start fall tour I'll be taking my dad to his first show. Either Knoxville or Asheville and absolutely cannot wait. Just a simple question I guess. What inspires the names for your songs. Some are obvious I'd say. Monkey music is very fitting. F. Word I think. So on. What about others that are more off the wall?

wearests95 karma

Just from what inspires us, play on words, hidden meanings, experiences, things that relate to the energy and vibe of song....really all over the have any song titles?