After hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2013, Alex Koltun and Max Jones took a bus to New Orleans. The visit coincided with Ohio State's spring break, so Adrian Jusdanis, who was finishing up his junior year at OSU, decided to take a road trip and join his longtime friends and experience everything New Orleans had to offer.

After hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2013, Alex Koltun and Max Jones took a bus to New Orleans. The visit coincided with Ohio State's spring break, so Adrian Jusdanis, who was finishing up his junior year at OSU, decided to take a road trip and join his longtime friends and experience everything New Orleans had to offer.

Packing for the trip, Jusdanis, who played fiddle in Columbus bands the Apes and Trains Across the Sea, brought along his violin - a decision that would unknowingly alter the next few years of his life.

"I saw this amazing band that I fell in love with on the street [in New Orleans]," said Jusdanis. "I had my violin with me and asked if I could hop on and play in the middle of the set with them, which is not really something you do. ... But they said, 'Sure!' And it went really well. At the end, they handed me more money than I would have ever expected to have made off a street performance. Right when they handed me that money, I started crafting a plan for my life post-graduation that would involve me becoming a street performer in New Orleans."

Jusdanis visited again for a week, and after graduating from Ohio State in 2014, he began living in New Orleans as a street performer for six months out of the year, playing on his own and with the band he initially fell in with. But after a while, Jusdanis grew musically restless.

"I wanted something that was more similar to the Apes in its improvisational style, but I really liked the hypnotic feel of looping beats and wanted electronic percussion," Jusdanis said. "I had this existential crisis around this time last year where I was like, 'I need a badass project I can pour all my heart and soul into.'"

After making various flowcharts with possible collaborators, Jusdanis zeroed in on the two friends with whom he first visited New Orleans. Growing up together in Clintonville, he has known Jones, a pianist, since he was a toddler, and Jusdanis met Koltun on the bus the first day of first grade.

Jones and Koltun had been pursuing their own musical group, the Mathematics, which was mostly a bedroom project. When Jusdanis approached them with his idea, Jones jumped aboard. Koltun took a little convincing, but last winter the three hunkered down to record an album in Columbus before journeying to New Orleans, where they lived together in a narrow, un-partitioned shotgun house and played on the street every night.

They named the band New Thousand (a playful reference to on-hiatus Columbus folk-rockers Old Hundred) and will play the Sideshow stage at 11 p.m. on Saturday with guest collaborators Dominique Larue and Nes Wordz.

"We didn't really craft a sound at all before we went down there. We were very much crafted by audience reaction. That's how we got paid," said Jusdanis. "The way that I look at that versus artistic integrity is I see it as a Venn diagram. In one circle, there's all of the music that I want to play, and the other circle is the music the audience wants to hear. What we try to do is meet them in the middle. Everything we play is a true expression of ourselves, and it's also something we think a lot of people will like."

No one in New Orleans knew quite what to make of New Thousand - in a good way. The loud trio with a unique sound drew lots of onlookers.

"I had these young guys come up to me and say, 'We've never heard anything like you guys. You guys are the closest thing to thrash metal that I've ever heard on the street,'" Koltun said. "I've also had people tell me, 'You guys are an amazing electronic klezmer band.' I think people find in our music what they want. … We've kind of coined the phrase 'classical trap.'"

The genre confusion is understandable. Jusdanis is an irreverent violin virtuoso, often smacking the strings with his bow before tossing it to the ground and aggressively plucking the fiddle. He runs the violin through a pedalboard, making generous use of wah-wah, delay and other effects. He whistles into the violin's electronic pickup to create eerie or whimsical interludes, yet he can also go on dexterous runs that wouldn't be out of place in an orchestra performance.

And the whole time, Jusdanis is moving - whether hunched over in a stompy dance or stepping up to spectators, drawing them in. Similarly, Jones constantly bounces as he adds countermelodies, chordal rhythms and bass notes on his keyboard. Koltun is the stoic glue, finger-drumming and adding trap elements with 808 sounds.

Unlike SoundMind, the album New Thousand recorded over the winter ("It's the seed we grew out of," Jusdanis said), every New Thousand performance is completely improvised. "All you need is one musical idea, and somebody will take that in a new direction," Jones said.

Sometimes those new directions are predicated by mishaps. After our conversation on the sidewalk in Franklinton, New Thousand performed next to the partial remains of a brick building. But before the music started, Jusdanis broke the G string on his violin. Not one to be easily frazzled, he played three strings instead. ("Just play something in D minor," he told Jones.)

Before coming back to Columbus in June, the three friends would gather at their New Orleans house every weekday around 4 p.m. to load up their gear - instruments, speakers, woofer, two deep-cycle batteries and more - into three child carriers attached to their bikes. They'd then bike down to Bourbon Street, play for two hours, pack up, then set up again on Frenchmen Street where they'd play two sets, usually ending around 2 a.m. but sometimes stretching till 4 a.m., depending on the crowd. On weekends, New Thousand would play all day.

In New Orleans, New Thousand tries to perfect its chemistry and live performance, whereas the months in Columbus provide a time to experiment, write songs for a future album and play occasional shows. "It's like a cocoon period," Jusdanis said.

Whether in the Midwest or the Big Easy, "our spirits are alive," Jusdanis said, "and I really think that comes from New Orleans."