Getting the band back together: Particle regroups

Particle founder and keyboardist Steve Molitz said, after an eight-year hiatus, he wanted to get the band back together.
Particle founder and keyboardist Steve Molitz said, after an eight-year hiatus, he wanted to get the band back together. Photo provided

Particle, pioneers of the emerging livetronica music scene, formed in Los Angeles in 2000 and started touring nationally within months. In 2006, Particle went on hiatus while songwriter Steve Molitz pursued a solo career. But last year, motivated by his desire to make the band full-time and insistence from the band’s fanbase, Molitz re-launched the band.

The jam, electronic and funk band will bring their high-energy dance music and cutting-edge multimedia production to the State Theatre on March 17. The group’s visit to the State comes in the middle of a coast-to-coast winter tour, which will be followed by the release of an album of new original material.

Particle’s non-traditional sound is a combination of various musical elements, including electronic, psychedelic, space-funk, rock and jam with a heavy emphasis on improvisation and deep sonic exploration. Their music has been described as “funktronic” and “space porn,” a term coined by one of their early fans.

This leg of Particle’s spring tour will include Ben Combe on guitar, Clay Parnell on bass, Allen Aucoin on drums and Molitz, the keyboardist and only remaining original member. Molitz has recorded, toured and performed with a variety of artists including Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, Robby Krieger of The Doors and Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes.

Molitz said his earliest musical influences were the records his parents were playing around the house when he was a kid.

“My folks are originally from Detroit, so there was a lot of Motown, as well as healthy doses of bands like Talking Heads, and artists like Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Elton John,” he said.

The band is looking forward to seeing a young college crowd for the State College performance, as the audiences for their shows have always been amazing.

“We play high-energy dance music with a lot of jamming and improvising, so I think our sound has always resonated with college kids and party crowds,” Molitz said. “But it’s not limited to any one age group. Our music is for anyone who wants to lose themselves in the moment and the music. It’s about surrendering and just letting the music take you away from yourself.”

Molitz said Particle is a bunch of guys rocking out and throwing a party where people can come out to get crazy and dance. But he said he hopes the band’s music can reach people on a more spiritual level. As for the band’s present and future, its new songs, new albums and lots of touring.

“Our main goal is to be present in the moment and to interact with the music and the fans in an authentic way,” Molitz said. “Our goal is to create something that’s never happened before and that will never happen again.”