20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask... Mark from Village Green Machine


Back again peeps! Please check this interview and the youtube video/soundcloud links below - a real treat for you all and a great guy! I do love a bit of true sixties sound and this album has had me in a trance for some time now. 

Enjoy and till next time, stay funky! - TBC

image1.JPG

image1.JPG


How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

Village Green Machine is a mixture of my favourite mid 60's influences. RETRO loud and proud, we record the music ourselves onto tape, through valves. 1966 is a key year. So many genres were at their peak, folk rock, pop, uptempo soul and r&b. What we do is shot through with a strong English sensibility, informed by the early Floyd, The Kinks, and The Zombies Odessey and Oracle LP. So it's a psychedelic brew, quaint but not twee I hope. I'm never quite sure what's in the tea urn.


Where would you say you are with your career right now?

 The last gig we did was a headline slot at The Cavern. Since then I have been looking after my mum who has Altzheimers, so not much has been happening but I'm on the cusp of getting things rolling again. I badly wanted to be a rock & roll star, but now I just want as many as possible to hear and enjoy what I do. I would like people to find the music, it 2 LPs are on ITunes, there's a video on Youtube. It's not about money or being a star, I see it as an arts project and part of that is creating something I'm happy with (although I'm never satisfied with anything I do) and part of it is about people enjoying it. That validates my life, music has been my life.


Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

Sartorial Of England, is my immediate reaction but that's still unreleased. I like that one because it's about clothes, dandyism and style. Wonderous Place by Billy Fury, is pre beat boom but it resonates with me on a deep level, because it is pure soul, wonder and beauty, pointing to somethng so deep it is beyond my understanding. Marvin Gaye's Baby Don't You Do It, on the fade out, it sounds like God really does exist, it's from another dimension.


Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

Biggest musical inspiration, gosh. Probably a musician called Dave Kusworth. I was in a band with him years ago; he meant it so, so much when he got onstage. His performance was rivetting, compelling. His songs could be delicate, like Syd Barrett or Nick Drake, but when he played rock &roll on electric guitar he was just the best performer in Britain I should think. We had a band called Rag Dolls, but then one called Jacobites. No 1 LP in German Indie charts. There's a documentary being made about him, a MOJO feature a while back. It has to be Dave.


Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

I think people might be surprised that I am influenced by Del Shannon, especially on the material I'm writing now. John Leyton is another one, and briefly I was influenced by Tiny Tim. Re Del, his mid 60's stuff was a mixture of the best mid 60's influences, 12 string guitars, tambourines and Farfisa organs, but it is below the radar, best place to be. Then he did Charles Westover, a psychedelic masterpiece.


What are you most proud of?

What am I most proud of, musically? Getting on BBC radios 2 and 6 without a plugger with my first LP, England's Dreaming Spires. Also MGMT releasing the Jacobites song Hearts Are Like Flowers on their Late Nite compilation. Tom Waits wrote about Jacobites in his autobiography, I suppose I am proud of that, to be truthful it gives me some self esteem.


In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

Have I ever done anything I've regretted to get my music "out there". To be truthful yes, playing poxy little gigs. Visiting the A&R man Saul Galpern years back was a mistake, he wasn't a pleasant guy to meet. I think, chasing people when I was desperate to be a rock & roll star was a mistake. It's degrading. I don't want to feel like a beggar anymore, I've grown up now. In all honesty, the majority of people in the music business are windbags who promise things, then let you drop. That is a rollercoaster of hope and despair, if music is your life.


What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

 Being asked at a gig if I knew any Simon and Garfunkel stuff lol.


What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

The secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians, probably has to be a mutual respect both musically, and personally. Also dependability, is this person going to show up to rehearsals, photo shoots etc.


If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

 I would very much have liked to play on a Morrissey record, and produced it, come up with the guitar line. 3 of The Smiths are on my FB "friends" list, Andy Rourke played a song of mine on his NY radio show. But the fourth member is, ofcourse, an elusive beast.


How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

At the moment my social responsibilities are geared very much towards looking after my mum, the poet LA Lemon whom it grieves me to say is suffering with Altzheimers. Her beautiful nature poems are on her Facebook page. I am virtually housebound but this works in favour of the music, in as much as I am writing at home, it's a productive period. But I can't get to rehearse. I'd really like to play the International Pop Overthrow event at The Cavern again, but it's hard to get care for my mum who has special needs.


In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

When I was a kid, I'd go into town on the bus just to buy one 45, I remember coming back with a copy of Bigmouth Strikes Again, and it was everything just to have that one 45, a real thrill. I get a similar thrill from tracking down a great 50's/60's 45 on Ebay, or, say, a Del Shannon LP. As Johnny Marr said, listening to an LP is a limited experience, you listen to it, it ends, and it's part of the day, whereas with downloads it can go on forever, like my answers:) Vinyl is tactile, literal and visual, it takes up space. The Cramps had to move house it took up so much space:) Downloading has broadened musical experience, but it has come at a price and I would be surprised if people value music as much now they can get everything for next to nothing. Vinyl sounds so amazing, especially on an old radiogram or Dansette.


Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have  a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

 Success for me now is about getting as many people as possible to hear Village Green Machine. But actually my main motivation is the music and the style associated with that, the clothes, the hair, the shoes. It sounds superficial but I have a great passion for all that.


DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

 I think a DJ's reputation should be founded upon the quality of the music he or she introduces people to, if t.hey can bring great music to people who have never heard it before, then plainy they deserve cudos. Unfortunately some very famous DJs have pllayed rubbish to people, sometimes for years on end.


To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

My most memorable gig was probably playing at The Cavern bar. I arrived late, stressed and sober, and just got up there. But when they had sorted the monitors out, we blew the roof off and people were dancing, it was great. I enjoyed Hamburg, a lot of people there.


How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

I have played live so much now I don't really get nerves. It is a very natural thing for me to perform, I love it. I'm a bit on the shy side. I find it easier to be onstage than to say hello to the neighbours quite honestly.


When did you last write something?

 I wrote a song yesterday. I never plan to write, but if there is a trauma in particular, a song can appear. They tend to be the best ones, when you're a little emotionally offkilter, and ofcourse this is a silver lining to a bad experience. The deeper shit you're in the better the song lol.


Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

 At one point I told my band, that's it. I'm leaving music. It was at the end of a rehearsal, I packed my stuff away and left. I was tired of being let down by jackass two bit nobodies (and famous record producers}, my personal life was in tatters, and so was I. But ultimately, my enthusiasm came back. I feel recharged now. I don't know what I will do live, but there is new music to release and I'm writing. I would like to say to musicians, don't make music your 100% emotional investment in life, it is not everything. Keep in in perspective. Yes, it really matters but so do other things and actually those things are what can inspire songwriting. All eggs in one basket, then the bottom falls out, that takes a big chunk out of you. Making music and enjoying style and fashion ultimately won through for me, plus the realisation that a creative approach to promotion can bring returns, is what turned my disenchantment around.


What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

 I think an audience can feel if they are being tricked by electronic intervention when a band is supposed to be playing live. People want to hear their heroes as they are, not propped up. There was an incident years ago when Victoria Beckham dropped her microphone but her singing carried on. The poor dear.


Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

I answered these questions because I am very enthusiastic to get things moving again. My dad died just as we released The Likely Girls album in 2014. We had done some promotional work, but only really getting the album out to radio DJs. So things stalled. Also Matt I much appreciated your response to my FB post. Can send some decent photos. VGM is mostly me playing the parts on the recordings, the band have been a backup to this. Please do keep me posted, I'm really looking forward to the article and hardly need say I really appreciate your support.


https://soundcloud.com/village-green-machine/











 20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted to Ask.... Billy from 

The Spitfires!

Have a look on the promo page for details on the band, links and more on the album and get yourselves out to see this lot as soon as you can!

 More energy than any band I've ever seen before and a slick mod delivery that is gonna keep people talking about them far and wide.

Keep on Keeping On! - TBC


 

How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

I'm the frontman and songwriter in a band called The Spitfires. 

Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

Just getting started. Our debut album is out in August and I'm already looking to what we will do next. 

Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

 I think our track 'Stand Down' best sums up us as a band. It's loud, opinionated, unapologetic, energetic and youthful. 

  1. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

 The inspiration for picking up a guitar was from The Jam. But bands like The Specials, The Clash, The Smiths e.t.c they all had the gang mentality and 'if you don't like it, you can fuck off' way of thinking - which is attitude we have. 

  1. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

 Not particularly - I listen to a few different styles of music but I'm won't make apologies for not having a real eclectic range of tastes. I'm into what I'm into and that's that.  

  1. What are you most proud of?

 The debut album. It really sounds exactly the way I wanted it to. We spent 6 months getting it to the standard it is and it was worth every second. 

  1. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

 No. We've always done it the way we think it should be done - always stick to your guns. 

  1. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

 To play for free. Which happens more than you would think. There's this whole attitude that we should be grateful for opportunities. It's bollocks - we have to pay for the van, equipment, roadies, accommodation. It costs a lot for a band to be able to tour and you still get these promoters who think £100 for a gig is acceptable because they can't be definite of a crowd. They should do their job and leave us to do ours. 

  1. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

 Having a clear vision. There's far too many bands sitting around thinking about doing things. Just get out there and do it man. 

  1. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

 I don't know. I don't think in that sort of way - I'm more interested in writing and playing my songs. 

  1. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

You keep them separate. It's almost like you live two lives to a certain extent.

  1. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

 Yes I do think fans are missing out on that experience. However we're of a different generation and the Internet and downloading has opened a lot of doors aswell as shut them. Being able to discover a band or song instantly on a phone is a great thing I think. However not paying for their songs or going to see them live isn't. Cos then there's no personal connection. 

  1. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have  a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

 If there's one industry where you can't have a game plan at the moment then it's music. Cos no one knows what's happening! They don't know the next phase of music, fashion e.t.c. They'll wait for one band to be successful then create a scene around it. Then it'll all be forgotten about within 5 months. What is success? People buying tickets, buying albums and coming to gigs? We've already achieved that. We just need the scale of people to keep going up and up. 

  1. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

 The DJ thing has never been my thing so I can't really answer that. I only see one side of it. 

  1. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

 We've played some great gigs as a band and I've been lucky to see some great gigs as a fan. The Stone Roses at Heaton Park stands out for me - they were just superb. 

  1. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

 A fag and a beer normally! I don't get nerves really, I just get excited. And pace the room. 

  1. When did you last write something?

 Yesterday. 

  1. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

Yeah definitely - I think that's part of the experience of trying to make it in a band. The highs are fantastic and the lows are awful. When it's fucked your social life and your relationships up and you can't get a job then it's easy to thrown in the towel. However if you get that lucky break and you just keep working and working then it's the best job in the world. 

  1. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

 I think that's been going on since 1981 mate. Some music it works and some music it don't. However I'll embrace whatever technique that gives me the best results. 

  1. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

   My management. 

Contact:

www.facebook.com/thespitfiresuk

www.twitter.com/thespitfiresuk

www.instagram.com/TheSpitfiresUK 








 

20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask... Joel from

 The Last Of The Troubadours! 


Members Joel Rogers - VOX & GUITARS Tony Marshall - VOX & MORE GUITARS Neil Amon - BVs & BASS 

Luke Jefferies - BVs & DRUMS All Tracks Written, Recorded and Produced by TLOTT.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Last-of-the-Troubadours/231392100220545?ref=ts&fref=ts



 

 1.     How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

 Quite simply, I try and write songs and make music that I enjoy. Using the many influences I have to try and and write the kind of tunes that get me going, that I like. I really think that is a great starting point. Then hopefully they appeal to one or two others too

2.     Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

The Last of the Troubadours have evolved and the current line up has a new edge and energy. After a few live shows airing a new crop of tunes we are now in the process of recording what will become the new album. I am really happy with the direction the sound of TLOTT has gone and can't wait to see what others make of it

3.     Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

Hmmm. That's a tough one! I think I would be better summed up by music as opposed to a lyric. Maybe the riff of The River Boat Song?  It's positive, driven and has a slight edge to it.. Ha. I think the same of the band, whilst I don't liken us to either band, I think the mix of the spirit sound and energy of The Faces and Kasabian. We just love playing together, making music and hope that comes through in what we do?

4.     Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

 I am constantly inspired, by so many things. I'm continually inspired by London, growing up and living in London. The sights the sounds. Musically I am slightly obsessed with George Harrison. Both Beatles and post Beatles. But there are some many great musicians and song writers that I am inspired by its hard to narrow it down

5.     Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

Michael Jackson and Kurt Cobain. In equal measure 

6.     What are you most proud of?

Musically, I am proud to see other people sing my tunes back to me at live shows. Even if it's only one person in a crowd, that's an amazing feeling

7.     In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

 I've been quite lucky on that front. Nothing. So far....

8.     What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

I was asked to cover 1 Direction recently.

9.     What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

I think you need to make sure you have a laugh and enjoy hanging out. Also, you need to be open to suggestions and ideas from others

10.  If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

 That's really hard to answer as there are I many.  I would loved to have played on Hear me Lord from George Harrison's All things must pass. It always gets the hairs on the back of my neck going. 

11.  How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

 It's not always easy but like so many bands trying to have a go, it's a lot of work to keep a band going. Again as so many unsigned band know, rehearsing, recording and dashing up and down the country for live shows costs a fair bundle and requires a lot of commitment. 

12.  In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

It could be argued that it is far easier for fans to explore and discover new music with all that the modern world offers. I'm a huge vinyl fan personally. I like to read every inch and love album artwork. I think that would be my only negative of the download. 

13.  Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have  a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

 I would say the main motivation is to create good music that hopeful interests others. The plan at the moment is to get the record finished by the end of the year, then get out with some live shoes to promote it in the new year

14.  DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

I know I upset a few with my view on this, and I regularly have this debate with DJ mates of mine. Whilst I respect the skill and creativity of DJing and the fact that any form of getting music to people can only be a positive thing, they are glorified juke boxes as far as I am concerned. I mean, it's like crediting Stephen Fry for the Harry Potter series because of the Audio books..

15.  To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

As a fan it is without doubt bunking off school to get a train to Manchester for the 1996 Main Road gig. It was just magic!! It just had everything!! It was the first time I saw OCS as they supported and it quite simply blow my mind and changed my life. As a performer, it would be The Isle of Wight festival, The 100 Club, and being invited to support The Real People, who are big inspirations of mine last month

16.  How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

 I'm fortunate to not suffer from nerves. I normally have the challenge of reducing the beer consumption level of the boys to take my mind off it

17.  When did you last write something?

 This week. I'm hoping it becomes part of the record. Has a good feel to it

18.  Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

As I said, it takes a hell of a lot of hard work to keep a band with zero financial support going so I would be lying if I said I had never had those moments. More often than not it's when a promoter is being a div or when another band on a bill is being all "Shirley Bassy" about not agreeing to sharing back line resulting in a last minute flap to get the show sorted. But then when you are sat at home and haven't rehearsed for a while and you can't wait to get back in there with the boys

19.  What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

Music is such a vast varied medium that there is space for everything. It's a merry go round of styles, trends etc and after all it has to keep evolving to keep it fresh and interesting.   

20.  Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these question?    

No problem at all, the main incentive was the £5k fee :)





 

 





2O Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask... Garry from 

Button Up!


Button Up Release their fantastic third Studio Album - Beat Street. It has 10 tracks on it with 9 originals and 1 cover of the Miles Kane anthem – Inhaler. Beat Street was Produced/Recorded and Mastered by Greg Kane (Hue & Cry) at his Red Key Studio Glasgow Feb/March 2014. A talented line up of musicians play on Beat Street and the songs were written by Garry John Kane founding member of Button Up, 4 co-writes with Singer Sara Kerr.

The Album covers the Button Up sound of mixing Northern Soul/ Hammond with big Brass sounds and great vocal melodies. The Button Up albums “No Dancin on the Tables” 2007 and “Modena” 2011 complete the wonderful musical trilogy.

Sara Kerr - Vocals/Bvs Lesley McLaren – Drums Liam Elliott - Guitars

Paul Gallagher - Pianos/Hammond Garry John Kane - Bass/Percussion/Horn arrangements and Production.

Tom Macniven - Trumpet Michael Owers – Trombone Bill Fleming – Saxophones

Davie Ritchie - Harmonica track 4 Claire Halavage - Flutes

buttonupinfo@hotmail.com

www.buttonuprecords.com

www.facebook.com/buttonupband

www.facebook.com/buttonupbeatstreet

www.twitter.com/buttonupband


 

  1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

hello beat collector thanks for asking. I'm Garry John Kane, musician and independent record label all combined bringing out my own music as Button Up and other artists i like. The label is Button Up Records.


  1. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

in a very productive phase with three releases coming out next few months, "Button Up - Beat Street", "The NewStarts - Vote Yes" and a funky mother from "The DT6 feat Paul Mills - Gotta be the change" track. keeps me busy and excited in my old age haha


  1. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

Button Up - Its A Trip" we got it spot on there.


  1. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

James Brown and Booker T and the MGs


  1. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

Toots and the maytals


  1. What are you most proud of?

Button Up - beat street was a fine moment but all recordings i do are special to me and label.


  1. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

we once "button up' agreed to play between two heavy metal bands, wasn't my best decision never sold one cd haha 300 people there. but played a blinder 


  1. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

someone asked if he could bring his son from america to visit button up records HQ. i sent him photo of the small room in my house. he never replied sorry dad


  1. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

i wouldn't know as i have been through a lot of line up changes in past 7 years. when your on it everyones together but sometimes people want to explore their own music without me breathing done their necks. try and stay friends but its an emotional thing music so hard. i try my best and have some loyal musicians who enjoy what i do. the rest i wish them well x


  1. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

Green Onions -  Booker T and the MGS


  1. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

 you just have too family come first but music is also my family?


  1. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

perfect world people go back to buying albums and enjoying the whole record on Vinyl Cd and even i-tunes etc. its not going to happen as i think peoples attention spans are now close to 1minute long. i have to endorse downloads and streaming as it does get your music everywhere but not much revenue back to invest in next albums. its a lot tougher now but we all love a challenge and this is on going


  1. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have  a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

success/motivation to me is making the music after its out there its in the hands of the public and up them to make it a success or not. every record you make has ambition and dreams but it hard to breakout unless you get a touch of luck with an advert/film or radio play. pluggers are great for getting your music to the right people but it a lot of money to hire them. £1500 a week average and no guarantees. so i have to get the albums to everyone. just part of the independent labels work 


  1. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

DJs that make their own records deserve as much as anyone but some playing other peoples music and getting more than the writer/band never sits easy with me. i Dj Northern soul sets on vinyl but get enough to buy another few records. Again the public love the big DJ nights and good luck to them and wish them well.


  1. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

my favourite recent go was "king khan and the shrines" in Glasgow waited so long to see them and blow me away thankfully. My Favourite Button Up gig ... theres been a few but the last one at the cavern club in liverpool March 2014 was special to me.


  1. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

two lines and bottle of whisky haha only kidding. i like to get away have a quiet cig then I'm calm to go on. nerves are good for you and i always get them.


  1. When did you last write something?

i just finished wiring Beat Street so on a wee roll just now. my dictaphone is full of little songs and i put them all together  at various time. my next release is a group of friends called The NewStarts and a song i wrote about the Scottish independent debate out 4th of August


  1. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

haha good timing as after beat Street i was drained. a few members left and i had to replace them in two weeks to complete our gigs. but its all worked out for the better so I'm not stressed anymore and have the mojo back thanks to the new musicians in Button Up. they saved me and can't thank them enough. 


  1. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

thats been going on for too long. accountants run things now and its all budgets and shit rather than quality. you can't beat a musician playing his instrument. Theres always something unique comes out of it. digital drumming/ bass sounds rubbish but thats my opinion others would diagree. 


