Our favorite Virginia based experimenters, Illiterate Light are at it again with a new EP Earthworm, out 8/4 on iTunes. The duo will be on the road to support it throughout the Summer and Fall.
From the band’s bio…
Illiterate Light may be a fresh name, but Jeff Gorman and Jake Cochran have been on the margins of the grungy central VA DIY music scene now for years. Both Gorman and Cochran graduated from James Madison University in 2012 to step into full time work co-managing Wildside Farms, a small organic farm in Singers Glenn, Virginia. Along with tough days on the farm, Cochran and Gorman shared a continued commitment to their current band, Money Cannot Be Eaten, a late 60’s-esque, rootsy, psychedelic indie rock band. While deeply engaged in traditional DIY touring throughout MCBE’s three-year existence, Cochran and Gorman also participated yearly in “The Petrol Free Jubilee,” a bicycle-powered music and social justice tour comprised of 15-30 artists, musicians, teachers, farmers, ragamuffins, children, and anyone willing to get on a bike and ride. The tour traveled around central VA for 2-3 weeks each summer by bicycle, playing house shows and visiting intentional farming, social justice, and spiritual communities along the way.
After two years at Wildside, Gorman and Cochran decided to step away from their incredible experience as novice farmers to concentrate their energy towards Money Cannot Be Eaten. MCBE began touring the east coast from Nashville to New York (in a subaru this time) until disbanding due to a lineup change. During a year long hiatus from working together, Gorman dug deep into the local Harrisonburg music scene as a solo artist, River Walters, while Cochran, recently married, took a yearlong apprenticeship alongside his wife in home renovation and Tiny House construction in Berryville, VA.
Upon Cochran’s return to Harrisonburg in the summer of 2015, the new project, Illiterate Light, took off running with a four song EP “Langue,” written, recorded, and released within the span of three weeks in order to support a month and a half US tour/cross country road trip. The mountains and deserts of the west inspired the new band while they cut their teeth as performers in music cities such as Austin, New Orleans, and Chicago. Though initially a trio, Illiterate Light took its current form as a duo after a college professor instructed their bassist he would fail for the semester if he skipped one more day for tour. While the lineup change was mutual and pre-meditated, it came quicker than expected, leaving Illiterate Light a duo only days before a follow up tour through the Midwest. With no time to prepare or re-arrange their songs, Gorman and Cochran took off towards Muncie, Indiana with the decision to be a duo, be weird, and see what happens.
This challenge was an eye opening experience. The limitations of the duo pushed both members to new creative places: Gorman created a web of effect pedals and amplifiers that allowed him to play massive guitar riffs and bass tones, or sound as small and simple as a treble-y finger picked singer songwriter; and Cochran converted his drumset into a hybrid standing kit and percussion set, fully engaging his body and allowing him to perform freely and sing powerfully.
Illiterate Light is currently in the process of writing new material and recording at Blue Sprocket Sound in Harrisonburg, VA. They will be touring regionally and frequently in Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, DC, and Baltimore through the release of their new EP in May when they will again hit the road for a longer US tour. All of this is only made possible through the continued support of loving friends, family, and community in Harrisonburg that forms a deep spiritual grounding for the duo. “The mystery and calling of God the Creator, above all things, is the motivating factor for our work and the love we have for ourselves and our neighbors.”