Instrumental electronic rock band Sound Tribe Sector 9 will stop in Savannah April 24 as part of a month-long coast-to-coast tour.
"We've played there before, but it was a long time ago," says percussionist Jeffree Lerner. "We've grown up since then."
And how. The band is ranked among Pollstar Magazine's list of top-grossing touring acts, averaging more than 5,000 tickets per city.
Band members currently are working on their 12th album. They have created their own record label, 1320 Records, and have a sound with influences as diverse as instrumental rock and electronic music, funk, jazz, drum and bass, psychedelia and hip hop.
Other members are guitarist/keyboardist Hunter Brown, David Murphy on bass and synths, David Phipps on keyboards and drummer Zach Velmer.
"I was the last one to join in 1999," Lerner says. "David, Zach and Hunter all went to high school together."
STS9 stands for Sound Tribe Sector 9.
"Nobody is a soloist in our band, we are a unit and a team," Lerner says. "That's how we approach the music.
"Our name comes from the philosophy of being a tribe of musicians and artists with different sound engineers and light engineers. It's a community of music, if you will."
Lerner is a natural percussionist.
"According to my parents, I was very young when I started," he says. "I think all of us have that passion from an early age.
"There's a family joke that my grandma said the first thing I would do was grab pots and pans and set up a drum kit. I don't really have musicians in my family, but wasn't discouraged in any way."
Influences come from all kinds of music.
"The style is the product of five individuals with a lot of interests and different likes and dislikes," Lerner says. "We all share a common love of music and listen to all kinds of music across the board."
The band strives to be true to its own vision.
"Any artist being true to themselves and being who they are is going to bring uniqueness to their art," Lerner says. "If we try to emulate or be like anybody else, we're not unique.
"We remain true to ourselves and our intentions. We want to inspire and provide a space for people to dance and let it go. We've spent a lot of time crafting our art and being dedicated to the music."
Everyone shares in the effort to create the music.
"We all write," Lerner says. "It varies from song to song, but for the most part, it's a collective effort. Hunter comes with the core ideas, but we all contribute."
Performing the songs helps the band to hone them.
"It all works together," Lerner says. "We learn from the stage what songs to do and try to incorporate them into the experience.
"We don't have vocals. We do our artwork and song titles and images with the video and production we have."
The current tour is just the latest in a series.
"We started in February in Portland, Ore., and did six weeks throughout the Northwest and Midwest and South," Lerner says. "We played Athens. This tour takes us to the four corners of the country."
Travel is always challenging, but is an accepted part of the job.
"It's not the easiest thing to do, sleeping on a bus," Lerner says. "We wake up 500 miles from where we started, but we're very fortunate to be able to do this."
The band has an international fan base.
"We do countless live shows and the shows are available for download online after each show," Lerner says. "We get a lot of music and share a lot of music that way. We have nine studio albums and a couple of other live releases. We hope our next is out late summer."
"Social media makes our music accessible to people where we would have to do 250 shows a year to get to all the cities and all the people to hear us," he says. "We go to a lot of festivals and each of them are so different and have their own unique landscape. We appreciate them all."
The Savannah audience can look forward to STS9's best stuff.
"It's good music, energetic music," Lerner says. "The lighting brings the whole experience together.
"Our lives are full with those experiences. Just the experience of being in the band and watching the community around is great.
"We been doing this 15, almost 16 years," he says. "We were kids of 18 when we started and are 33 now."
The members of STS9 are social activists who raise money for charity. They made a $150,000 donation to The Make it Right Foundation and as a result, a house was rebuilt in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans.
The members of STS9 enjoy the audience as much as the audience enjoys them.
"Just to watch the people and to see the expressions on the faces in the crowd means a lot to all of us," Lerner says. "We created our own record label to not be inhibited in any way and are creating a musical community around it. It's good stuff."
IF YOU GO
What: STS9 in concert
When: 7 p.m. April 24
Where: Trustees Theater, 216 E. Broughton St.
Info: 912-525-5050, www.scadboxoffice.com