  1. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

caused you asked nicely haha cheers  










 

20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask...Suzi Chunk


Carrying on 'The Groovy Uncle Show' as I'm now thinking of calling this page, next out of the traps is the very funky and flamboyant Suzi Chunk. After smashing it with the album 'Girl From The Neck Down ' she and everyones favourite Uncle (with Miss Modus of course) are preparing for the next wave.  She has a very refreshing approach to everything she does and seems to have more fun doing this whole music malarkey than most, which often makes me wonder why they bother so for that reason alone you've got to respect the chunk! Incidently, she's a well good singest an' all. 

Check the Groovy Uncle site for the latest on the album @ http://craftweb.org/web/glenn/


Peace n' R Time -TBC!


How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

I sing in bands n that


Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

I don't really class it as a career as such as I have a "proper job" - but I'm really happy with the projects I do and the people I work with/for - I try to always have fun with it



Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

'The light At The End Of The Tunnel Is The Light Of An Oncoming Train' by HMHB nah - only messing!

Tough question!



Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

The Beatles & Simon & Garfunkel taught me about singing and harmony growing up I guess, but vocally

people like Aretha Franklyn, Otis Redding, Al Green, Janis Joplin,  Etta James, Dusty Springfield and suchlike I aspire to.



Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

I'm a big fan of Dr Hook & The Medicine Show - which people tend to write off as cheesy. 

But they have some fab songs,

some of which are really funny and daft, and others really melodic and beautiful.



What are you most proud of?

I get to work with some of the best musicians around.



In the quest to get the music 'out there' have you ever done or agreed to anything you've later regretted?

Done some shocking gigs in awful places where you just think "why on earth have they even asked us here?"



What's the most ridiculous request that's been asked of you/the band?

Been asked to do loads of random not-in-any-way-funky tunes whilst gigging with my funk band 'Monkjack'. ACDC, Van Morrison etc.



What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

Mutual respect and a sense of humour. Wanting the same things.



If you could have played on one song (that you don't), what would it be and why?

Pretty much anything by Parliament-Funkadelic - hugely under-rated band in the UK I think.



How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

By not getting booked for as many gigs as I'd like :)



In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

There's definitely something lovely about vinyl, but youtube is a fantastic way of discovering new stuff, so I guess it works both ways.

We can't go back, so I guess you just have to make it work - the music industry is undergoing massive changes - we just have to ride with it.



Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have  a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

Obviously you want people to hear what you do, so a certain amount of success is necessary, and the more successful you are the easier it

is to continue doing what you love. But I don't think I have the same hunger to "make it" (whatever that means these days) as I did in my early/mid 20's.



DJ's are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it's deserved?

I think it's a mixed bag, there are some really brilliant DJ's, and there are some people getting paid wads of cash for playing other peoples records. Good and bad.



To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

As a performer it was playing Glasto dance tent with Dark Chunk, as a punter probably seeing Graham Central Station in London - awesome!



How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

Always get nerves!! I just use them as an energy once I get on stage. I think I need them.



Have you ever reached a point where you've thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

No, never! It sounds really pukey - but singing and making music feeds my soul.



What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

I think for those that have the resources and the money - real musicians and real instruments is a must. I understand why people do stuff DIY in their home studios and such-like though.

Synth horns *shudder*



Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

Cos I'm dead nice n that - and cos Groovy Uncle and me have a single out in July on shiny vinyl *nudge nudge*

 








 

20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask... Miss Modus!


After the fantastic job she did with The Link Quartet on their last album 'Hotel Constellation' I figured it was about time we asked Miss Modus to join us.

This interview consequently went walkies with the last one but I have thankfully managed to recover most of it, Google didn't deem the last four questions important enough though unfortunately (I'm hoping they unearth them at some point).

Currently working on some material with site favourite Groovy Uncle we can expect to hear a lot more from this lady.

Love n' An Elevator - TBC!

 

1.       How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

 

I am a multi style vocalalist /top liner fiction writing psychiatrist who tributes as Debbie Harry in her spare time .

 

2.       Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

 

 Right on track!  My job as a psychiatrist is perfect- diverse and specialised , I love being a doctor- at work it’s a cerebral, ‘non me-based’ life which is good respite from being a persona/Miss modus/Dirty (Debbie Harry)

With music , the past 2 years has just been so exciting. I quit a band I felt was stifling my options to express my new interests and passions in music and performance but  it was a devastating move- like leaving a long relationship. I decided to start up a ‘true to gig’ Blondie tribute act which has been more successful than I could have hoped-( The BBC is  airing a documentary about us in September , prime time slot which is awesome ) Alongside this band – which entirely about the performance as opposed to  invention I hooked up with Italian Hammond player extraordinaire  Paolo Apollo Negri. It was thanks to my previous band that he knew about me and we recorded one song in separate countries. I finally met him when we recorded another in Italy in 2012…we hit it off personally and artistically. I proposed we do something new- a  Space musical with his music and he ran with it. April 2014 saw release of Hotel Constellation. I visit Italy every 4 months or so to record /gig/eat cheese- perfect!

I am now working with song writer Glenn Prangnell AKA Groovy uncle – collaborating on his new album but will release a single under Miss Modus later this year- the music is very authentically retro, non digitally recorded, its been lovely being invited to sing someone else’s work- I’ve had to relinquish control and just let him take the music forward which has been surprisingly relaxing .

I am very excited, happy but not content as yet. I associate contentment with high risk of boredom so best avoided in my bookJ

 

3.       Which song (not necessarily yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

It depends. I see myself as more of solo artist now as im involved with a lot of different projects but if I had to pick a song which sums me up…probably Cheese Song by Eternal2Warrior (you tube doing its finest)

 

4.       Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

I really can’t pick 1.

 Vocally Julie Driscoll, Minnie Riperton, Donna Summer, Shirley Bassey, Bill Withers , Karen Carpenter, Kate Bush , Ruth Copeland, Prince They all have very unique voices and use them in really disinhibited styles whist still paying acute attention to the songs they are singing. In terms of attitude and performance I think performers such as Madonna, Kate Bush, Hugh Cornwell, Ralf Hutter, Debbie Harry, Prince are all inspirational figures- its sometimes easy to forget live music is as much about entertaining your audience as feeling the need to express yourself.  

 

5.       Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

Madonna, …and a bunch of stand up comedians such as Daniel Kitson, Russell Brand, Billy Connelly. I think the same principles of striving to perfect what you do as a singer/musician and then risking doing it live and being spontaneous apply to comedy and music. I have other academic figures who have been influential but this is about the music right ?!

 

6.       What are you most proud of?

Im proud of over coming some difficulties in my 20s which could have prevented me achieving what I have in my psychiatric career and musically. Im proud that ive managed to persue both passions without a huge amount of compromise. Im proud of my relationships with my loved ones and im proud that my house is always very very ,very clean!!

 

 

7.       In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

 

I stayed in my last band about 5 years too long. I felt id invested too much to leave. I learned a lot about myself because of that experience so I take a lot of positives out of it too.

 

8.       What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

 

I have to do a gig in ice skates later this year…..

 

9.       What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

 

Don’t be an arshole. Surround yourself with musicians you like as well as rate. Be professional and treat others with that same respect . Reciprocate good deeds and supply nice booze  and snacks post gig- even the wildest muso’s love a cheese wine hotel room party.

 

10.   If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

 

Either sang the female vocal part (Merry Clayton) in Gimme Shelter by  The Rolling Stones or sang The Medal by  Ruth Copeland – the band were made up from members of  Funkadelic and Parliament with George Clinton at the centre- wow what a tour that would have been !

 

 

 

11.   How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

 

It just comes naturally now. Neither work if the other camp isn’t doing okay so its quite a symbiotic thingy

 

12.   In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

No. I think it just a different experience. Fans of music will do both – so long as music brings pleasure its up to the listening fan to select. There is so much music around it would be impossible to physically buy /afford the access to hearing all this great stuff that’s current and historic. I love holding a record, love browsing record shops and like meeting new folk doing the same  but if I had to have everything I listen to at home it would be living in a 1m squared space. Its also really great to find stuff online that’s obscure at 2am- times have changed- its all good.  

 

 

 

13.   Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have  a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

I think it would be difficult to convince myself that being successful isn’t a motivating factor- if you want your music to be listened to by, have opportunities to tour and fund future projects its important to achieve some level of popularity/financial success. When you’re in a band you want your whole band to benefit from hard work , long hours , crap gigs, tireless promoting so a bit of recognition and reward , for me, has to be up there as a goal.

 

14.   DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

 

Im not sure its s totally different profession. like comparing successful venues or promoters to musicians. I love a great DJ!

 

15.   To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

 

Most memorable was my first ever gig with my first band. We were awful and hated every second - I was as rigid as a stuffed fox- memorable for all the wrong reasons!

 

16.   How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)

I mess about with the band- have a meal and a laugh then I clean my teeth about 3 times ….OCD channelled  nerves!!   


(To Be Continued...Potentially)





 





 

20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask... Paul from 

The Superminx 70 


Next up, and late again thanks to technology (I'm starting to think it's me) Paul R Osborne. A gentleman I have had the pleasure of seeing live earlier in the year. A very hard worker and a full on entertainer. 

Find out more here @ https://www.facebook.com/thesuperminx.70

Stay Tight - TBC!


1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

POS: I sing and play guitar in The SuperMinx’70, my “MODPUNKGLAM” band, our own foot stomping songs with catchy choruses and sloppy guitar solos!

 

2.    Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

POS: Doing quite nicely with The SuperMinx’70…plenty of live work and some recording in the pipeline, which we release on Plastic Pop Records in the summer. Got our own club night “The BuzzClub” off to a great start down here in SW19. Sponsored by Merc clothing. Lovely!

3. Which song (not necessarily yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

POS: The band…Our closing song “The Waltzer” is a pretty good picture of The SM70…captures a certain Englishness in a most jolly and jaunty way. I like Jolly and Jaunty.

Me? “Reasons to be Cheerful” by Ian Dury.

 

4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

POS: My friend, Rob Symmonds, original guitarist with Subway Sect, with The Fallen Leaves now.Inspirational musician, lovely, lovely man. When I was a kid, my friend Roy Ward, drummer with City Boy (of 5-7-0-5 fame) probably saved me from becoming a complete bleedin’ yobbo!

 

5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

POS: I’m a bloke of a certain age so lots of influences from David Bowie to Max Bygraves (honestly, his version of “Underneath the Arches” is quite beautiful). I am surprisingly fond of the Ohio Players album “Angel” which I got about 30 years ago and it’s still a groovyfavourite.

 

6. What are you most proud of?

POS: My kids. And my Church’s brogues!

 

7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

POS: I mostly regret NOT doing stuff I should have done when I was a young chap, like working harder!

 

8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

POS: “MORE!!”

 

9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

POS: Be nice.


10.         If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

POS:Spacemen 3, “Losing Touch With My Mind”…Jason and me were pals at school and it’s just an awesome piece of sonic art, wish I’d been on that.

 

11.         How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

POS: …it’s important to take your responsibilitiesseriously isn’t it? I love my music but I love my missus and my kids more.

 

12.         In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

POS: Nope. Lot of my pals are a bit ‘stuckist’ about their vinyl and that. Maybe it’s a generational thing but I think if you can move away from having to own the object it’s liberating. I’ve got tons of vinyl but I love Spotify and I’ve been able to access more new music through that than I would be able to any other way.

 

13.         Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

POS: Well it depends on your definition of success. My motivation is to keep having a nice time with friends. I have a plan for SM70, which is on course.

 

14.         DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

POS: Good ones make people happy. Fair play to ‘em.

 

15.         To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

POS: Linda Lewis at The Jazz café a couple of weeks ago gave me goose pimples. I shed a little tear when Brian Wilson did his first comeback show at The Festival Hall it was so beautiful. Spiritualized first show at Brighton Pavillion back in ’91. Meeting Mo Tucker and Sterling Morrison at Mo’s gig at the Zap Club in Brighton also ’91 was special…

 

16.         How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

POS: I do get ‘em and I don’t know how you overcome them other than getting up and doing the business.

 

17.         When did you last write something?

POS: Couple of weeks ago. “Do you remember 1974? Kicking a tin can against a garage door, I was Stan Bowles and you were Bobby Moore, and the summer days went rolling on forever…” new SM70 song, ‘1974’.

  

18.         Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

POS: I did! Gave it up completely for 15 years, didn’t even play my acoustic at home. Got totally bored with it all. Rob Symmonds persuaded me otherwise a couple of years ago and I’m loving it.

 

19.         What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instruments during recording?

POS: All good. I love my Mod so it’s disappointing that “Mod” has become a term that describes a sort of turgid retro-traditionalism. Weller getting stick for his ‘experimental’ stuff? Daft. I love his electronic business. “Keep On Keeping On” means move forward doesn’t it? Our DJ at the BuzzClub, JeffreyMunday was telling me he played some mod record at a do once and they complained. He said “but it’s the original vinyl” and they said“no mate, you’re playing the stereo, we want the mono version”!!I love electronics in music as long as it keeps the soul. Joe Meek or Kraftwerk or Bowie or Basement Jaxx all do that. There’s a smashing band now called Mountain of Love who mix trad blues with techno and dub and they’re fantastic. Can’t stand soul-less music, electronic or otherwise.

  

Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

 POS: Your winning smile! Cheers Matt! 





 





 

20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask... Paul from The Theme


Back again after yet more technical issues but finally catching up. 

First off a hot new band we're digging at HQ and are causing quite a stir on the mod circuit.

I will let them speak for themselves and you can find out more/ follow them here 

www.facebook.com/thethemelive.

KTF - TBC !


  
How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?
Traditional 5 piece band with a wide variety of influences that shine through in our music. 

Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?
We are all on a high after releasing our ep "Hits the Sky" which has seen us attract interest 
from distribution/record labels all over the world. So we are in a good place right now! 

Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?
All or nothing by The Small Faces
Because we put 100% into everything we do.

Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise).
I'm inspired by all the great bands of the modernist 60's but Ocean colour scene have got to be my biggest inspiration. 
From picking up the guitar to starting my first band.


Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?
My first love of music came around the Time of Acid House Music and a song called 'Take me away' by 2 in a room. 
Which inspired the theme song of the same name. 

What are you most proud of?
Selling out the 100 club in Oxford Street for our debut album launch. 

In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?
Not yet! We're all pretty much on the ball and enjoy getting involved in the running of the band. 

What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?
To put a big Deposit down to play a gig and if we didn't get a large number of people to come to see us then the deposit was lost. 
That kind of request is killing live music for aspiring bands.


What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?
Always agree with the songwriter!!!!


If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?
Won't get fooled again by The who 
Because they were at the top of their game both musically and as a live band. 

How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?
It's never easy juggling the two but having a very understanding and supportive family helps.


In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?
As a band or musician with Internet downloading you can get your music to a wider audience. 
But as a fan of buying music on vinyl, 
you get that sentimental attachment to the albums and a buzz when taking that record out of its sleeve
 and making them not just another song on my computer or iPod. 

Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have  a preset gameplan for your music/the band?
No gameplan for us! When me and Gary Davis (Vocals) started The Theme in my loft at home just jamming to our favourite songs. 
Playing gigs and recording music couldn't have been further from our minds. 
So we have completely exceeded our expectations. 

DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?
I'm all for keeping music live but this all depends on the genre of music you are into and DJ's can get a big crowd going just as much as watching a live band. 

To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?
Supporting secret affair on the Isle of Wight August 2013 was a great night. 

How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?
Drink plenty of strong polish larger! No, personally I don't suffer from pre-gig nerves. 

When did you last write something?
I'm continually writing songs and 2 days ago was the last one. It was called 'Such a Thrill' 

Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?
No never! We all get along as a band, most of the time anyway!!


What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?
Music is changing but it doesn't mean I have to go with the trend. I'm keeping my music completely conventional. 

Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer 
You asked me!! And it might introduce new people to The Theme.













20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask... Michael from The Truffles


Hey cats, sorry for the currently missing music players over on the homepage but we're having an insane amount of technical issues.  I'm very happy to be able to break the unfunky blackout with a new band to The Right Side! Currently shaking our rafters these guys are a very smooth bunch indeed.

We dont know much about them at all other than we like the sound of what we hear, they seem like nice peeps and they were up for this so they must be alright! You can hear a lot of what they have to offer over at www.thetruffles.bandcamp.com so what are you waiting for?


Hopefully catch you soon, stay tuned -TBC!




  1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?
 Bold and shrewd song writing for the 21st century. With heavy R&B and soul influences. We also like Jazz, Classical, Hip Hop, Rock, and various rhythms from around the world. 
  1. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?
 Doing good. Finally getting some press here and there.Trying to get more. You can get the album @thetruffingtonpost.com
  1. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?
 "Dreamin' a Little Bit of You" by The Truffles...We are obsessed with love and loneliness
  1. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?
 Short list of some of the biggest influences amongst the band members in chronological order: JS Bach, Beethoven, Charles Mingus, Stevie Wonder, Funkadelic, Steely Dan, Wu Tang.
  1. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?
 "Bach is more gangster than 2 Pac." quote from an anonymous friend of ours. 
  1. What are you most proud of?
 Containing our egos. 
  1. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?
 Breaking Jay Harris's foot. 
  1. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?
 Theme show as the Ghostbusters. Brian would of been Slimer!
  1. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?
 Patience and compromise. 
  1. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?
 The Lost Sheep(Mike), Peg(Brian), Fables of Faubus(Noah), Maggot Brain(Carlos), Hocus Pocus(Gabriel)
  1. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?
 We do our best.
 
  1. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?
 Yes. But you can certainly enjoy free music you find online.
  1. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have  a preset gameplan for your music/the band?
 We want success no doubt. Hopefully we can get it by staying true to our ears.
  1. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?
If your creating new music people might care about in a hundred years, your doing fine by us. 
  1. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?
Sweating it out @ The Home Room.  
  1. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?
 Get to the post-gig.
  1. When did you last write something?
A Truffle is probably writing something right now. 
  1. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?
 We have our ups and downs. But we'll always write music. 
  1. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?
  *See question #14. 
  1. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?
    1. Any friend of The Truffles is a friend of ours. 
  •  





     





    20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask... Smoove & Turrell 

    Wahey monkeys, I'll let you in on a very badly kept secret! When all this started up there were 5 bands I especially wanted on this page and that's now been fulfilled. If you're a regular here you will know that Smoove & Turrell crop up like a funky 8 ball all over the mixes and that's cos frankly I can't get enough of them (check the Tracks tab if you don't believe me). Right from the first time I heard Smoove I was hooked and as soon as he linked up with the soulful Turrell that was it...job done! If you don't know the music these guys make together then I urge you to check it out and begin a magical journey! 

    Many thanks to them both for climbing aboard and long may the funk be with you!
    (Photo courtesy of Tim Schnetgoeke www.schnetgoeke.com )

    Soul n' Ting -TBC



    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?


    Smoove: Primarily its modern soul music we make with a touch of hip hop production to it. john is the soul and I’m the funk but we tend to drift between many styles like jazz ,disco , Latin, rhythm and blues and northern soul etc
    Turrell: For me it's all about the live presence most soul bands try to be as slick as possible suites to boots, I like to think we are more about the music the energy, soul with a punk ethos.


    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?


    S: Probably a lot higher than i ever imagined I would be but when you reach your goal, the goal posts always seem to move a bit further away!
    T: I've got to admit without my Smoove or his Turrell we would still just be plodding along under the radar but  I think and hope we bring the best out of each other. Its import an to constantly re-evaluate your goals though it keeps you on your toes, hungry.


    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?


    T: It's got to be Beggerman, i think this is what we are about, creating a lot with very little. We are not a band that has had luxury and money thrown at it, the lads do it for very little cash but we have a great time.


    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?


    S: There’s too many to list really but top of the list for me is James Brown , The Pharcyde, Pete Rock, Large Professor, Tribe , De La Soul, Quincy Jones, Marley Marl ,Jazzy Jeff and Cash Money.
    T: Its the good old hardest question in the world, the great thing with music is that depending what mood and surroundings your in your inspiration can be completely different even on the same record from one listen to the next. I love everything from Tom Waits to Led Zeppelin and further anything where there is craft really.


    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?


