Particle guitarist launches new project, Emergency Broadcast

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 :: Emergency Broadcast :: Trilogy :: February 1 ::

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By Brian F. Johnson

Television is supposed to be the root of all evil, by some people’s accounts, but from time-to-time it can be inspirational as well.

For Ben Combe, who had recently left his gig with Particle — a gig that he had held for almost two years and 200 shows — television helped in no small part to create his current project, Emergency Broadcast.

“My wife and I recently got cable, but before we had it, what we were doing was going to Blockbuster and renting entire seasons of TV shows. We went through all of them,” Combe said in a recent interview with The Marquee.

“One of them was ‘Jericho,’ and it’s a weird one, ’cause a nuclear bomb goes off and there’s this one town in Kansas where everyone is trying to stay alive. I watched the whole first season one night.”


Combe, who said that he’s always been fascinated by the documentaries on the nuclear tests, said that after watching that season and coupling those thoughts with images from documentaries, he began to really think about what would happen if there was a nuclear holocaust. “And it just kind of lead to the whole, ‘This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test.’”

Combe left Particle in mid-October after realizing that his time with the band had run its course. “I think I was the right guitarist for Particle at the time, but the direction the band was going it was clear that I was no longer the right person for that and so I wasted no time in creating a new project,”
he said.

That new project is a five-piece band out of Boulder that, according to Combe, is a rock band with a “psychedelic, indie kind of vibe that is organic but embraces the electronica thing.” Made up of Comber, keyboardist Bryan Wagstaff, drummer Brian Dillon, bassist Chris Crantz and multi-instrumentalist and technical powerhouse Steven Buttree, who performs with a saxophone, a flute and a Mac G5 computer, Emergency Broadcast is a step in the opposite direction from a lot of the local jam/electronica scene. “There’s such a massive push toward the electronica thing and I’m trying to go a little more organic, or old school, I guess. As far as what’s happening on the scene right now, people are pushing the envelope in one direction and I’m trying to push in the other direction,” Combe said.

Wagstaff echoed that statement. “People came into this project with such an eclectic mix of influences and I think what we’re trying to accomplish is something you can’t really put your finger on,” said Wagstaff.
That being said, Combe pointed out that, to him, real music flows when the musicians can explore beyond their charts. “In music, I like to be atmospheric. I live to have moments. I don’t like things just to be a flat line. I try to have the whole emotional palette come out,” Combe said. “And the effort everyone is already putting in is amazing. It’s crazy how fast things are moving with the project. We’re not messing around.”

:: Emergency Broadcast ::
:: Trilogy :: February 1 ::

Recommended if you like:
• Radiohead
• Stereo Lab
• Particle

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