Friends of Cheese (August 2000)
Who is The String Cheese Incident?
Masters of improvisation, The String Cheese Incident has reached the cusp of an explosive national breakthrough through outstanding live performances and a dedication to touring. Now averaging over 160 shows a year, the band has attracted fans of all genres by mixing high energy fun with rigorous musicianship and impassioned artistry.
The String Cheese Incident crafts undeniable masterpieces from an astonishing mix of roots musics, with intricate mountain bluegrass, transcendent Afro-pop rhythms, sensuous Latin melodies and breezy Calypso grooves that branch from a trunk of traditional American rock. The String Cheese Incident not only weaves together these incredibly diverse musical elements, it creates an entirely new sound in the process.
This Boulder, Colorado based quintet has leapt into the collective conciousness of several grassroots scenes at once. Fans of bluegrass, reggae, jambands and other roots genres have strongly embraced the creative milestone that is SCI's music, as well as the band's ability to create a relaxed, fun environment at every show, or Incident, as they are better known.
The symbiotic, audience-band relationship that develops into a rich atmosphere at each Incident lead the band to provide a new level of fun and music to their fans in 1998 through several international Incidents, in both Negril, Jamaica, and Akumal, Mexico. More international shows are currently being planned.
Pioneers of both music and the business of music, The String Cheese Incident has steadfastly refused to compromise any amount of creative control over its music by signing with a major label. Applying the grassroots ethic that has made the band into successful touring artists,The String Cheese Incident instead chose to launch a full-scale label, Sci Fidelity Records. The band now continues to build its grassroots empire with a website that attracts one million hits a month, an in-house ticketing service and a travel agency designed to cater to their fans.
While the band's Incidents have become the stuff of legend, it is in the studio that The String Cheese Incident distinguishes itself in craftsmanship. Buoyed by the 1998 release "Round The Wheel," which has become the band's best selling album to date with its mix of richly textured arrangements and tight, ear-catching pop tunes, Sci Fidelity Records and The String Cheese Incident are currently choosing tracks for a live double album that will be released in early fall.
The String Cheese Incident received the honor of opening and closing the 1998-99 New Year's Eve Celebration at the Kaiser Auditorium in Oakland, CA, with remaining members of the Grateful Dead and Hot Tuna. The band's success on a massive U.S. tour in the spring of 1999 culminated in three sold-out shows at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, and a string of sold out shows along the east coast.
In June, The String Cheese Incident returns to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival as a headlining act, where they stole the show as the opening act in 1993, just six months after their official formation. This summer, the band will also headline both the High Sierra Music Festival and the Oregon Country Fair. Looking towards the millennium, The String Cheese Incident will host a two-night New Years extravaganza in Portland, OR that will encompass a "world-music" theme on a scale of grand proportions.
The creative and musical foundation that constitutes the essence of The String Cheese Incident is always evolving with the band's musical tastes and their interaction with the fans in the live setting. The albums speak volumes and the critical acclaim rises, but there is no substitute for a live "Incident".
- Image and text from The String Cheese Incident official website, www.stringcheeseincident.com