    S: I collect vinyl and have over 20,000 records so there’s plenty of stuff in there to surprise myself, never mind other people.
    T: I really like a bit of KD Lang she's got a great voice.


    6. What are you most proud of?


    6S: My new baby boy Floyd he’s proppa mint and every time I complete an album is a very special feeling!

    T: Much the same as Smoove its got to be my three lovely daughters Isla, Charlie and Georgie.



    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?


    never ...S: I don’t regret anything I just move on. (Apart from question 8)
    T: You can't regret things you've just got to learn from them and believe me i'm constantly learning day in day out haha


    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?


    S: To play a cover version of Bruno Mars for Simon Gregson’s wedding (Steve in Coronation Street)...we did it anyway hahahaha!
    T: The band done it, I sloped off and let Simon and his lovely wife sing it so I think I am vindicated of the Bruno Mars saga!!! haha


    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?


    S: Generally in the studio we tend to work on a one to one basis that way there is no distractions. Most of the musicians I work with are very open minded and willing to exchange ideas and make sense of my bad mumbles.
    T: I think we try to be as fair as possible from how much the lads put in and what credit they get to the wages they get from shows, if everything is clear the rest is easy.  


    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

    S: Don’t stop till you get enough! The orchestral elements are so sick!

    T: White Room by The Cream these lads knew how to play!!!



    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?


    S: As a self employed label owner/producer/dj it’s a fine balance to keep swimming above water but being a husband & father helps keep my feet on the ground!
    T: Its hard, I don't think I've stopped for the last 5 years, away working every weekend then back to full time work on Monday and family life on top it leaves very little time to create music so I'm over the moon at what my self and Smoove get done.


    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?


    S: I don’t buy mp3s I still buy vinyl although I think there is about 7 other people left in the world that do likewise. However I think down loading is part of mans musical evolution so work with it and don’t fight it! If fans really want the product they will buy the album or the t shirt!


    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?


    S: The very opposite in fact, I feel more pressure as we are gaining success but music is created from the soul not from a bank statement! We don’t really have a game plan it’s just to continue with our sound and hope we can deliver to our fans and make new fans along the way.


    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?


    S: Well I’m a dj and a producer so I would have to say yes if you’re doing both !
    T: As Smoove said yes Ive watched him cart his vinyl all over europe but he's playing the music he loves.


    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?


    S: Recently we played Brussels and everyone in the audience was singing all the words to slowdown it took our breath away to say the least! The most memorable gig so far for smoove and turrell was a dj/pa set we did at big chill festival in 2009 bloody incredible as we got so many gigs off the back of that gig!


    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?


    S: I’m lucky I don’t get them as I tend to not over think before a performance.
    T: I very rarely get them to be honest but its nothing a little port can't get rid of.


    17. When did you last write something?

    S: I write the blogs on our website if that counts? www.smooveandturrell.com im also writing a new album with Turrell which is very exciting!!!
    T: Im busy writing a project with my good friend Nick Faber so I'm full of busy


    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?


    S: I think things should have a natural ending but I’ve never had to walk away from anything as I usually like to see things through. Saying that, we did hit a few stumbles when we recorded its the falling in love (Michael Jackson cover version) we did for the BBC where i almost quit 3 times but got there in the end ...it’s actually on our last album!
    T: The way things are in the industry it does make you think why am i putting myself through this but then something great will happen and its like yes, better just keep going then.


    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instruments during recording?


    S: I don’t use a great deal of electronica just the basics to record and produce but I’m very open minded about the whole thing and think there all instruments in their own right. Just like a turntable can be used in its own way!


    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?


    S: I like to think someone reading this will be inspired to make music?
    T: Smoove made me haha




    20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask... Lack Of Afro


     With new album 'This Time' all loaded and ready to roll (hit the Promo page to see the video of the new single) we figured it was way beyond time that we brought you a catch up with one of our top artists! Lack Of Afro has been highly featured on TBC's selections and continues to blow us away with his releases and remixes. One of the funk scene's top 'name' DJ's and a much lauded recording artist in his own right, Lack Of Afro seems to get it just right everytime. Frankly kids, if anyone told me that any track sampling The Small Faces would not only be acceptable but regularly spun at HQ I'd have pointed them straight to the door , like I said he gets it right everytime. If you dont already know Lack Of Afro I urge you to check him out... it's life changing stuff kids! A big thanks to Adam for playing ball  and if you can't wait for the release (Sept 26) to hear the album then head on over to Mixcloud and check it out!!

    Love n' Funk - TBC


     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated? I'm a record producer, remixer, musician and DJ. A jack-of-all-trades I guess...and master of none. I'm always learning.

     

    1. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now? I'm in a good place. After a lot of hard work, I think I've finally got the right approach to the processes that go into making the music that I want to make. I'm producing other artists, got side projects on the go and am collaborating with some amazingly talented individuals. Yeah, I'm definitely in a good place.

     

    1. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why? "I Got Ants In My Pants (And I Want To Dance)" No explanation needed...

     

    1. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?Musically I cant look much beyond James Brown. His sound, energy and 100%, balls-out commitment to the cause y'know? I also get inspired reading about old jazz musicians, struggling to make ends meet in what was an amazingly creative time. The hours they put in and the sacrifices they made, just to do what they loved to do were incredible.

     

    1. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why? It may seem weird but I dont actually listen to a lot of funk in my spare time anymore. Its overkill for me and then it becomes detrimental to what I'm trying to achieve when I produce tracks. I need that freshness. Actually I probably listen to more electro, soul and jazz in my spare time and they have been big influences recently. I keep my ears open.

     

    1. What are you most proud of? I'm proud of everything that I do. I've got to be, otherwise I'd be cheating both myself and the people who buy my records by putting it out. Currently, I'm most proud of the album thats just about to hit the shelves, "This Time". Its the best record I've written.

     

    1. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted? Absolutely. I was persuaded by a label-head (who shall remain nameless but he knows who he is) to "produce" an album by a new signing of theirs. He convinced me it'd be good exposure at that point in my career. I worked my bollocks off on it, and he paid me next to nothing. He knew all along that it would do me no favours, but suckered me right into doing it anyway. I was naive, I should never have listened to him and I learnt my lesson.

     

    1. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band? I get ridiculous requests all the time. However, it is as a DJ that it really gets stupid. I lose count of the number of times people request "something we can dance to". I'm a DJ who plays funk/soul/latin/beats - you'd think that the whole point would be to get people on the floor right? I did a wedding recently and I must've been asked for "anything by the Black-Eyed Pes" about 8 times. I've been known to get a bit angry...

     

    1. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians? Mutual respect - you can hear it come through in the music.

     

    1. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?"Stupidity" by Solomon Burke. One of my favourite soul tracks of all time - it makes you feel real good.

     

    1. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities? Its always tough. As many people will tell you, music is all-consuming and consequently it can be hard to achieve the right balance. Fortunately I have a very understanding girlfriend and an amazing family who know how important it is to me. That said, I think I'm pretty good at seperating the two most of the time.

     

    1. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience? Definitely. I dont care what people say - holding a physical copy of an album that you've just spent your hard-earned cash on is SO much more rewarding than just hitting a button and downloading a load of one's and zero's. Its the way of the world I guess, and I cannot deny the conveniance of mp3s. However, you'll never convince me that downloading is better than actually buying a physical copy. Apart from anything else, I feel you get so much more out of an album that you've bought as opposed to one that you've downloaded. Its just the way it is.

     

    1. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have  a preset gameplan for your music/the band? It depends on how you define 'success' I guess. If I wanted my music to be heard by millions of people and have riches beyond my wildest dreams, then I wouldnt be writing the kind of music that I do! I know funk & soul is a niche market, but for better or worse its one that I am incredibly passionate about. It exists because the poeple who love it support it to the full and I'm very grateful that they do. You get the bullshitters and timewasters that you get in any other part of the music industry, and that makes it hard sometimes, but ultimately my gameplan hasnt altered: to make the best music that I can and to be the best producer that I can be.

     

    1. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved? I used to think DJs were over-hyped and over-paid. To a certain extent some still are, but being a DJ myself, I can appreciate the amount of hard work that goes into putting a good set together. Not only that, but all the travel and waiting around in airports and hotels can be a killer. At the end of the day, its entertainment, its showbusiness, so if they pull in the punters and make a shedload of money for the promoter, then they deserve to be paid well for it. I always have more respect for DJs who produce their own material mind you.

     

    1. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)? Its hard to split them, but coincidentally they happened at the same festival. DJing at The Big Chill was amazing, then I saw The Black Seeds at the same festival. I didnt think they'd be as good as they were - they blew me away.

     

    1. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)? I dont think there is a cure. If you get nervous, you get nervous - simple as that really. The only way to get rid of them is to start playing. Dutch courage can work, but it can also backfire spectacularly...

     

    1. When did you last write something? Today. I try and follow John Williams's advice of writing something everyday, even if its just a few bars. Its amazing what can happen when you're not feeling creative.

     

    1. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)? Frequently - doing this as a full-time job can be soul-destroying at times - its a hard business, your mind is active 24/7 and sometimes there's no escaping it. There have been times when I think about going back to a regular 9 to 5. But then I remember - I love doing what I do and I'm very lucky to be able to do it. When its good, its 100 times better than any 9 to 5 can possibly be!

     

    1. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording? Everything in its place - if thats what the track needs, then I dont care whether its made by animal, mineral or vegetable! I listen to a lot of electro anyway so its all good with me, you're probably asking the wrong person! It really does depend on what music you're producing and what is right for the track.

     

    1. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?No problem - its always good to talk :-)

     www.lackofafro.com

     

    20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask... 

    Neil J. from Stone foundation


    Hello again funkers, I have no excuses as to why I haven't asked these groovers to step up before, it's a poor show!  Stone foundation have collaborated with the likes of 'Right Side' stalwarts The Undisputed Truth's Joe Harris (also of course from The Fabulous Peps), Steve Calloway (The Proffesionals ) and the legend that is Nolan Porter. They already have three albums including the sublime 'Away From The Grain' under their respective belts and the new album 'The Three Shades Of Stone Foundation' (described as an introduction to the band) is due to drop on 26th September 2011.  Frankly, any band that claims to be 'the sound of the small town soul' is gauranteed to rock this cat's noggin' and a chance encounter on a social network has now brought this awesome 8-piece powerhouse to you via The Right Side Of Funky!

    Peace 'n Luck - TBC



    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

              The sound of the small town soul.........

    1. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

               Our adventures in the underground seem to be coming up for daylight, thing's are on the up.

    1. Which song (not necessarily yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

               Tracing paper "United we stand, divided we fall" always strikes me as the bands call to arms, and a great song to play live.

    1. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

               Pete Williams (dexy's ex bass player) and an inspirational gig some years back in Birmingham, thanks pete.

    1. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

               Song's from the studio sound system can include anyone from - Family to Kokomo, Frankie Miller to The Sugar Hill Gang, Van Morrison to The Fairfield Four, Love and the Amorphous Androgynous.........I could go on and on, our taste's are wide ranging.

    1. What are you most proud of?

               To Date, i'd say the new record "The Three Shades of Stone foundation", working with artist's like Nolan Porter and Joe Harris (The Undisputed truth) was a great thrill for us.

    1. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

               To quote Mr Walker "No Regrets" we never compromise the band or the music

    1. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

               Joe wanted us to cover "Fear of the dark" by Iron Maiden, that was a step to far :)

    1. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

               Understanding and friendship

    1. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

               Syl Johnson's "Concrete Reservation" at the moment anyway, taken from "Is it because i'm black" an astonishing record, to sit in on any of those soul records would have been amazing.

    1. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

               We have very understanding families, we're very lucky in that respect.

     

    1. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

              I would always want the physical experience that vinyl or cd's give you, the credit's, the artwork, the sleeve notes, our new record has sleeve notes by one of our favourite authors Paolo Hewitt (you wouldn't get that with a download) and record shop's, we spend hours in those places, looking for that hard to find gem. I understand the need for downloads, but we all seem in too much of a rush nowadays.

    1. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have  a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

              I think writing, recording and performing is our main motivation, what comes along with that, comes along. As for gameplans, thing's are that busy at the moment we're just going from gig to gig really, the next big thing on the horizon is supporting The Specials on their UK tour in october, we're all really looking forward to that one.

    1. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

               We live in a celebrity culture these days, and their doesn't seem to be much back bone to anything in the mainstream, i can't blame people for getting it while they can, but who really wants to hear a dj who plays hardly any records and just talks about themselves for hours, i listen to very little mainstream radio.

    1. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

               As a fan Bruce Springsteen and the e street band "The rising tour", as a band the last time we played the 100 club was especially fantastic, that's a wonderful venue.

    1. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

               When the light's go on they always seem to disappear.

    1. When did you last write something?

                Yesterday

    1. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

                At the moment we seem to have to much on to think straight, The new record's out in september, the specials tour in october/november and we're already putting plans together for bringing Nolan Porter back over in 2012 along with a few other collaborations we have in the pipeline, it's a really exciting time, and some of the dark days of SF seem a million miles away.

    1. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instruments during recording?

               As long as it's a Monotron we don't mind

    1. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?
     It seemed rude not to
     
    "The Three Shades of Stone foundation"
    Love, peace and happiness
    Neil Jones









      20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask....

    THE BONGOLIAN!

    With album number 4 'Bongos For Beatniks' iminent (May 9th) Nasser Bouzida from Big Boss Man aka THE BONGOLIAN  has taken time out to blow the cobwebs with a Q&A. The new album is a scorching assault on the eardrums and the heavyweight funky sound to our summer kids. He puts it best in his own words so with a quick nod to Dave @ Planet Mondo and the cats @ Blow Up Records for being legends....l give you THE BONGOLIAN! ( Oh and cheers Nass, it's funny as)!.

    Beats n' Bongos - TBC

     

     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?         100% Heavy Bongo Vibes, Big Beats with Vintage keyboard sound scapes

     

    1. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?        In the Garden

     

    1. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?     If you want to some it up in one song I guess Its The Riviera Affair from the new album but the best and nicest way Ive heard the sound described was form a review in a magazine that had all my heroes in one band playing together, I think it was Brian Auger, Ray Barretto and Jean Jaques Perry all on psychedelic space Holiday freakin out. 

     

    1. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?  Bernard Perdie and Colin The Caretaker

     

    1. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?    Elvis because most people dont know Ive been to Gracelands

     

    1. What are you most proud of?  my new Loafers

     

    1. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?  If there were more Ladies in the music business then I would have gladly done anything but they are mostly men so sadly no.

     

    1. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band? where a headset mic (like Phil Collins wore) onstage

     

    1. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?  Drink

     

    1. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why? Bohemian Rhapsody as Ive always seen myself as a sort of lo budget Freddy Mercury.

     

    1. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities? I didnt get married luckily

     

     

    1. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?    Yes I think that finding out about good music was more difficult and you had to be part of a scene and go to special clubs to hear these tunes that you can now stay in and download for free at home and I think thats a bit sad.

     

    1. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have  a preset gameplan for your music/the band?  Success? what success;) hhmm, the game plan is to always try and make the perfect album which can never be done so your always chasing a dream but thats part of the fun, as soon as you've released one record you are thinking about the next.   The next thing im working on is getting my studio finished to start inviting friends to record in Wales          
    2. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?   i think they should stick to DJ ing

     

    1. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?   playing the euro ye ye festival in Gijon with Bog Boss Manin early 2000

     

    1. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)? a bottle of chilled white wine and a massage

     

    1. When did you last write something? Last week I wrote a shopping list for a barbecue 

     

    1. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)? When music is your life it never crosses your mind and im lucky enough to have friends who are also musicians that hang around together, Trev and Scott from Big Boss Man are two of my best friends so it makes it very easy to make music and party

     

    1. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording? I miss the days when you booked a professional studio and rehearsed for weeks before, it was much more of a special event that you all experienced together, thats missing alot with todays way of recording the plus side is that you can work on the same project in different places and sit and try out mixes in bed on your laptop if you so choose

     

     

     

    1. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?  you asked them






      20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted  Ask.... Nick Corbin from ToNew Street Adventure!

    Hot on the heels of the release of their new EP ' Just The Kind Of People' Nick has kindly taken time out to fill us in on what kind of people New Street Adventure are. I had the pleasure of checking 'em out at the 100 club recently and was blown away...keep up the good work fellas!

    Peace n' Soul - TBC

    How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?
    The new way to listen to soul music! Classic style and structure with a modern and distinctly British twist!


    Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?
    We're in the right place musically, the hard part is getting people to hear it, then we're sure things will start to kick off for us
     
    Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?
    My songs are all very personal so in a way they all sum me up but to sum myself and the band up it would be "The Big AC". It's about my Dad taking me to the 100 club all-nighter for my first real taste of Northern Soul. I wanted there to be a mystique for most people around the subject of the lyrics as a lot of them were written with the soul crowd in mind; the song is littered with Northern Soul references and the opening line "whoever thought standing here would be a waste of time" is graffiti in the 100 club toilets. We also took the title for the E.P from this song as "I think we're just the kind of people to make this thing last" sums up our intentions perfectly!    
    Bobby Patterson's "Soul is Our Music" is a bit of an anthem for us: "soul is our groove, even the way we dress and the way we move", love it!


                                              Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?
    Musically it's a toss up between Curtis Mayfield (particularly the Impressions) and Bobby Womack. I know a lot of people will be expecting me to say Weller, but I don't listen to him. My experience there goes as far as a "Best of The Jam" CD! I think we have similar influences and ideas and perhaps that's why people compare me to him? I don't mind it, I just think if he was my guiding light my songs would be a lot more boring, like watered down
    versions of his if that makes sense?        


                 Other than that, I know it's a bit cliche or whatever but if my Dad hadn't brought me up listening to soul, my head wouldn't be full of these ideas all the time so I'd have to say he's my biggest influence! 

                
    Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?
    Maybe somebody like Alex Turner. When Arctic Monkeys came on the scene I was so impressed by his lyrics and still am to this day. I think his style was what gave me the idea not to just sing about girls and love etc and also not to sing in a faux-American accent!
     
    What are you most proud of?
    This E.P! I've wanted New Street Adventure to expand for so long and although it remains a smaller core, the musicians playing with us allow us to bring out the soul that's always been in our songs! Working with Noel was amazing, I don't think many people could have done as good a job because he and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to songwriting/arrangements.


     
    In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?
    I know it's boring but no, not that I can think of!


     
    What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    By The Monto Water Rats in Kings Cross, wanting us to spend 400 quid on 50 tickets for the James Taylor Quartet, in return for an opening slot, when we'd already opened up for them in Brighton two weeks previously. This sort of thing still happens and it's bollocks. They're the promoters, not us, it's just lazy.


     
    What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?
    Being open-minded. It's easy with us because we've only ever played as a three piece, so now we have all these musicians to add to our songs we're like kids in a playground! I think when there are no egos involved things go really smoothly as well.


     
    If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?
    The Valentinos- Sweeter than the day before. Not only is Bobby Womack involved but it's one of my favourite stomping Northern Soul songs ever. It never lets up, just keeps swelling and swelling and the vocals are incredible. We cover a few Bobby Womack songs but I know my limits and I can't sing this one!


     
    How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?
    It's very hard. I put music first, even though I still have a full time job. Luckily my boss is very understanding!
     
     
    In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?
    Yes and no. I still like to own something tangible but it's great that someone can listen to us within 30 seconds of being told about it!


     
    Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have  a preset gameplan for your music/the band?
    I guess success is my motivation really as the more I do, the more fun I have. There's no game plan apart from to take things as they come and treat everything that does come our way cautiously and with respect. It's a business after all and everything, especially at this stage needs to be handled properly if we are to be successful


     
    DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?
    I guess so as you always remember who played you a record for the first time!


     
    To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?
    As a performer, when we supported JTQ in Brighton in March and Noel and I duetted on Bobby Womack's (If you don't want my love) Give it back. We also played with Mayer Hawthorne in Birmingham last May, which was amazing, although the crowd weren't as good!                             As a fan there's no question it was seeing The Impressions first ever performance in the UK in May 2008 at the Northampton Soul Weekender. I'm not ashamed to admit I had tears in my eyes for most of it!


