The Ethereal Plane wants to take you higher
To Patrick Latella, good music isn’t just something to dance to, and dancing isn’t just something you do in a bar.
With his Boulder-based band, The Ethereal Plane, Latella is aiming for more. He wants to play funky rock music to the point of breaking down barriers and perceptions. And he’s hoping to do that today and Saturday with a power-trio set of shows at The Tugboat Grill & Pub.
The band has been coming to Steamboat Springs for about five years, and Latella has been performing here with different groups since 1993. He talked with 4 Points about his band’s name, playing away the difference between a local and a tourist, and his path to enlightenment through bar gigs.
4 POINTS: Where did the name The Ethereal Plane come from?
PATRICK LATELLA: I came up with that a long time ago. That’s a term that exists. It’s a place actually – it’s like a dimension. Jim Morrison was into that stuff, so The Doors, when you pass through the doors of perception, you get to the ethereal plane.
4 POINTS: So, this probably is a stupid thing to have believed for this long, but I always kind of thought The Doors as a band name was supposed to be a joke. As in, opening for whoever, are The Doors.
PL: Jim Morrison, you can never underestimate him. It was the doors of perception, was what that was short for.
4 POINTS: Do you try to work some of that theory into what you do as a band?
PL: We do try to make music in a different setting that tries to take the audience to a higher level. When you’re in a group of people that are all dancing together, there’s that moment in the show where it’s all happening together, and you sort of click, and it’s more collective. It’s not to say that it’s quite that easy to pull off in the bar setting, but it can be done.
And certainly with dancing, people seem more open-minded and just more open to strangers when they’re dancing. We’re certainly trying to see everybody get involved.
4 POINTS: You’ve played The Tugboat a few times. Who’s the better dancer, a local or a tourist?
PL: Maybe I shouldn’t answer this. : Obviously the locals are the ones who are showing up after potentially getting off work somewhere else and are ready to unwind, and by the second set everybody is a little more lubricated. The tourists who stick around for the second set, you really can’t tell much of a difference between who the locals are and who the tourists are.
By the second set, anybody who’s still there, it’s the same. It doesn’t matter if they’re a local or a tourist.
4 POINTS: Has your music changed or developed any since you started playing shows in Steamboat Springs 15 years ago?
PL: (When he first started playing here) that band was called On Air, and I was 22 then. It was definitely – we were beginning to scratch the surface of moving away from a pop sound and toward a funky, fusion sound that is really more like what Ethereal Plane does, with songs that aren’t short little pop ditties.
4 POINTS: Do you think the funkier, jammier stuff lends itself better to playing a bar in a mountain town?
PL: A friend of mine once said there’s a Zen to a bar gig, because the people are diverse, and they’re not necessarily there to see the band.
4 POINTS: Because they might be there to see the bar.
PL: I’ve learned to take what we want to do and make it what they want us to do. We enjoy connecting with the crowd, and that’s what we’re shooting for.
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