Interstellar Boys may not transcend space, but it certainly has transcended time. Although the Athens, Ga.-based rock band officially formed in spring of this year, its members have been performing together for almost 30 years.
“All of us have played together in one situation or another,” drummer Todd Nance says, “but we just kind of talked about it. You know, we did something last year called Todd and Friends, and just kind of tested the waters—see how we got along, see if we could write some songs together and how the crowd might react to it. So far, it seems pretty positive.”
Nance’s name will sound more than a little familiar for many music fans. He was the founding drummer for iconic jam band Widespread Panic and remained until early 2016. However, he won’t be the only recognizable name in Interstellar Boys’ stellar lineup.
All three of the band’s guitarists and vocalists are rock royalty in their own rights. Daniel Hutchens is the co-founder of Athens band Bloodkin, Jerry Joseph was a founding member of reggae-rock group Little Women, and Sam Holt was a guitar-technician-turned-guitarist for Widespread Panic. Bassist Jon Mills also played with Bloodkin and David Barbe and the Quick Hooks, and pedal-steel player was a founding member of Drive-By Truckers.
Interstellar Boys began touring in a limited capacity this summer, and the band’s fall tour includes a stop in Jackson today, Oct. 13. Nance, 54, says that he and his band mates plan to build on the momentum from their live shows soon with a collection of studio recordings.
“We’re just going to keep taking it one little step further,” Nance says. “We’re going to go into Chase Park Transduction—that’s Dave Barbe’s studio here in Athens—and we’re going to cut an EP over there, so maybe five or six songs.”
After that, Interstellar Boys is a bit up in the air. The members have yet to decide whether they want to continue with the project, he says. Up to this point, the musicians have had their fingers crossed, waiting to see how it would turn into something more than a fun but brief stint, Nance says.
“All signs point that way because we had a good summer,” he says. “Financially, it worked out OK, and everybody is still into it. Now, we’re starting to write songs, and we’re kind of pulling out old material that’s been written and lying around. Some of it, people have heard, and some of it has never been heard before.”
With the number of songwriters in the band, it is pretty easy to cover ground quickly on new music, he says. As they have all known each other for years as both friends and collaborators, the members of Interstellar Boys don’t have to figure out elements like chemistry.
“All that work is done, you know what I mean?” Nance says. “We don’t have to figure each other out or this kind of stuff, and we all have the same goal: basically, just to keep playing music and writing music, and try to make people happy with it.”
Interstellar Boys performs at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 13, at Martin’s Restaurant & Bar (214 S. State St.). Admission is $25 at the door or $20 in advance at ticketfly.com, and doors open at 7 p.m. For more information, visit interstellarboys.com.