     
    How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?
    Apart from thinking about the excitement of walking through the crowd after our set, whiskey!

     

     
    When did you last write something?
    Last week I finished off a new ballad-type song called "Foolish Once More" and an underground funk style tune called "Hunted". We'll be playing at least one of them at the 100 club on the 21st April!

     


     
    Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?
    It's crossed my mind. When we finally found Ashley in January, I'd been looking for a new bass player for about 6 months. We'd had countless people "interested" who either weren't quite right or didn't turn up to auditions and I was thinking we'd never find someone, then we found the perfect guy just in time! Meeting Noel and having the recording of the new EP to think about was the only thing that kept me going I guess


     
    What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?
     It'll never be quite as good but it makes things so much easier, for example you can record hammond,  rhodes, piano and string parts on just one keyboard, which is a lot cheaper and more convenient than having the actual instruments.
     


     
    Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    They allow for the type of answers people want to hear whether or not they are fans of the band in question. It's always interesting to hear where music comes from and why it is like it is!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask.... Chris Corsale (and Brendan O'Connell) from The Right Now!


    S'been a while cats but I've popped back round with something special for ya - these guys have been rocking my noggin' for a while now and it's time we learnt a little more. They've kindly agreed to resssurect the ole formula for us and do the QnA honours, mainly Chris the guitarist but with a little assistance from Brendan on the songwriting front. Fascinating and funky stuff as you'll see for yourself. Their album 'Carry Me Home' is a stonker peeps - get it before the rest of the pack and stay on top! Don't forget to check these guys on myspace @ www.myspace.com/therightnowmusic.  Much thanks and respect to the band and Brendan in particular for sorting this.  Thanks for the funk folks!

    Love n' being back - TBC



    How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

    I'd say it's hard to just say we're a soul band with a straight face, but we're a pop band with a lot of soul. We're definitely part of the soul revival movement that's going on, but there's enough contemporary pop and R&B in our sound to make sure we don't get left behind when the movement wanes.

     

    1. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?
    Tip of the iceberg. We've hit some major milestones (opened for big names or folks we admire like Otis Clay, Jamie Lidell; had our album pressed as a 12" LP, etc), and we all feel a strong sense of accomplishment, but from day one we've dreamed big. We have yet to go full-time on the road, and we're still measuring our success by who we're opening for, not how many nights in a row we can sell out a headlining show. We have a ways to go.


     

    1. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?
    "Nobody," track 2 on our album, has a really nice balance of the band's elements. Stylistically it's equal parts Al Green and Alicia Keys, and I think it's the song that allows our old-school uptempo tunes to coexist with the neo-soul slow jams on our record. 



     

    1. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise?)
    That's tough - we all have our own heroes within the band. Stevie Wonder, as a songwriter, is the master of mixing R&B with pop; Bill Withers has a way of writing like he's talking to you across a kitchen table. Our keyboardist and primary songwriter Brendan has strong roots in Americana and the blues; I think that's why there are so many stories in his songs. Stef brings some Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys to the table. Yeah, it's tough to nail down just one.

     

    1. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?
    There's a folk and country element lurking behind our R&B sound that might surprise some folks. Wilco, Joe Pug, Graham Parsons, and others all find their way into the songwriting, if not the finished arrangements. When Brendan writes a song and emails a demo to the rest of the band, it often sounds like a country tune - part of that is the way he sings it, and part of it is the lyrics and the structure of the tune. He's got a gift for stating difficult truths plainly, and I think that's a country/blues thing.

     

    1. What are you most proud of?
    We have a lot to be proud of, but at this point, I'm proud that I can hand someone a CD or invite them to our show without having to qualify or apologize for anything. Our music may not change your life, but you probably won't have that feeling of "oh boy, here's my friend's crappy band" afterward.

     

    1. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?
    I'm always nervous that we're annoying all our friends on Facebook/twitter etc. I don't want another MySpace episode, where everybody leaves because the bands just took over and ruined it with over-promotion. We try to temper our postings, and hopefully we're not driving anyone away with overactivity.

     

    1. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?
    I don't think this counts as ridiculous, but we were hired for a wedding once, and played Hava Nagila. Jonny Hats played the melody on clarinet, and almost passed out by the end because it kept getting faster and faster and seemed to go on forever. 

     

    1. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?  
    You gotta be on the same page. Getting a band off the ground involves way more sacrifice than most people realize, but it's doable as long as we all have our eye on the same prize. Not that the band has to be a total democracy, but as long as we all have a similar understanding of why we're doing what we're doing, the rest kind of falls into place. 


    1. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?
    One song in musical history....hmmm. I love that Steve Miller's "Take The Money And Run" doesn't have a guitar solo in it, but in lieu of a solo there's a lot of aimless banging away at the chords. I would've liked to get a nice George Harrison-style solo in there. 

     

    1. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

     It varies between band members - we run the gamut from "I'll sacrifice nearly anything to make it to this gig" to "I'll sacrifice absolutely anything to make this gig."  We all have some kind of job/income outside the band, but each job is pretty flexible - several of us teach music lessons or pick up gigs during the week. Our girlfriends (for the half of us that have them) and Stef's husband are beyond supportive and understanding. In some cases they sacrifice as much as we do, but we're the ones that get the payoff. 


     

    1. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

    It's better and it's worse. For a band in our position, it's a real benefit to have one's music accessible to so many people...word of mouth has become really streamlined. Retweeting, inviting friends to our shows via Facebook, reaching tons of people all at once - that's the Utopian version of the internet. On the flipside, I think our album is a really solid cohesive piece of work, and I doubt that people are consuming it that way. A lot of time, you just hope someone downloads your track for free and it pops up on shuffle two years later, making them say "This ain't bad; I wonder where it came from."  



    1. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have  a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

    For me personally, it's a combination of success and success-as-a-means-to-an-end that provides motivation. The "end" being the artistic possibilities that are opened up for successful bands. When you have a fanbase that trusts you and wants to see what your next move is going to be, it's very freeing -- see what it's done for Andrew Bird. And really, I'd rather be doing stuff for this band (playing gigs, writing blogs, screenprinting tote bags, writing setlists, etc) than just about anything else, so anything that moves me in the direction of doing that full-time is huge motivation. As for a preset plan, we have some items we wanna cross off the list (making our living exclusively off the band is a big one; touring full-time, touring Europe & elsewhere), but really we're still just going full steam ahead and seeing what happens at this point.



    1. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

    DJs who make something new out of something old are musicians in my book. In a post-Girl Talk world, it's hard to deny that originality can shine in DJ's work. I think DJs are part of the puzzle; lyricists will always have a job to do even if DJs were to take over the music scene.


     

    1. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

    This past month has seen some doozies. Sharing a bill with Otis Clay and Tre Williams in Brooklyn (Southpaw, 8/6/10) was basically a schooling session for us. Playing with Dan Dyer and JT & The Clouds (Lincoln Hall, Chicago, 7/31/10) was fantastic, as was watching Dan and Stef sing a duet. And our CD Release Party in Chicago (Lincoln Hall, 3/19/10) was one that we'll never forget. We'd booked this big-ish venue hoping for the best, and when we stepped onstage we saw the place full and cheering for us - a real dream come true. 



    1. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

    I'm not sure we get them so much anymore. When we play a big or important show, Brendan will often huddle us up and give a pep talk. A lot of love goes around before we step on stage.  



    1. When did you last write something?

    CHRIS:  Brendan's a pretty consistent songwriting machine. Either he's got two or three songs in the works, or if the band is really really busy with administrative stuff, he's got just one new song. I'm just the opposite - I'll pump out one little germ of an idea every other month, maybe - some of which turn into songs; many of which do not. 

    BRENDAN: Actually Stef and I just wrote a tune today. I started out with a sampled beat (the drum loop that starts "I Need You" on Alicia Keys "As I Am") and added some wurlitzer, acoustic guitar, and percussion. Stef came over on her lunch break and we collaborated on the vocal melody...no words just yet. I think this will be the first up tempo, contemporary r&b tune that we'll have in the arsenal. 



    1. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

     It's way too early in the game for that. There have been fleeting moments where I thought "Man, we're giving up a lot to make this band work," but it's always been worth it.



    What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?


    We're comfortable with a certain amount of electronics, and feature a decent amount of programming, synths, drum machines etc on our album. Pitch correction can be a touchy area, but I don't agree with the people who say it's going to ruin popular music. They said the same thing about synths, sampling, and drum machines, and we're doing just fine.  

     

     

    1. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?
    We're not too big on the "mystique" factor. We like letting fans in behind the scenes. Also, we're not yet in a position to turn down any exposure, especially if we don't have to wear chicken suits and hold a Bud Light sign over our heads.


     


    20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask...Candice Monique 


    I was lucky enough recently to get my mitts on the album 'In My Soul' by Candice Monique & The Optics and was knocked out with her vocals. Smoother than a baby's whatnot and not a million miles away from my favourite chanteusse Prema. Nice. Anyway I happened to mention that I was checking it out somewhere on something and low and behold...as usual you guys struck lucky. Everything you need to know is in the answers or can be found over on her myspace page....check it out cos she's one funky lady and she's certainly worth checking out so I'm posting the press release from the album over at the reviews page as well as a link to the tunes over on soundcloud! Ohh and thanks Candice!

    Love n' fizzbombs - TBC


    How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?
    Hmmmmm – well as a genre we’re hard to classify, I guess you could say the music is a fusion of old school soul, neo-soul, funk, jazz, blues, acoustic folky stuff and spoken word. As far as songwriting goes, we’re pretty organic, its usually about the point I’m tryna make lyrically or the need to get that melody out that’s been circulating in my brain or allowing ‘train of thought’ style creativity when I hear Mikey Chan’s guitar riffs  n then takin that to the band n letting each of them do what they ‘hear’ as opposed to ‘lets make a song that sounds like this’ so I think that comes thru in the music and hence why we don’t really fit in any ‘classification’.  We like to improvise, every show includes one or two ‘jams’ and I read anew poem to it or improvise vocals and harmonies with my girl on keys. That’s pretty much it, we just make music that we dig.
     
    Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?
    At the bottom of the mountain looking forward to the amazing heights we plan to climb, but then I felt like that three years ago too! Maybe that says more about my ambition than it does about where we’re at. I feel like we are finally coming into our own now, our feet firmly planted, knowing who we are now as a band, solid in our ever evolving state and ready to start REALLY slammin this….. now the album is comin out, so even though we’ve been thru so much already, its just the beginning of what I instinctually feel will be a hell of a journey.
     
    Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?
    That’s a hard question! Um? ???????????? I don’t think the band will agree with this but personally I’d say ‘Still here’ by Jill Scott, those lyrics just came to my head when thinking about this, ‘and even if you don’t recognize my presence, I am still here’ because that’s how this band has always moved, like its own entitiy, didn’t matter if we were playing to 3 people or 3000 people, we just do what we do. And no matter what’s come up or what life changes any of us have gone thru, the band and the music just kept on almost of its own accord, with each of us taking the lead at some point. Its like the music knew its destiny to get out there and just humbly continued regardless, like a monk peacefully journeying across time regardless of the chaos going on around it. And that’s nothing to do with the sound, that’s just the feeling I get when I think of our journey over the last 4 years as a band. It had a conciousness of its own and a sense of steadfastness about it that I cant really explain
     
    Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?
     I’d have to say Me’shell Ndegeocello. My mother had me listening to Peace Beyond Passion and Plantation Lullabies since I was a teenager. I’ve always said that if there was any artist I aspired to be like its Me’shell. She’s the reason I do spoken word, listening to her albums was how I learned to harmonise, singing harmony parts along with her voice. I love her rawness, her poetry, what she does with her vocals within her range is phenomenal. I love the fact that her music is so timeless, you could listen to an album of hers and have trouble picking what year it as made because it follows no trends, I love her political expression, I love her romantic expression, I love her musicality, I love her diversity, I love her funk, I love that she came full circle with Comfort Woman and revisited certain vocal and melodic themes cos is shows me that the music is just who she is and like a train of thought style expression of it all as she’s going through it. I love everything about her music and to this day get my hands on every album she releases! If I ever got to meet her I think I’d be incredibly star-struck!
     
    Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?
    I think a lot of my influences would surprise people, growing up, my parents played a great diversity of music. My step-father went thru a stage of listening to nothing but Dépêche Mode for about 6 weeks! He listened to Pink Floyd, Supergrass, Bran Van 3000, Jeff Buckley, Macy Gray…everything! Mum listened to everything from Michael Jackson to Nenah Cherry to Sam & Dave to Billie Holiday to Classical to the soundtrack to Southpark. My dad listened to a lot of different music too like Directions in Groove, UTE, Brownstone, Christine Anu and my step-mother was a big Madonna fan but also loved Ella Fitzgerald and K.D. Lang. All of that influenced me. I think there’s a lot of people in Australia who feel they might come off as more authentic if they try to claim that they lived in a bubble of credible influences as a child and only ever heard classic soul, funk and jazz music. You get the usual list ‘Al green, Curtis Mayfield, Billie Holiday, Stevie wonder blah blah’  Living here in Australia I believe it’s impossible to have lived in such a bubble. Regardless of whether we liked or respected them, every single one of us grew up hearing John Farnham and Kylie Minogue, even if it was just hearing them in the service station and supermarket, because they were EVERYWHERE here and so we were all influenced by that as ‘uncool’ as that may sound! But im never gonna sit here and pretend that I was groomed from birth to sing soul, I found soul myself later in life. When I was in Atlanta Griff would make me listen to 104.1 Atlanta’s home of old school RNB and quiz me on songs ‘whos is this by, whats it called, what year it came out, who played on it’ I was completely clueless but boy did I get an education right there lol that is the ONLY time I can honestly say that I might have been surrounded by that ideal bubble of credible influences, but even then we were watching rage against the machine dvd’s daily….. love rage……lol
     
    What are you most proud of?
    The fact that we built this band from the ground up and did it all independently. The album was recorded simply because there were people who just loved the music and wanted to do it for fun. It’s so beautiful to see people reacting to the music now and see it getting out there knowing that we created it in our own fashion, just let it be what it was going to be, forge its own path. I think I’m also really proud of the fact that, even when people thought I was crazy and it was career suicide to keep my daughter when I fell pregnant half way thru recording album, I was able to balance single-mother-hood and music and still make this band a success with the help of the band members and my beautiful family, community and support network.  I really believe my lil girl is supposed to grow up in amongst all this, I really believe she will learn so much that the average child would never get the opportunity to see. She’s already seen more recording studios than your average adult, has mastered the microphone, can use an MPC, has the general idea of how to adjust channels on a mixing desk and tries to jump on and use them whenever she’s near one, understands how most instruments and held and played and can sing harmony parts because she copies everything I sing from having attended most of my rehearsals with me and she’s only 3! Imagine what she’ll do in a few years…… its mind boggling!
     
    In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?
    Yes I did an interview with a small local newspaper to promote a CD launch we were doing locally about 2 years ago and I, being new to media, assumed that all conversation before the questions started would not be relevant to the article to be published. So you can imagine my shock when I see this article in the paper, which is supposed to be promoting my gig, begining something like this: ‘23 year old Candice Monique knows that people judge her for leaving her child at home to hang out in smokey night clubs, but she doesn’t care……….’ I truly regretted not ensuring that they sent me the article for approval prior to printing. Never again!
     
    What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?
    Haha we get lots of random requests for covers by drunk people at gigs, but I think the funniest was (after playing a heavy funk set) ‘Can u play any traditional Irish music?’ and he was dead serious. I think the lack of flute in our instrumentational line up would have killed that idea….
     
    What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?
    Just be good to people. Make sure people are always feeling they are done right by, getting their fair share and allow them creativity and expression and you’ll have happy band members. They’ll generally give you the same back.
     
    If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?
    Ok, have to think about that one…….maybe I swear by Sa-Ra, off new clear evolution, love the beat, love the vocals n kooky lil harmony bits. That’s such a random anwer, didn’t really think about that one much, ur getting pure top of the dome answers right there lol
     
    How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?
     Fows and Ebbs, there’s gotta be periods of great activity and then periods of rest and coming back ‘home’ to recoup. That’s the only way it works, especially with a child involved. If I stayed in my perfect state of balanced health and yogic bliss and perfect diet and adequate sleep always, I’d never get anything done! If I stayed in work overdrive mode ‘late nights crap food on the run millions of gigs in a row schedule full all the time’, id burn out. So I gotta have periods of both. That is balance.
     
    In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience
    Just having that physical album in your hand, seeing the artwork, seeing the lil things the artist writes in their thank you’s, hearing those tracks on the album that you might not have otherwise heard but discover you love – you miss out on those things when you buy the single for 1.19 on itunes. It’s not quite the same. Nothing beats that feelin of getting an artist to autograph an album of theirs that you bought with hard earned dollars, what are you gonna get the artist to sign your laptop screen when u bring itunes up at the concert lmao! Nooooooooo but at the same time, I think the music is spreading further because of the medium of the internet and downloading facilities, and so more people are getting to hear the music which is a blessing. Cos really that’s what its all about, sharing it. People hearing the words, hearing the message, hearing the energy of the players and taking on that energy while listening to the song, it’s a communication and if the internet can bring that to people who might not have otherwise had the opportunity to hear it then that’s awesome.
     
    Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have  a preset gameplan for your music/the band?
    Of course I want the band to be a success, I wouldn’t say that’s my motivation. I think my motivation is a) to let the music reach who its meant to reach to the words influence those whose hearts they are meant to touch and b) to let my daughter see on a daily basis what it takes to make something a success. Let her see me create it so she then knows how to create that for herself. Let her see me do this so she learns how never to give up, how to follow your heart with integrity and truth, let me be her living proof that if you do something from a place of peace and truth within yourself that it will always flower into success. Even if the album doesn’t sell, if I’ve done everything from a place of truth within myself throughout that process then I’ve done my job as a mother, and that in itself is success. As for the band, there’s no real gameplan as yet. We’ve already written enough songs to start recording a 2nd album, and we want to record it this year and I think we’d like to tour Europe but beyond that rough sketch there’s no strategic plan. Let it go where its meant to go.
     
    DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?
    I think they each have a place in the music industry. What I really admire about my friends who are DJ’s is that they are first and foremost music lovers, and have great respect for the skills and creativity of the musicians whose music they play. And secondly their vast knowledge of music, who wrote what, when it came out, what label it was on, who collabo with who, who played bass on this ablum e.t.c I always go to my DJ friends to word me up on what my ears will like when I’m craving new music. I won’t deny the skill of a GOOD DJ, from the lifetime of research leading to track selection to scratching right through to the musicality it takes for a DJ to discretely pitch a track up or down so they can seamlessly blend in key with the following track, that’s musical. I think a lot of bands might feel threatened by the presence of DJ’s on the entertainment scene, it costs less to hire a DJ and the DJ can play a lot of well known stuff in a row as opposed to original bands playing all their own repertoire so the DJ might get the gig over the band e.t.c. but for real, nothing compares to seeing a live band, even the DJ’s themselves will tell you that as they are often the first ones right beside me at the live soul shows here. Live music will never die no matter how good DJ’s are ~ so I don’t feel threatened like that and I appreciate DJ’s for what they do just as I appreciate good musicians for what they do and I think we can only complement one another in the industry. Its all music……
     
    To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?
    Hmmmm that’s a toss up – I’ve always been a huge India Arie Fan so seeing her live at Hamer hall in Melbourne was amazing, especially since I was heavily pregnant and very hormonal so the minute she strummed her first note on guitar I started crying and didn’t stop till about 10 min after the show finished! Her words had inspired me so much over the years, seeing her play live was like meeting a guardian angel, you could hear her truth in her every note. But aside from that I think one of the most awesome gigs I ever saw was Van Hunt live at Smiths Olde Bar in Atlanta in 04, there was like 30 people in the room (India Arie was one of them!) I was there with Jason Orr and Professor Griff and the band just KILLED it, I was hooked! Then there was KRS 1 at Apache Café, then there was Dionne Ferris at Apache café, then there was Amp fiddler at the corner hotel, then there was Rahsaan Patterson at The Prince, Cody Chesnut at The Espy, then there was the Anthony David tour, I sang backing vocals for Anthony for a couple of shows when he toured Australia and that was definatley memorable! man….theres just been soooo many gigs…….
     
    How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?
    I really only get nervous when it’s a big show, and that doesn’t necessarily mean size of audience that means how much preassure there is, for example the Anthony David shows, I met Anthony just a few hours before we went on stage, no rehearsal, soundcheck only, and as a singer trying to blend with another singer after only hearing them on recordings it can be a lil daunting, especially when it was someone who was real tight with one of my greatest inspirations, (India Arie and Anthony are quite close from what I gather) and I wanted to impress n do a good job. That backing vocal spot meant soooooo much to me, I was so so so humbled to have been chosen to do that, so naturally I was nervous. But when its me doing my thing with my boys, a CM & The Optics show, we know our shit inside out so I don’t really get nervous – just excited!
     
    When did you last write something?
     We’ve been writing the second album over the last few months, so quite recently, but the very last thing I worked on was a new poem called ‘universal man’, I’m thinking about maybe reading it on the next ablum over a jam (a la I wish I was a bass),  I performed it at our most recent First Floor gig. Watch this space for that one lol…..
     
    Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

    Not to the extent extent of completely walking away, no. But early this year I said ‘im giving it three years and if I haven’t got to the point where I can see a light at the end of the tunnel by then I am going to study to be a yoga teacher and sing part time’ because I’m telling you this shit is hard, as a single parent, raising a 3 year old, finances are really difficult and one day - when I found myself hysterically crying in the street when my car got towed and I was wondering where the f*&k I was going to find the $320 to get my car back before 4pm to get my child from day care, cos centrelink pay day was yesterday and after the bills n half a shopping trolley of food I have nothing left and I don’t want to ask my parents for  another bail out  (I was just really lucky I had a beautiful friend with a credit card who said ‘pay me back when we go platinum’) - yes that day- I realized that I’m 27, people my age are married and own property and have degrees and ‘careers’ and so called ‘stable lives’. I never finished either of the two degrees I started (Anthropology majoring in creole linguistics RANDOM!!!! And Social Work majoring in psychology – btw I never studied music, I am a total freestyler, sing by ear) I have never held a permanent job, always been a casual worker in hospitality or office admin, I don’t own shit, the only reason I currently own a car is because I was homeless at the time I applied for my car loan so my entire income was considered by the bank to be ‘expendable’ because I wasn’t paying rent. Seriously, its just lucky that I don’t base my self concept or idea of success on the material cos if I did I’d be in trouble right now lol if there was ever a reason for me to throw in the towel it’d be because I need to make a ‘better’ or more ‘stable’ life for my kid. But then she’s precisely the reason I can’t throw in the towel, I cant ever, ever let that rest on her shoulders, that I gave up using my gift for her (music truly is a gift), I couldn’t ever put that on a child because they have no choice in your decision to give up and yet the fact that you did will always rest on them, and that’s not fair. And just morally, I know children learn by example and if my example to her is how to give up when it gets tough what the hell kind of role model am I for her? So really it’s more of a choice, its about me deciding I can take this, I can deal with it, deciding I can see the positive, affirming to the universe that my abundance is coming to me and deciding I can make it work. How many of those people with ‘stable lives, careers and motgages’ can say they have an album selling in Europe?!?!?! BAM…….I just hit rock bottom, I can only go up from here. She has to see reality, from the bottom up, so she can know and appreciate what it takes to make success and appreciate the fruits of it when she gets there. I do what I have to do to make sure she lives comfortably as possible thru this, she still asks for everything she sees with the feeling in her heart that she can have it and has absolutely no clue that we are struggling and that’s how I want it to stay cos its her mindset that will create her reality, and I want her reality to be fruitful, so ill keep that up even when it means working crappy temp jobs by day gigging by night and going thru periods of exhausting myself physically to be financially afloat then periods of putting up with the utter broke-ness to retreat and recover, because I know in the end it will be worth it, because I did it from a place of truth within myself following my belief in what’s right. And a belief that our music is beautiful and needs to be heard. If even one word in one song I sing makes a difference in someone’s world, then all the struggle that went into getting that song out there to be heard was worth it, that’s success. If one note of a song from our album makes someone feel freedom enough to let go and truly dance and be joy, that’s success. If I can create a musical career that allows my daughter and I to live a comfortable life, that’s success with benefits lol and regardless of what happens in 3 years, by age 60 I plan to be a qualified yoga teacher……. still teaching! Still writing poetry, still singing, till my last breath
     
    What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?
    Well we recorded our album to an 8 track, 1 inch tape lol old school styles, a lot of the time all instruments in the same room, w bleed between mics n all, transferred it all from tape to mac/pc after then adding extra vocals and overdubs later, and it really worked for us, we just loved the sound and the whole experience of recording to tape. I don’t necessarily have anything against electronic replication of instrumentation in music, I do a whole nother project called Metals which is techno/rock/soul/hip-hop fusion stuff which is full of it n I really enjoy that for what it is, I have fun with it. But as far as soul goes, what I do really fuses neo-soul and old school soul, and neo-soul with its influence of hip-hop by nature will include electronically made drum beats e.t.c and I’m not mad about it lol I do anticipate that, while I like using live instruments on my recordings, I will probably choose to mix it up in the future, use bits an pieces of all of it, whatever feels right for the song. It’s the same deal with DJ’s Vs Bands, nothing will ever beat live instrumentation on a recording, that’s a vibe thing and the human energy of the player translating to sound, which is irreplicable cos that’s about feel, but I think both have their place and you just gotta find what it is that brings out each particular song the best. Again, its all music……..
     
    Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?
    You know, I think its just really affirming sometimes to actually say this stuff, to get a chance to express these things. I don’t get asked these things on a daily basis, my answers to some of these questions I don’t think even a lot of my close friends would be able to guess. Partly I like to answer these questions for introspection, cos if you’d asked me the same questions in 6 months time or 6 months ago I might answer them totally differently, its like a marker of where I’m at right now on a personal level, a greater understanding of my own truth. I will probably read this interview back in a few months and be mortified at how much I actually revealed! (feel free to cut out the answer to the question about ‘throwing in the towel lol) and after tonight answering these questions I can now see areas of my musical and personal life that I want to bring more light to and get rid of beliefs in some areas that are no longer serving me.
    I guess every artist answers such questions in the hope that someone reading it might grasp your essence and then consider your art something worth investing in, but again, that’s success with benefits. If someone reads this and takes a word of inspiration, feels challenged by it, disagrees with me sparking intelligent debate, agrees with me sparking self-affirmation….. it in any way shape or form, it’s a successful hour spent typing on my macbook lol.  Even if it bores the shit out of someone, it was still worth it lmao
     


    Candice Monique


    www.myspace.com/candicemoniqueband
    http://www.candicemonique.com

    http://twitter.com/CMnTheOptics
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Candice-Monique-THE-OPTICS/9278207012?ref=tscs

    http://http://www.youtube.com/user/CMnTheOptics

     

     

     

     

     20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask...Eddie Piller



    Right then funketeers, we're all getting older and unbelievably it's the 21st anniversary of Acid Jazz! What a stroke of luck I remembered to ask the great Mr.Piller to do this when our paths crossed again after the big Weller O2 show in the summer. This is a bit special so to sum up who Eddie is for those of you that don't know I've turned to my (not neccesarily even remotedly but almost sometimes accurate) friend Mr. Internet...

    'Starting his career in the 1980s as a part of the English mod revival, Piller launched the underground fanzine Extraordinary Sensations and operated as a DJ and concert promoter. In 1985, he started the Countdown Records label, through Stiff Records. That record label gave fresh momentum to the underground mod scene, by signing bands such as The Prisoners and Makin' Time, and by issuing the mod revival compilation album 5-4-3-2-1 Go! Piller appeared in the Style Council's video for their single "A Solid Bond in your Heart". He signed and A and R'd bands like The Untouchables, The Prisoners and Makin' Time for Stiff and set up an indie label called Re-Elect The President who launched the careers of the James Taylor Quartet and The Jazz Renegades (who featured the Style Council drummer Steve White)

    In 1987, along with DJ Gilles Peterson, he started a new record label, Acid Jazz. This soon gave rise to Britain's newest musical movement, the acid jazz scene, which included bands such as the James Taylor Quartet, Corduroy, the Brand New Heavies and Galliano. Piller has been credited with discovering or "breaking" many of these bands. A revival of the record label in the 2000s has resulted in several releases, including a 2006 single (and album) by Lord Large, which featured guest vocals from northern soul singer Dean Parrish and appearances by guitarist Steve Craddock of Ocean Colour Scene and Richard Searle of Corduroy (amongst many others).

    Piller has continued to be influential in the underground dance music scene due to his many live DJing appearances and his evening radio show on BBC Radio 6. he is a regular at most of the British festivals and usually appears at The Isle Of Wight, Glastonbury, Bestival and the Isle Of Wight Scooter Rally in August.'

    Add to that having the vision to sign the phenomenal Mother Earth for one, all the new acts like Twisted Tongue and Leleo bringing the funk to this day and of course the mod credentials that having a mum who ran The Small Faces fan club brings and you'll see why I've been so excited about getting this one in the bag for you. Enjoy and when you're done there is another fantastic interview with the legend that is Eddie Piller that can be found over at modculture if you follow the link. Thanks of course to Eddie for some frank and interesting responses and for getting involved. Happy 21st Acid Jazz. Enjoy!

    Love n' gumdrops, TBC

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?


    jack of all trades and master of none! i do lots of things, dj, radio presenter,writer of documentaries, record producer, festival curator, book publisher...blah blah blah


    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?


    The only thing im not happy about is that i dont have a radio show at the moment. The last one which was on Q radio ended in the summer. the station was bought by another company and they closed the London production office, simple as that! Two days after winning an award at the British radio Awards I was out of work! I have been on BBC 6, Jazz FM, Radio London/GLR, soul 24-7, radio is my my chosen field. Apart from that I am busy most of the time with my label, Acid Jazz or djing, putting the Vintage at Goodwood festival together, writing, compiling - loads of different things but i wont be happy till im back on radio, i have done it for 15 years now and really enjoy it.


    3. Which song from your life best sums you up and why?


    Tough question and i cant answer it from that perspective. Songs are important to me for different reasons but i couldnt choose one that summed up my life - if i had to choose a favourite it would be either Is It Something She's Got by Tyrone Davis on Dakar - or Aint No Mountain High Enough by Marvin and Tammi - that can still make me well up. wonderful


    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?


    probably steve marriott or maybe paul weller - it's difficult because I have worked with weller as a dj and have released some of his records, so i guess Ive known him as a friend too...can you be friends with your inspirations? I guess you can. Marriott though is my god. I met him as a young child because my mum ran the small faces fan club in the 60s. I met him again when i was grown up. genuine legend.


    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

    not really, i have very broad musical taste and appreciate most things from Thomas Tallis and Carl Orff to Dan le Sac and Scroobius Pip and just about everything in between. Not a big fan of techno or metal, although i love the sound and spirit of the first heavy rock bands, just not the kerrang! type of thing


    6. What are you most proud of?

    blimey - loads of things, signing and developing Jamiroquai, persuading terry callier to come out of retirement, the blue note club, which was the epitome of my career, acid jazz and all that the label has achieved, loads of shit


    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?


    I was once asked to dj at the christmas party of a private swiss bank. i negotiated a big fee up front but the week before the gig the party planners sent me an e mail telling me I would have to wear a white suit and an elvis wig and come out on stage billed as the 'king of funk'...i laughed my socks of and flatly refused...so they upped the price...i refused again etcetera...the price got up to 5 figures and i was about to prositiute myself at last when they told me that I was too expensive and they'd get a swiss dj to do it instead!! A lucky escape perhaps but it would have paid my mortgage for a year!!!!

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    i am a black music dj and sometimes - when i am playing in a normal peoples club I get asked for totally inappropriate tracks. that pisses me off but the best one, and believe me, this happens regularly, is when someone comes up and asks me to 'play something by james brown' - i sigh and point to the turntable which clearly shows that I am actually playing James Brown as they ask the question, trouble is, they want sex machine but im playing get up and drive your funky soul. Talking of Sex Machine,
    once, at a gig in Brighton I had a young b boy come up to me and say 'you're such a fucking wanker, i cant believe you're playing sex machine by james brown'...he was most agressive and obviously disgusted...what i graciously pointed out to him was that I was actually playing an unreleased totally different version, recorded with a different band two years later, on an unreleased King white label that had been given to me personally by CLYDE FUCKING STUBBLEFIELD...YOU KNOW, THE FUNKY FUCKING DRUMMER you twat and that neither he, nor almost anybody in the world had EVER HEARD BEFORE...so FUCK YOURSELF...oh how i laughed. great track too and sounds nothing like the original sex machine!


    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?


    they're such a bunch of weirdos...i mean, come on...who knows


    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

    i would have played bongos on the long version of Move On Up by Curtis, from his first album. the part is amazing and sounds like the percussionist had a great time...one of the best tracks ever - yeah, id loved to have been there


    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?


    I dont. Music is my job but also my sanctuary (as gary bartz once said). i dj and do music stuff for a living. its a job and one that I need to do. i also get a great kick out of it. how cool is it to be able to play records for a living???


    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?


    hey, it's their call. vinyl is all i collect, i dont care about cds and i have never downloaded anything. if people cant get with the programme than it's their problem. im sure they miss out on a lot but so what.


    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

    no, I have been massively rich and successful and massively poor and a real failiure. I just do what I do, if success comes great and as i said above, you have to survive and pay your way but I would be doing this regardless. I have done since I started my fanine at 15, thirty years ago


    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?


    of course it is deserved. djs are the filter that builds a scene/night/feeling - anyone can have a great record collection but that dont make you a great dj. it's tough but when you get it right is very satisfying.


    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer, promoter or as a fan)?


    djing on stage at wembley stadium to 80,000 people, headlining the Q stage at Glastonbury to 15000 people and playing exclusively motown singles, introducing gil scott heron at brixton academy, jamiroquai's first gig at the magic bus, sly stallone's birthday party when i span and i realise that rocky was only about 5 foot 5. too many gigs and i have loved most of them...also. playing percussion on stage with the band Pleasure Beach at both Dingwalls and The Wag - i'd always wanted to play in a band...


    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?


    havent had them for 25 years, not even at public speaking events which i occadionally do.


    17. When did you last write something?

    gergory isaacs sleevenotes for the Private Lesson reissue on roots records, about threee months ago. i produced the album back in 95 and its out next month as an expanded reissue. i loved that record


    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?


    nah. sometimes cashflow has been tough for acid jazz but weve stuck with it and always come through.


    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

    dont care. if a record is good then its good. i used to have a big thing about analogue and valve based equiptment when I was producing but you cant escape digital processing in the end so it;s pointless. as long as people can play or sing, it;s all good


    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these


    why not?

     

     

     

     20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask...Jon Kennedy


    Hello funky peeps...it's been a while but hopefully things are back on track....some exciting stuff coming up in the next few weeks and we're kicking it all off with an interview with the seriously prolific and hard working beatmaster...Jon Kennedy! Here's a little snippet from his biog - 

    'Almost certainly one of the 3 most talented men in all of Stockport. Jon is a man on a musical mission. What the end result may be remains a bit of a mystery, not least to the man himself but rest assured it includes an enormous bag of breath-takingly beautiful tunes, copious rump-shakingly fine dancefloor corkers and a hatful of innovative ideas bordering on musical genius. He's certainly a talented chap. Autumn 2002 Jon joined the Grand Central family. Bred a stone’s throw from GCHQ, his childhood in Stockport was characterized by exposure to new and interesting music, as a function of his parents’ enthusiasm for the pioneering artists of their day. Jon cites Peter Frampton, Electric Light Orchestra, David Essex and Geoff Wayne’s “War of the Worlds” (check out the H.G. Wells classic !) as early influences. His taste would in part be shaped also by his brother’s musical excavations, which brought him into contact with more guitar-centric bands like KISS and AC/DC.'

    Very different for The Right SIde Of Funky I'm sure you'll agree but we're all in it for the education after all, make sure you check out his pages and his new E.P. He doesn't seem to have an off button which I think is highly commendable.

    Love n' fizz, TBC

     
    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?
    I am a drummer by trade making beats and pieces, hip hop joints without MC's and jazz for the working class

     
    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

     I am probably at the height to be honest as it's a very 'tight' scene I mince in.. It's not as friendly as one would have
    you believe either, i mean just look at  James Lavelle's ( founder of Mo Wax ) reputation. He's a actually a nice guy !

    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

     Jimi Hendrix - "Crosstown Traffic"
    Heavy drums, stomping bassline, a rock riff all with a chap singing relatively badly over the top

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

     My bro originally, without him realising ( still to this day ) he played out a lot of the dreams I had via Kiss, ACDC and various late 80'd rock outfits..

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

     Maybe Vaughan Williams. His compostions ar filmic and lush and something I listen to often.

    6. What are you most proud of?

     My hair... I grew it myself and people mention it all the time be it good or bad

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

     I think my first label signing was a good idea to start with but quickly turned into a nightmare when i defected from them. With them slandering and aiding to stop my career from that point on.
    I'm happy to say they didn't succeed and I have since released 3 more albums and travelled the globe DJing and with my live outfit

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

     "who do u hate"

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

     I'm not so good at "working relationships". Musicians are very unpredictable folk which is what makes a good talent in my experience..
    The secret I am yet to discover ... most of the greats were bellends or wrecked all the time ! SUPERB! !

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

     "Crosstown Traffic".. that drum break by Mitch Mitchell  is so simple and so killer !

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

     I often get too persnal on social network sites. giving my opinion a lot, this is NOT always my strongest quality but I'd rather be honest and accesible than lie and try to be exclusive.

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

     My recent release is a VINYL only release with a digital dropcard free. This way the real music lovers and collectors will end up with a tangible piece of history !

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have  a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

     No gameplan as such.. Every  year there is a new surprise be it travel, an appearance or show or simply that I have been "dissed" by a local MC !

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

     DJ's play other people's music in time, if you're lucky, in the main. I know for example the DJ's in my genre are generally shite and play their label mates tunes
    or friends on related lable's music. Basically advertising for their own.. THIS however is not a DJ this is an ass kisser. real DJ's are people like the DJ in
    my band and most of the older hip hop heads...

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

    A Memeorable performance was either a live show at a jazz festival in Nantes, France last year or one in Kuala Lumpur with my band also for the sheer stardom of it, It was
    unusal to be idolised to say the least.

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

     I get them EVERY FREAKIN LIVE SHOW. Super bad, i dont have a remedy... The only cure is to get on stage and beat shit out of the drumkit !

    17. When did you last write something?

     Last week i wrote a track for the forthcoming 7" released in Autumn on Organik recordings..

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

     Only once, after a completely empty live show, but it turns out I was set up and THAT was the idea ...

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

     It's essential in this day and age but I shouldn't let this stuttering laptop, vocoder and such glitchy bollox take you too far up your own arse. It;'s a trend that when you are 30+
    you will look back on and wish you had never recorded or performed!

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?
    Im open to critism and want folk to read this and go "Jon is a dick"... or "Jon is a really nice chap"... or "Fuck he's boring"
     
    www.jonkennedy.co.uk
    www.myspace.com/jonkennedy

    RADIO SHOW
    www.samurai.fm/jonkennedy/index.php
     
    FACEBOOK
    www.facebook.com/jonkennedymusic
     
    TWITTER
    www.twitter.com/jonkennedy

     

     

     20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask...Eddie from The New Mastersounds


    Hello funky people. A real treat for you now. I’m very happy to say Eddie Roberts from The New Mastersounds has been kind enough to spare us some time. You should all definately know who these guys are so I don’t need to explain too much. Currently riding high with their fantastic album ‘Plug & Play’ which features Dionne from Baby Charles on vocals (scroll down and read her Q&A when you’re done peeps)…The New Mastersounds are THE number 1 funky band around. For me, hearing ‘One Note Brown’ for the first time was a real turning point in buying music and I haven’t looked back since. Seeing them live is possibly the best night out you could ever hope for…they never dissapoint and the vibe is pure magic. You can check them out on their website or here on myspace. If, unbelievably you aren’t familiar with The New Mastersounds all I can say is every track’s a must have. A good starting point is the album ‘Keb Darge presents’ which features the aforementioned belter ’One Note Brown’ but also check out the track ‘Nervous’. All you have to do then is try and work out which tune you need to drop from your top ten of all time to make room for it. They’re all funktastic and the album ‘102%’ is another massive highlight that needs a shout out in my opinion. The biggest thanks ever to Eddie (who’s another top fella by the way) and stay funky children!

    Love n’ sugar, TBC

     

    new-maste

    1.How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated? 

    It would be nice to not put a label on what we do.. it’s good music that is definitely aimed at making people dance, combining all the influences the four of us have had…musically and in life experiences..trying to create an honest and human expression of this. 
     

    2.Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now? 

    Right now we are enjoying the hard work of the last ten years.. playing to bigger audiences all the time and generally being respected and recognized for what we do.  All one could ask for really! 
     

    3.Which song (not necessarily yours) best sums you/the band up and why? 

    It’s impossible to summarize the band’s journey for 10years, and my own for 20… we’ve been hitting a point over the last two shows where we land on a groove and just sit there bubbling away …I realized and exclaimed..’the NMS definitive groove’, but I guess you’ll have had to be there!  I think the first time I realize I’d found my genre was shortly after I’d arrived in Leeds (from my Welsh homeland) and was given a cassette tape of various soul jazz tracks by some local DJ’s – this was the first time I heard Grant Green…and heard the ‘sound’ that made sense to me. 
     

    4.Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)? 

    I’d say my older Brother!  He was the one who, from when we were 11 and 13 respectively, started the quest of musical discovery..and still to this day is still integral in my musical discovery.  I just had the pleasure of repaying him a little by not taking no for an answer for him to travel from Cardiff to Leeds, to stay only 12 hours, but to see Dr Lonnie Smith trio (also featuring Melvin Sparks) in my friends 100 capacity bar, Sela. We were floored by the experience.. 
     

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why? 

    It may surprise or not, but John Coltrane is a massive influence on me and on how the band works.  Musically quite different, but the way the John Coltrane Quartet operated…the ‘band’ sound, the communication and movement of ‘one’ that comes from them was a big part of what I wanted to achieve with NMS, and sometimes I really feel that we get there. 
     

    6.What are you most proud of? 

    I’m really proud of every show that really ‘happens’.  That may sound a bit pretentious, but in this game we say ‘you’re only as good as your last gig’! 
     

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted? 

    The first album ‘Keb Darge presents….’ All went a bit pear shaped with the label BBE.  I don’t actively regret it as it was a springboard in some senses..but it did make the band fall apart in the following 2 years, and we had to restructure the way we worked and the responsibilities.  It’s when we set up One Note records so we would be in control of our rights. 
     

    8.What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band? 

    We do find ourselves in some crazy scenario’s…like when we played to 2000 boy scouts, or when we played the British Ambassador to Mexico’s garden party (in Mexico city)… or 10,000 feet up mountain in Colorado while the sun goes down.. sometimes you have to check yourself and realize that you’re there and this is actually happening. 

    9.What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians? 

    It helps if you all share a similar goal; are relatively easy to get on with, being able to hang out..without being bland!, and don’t have an untreatable body odor problem. 
     

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why? 

    Whatever the biggest selling record of all time is! Haha..  but seriously, if I could be on a record now, I’d want to make one with Dr Lonnie Smith, Idris Muhammed & Lou Donaldson (all of whom I’ve played with individually I might smugly add!!) 
     

    11.How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities? 

    I wasn’t aware that I did! Haha.. it’s tough, but we couldn’t do anything else…It’s like we’ve bitten the apple and there’s no going back.  We have to rely on our partners and kids being very patient, and as much as we can, include them in the musical part of our lives. 
     

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience? 

    Not really.  As I stated before, I can’t really claim to have had that much of a buying experience…it’s was always my brother or DJ’s friends around me saying..’check this out’, and burning me tunes on whatever medium was currently the easiest.  Right now…since switching to MAC, I’m thoroughly enjoying downloading loads of tracks I’ve been after for years that maybe I had on a cassette years ago and lost. 
     

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band? 

    Playing music is my motivation, I live and breath it.  The success factor is also really important, because it is an indication of more and more people connecting with what you’re doing.  We find that generally the American audiences are really getting what we’re doing, and our following is noticeably growing everytime we go there (which has been 7 times this year, with one more trip to go).  There’s much more respect for live music and musicians out there.  Saying that, we still love playing in Europe…and Japan, well, is just a whole different crazy ball game! 
     

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved? 

    To correct you on that statement, DJ’s are as famous as the bands they play in EUROPE!  In the US it is very much the bands that lead the field…with pretty much no funk DJ presence at all, with exception on NYC and SFO maybe..  Whether it is deserved or not…the answer really is in a previous answer…if their success is a product of people connecting to what they do, then it is deserved. 
     

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)? 

    Last night in Charleston, South Carolina!  I have too much short memory loss…  Aside from that, I’d say when NMS was Lou Donaldson’s backing band…we had an amazing show in the Eden Project in Cornwall to around 1200 switched on people. 
     

    16.How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)? 

    It is a funny process…I think if you didn’t get pre-gig nerves then you wouldn’t be a performer..  Essentially it’s the adrenaline drug getting released a bit early..which brings on sickness, tiredness, the need for the toilet..! etc.  I personally feel really tired for the hour running up to a show…I think it’s the way my body suppresses the feelings until it’s time to release.  The hardest thing pre-gig is to have a meaningful conversation with someone… You’re so focused on what you’re about to do, it renders you a bit spaced out.   People assume I don’t get them after so many yeas, but like I said it’s just the way I’ve learnt to deal with it, but I can assure you, they’re there! 
     
     

    17.When did you last write something?  

    We went in the studio last Monday as we had a show cancelled and found ourselves in the right place, all together…so we went in and wrote 2 tracks with Dionne Charles, who’s been singing with us on most live shows over the last 6 months. 
     

    18.Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)? 

    Yep!  I’d say 3 big times over 20 years of performing…but probably many more times when you’re on the road and exhausted.  It’s an existence, with a lot of ‘normal’ sacrifices and incredible rewards..  Sometimes I long for normality, but I also know that I couldn’t handle it..I tried it once for 3 months, but then lost the plot! 
     

    19.What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instruments during recording? 

    You’ll always need a human to program it!  And if that’s the way an individual expresses themselves, then that’s cool.  You’ll never be able to replace electronic instruments to create real live funk…maybe I’ll eat my hat one day! 
     

    20.Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions? 

    What? Talk about myself? Are you kidding! I could do it all day (and probably do) haha…  It’s just nice that anyone’s interested.

     

     

     

    The fantastic hammond skills of Paolo Apollo Negri are something else funky people. A true Jedi! Apart from anything, the fact he’s played with the likes of Brian Auger, Sugarman 3, The New Mastersounds and Frank Popp (obviously not together) is more than enough for me. Honestly though, that doesn’t even begin to cover the list of people he’s shared a stage with and I haven’t got a clue where to start with the people he’s actually made records with either (fortunately all of that is well documented here on his myspace page…touch!). I have however had the very good fortune to check him out live with the magnificent Fred Leslie’s missing Link (Paolo is the’link’ - keep up! - If that's confused ya funky noggins you should re-read Craig's Q&A from earlier in the year for a refresher). Those chaps you should already know  are the uber hot new contenders to the funky throne of global groovin’ (and I might have to copyright that before one of them does), when I had the pleasure of checking 'em out Paolo really was playing somewhere out there in a galaxy way, way beyond funky! I dug it like a wide collared and super flared out of body experience! There’s no point fighting it either…it’s just meant to be! A new single from Paolo Apollo Negri and a release from Fred Leslie’s missing Link are imminent (all on Hammondbeat Records) so it’s happy days again ya jammy dodgers. In the meantime you have to hear some of his amazing playing over at Paolo’s myspace or by clicking over to Fred Leslie’s missing Link and be sure to start catching up with all the stuff that he’s already put out there.  Many thanks to you Paolo for doing this and may the funk be with you all.

    Love n’ a particular brand of biscuits, TBC

     

     paolo

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

    Well, I play the Hammond organ, of course! :-) I’ve been playing in several bands in the last 15 years, from The Link Quartet to Wicked Minds, Ray Daytona and many more! I’ve always tried to cover the wider range of styles, funk, jazz, soul, beat, pop, prog-rock, psychedelic, kraut, surf, garage, everything that I like!


    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

    I've played since I was 6 but music has become my job only for the last 3 years. I must say I’m really happy about how things are going now, there are a lot of projects going on, but I don’t really know “where” I am at the moment! To be sincere I hope to be at the beginning, I’m expecting much more to happen in the future! :-)

    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

    It’s very hard to name a single title simply because I love too many different things and styles to be summarized in a single song! I think that the A-side of my last 45 (which is titled “Paparazzi”) is the one I would choose, it's a retro funk/rock soul song and there’s a lot of my musical influences in it… so, even if not completely, that’s the tune I would choose to answer your question…


    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

    When I was 12 my father moved his old vinyls to our house and I put my hands on Brian Auger’s discography… well, that day I decided what I would like to become in the future. So I think that Brian is my biggest inspiration even if my style is quite different from his one, I never wanted to be a clone!


    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

    As I said before I love many different things so probably there’s a lot of titles that people would not expect from me. I could name bands like Soundgarden, Beck, Morphine, Einsturzende Neubauten, Sonic Youth, Rage Against the Machine… there’s a lot of bands that I always liked and followed that are so far from what I play, but I think that they influenced me in some way…


    6. What are you most proud of?

    Ah ah, my sideburns and my 1961 A-102 Hammond (it’s called Miss Cherry)!


    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

    No, I have never done anything like that. I always tried to play what I like, if something is not “good” to my ears then I think is not good for me! During these years I’ve met several people playing in bands which were trying to reach for success and I always had the impression that these people were not playing something they really enjoy, the were playing what “people” are supposed to like… the result is that people don’t like what they are playing simply because they are not enjoying their own music! Quite perverse I think!


    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    All the times we have been asked - with reguards to different bands - to shoot videos! You know, if you want a “cool” video you have to spend quite a lot of money and so we have always been asked for “cheap” videos and everytime it has been so funny! The first I had was with an italian Dj and they made me wear very high heels shoes…and they were so small that I nearly got my feet broken, crazy! Then we had a video with the Link Quartet where we exchanged our instruments, so I was playing guitar and it was so ridiculous! The most recent one we had was with Wicked Minds. A friend of ours had to film me during the solo and he was standing right beside the Hammond. The song started, I playied the solo and he shot from the upper side, right above my hands…when everything was finished and we watched the video we discovered that he was using the camera upside down and so during the solo he filmed the roof, ah ah ah ah!!!


    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

    Well, it’s hard to say, every band has its personal point of equilibrium, I think it depends on who is involved in the band and I don’t have a universal recipe for how a band should behave. What I can say from my personal experience is that too many heads thinking in a band is not an easy deal to manage! Better to create a center, to have one main head thinking and the others to follow. It must sound rough - and I’m not saying that I am that leading head!! - but it’s the safer way I think. I've played in bands where 5 people try to do all the work together, it was like hell! In other projects where guitar players or singers were the leading figures we have never had problems, everything follows a more precise scheme and I think this is the best formula. Of course the ideal relationship is based on friendship I think but it’s hard to find such a situation! It's  happened to me at times in  bands where friendship was the base and these have been the best experiences for me! I’m talking about The Link Quartet and Wicked Minds, in both these bands we have had a very good relationship and we have had so much fun together, and still we are good friends! I think it’s a very rare situation and I can call myself lucky for having experienced it!


    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

    I’d like to be Leslie West playing “Missisipi Queen” with Mountains or John Bonham playing drums on “Whole lotta love”…or even Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar… ah ah don’t ask me why because I don’t know how to explain it!


    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

    Well, music is my job so, in the last years in particular, music has become a part of my personal responsibilities. Maybe too much I must say! You know, it’s easy to lose the pleasure in what you are doing if you do it as work. I’m trying to make this not happen and I think that the secret is not to give it too much importance…if you still have fun in what you are doing then everything is easier and lighter and even your personal responsibilities seem to be easier to manage!


    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

    I think that the internet and downloading has brought a wider range of people to music. Think about iTunes or even myspace, you can find almost everything you are looking for in a few seconds, this was fantascience just 15 years ago! And more and more people are approching music now that is so easy. Of course this resulted in a loss of sales for the record companies and indie labels too. I’m not sorry about this because it forced the majors to lower the prices and the indie labels to be very focused on quality, which I think is a good point! Of course things are changing very rapidly so I think it's too early to make a balance. Of course the music business will have to face other challanges in the near future. This is, as usual, scarey on one hand but very exciting on the other…I think nobody can predict what will happen with new technologies in the coming years but I feel that we have a great opportunity on our hands!


    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

    If success would have been my motivation I would have joined Madonna 10 years ago! ;-) I’m joking, but I think that success is something that you can expect only in a second moment, it's an effect not a cause. If you try to plan and try to decide if a song is a good song or not, or a project is good or not - thinking if it can be successfull, I think you are wasting time! A lot of musicians and producers consider the listeners like they are stupid, like they will listen to everything that has been promoted correctly. I don’t believe this! I think that people, even those that don’t care about music and don’t have a deep musical culture, can recognize a good product from a bad one. You can have an immediate success making shit but in most cases you are gonna be no one in the next 6 months! Quality is what makes good music different from bad music I think!
    So, if any success will come I’ll be glad (and I’ll give you a lift in my limousine), but if it doesn’t come it’ll be good anyway, because I’ll be proud of what I have done and I won’t have anything to regret!


    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

    Well, I must admit that Djs - the good ones of course! - have a musical feeling that many musicians are lacking. I mean, musicians are often related to their instrument, the way they feel the music is filtered through their skill and other things that make their musical sensibility very far from the “common” peoples taste and feeling. Djs - always the good ones! - have a more “general” feeling about music and this is why I’ve always found it interesting collaborating with them! It’s a more concrete approch to music, please pass me this word, but more effective from many points of view! Now depending on the genre you are playing I personally think that having a good Dj in the line with your producers is always a good plus to your work!


    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

    The one we had with The Link Quartet supporting Manu Chau had been amazing, 20.000 people or something, incredible!!! I think I smoked 50 cigarettes before and during the show, ah ah! Then I must quote the one we had together with Brian Auger, it's not hard to argue why! And the Burg Herzberg and Crescendo festivals we did with Wicked Minds together with Hawkwind, UFO, Wishbone Ash and many others, they have been really huge and amazing, I’ll never forget them!


    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

    Once I used to smoke but now I quit so it’s only about waiting :-) Anyway, having a drink is something that makes me cooler and relaxed so this is the way for me now!


    17. When did you last write something?

    I keep on writing things, for me or for the bands I play in, the last one “recorded” comes from a couple of weeks ago but I never stop writing so I cannot give you a precise answer!


    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

    Well, every morning I think this is the last day I’ll have as a musician! Then after a coffee everything gets better and I tell myself that the last day will be tomorrow :-)

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

    I think that technology itself is never good or bad, it's the way you use it that makes it a plus or a minus! Generally speaking I don’t like “fake” instruments, I like live recordings and I think that 99 percent of the time this is the best way to record something! At the same time we have a lot of new recources from technology that open a wide range of new possiblities and I find this aspect very promising and interesting!
    Closer to your question, I think that replacing the live instruments with electronics is not a great choice - it may be in some particoular cases but it’s an exception! -, electronics should be used and brought to a limit together with the live instruments, I think that merging the two worlds would be really interesting. In general I think that electronic solutions in music are a great opportunity if we use them as a new way of creating something, if we use them for their peculiarities and not to imitate something that we already have.


    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    Hey, it has been a real pleasure…now please get that gun away from me! ;-)

     

     

    20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask...The Moombas


    ‘The Moombas want you to add rhythm to the blues’ and that seems like a flaming good idea to me. More to the point, it SOUNDS like a fantastic idea and you can hear for yourself here on The Moombas myspace page . Their stonkin’ version of ‘In The Basement’ instantly pulled me in frankly and because the land of funk, soul, rhythm and grooves is such a wonderful place to dwell, it transpires that this very weekend you can check them doin’ the do when they play Pigsnoots at The Troy Bar (and if you check out Pigsnoots page on myspace you can hear another track from The Moombas). That’s handy eh? They’ve got a seriously tasty handle on ’the thang’ and I just know you funkers are gonna dig it so check out details of the gig over on on the ‘Heads Up’ tab. It’s all go peeps! Muchos thanks to The Moombas for jumping aboard and thanks as ever to you out there for staying the right side…

    - Love n’ jelly tots, TBC

     

    moombas  

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

    Valenka:  “Live rhythm n blues.”

    John:  “Yes, the live element is important to me, even in recordings. It’s not music by one person sitting at a computer or conducting an orchestra. It should be spontaneous and produce spontaneous reactions. Its very old fashioned dance music really, made for jumping about to on a Saturday night.”

    Kevin: “It’s music that connects with people at a basic level, where you don’t have to ask yourself why you like it…”

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

    John: “At a very early stage. Val and I have been playing together with different line-ups for some time but the band is relatively new. Kevin, our bass player only joined a few months ago for instance and has made a real positive difference to our performances.”

    Kevin: “Well, after years of simple playing to pay the bills, I feel that with this band that I’m getting back to the original reason why I picked up a guitar in the first place…to have fun!”


    3. Which song (not necessarily yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

    V: “Soulful dress…the protagonist puts on her dress and makes this huge effort to blitz the social scene like a boxer but with her glad-rags on. In the morning she’ll be average again. Everyone is basically like this…if not, they’re on class A drugs permanently or huge egotists.

    J: “In the basement’ for me, as its just about drinking and dancing and its not a straight forward copy of the song by Etta James. I think it’s important to try to remake the song in some different way if you can. ”


    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

    V: “Its between Nick Cave, Bessie Smith and Nina Simone.”

    J: “Well for Val’s three singers, I’ll substitute three towns – New Orleans, Havana and Kingston in Jamaica. I’ve been collecting the music made in these places for a long time and it makes me want to dance. I would never trust a drummer who didn’t like to dance.”

    Kev:  “And I particularly like the bass playing of James Jameson who played on all those great Motown sides.”

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

    Val: ‘YES! Nick Cave. I don’t come from a Jazz/Blues background. It was only when I heard blues women such as Bessie and Ma Rainey that they just punctured something in me and made me want to sing. The very first song I learnt and played in public was ‘Nobody’s bizness’ by Bessie Smith but Nick Cave will never leave me for his lyricism. It’s all about anger, I guess. I used to be very unforgiving about ‘entertaining the audience’. So…vintage anger is an influence. It’s kind of vindicating for some of us with such issues…

    John: “Yes…and I would like to thank my father…whose face I see before me in the snare drum, as I bang on it’s surface with two sharp wooden sticks…”


    6. What are you most proud of?

    Val: “I’m Proud of not ending up in prison or in a nut house.”

    John: “Me think you speak too soon.”


    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

    Val: “I’ve had a few regrets. I used to get hideously drunk before going on stage when I should’ve been locked up in a tower or causing mayhem before or after gigs…performing black magic woman…but no regrets with this band at all.”

    John: ‘I wish I could say that I have had to compromise my virtue or sell my soul to the devil on a lonely crossroads but I will leave those important issues for the people who audition for the x-factor.”

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    Val: ‘Well, I made the most ridiculous request from the band. Though to me it still isn’t! I wanted to cover  ‘The Violent Femmes’ in a rhythm and blues way, which just got guffaws and shocked eyebrows and rolling eyes! My love of punk and Goth are taboos in this band you know!’

    J: “Yes, they still are. I love switching genre with a song but there is a limit before it sounds wrong and I’m not a punk rock drummer! I would like to combine blues material with a jazz method and a punk attitude…just as long as it’s not four to the floor on the base drum, with synthesizers and guitar solos that go on forever.”


    9.  What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

    Val: “Get rid of the dictator and give each other room to breathe musically. Any collective experience can get hairy. Some dictatorships work but personally I don’t like them.”

    John:  “I listen to a lot of jazz and when it works musically, its through being collective and co-operative. It’s all about interaction. When we have arguments it’s usually because one of us has started to tell the other what to do musically. You have to trust everybody to get it right in the end and respect their ability to play their instrument.”


    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

    Kevin: “Hound Dog, just to have been there to see Scotty Moore THWANGING out those notes at the start of the 2nd solo…just magical stuff!”

    Val: “I would have loved to have learnt the violin and played Vaughn William’s lark ascending or piano on Nina Simone’s ‘I got it bad’. NEVER play that song to me in public, as it’s the only song that can break me. It’ll end up in tears…”

    J: “The drums on Hook and Sling by Eddie Bo, or any second line beat…or perhaps that Shadows track which is basically just a very melodic drum solo with a guitar riff at the beginning and end…No ‘Cliff’, very little ‘Hank’ and all the better for it.’


    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

    Kevin: “That one still eludes me and I have got the mental scars to prove it.”

    Val: “No balance for me either…something’s been sacrificed - like a tidy house, work projects, origami classes. I don’t know how others do it. We have regular gigs and rehearsals and daytime jobs but I would collapse without our music endeavors.”

    John: “Just call me irresponsible…”


    12. In light of the Internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

    Val: “Yes; the whole record rummaging ritual, the mystery, the expectation, the mistakes, the meditation of physically browsing through all that vinyl. I worked in a record shop for 10 years, so I couldn’t see it any other way.”

    John: “The real issue is current recording technology and distribution. I feel nostalgic for the days when you often didn’t have a picture of the artist on the cover of your 78, 45 or 33rpm LP record. This was when what you heard was judged strictly on musical terms. So many songs these days cannot be separated from the videos. Music has become part of an entertainment/celebrity experience, controlled by a global industry that seeks to make everybody listen to the same thing.
       In so far as downloading and the MP3 format undermine that, I’m for it. Let’s get rid of the stadiums and the superstars and bring on the talented amateurs…bring on the ‘folk musicians’, even if they play punk rock in the car park on a Sunday afternoon.”

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gamelan for your music/the band?

    Val: “Success through acquisitions says more about your shortcomings than anything else. Certainly its not money for me or even respect on a commercial level. Personally, if we can record an album that we are all proud off and have the opportunity to gig as much as we can, then I would feel quite successful. One can be successful at being an arsehole! It’s relative and I hate to measure life in those terms. Maybe being successful in communicating something in music is as close as I get to it.

    John: “I just want to make music that I like personally, which is harder than you would think…

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

    John: ‘It’s the one thing I cant stand about some DJ’s - their lack of interest in learning about or promoting the cultures and people who actually made the music that they play and make money from. I’ve read and I’m sure you have, notes on DJ driven compilations that are just about how much the record’s worth to collectors or how many times it was played at the Wigan Casino in 1974. D J’s should be researchers first…promoters for the lost, the forgotten and the unloved or at least interesting meetings between one song/rhythm and the next…in that sense they are worth something. Otherwise you might as well put a penny in the jukebox or plug in your Pod!”

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

    Val: ‘Playing Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes and the realization that we could get a whole crowd from so many varied musical tastes to bop up and down for the entire gig.
        But as a fan, it was ‘The Band of Holy Joy’ whom I saw last year at the 12-bar. The singer isn’t a conventional vocalist but is just so passionate and emotional that you engage with him immediately. You can’t fake sincerity or anger in singing because it’s visible. He has ‘it’ without being earnest about it. His humility comes across. But it was the violin section, which weaved its way in and out of all this drama so eloquently that made it feel like a blues experience (even though its folk). What I’m trying to say is that for me, the blues is more about a cathartic experience than the genre sometimes. The same goes for soul. I don’t want empty vocal acrobatics. They mean nothing to me. Sometimes the best vocalists are the ‘non-singers’ who’ve learnt through life experience but I guess I’m a bit purist about the subject.”

    Kevin: “Carl Perkins at the Town and Country Club years ago. He must have been in his 60’s at the time but played with a passion and energy that made the night a great rock n roll experience. Also, Richard and Danny Thompson at the Royal Festival Hall several years ago. They managed to transform a large space into something much more intimate…”

    John: “Well, I sometimes listen to fantasy concerts in my head. Wouldn’t it be great if Hendrix had made a record with Duke Ellington, that kind of thing…but in reality it would have to be the Arkestra - live with Sun Ra, now sadly departed. I often think about that experience and am sometimes tempted to join him on the outer space ways.”

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

    Val: “A glass of wine and toilet meditation.”

    John: “Playing.”

    Kevin: “Don’t really get them, as long as I’ve practiced enough. I guess now that I’ve said that they will creep up on me just when I’m least expecting it.”

    17. When did you last write something?

    Val: “ I wrote something today about suadade. I have come to dislike the words ‘depression/bi-polar’ etc. I much prefer melancholia and suadade, which are both more about reflection and meditation. It was semi-biographical but not a song, and therefore it was upbeat. Its weird all my sparkly friends write in a moody way and all my ‘dark friends’ write in humorous way. I wish I could write upbeat lyrics but I find it all a bit of a struggle. I’ve been told I write about revenge too much. Which is quite a wishy-washy accusation come to think of it. It’s all an eye for an eye with me…”

    John: “And a tooth for a tooth….”

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

    Kevin: “Many times…yeah, but I think it’s like a drug…hard to quit.”

    John: “When personal factors get confused with music, that can be bad but I enjoy playing so much, one puts up with all the pointless human conflict.’


    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instruments during recording?

    John:  “All the music I am interested in demands some form of improvisation. A computer can’t improvise. I want to hear a conversation between instruments, not a keyboard pretending to be a piccolo over dull thudding drumbeat. When electronics are used to expand the musical vocabulary they are fantastic. Les Paul’s use of multi-tracking was great, nothing had been heard like it on the planet before but now that same technology is used to create everything and it bores me to death because it is predictable, clean and gives you too many options. Creativity comes from what you can’t do, not what you can do.’

    Kevin: “It depends what sort of music you are recording. A lot of modern stuff is based around a digitalized and processed sound but Personally I prefer fingers and sweat on strings and skins.”
     

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    Val: “There was nothing on telly and I had nothing else to do in a pleasurable sense.”

    John:  “I like answering questions…in a pleasurable sense.”

     

     

    20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask...Leo from The Dynamites


    The big guns are coming to town and we’re very lucky to have an exclusive pre-Jazz Cafe Q&A with Leo from The Dynamites (billed as The Dynamites feat. Charles Walker). I hope you’re feeling spoiled my funky brothers and sisters cos I know I am. This could be in danger of being the longest introduction I’ve ever had to write but I will try and keep it to a minimum as best I can. Featuring the northern soul LEGEND that is Charles Walker on vocals The Dynamites  album ‘Kaboom’ is spot on! It's all 60’s groove, 70’s funky soul and just the right amount of the present day. Seriously, if you haven't got it then you need to get that sorted! (‘Can You Feel It’ was on one of my early selections as it was one of those tunes I couldn’t shake out of my head….and I still can’t, it's that good!) Charles Walker is the man responsible for the fantastic ’Please Open The Door’ (by Little Charles and The Sidewinders) amongst others - I know, and he’s playing the Jazz Cafe people …with THE DYNAMITES! Thanks to the always impressive G-Spot Events you can catch them there on Thursday 13th November (click on the name to access the G-Spot myspace page where you can order/find ticket information) along with another legend…Deep Funk pioneer and northern soul champion Mr. Keb Darge himself (what can I say folks but yes, it’s the man that inspired a million funky record collections to grow and grow and grow and well, just keep growing) AND as if that wasn’t enough…the ultra talented and lovely Miss Corrina Greyson will be doing her own silky voiced thang too. Nice. This life malarkey’s bonkers sometimes but it ain’t ‘arf cracking eh? This gig really is gonna be a biggy groovers cos all these cats are about as cool as they come! Anyway, Leo (or Bill) is the unfaultering guitarist, songwriter and founder of Nashville Funk Daddies The Dynamites  so read on and smile you lucky funkers. A million thanks to Leo for embracing The Right Side and a very special thanks to Miss G for the heads up and assistance, you’re the best! 

    Love n’ sunshine, TBC

     

     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?
    We do real soul and funk music. And by real, I mean “authentic.” It’s written, recorded, and performed much like it was in the golden era of soul of the mid-to-late 60’s through the mid-70’s; but always looking ahead to its natural, present-day progressions and evolution.


    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?
    Well Charles has already had a long, distinguished career in soul music, but we’re working on this stage being his brightest.


    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?
    Killin’ It, off our record. It’s an explosive funk burner and the words really express what this band is all about…killin’ it.
     
    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?
    James Brown


    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?
    Tom Waits. Because he’s made the only records I’ve bought in 20 years by a white guy.
     
    6. What are you most proud of?
    Sorry, not really sure how to answer this one. But I am immensely proud of this Dynamites band and “Kaboom” album.


    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?
    No. Well actually, we did play a gig in Starkville, Mississippi one time. That was a very big mistake
     
    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?
    The head coach of the University of Tennessee Volunteers’ women’s basketball team in a drunken rage demanding for upwards of an hour, and at the top of her voice, that we play “Mustang Sally.”
     
    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

    First, that everyone is on the same mindset about music–that it is a sacred communication through sound, that it is a privilege to do this as a profession, and that it is never a basis for egomania or elitism. Second–that all the musicians you are working with have soul.


    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?
    There are SO many of those, but Bobby Byrd’s “Know You Got Soul” stands out. Because the 2nd guitar line on that tune has the spookiest line and a wicked rhythm.
     
    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?
    The people that choose to involve themselves personally with soul musicians normally know what they’re getting into. On my side of that, though…when I’m home, I make sure I’m REALLY home. And when on the road, I stay very connected. iChat really helps.
     
    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?
    Absolutely and without question, yes. The full answer to this question could fill up a set of encyclopedias, if you want my opinion on it. But in a nutshell–the main reason for this is not the internet and downloading. People wouldn’t deprive themselves of true music discovery and supporting it if the overall popular music market hadn’t gotten so absolutely saturated with so much horrible shit, a process that has been devolving over the last 25 years. This will change once quality, real music and production resurface consistently. And for that to change…well now we’re going to need those encyclopedias.
     
    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have  a preset gameplan for your music/the band?
    My motivation is to make the world a funkier place by bringing sweet nuggets of funky soul into being and bringing them to people. And that is also my preset gameplan.


    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?
    I suppose that depends on what kind of DJ’s you’re talking about. Now, the DJ’s in OUR world (the deep funk and soul genre) are the whole reason that we have this thing. They got this music back on our minds, they inspired us, and today they are bringing our music to people just like this music was brought to people during the 60’s and 70’s–through playing our singles…on vinyl. So with that disclaimer out there…the DJ’s you are probably referring to are the house and techno cats, and I’m not in the least bit familiar with that. So I’ll have to stick with my praise for the funky DJ’s that are the lifeblood of what we do. And if they WERE to get famous for spinning deep funk and soul nuggets, well they would deserve a lot more than fame.


    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?
    As a performer, the most memorable gig was in Sete, France this past summer. We played at this outdoor amphitheatre on the Mediterranean Sea and shared the bill with Candi Staton (one of my idols) and Gwen McCrae. It was such an incredible night of soul music. Another one would be at the Montreal Jazz Festival this past June. 40,000+ people were there for 2 hrs. of us. That was amazing.


    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?
    I only get them, oddly enough, at record store appearances and broadcast performances on TV or radio. I’m really confident in our band and of course Charles, so my nerves get a rest most of the time. But when they do “flare up,” as I’m sure the rest of the band would say they do often, I just drink beer.


    17. When did you last write something?
    About an hour ago.
     
    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?
    Yes, absolutely. What persuaded me otherwise was that I wasn’t finished yet.
     
    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?
    Well I’m a purist. I need wood and string and alternating current and leslie and cowhide and brass and spring reverb and tape. Some people can make really good modern country music or karaoke tracks with that fake stuff, though. ; )


    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?
    No problem. The answer is always yes for those working for the cause…of making the world a funkier and more soulful place. We’re all on the same team.
    See everyone at Jazz Cafe on the 13th.
    Leo

     

     

     20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask...Mr.D from Vibratonic


    Get on this funky brothers and sisters. FunkLab Studio owner and producer Mr.D has been kind enough to indulge us with a Q&A. Vibratonic have a real nice vibe to ‘em.  They’re a 7 piece line up hailing from East Oxford…I know no more other than their tune ‘Money’ hits the spot bang on in my ears peeps. They’ve just uploaded a new choon that’s well worth a listen too called ‘Here With Me’ - Check it out here on myspace and keep your eye on Vibratonic. Many thanks to Mr.D!

    Love n’ clusters, TBC

     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

    - Play Piano, make and record music that hopefully some people will enjoy listening to.

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

    - I’m still very eager to learn as much about music as I can, and with any luck write some songs people will like along the way. There’s lots of new Vibratonic material being recorded at the moment, and the whole collective is on a bit of a musical high. I don’t really think of making music as a career, more just a great way to enjoy life. If somebody wants to sign us up and hand over a huge advance that would be great, but I’m not waiting for the phone to ring.

    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

    - I just can’t think of one.

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

    - Bob Marley, both for the music and the general outlook on life.

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

    - Not really, I think they’re pretty clear to people who know me.

    6. What are you most proud of?

    - My 3 year old son.

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

    - I was in the Future Music Magazines ‘Changing Studios’ feature about 3 years ago, and was a bit miffed because they made me out to be a total numb nuts who knew nothing about studios, so that they could miraculously ‘change’ me.

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    - Can you play something a bit less cool!

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

    - You have to be having a good time else there’s no point, which I’m sure will show in the music. It helps if you’re a good bunch of friends too. Pretty much everybody in Vibratonic has known and hung out together for at least 10 years. Some of us have known each other for almost 20 years!

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

    - Lee Fields & the Sugarman 3 - ‘Stand up’, because it’s the Funkiest song I’ve heard produced in the naughties.

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

    - By never stopping - not even for a moment!

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

    - I grew up adoring vinyl and people are missing out on the buying and playing records at home experience. Music has become too disposable. However, there’s loads of good music out there on the internet that would have never been released otherwise so there’s pro’s and cons.

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

    - Making decent music is my motivation, and I’m sure that can be said for the whole Vibratonic crew.

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

    - That’s fine - as long as they can keep the crowd happy and dancing they deserve whatever they can get.

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

    - De La Soul at the Oxford Zodiac - Oxford can never rock like that night again.

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

    - A few stiff ones.

    17. When did you last write something?

    - Last night.

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

    - I don’t really have any expectations so have never wanted to - of course I’d like to become famous but I’m not expecting to.

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instruments during recording?

    - I like to record as many live instruments and people from the collective as I can in all our tunes. I don’t mind Virtual Instrument plugins being played with a real keyboard, and quite a few plugins get used in the Vibratonic songs. However, a track produced solely with virtual instruments just doesn’t sound as nice as when you get the real instruments and microphones out. You can get away with some, in moderation but that of course depends on what sound you want in the first place.

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    - We really like your website & the Funk mixes on myspace and are of course grateful for the exposure.

     

     

    20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask...Bryn from Captain Hammond


    Ohhh you lucky funkers. It’s only ex-Mother Earth and now cosmic hero Captain Hammond LEGEND Bryn Barklam up next. I must sound like I always say this about people (cos it’s always true) but he’s a genuinely lovely fella too. Aiding hammond-commander Bryn in this mission to blow The Mechanauts away and keep us all out of the danger zone are his funky partners in crime Pete Collison (guitars) and Greg Boraman (drums) from the The Fantastics who we already love so you KNOW it’s quality eh?. Captain Hammond really deliver the goods on their album ‘The Origins of Captain Hammond’ and I struggle to pick a favourite from it as there’s no let up in the funk assault at all, that said ’Cosmic Candy’ shows just why so that’s as good a place as any to start. It’s the absolute cartoon equivalent of the dog’s bajanga’s people….and live they literally sound out of this world (intergalactic, even). Check them out here on myspace and then own this as soon as you can cos you need it children, the half man half organ may well have to save us all one day. Many, many  thanks to Bryn for a fantastic read and sparing us some of his time, I’m off to search the internet for dodgy pics of side partings!

    Love n’ intrigue, TBC

     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

    Super-Powered Organ Action!!

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

    If my career was a week, I’d say I was in Friday afternoon. I’ve just had a great Thursday night and am now looking forward to a large weekend.

    3. Which song (not neccesarily yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

    Almost Grown by Small Faces. I’m 5′ 5″ - that’s average height for a girl!

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

    When I was growing up my uncle Aaron was a huge influence on me. He was self taught and could play just about any musical instrument by ear.

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

    I’m really into the music of Akira Ifukube, who composed the soundtracks to many of the classic Godzilla movies. If his music’s good enough for the king of the monsters who am I to argue!

    6. What are you most proud of?

    My two daughters, and the Captain Hammond album.

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

    I once went with Buzzcocks to a photo shoot for Levi’s and naively agreed to having a picture taken with my hair combed into a horrendous side parting. I dearly hope that never surfaces!

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    Mother Earth were in the middle of a sound check at a college once when someone asked us to play “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles. I was confused - did we look like we knew it?

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

    Don’t interrupt someone in the middle of their solo.

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

    The main theme to Star Wars by John Williams. Just imagine playing the Hammond with the London Symphony Orchestra!

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

    I always wear headphones when practising at home.

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

    Nothing compares to the experience of vinyl: the 12″ sleeve with the artwork in all its glory, maybe even a gatefold if you’re lucky! Maybe I’m nostalgic but I think the warm sound you get from a record is the best.

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

    While I am working on one part of a project I am planning what to do next. Ultimately this approach will lead to total cosmic domination. Nothing less is acceptable.

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

    As well as entertaining by playing great tunes people already know, DJ’s have a responsibility to select music that can educate the audience. That could be from a new, up and coming band, or an undiscovered gem that is rarely played. If they only play hits you might as well put on a compilation album.

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

    I do get a bit restless before gigs - often my hands get sweaty, which bothers me as I don’t want my fingers slipping into the wrong keys. In Mother Earth we used to just shout very loudly - worked every time!

    17. When did you last write something?

    About a minute ago when I answered Question 16.

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

    I’ve never given up, just been stuck and not sure how to get out of a rut. At times like this my mate Greg Boraman has always been very encouraging and supportive which has helped tremendously. Besides, I could never really throw in the towel, I wouldn’t have anything to dry myself with.

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

    You can’t beat the sound of a real instrument - you can get close but I like the little inconsistencies you get with a live instrument.

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    You bought me a virtual drink on Facebook, a gesture of generosity that cheered me up without giving me a headache. How could I refuse?!

     

     

     

    20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask... Mark A. from The GetUp!


     A nice little result for you funk fans. I was introduced to hammond whizz Mark froThe Getup at The Jazz Cafe when The Soul Snatchers played and thankfully he agreed to indulge us with a Q&A. The good news is that The Getup’s new album ‘Life & Cafe Eric’ will be launched at The Yardbird in Birmingham on October the 18th so get along there if you can. They will also be supporting heavyweight newcomers Trio Valore at The Square in Harlow on October the 24th - and here’s the thing….if you buy your tickets here at The GetUp’s website you will be the proud owner of a free copy of the album on the night -  now that’s got to be unmissable eh? As usual here is the link to The Getup on myspace where you can check them out for yourselves if you haven’t already (I’m feeling all of ’em but ’Tobys Pants’ and ‘Bighorn’ have me under the spell at the moment especially). A big, big thank you to Mark for a fascinating and insightful read and for being the first person to mention Sesame Street on here! Dig It!

    Love n’ sprinkles, TBC

     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?


    It’s kind of Booker T & The MG’s meets JTQ.  It’s a Hammond funk quartet, but in more of a UK thrashing it way as opposed to the the US jazz/blues approach.  We grew up listening to The Clash and The Jam whereas they grew up on Muddy Waters, and I think that makes a difference to the sound.  As well as covering up all my mistakes of course…  I love the whole Jimmy Smith/McGriff thing of course, but sometimes it’s just too polite and I tend to get a bit bored with it.

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?


    Well, musically, I’m kind of at the beginning of it.  I had a few bands I was in back in the late 80s but nothing really interesting happened and we all drifted apart.  So we got The Getup together in 2006 after I’d done a few Hammond hire jobs for the Gene Drayton Unit, and it seems to be working well.  We’ve done lots of gigs in all the right places, Jazz Cafe, Yardbird et all, and are slowly attracting a small but loyal following.  We’ve got our first album coming out on our own label on 18th October, so that’s quite exciting.  We’ve also got good backing from Hammondbeat for the digital download side of things.  So we’ve got it all to look forward to really!


    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?


    Oh blimey, that’s a tough one!  If it was one of ours I’d say probably ‘Nelson Street’ from our first EP.  That’s kind of turned into our theme tune.  From another artist?  Probably ‘Rootdown’ by Jimmy smith, Hammond funk with a raw edge to it.

     

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?


    I firmly believe that Sesame Street is almost entirely responsible for my musical taste!  That and my dad handing me Booker T & The MG’s records to listen to when I was a kid.  And the James Taylor Quartet too.  I had quite a few lessons from James, so I copied a lot of stuff from him haha.  I’d say JTQ were my biggest influence.  It was James who got me into the whole Hammond thing back in the late 80s, and I’m lucky enough to play Calvinet with them on the odd occasion these days, so they really are a massive influence.  When I first heard them it tied the rest of it together.  It all made sense then!


    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?


    Well probably Sesame Street I guess, but there’s some amazing funky music in there.  Take the Pinball Song… pure genius!  Fred Leslie’s Missing Link have just done an amazing cover of that tune… check it out!


    6. What are you most proud of?


    My Hammond!  I stubbornly refuse to play anything else on stage, in the studio, or even in rehearsals.  I’d rather cancel a gig than play one with a clone.  It makes such a massive difference having the real thing there.  I’ll never forget walking into the venue when I first saw JTQ.  Seeing that huge lump of wood on stage with the Leslie speaker spinning slowly behind it, it really built a huge sense of anticipation.  And then when the band came out and started playing…. THAT sound!  Amazing!  So now, every time I walk on the stage myself and the Hammond is purring ready for action and that Leslie is spinning away, it always puts a little smile on my face.


    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?


    Yeah, got a cheap batch of CDs pressed up and half the bloody things wouldn’t play!  We replaced all of the ones that were faulty of course, but didn’t make a penny on the release.


    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?


    Someone once asked me if I could fit a USB port to a Hammond.  I said I could, but it wouldn’t bloody do anything!  And a party of people asked us to sing Happy Birthday at a gig, so we oblidged about two songs in, then they said thanks and all fucked off!


    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?


    Well I’m quite lucky in that I work with a really nice bunch of blokes.  There are no massive egos and we all get on really well.  If you get a cock in the band but they’re a really awesome musician then it’s probably livable with, but if they’re average then personally I’d say bye bye and let them go.


    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?


    Any of the classic 70s Tower Of Power instrumentals featuring Chester Thompson on Hammond.  Squibb Cakes, Walkin’ Up Hip Street etc.  The organ on those tracks is so bloody amazing, especially the way he takes over from Rocco on bass during the Hammond solos, playing bass on the organ with his feet and left hand.  If I could play half as well as that I’d be a happy man.


    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?


    Personal responsibilities go completely, utterly, totally out the window!!!


    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?


    I think the internet is great in that it lets anyone get their music out there, there’s a huge choice, and I’ve made loads of discoveries that I wouldn’t have had it not been for the old interweb.  It’s also great that you can preview stuff on most of the download sites and if you only like one or two tracks you can just buy those.  On the other hand, there’s no quality control mechanism, so you’ve got to sometimes wade through an epic amount of shit to get to the good stuff.  That’s why sites like Hammondbeat are so good, that quality control is in place and you know you’re not going to have to sort through the turkeys to get to the fillet steak.  But you can’t beat sifting through records in a shop, spotting one, buying it and playing it when you get home.  I’ve bought so many records (and CDs) in the past on the strength of the artwork alone, usually with pleasant results when it’s come to playing them.  And you don’t get that from iTunes!


    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?


    Well success for our specialist genre is only ever going to come in small doses, so whilst it would be nice to be able to actually make a living out of doing what we do, I’m certainly not going to give up if that doesn’t happen!  My main motivation is that I just really, really love it!  Gigging especially, but recording too.  We don’t have a preset gameplan, but I really want to fill our next album with guest musicians.  It would be great to have some really top names in the funk circle on there, so that’s something I’m working on and writing for at the moment.


    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?


    I think that like anything there are good DJ’s and bad ones.  What I do find annoying is when a band works their arses off playing a gig for an hour and a half and everyone stands there with their arms folded, then a DJ comes on and plays a track and they all go nuts.  And more often than not their going nuts to that same bands record but don’t even realise it!  But there are some very good DJ’s out there.  People like Perry Lewis and Snowboy, who’ve been bringing new music to my ears for years, and some of the internet radio DJ’s like Lee ‘Smokin’ Scott who does an amazing show called Casserole on 209 Radio in Cambridge.  I don’t think he’s ever played anything I’ve ever heard before!  The bugger costs me a fortune haha!


    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?


    As a performer, playing the Paris Jazz Festival this year with JTQ.  We had an incredible night out on the town the night before and got back to the hotel totally wankered at 7am, then went off for the soundcheck a couple of hours later and we all thought it would end in disaster.  We just hit the stage and exploded, it was amazing.  As a fan then seeing Tower Of Power and the Blues Brothers Band way back in 1991 is a gig I’ll never forget.  The Blues Brothers Band had dispensed with all of the tackyness sometimes associated with the music and had Eddie Floyd and the amazing Larry Thurston on vocals, as well as half of the MG’s in the form of Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn of course. Incredible gig.


    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?


    I don’t really get them with The Getup to be honest, probably cos I wrote most of the tunes and tend to know them all backwards.  I do get nervous about getting there on time and tend to leave stupidly early for gigs, and there’s always that moment just after you’ve plugged the Hammond in where you wonder if it’s going to work or not!  I get more nervous for JTQ gigs but it’s healthy nerves.  I try and channel any nervousness into giving a good performance.


    17. When did you last write something?


    Musically?  Yesterday.  I’m always writing stuff.  Half if it gets hummed into my phone and never sees the light of day, the other half ends up as odds and sods and unfinished demos on the computer haha!


    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?


    Often when promoters don’t promote it can be frustrating.  Especially if you’ve spent £60 printing off flyers cos you know they won’t bother, and posted them off only to find they’re in the bottom of the bin or still in an un-opened jiffy bag when you get to the gig.  But I don’t think I’d ever throw in the towel.  I love it too much.  And I’m no good at anything else!


    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?


    I don’t like to see real musicians being replaced by technology for obvious reasons, but if someone who hasn’t got the means or the inclination to form a band can sit at home and come up with something great using nothing more than a MIDI controller and a laptop then fabulous, I’ll give that a listen.  You can’t beat a good live band, but there’s an audience for everything, so I have nothing against modern technology helping people to create music.  I do have a bit of a chip on my shoulder when it comes to the old analogue versus digital and valve versus solid state arguments.  I think a lot of the trendy “It must be recorded on analogue” thing is a massive pile of cack-pants.  If you’re using a well maintained top quality 2″ 24 track through a perfectly serviced Neve mixing desk then fine, it sounds incredible, but if you’re using some knackered old four track or a poorly maintained open reel eight track from the 80s through a shit mixer just because you refuse to use a computer then I think that’s bollocks.  I’ve heard no end of albums from excellent bands that have been ruined because they’ve been so preoccupied trying to get that vintage sound, but fucked it up by using shitty old analogue equipment.  The most important things to me when recording are getting a good performance, performing it in a good sounding room, and getting the sound right at source.  If you’re recording a valve Leslie you don’t need a whole rack of valve outboard to do it, you need a few good mic’s, some good mic preamps and something accurate and stable to record it on.  I’ve tried all sorts of stuff, and I always get much better results recording straight into a computer through good mic pre’s and good converters than I ever have with any analogue tape machines I’ve ever been able to afford and maintain.  The same goes for the valve/solid state thing.  Everyone who’s played my main rental Hammond says it’s the best they’ve ever played.  Guess what?  There’s not a valve in the thing, anywhere.  It has a solid state preamp.  There’s valves in the Leslie, output valves, the ones that distort beautifully and give you that lush, creamy overdrive, and I think they’re essential, but a lot of peoples pretensions over valve and analogue equipment are based purely on myth.  If you’re using valves in everything, especially poorly designed budget processors, then you can easily end up with a big, harsh, tiring to listen to distorted mess.  I know, I’ve done it!  Rant over haha!


    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?


    Erm, you asked me!



     
     

     20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask...Dave Jay from Twisted Tongue

    I’m chuffed that next up is one of my favourite voices. Dave Jay continually inspires my lugholes since first hearing him singing for Andy Lewis. Apart from really diggin’ his own vocal contributions to those albums I also had the pleasure of seeing Dave perform some of them and stand in on ‘Are You Trying To Be Lonely’ when Andy played a solo gig just prior to releasing the second album. And (now don’t hunt me down people…) I thought it sounded better than Mr. Weller (honestly). What I’ve heard of the Twisted Tongue material is also outstanding and to be frank, pretty damn exciting in a mothership-funky-disco-bonkers kinda fashion. Mindbeam being one of those tunes you get withdrawal symptoms from if you leave it a week. I think the album will be a cracker and hopefully keep Dave singing cos I think his voice is fantastic - go and check it out here on myspace if you don’t believe me - you won’t be sorry! You can also check out some of  his remixes here at Twisted Product (and yes Leleo my funky friend I’m still waiting for your answers…can’t get hold of you on your phone!). Right, gush over but it’s his own fault for being such a damn nice bloke with it! Many, many thanks to Dave for sparing the time to humour me and for letting you lot into his world. Enjoy!

    Love and mojos, TBC

     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated? 

    Well, to sum up, I spent most of the 90’s doing session work (singing, writing, remixes) for various labels and since then have been a member of the band Soul Hooligan (who were signed to Madge’s Maverick label for a very brief stint), have collaborated with Andy Lewis on his first two albums and have recently set up my own musical project alongside my partner, Mark Dalton, called Twisted Tongue. Acid Jazz should hopefully be releasing our first album later this year.


    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now? 

    Perpetually up shit creek but have recently been handed a paddle or two! And I’ve gotta say I’m enjoying making music now more than I ever have in the past. Hopefully that’ll come across in the forthcoming album. But, to be honest, at this stage in my life I don’t really consider it a career anymore – it’s more just doing something I love in the hope it leads on to better things. If not, that won’t stop me doing it.


    3. Which song (not necessarily yours) best sums you / the band up and why? 

    My favourite tune on the album is undoubtedly ‘Niagra Song’ – a real psyche soul epic and, although far from the strongest song on the album, it’s probably the one track that sums up my own musical interests and goals more than anything I’ve managed to produce in the past. Outside of that, one track that continues to shock and awe both myself and Mark is Venus Gang’s ‘Love To Fly’ from, I think, 1978 – it’s the last word in cosmic funkiness and we’ve tried to emulate its vibe many a time, to varying degrees of success.


    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)? 

    Ooh, too many to mention – but here’s few that completely inspired me at various times in the past: Bernard Fowler (hands down the greatest soul singer of the past two decades), Junie Morrison (the ultimate journeyman), Robert Owens, Arthur Russell, Walter Gibbons, Norman Whitfield, David Toop (a simply amazing music historian), Trevor Jackson and, on the record label front, Dischord and ZE Records. Oh, and Betty Davis: ‘This Is It’ is surely THE most downright dirty, funky track ever made, don’t you think?


    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why? 

    Well, those who have only ever heard my contributions to Andy’s albums may be surprised to hear that, as much as I love music from the ‘60’s and early ‘70’s, the period that I’m most in thrall to are the years 1978-1983: for me they represent a time when new genres were born, rules were constantly broken and so much cross-pollination was happening in music. A truly exciting time that has set the blueprint for all that has followed to this day.


    6. What are you most proud of? 

    Musically? I really don’t wanna keep mentioning ‘the new album’, as that can be a bit of a bore. But it is the first personal project I’ve been involved with that I can actually say I’m proud of. Believe me, I’ve done some right old shit in the past!


    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted? 

    Well, having my eyebrows plucked and dyed for a photo shoot has to be up there! I looked to be in a perpetual state of utter surprise for two straight weeks afterwards!  

    And I used to agree to a lot of stupid things when I was much younger and under the impression that just ‘coz someone claimed to be a manager, A&R guy, whatever, that they actually knew what they were talking about. Lesson learnt there, mate!


    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you / the band? 

    None so far. But I’m sure Eddie Pillar’s got a couple up his sleeve! Only joking – a small label they may be, but Acid Jazz has been great with us so far… they’ve made a few fair suggestions but, apart from that, have left us alone to make the music we want to make. That’s a definite rarity in my experience!


    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians? 

    Creation, sedation and mutual ego massage.


    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why? 

    Marcus Belgrave’s ‘Space Odyssey’ or any of Betty Davis’ tunes – I just would have loved to have been in the studio when they were being made.


    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities? 

    I don’t - which is why my personal life is in such a mess!


    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience? 

    Absolutely not. I’m no purist and I really don’t understand why someone thinks they’re somehow more of a music lover just ‘coz they’re willing to depart with £500 for an old dusty 7”. I mean, it’s not like the original artist would get to see any of that money. MP3’s have made a lot of rare music available to a wider audience, and that can only be a good thing in my view.


    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music / the band? 

    I rather embarrassingly left my preset gameplan in my back trouser pocket before chucking ‘em in a 50 degree wash back in ‘92. Shame, ‘coz it was a fucking cracker. I’ve just had to wing it since then.


    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved? 

    I don’t think any DJ worth his salt really considers himself above the music he’s playing. That whole ‘superstar DJ’ thing was a real 1990’s deal that encouraged fame-hungry twats to get behind the decks in the hope that they’d soon be on the front cover of ‘Heat’. In another life these same people would have been just as happy presenting fucking CITV. But make no mistake – DJ’ing is an artform in itself. I’ve recently started up on the old ones and twos myself and I’m hopeless as shite! But I’ve been playing alongside a few other seasoned, knowledgeable DJ’s that have knocked me out with their ability – they’re juggling decks, CDJ’s, FX boxes, the works… these guys are truly putting on a show…


    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)? 

    I’ve not actually done many gigs – but the most satisfying was probably the one I did with Andy Lewis last year at 93 Feet East. The backing band was STUNNING – full horn section, Hammond… lovely stuff. I spent most of the gig just getting off on what everyone else was doing – I wasn’t too aware of what I was supposed to be doing myself!


    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)? 

    Two Cinzano’s and a beta-blocker. Works every time.


    17. When did you last write something?  

    I wrote a lot of the Twisted Tongue album. Right now, I’m happy to give it a rest for a bit.


    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)? 

    I did actually throw in the towel back in 2003 after I left Soul Hooligan – the whole Maverick thing was a bit of a disaster and the band were constantly bickering amongst themselves. The fun had gone out of it. So I spent a year managing James Sanger (who co-produced Keane’s first album) and, when that also didn’t work out, I decided to give up on music and tackle the dreaded ‘real life’. So I got myself a 9 to 5 and got on with it. Luckily, Andy Lewis had heard the cover of ‘Night Owl’ that I had done on Soul Hooligan’s album and asked me to do some vocals on his own project. I was wary at first, but Andy’s enthusiasm is very catching and I had a ball recording stuff in his front room. So it’s really down to him that I caught the music bug again. It’s a hard habit to kick.


    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instruments during recording? 

    No problem with it at all. I’ve heard some beautiful music made electronically and some god-awful shite made by ‘real’ musicians. And vice versa. It ain’t what you’re using, it’s what you choose to do with it that matters.


    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions? 

    Vanity. 

     

     

     

    20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask…Gianni from Mothergroove


    I’m right on this funky vibe. Mothergroove are a band that I just fleetingly checked out on myspace and then found myself drawn back to. There’s some really sophisticated tunes happening and it does put me in mind of everyone they list as inspiration but with something extra thrown in for good measure. I don’t know what it is but I like it. Check them out (click on the name) and you’ll see what i mean (they do a spine-tingling thang with ’Sexual Healing’ on ‘Superlove’ that’s a real melter). A very big thank you to Gianni!

    Love n’ flumps, TBC

     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?
    Funk

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?
    Not totally there yet

    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?
    Searching R.Ayers (even if, could be more!) because it’s the searching for something cool

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?
    The love for 70’s musical atmosphere also because this reminds me of when I was a child

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?
    no

    6. What are you most proud of?
    to survive with my music

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?
    no

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?
    to play with a shark fin on my head..

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?
    Groove, respect, sincerity and open mindedness

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?
    I think it would be a Steve Wonder song of the 70’s because is the artist that I most respect

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?
    For me the music represents my personal responsibility because the music is my work

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?
    I’m in agreement with digital music because it is a kind of bigger and faster communication but there should always be a space for the selling of vinyls

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?
    I don’t think that the success is my inspiration but the necessity to express myself or my band

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?
    The problem isn’t the DJ’s but the clubs and the laws, it’s cheaper for the pub/club owners to contact a DJ instead of a band..

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?
    Was a gig with Mothergroove in a small and dirty club in Barcelona

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?
    joking with my band..

    17. When did you last write something?
    minutes ago..

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?
    no never

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?
    This replacing for me has a limit, it’s impossible to reproduce perfectly an instrument played by some musician in an electronic way

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?
    Thank you for giving us (underground bands unknown or semi-unknown) another way for promotion




     

     

    20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask…Phil from Funkshone


    I was a bit slow in getting this posted but I’m glad to be able to bring you Phil from Funkshones Q&A now. A top bloke and an awesome player. I’ve now had the pleasure of checking Funkshone out live when they returned to the Jazz Cafe and they are funktastic, people. Hopefully I’ll persuade the rest of them to get on board at some point as they all have their own unique projects/stories. A mighty talented bunch as I mentioned before when Mike kindly gave us his insight. The Norway trip mentioned has now happened and I have attached some footage from the now up and running Funkshone youtube page. Have a look, there’s some crazy happening on a lake for starters. These guys are living it! Thanks again to Phil (and best wishes to you, your family and the imminent arrival). 

    Love and nik-naks, TBC

     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?
     
    I am the guitarist with UK funk sensation FUNKSHONE. Alongside that I also write and record my own material as well as running an Independent label (Well In Recordings) and an online radio station (Wired Up Radio)
     
    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?
     
    At the moment it’s a real exciting time, we’ve (FUNKSHONE) recently done a live session for Craig Charles @ BBC 6 Music, Done a couple of great shows at Camden’s Jazz Cafe and are about to take the funk to Norway… As well as completing our debut album…
     
    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?
     
    We’ve got this new number called WIRED… It’s pretty much full tilt all the way… but it’s a real blast to play and it’s a clear indication what we can do when we’re firing on all 4 (or 9!)
     
    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?
     
     I have to say my dad… He was always so supportive. Not only that, he introduced me to some great music as a child… People like Dizzie Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Oscar Peterson, MJQ, Coleman Hawkins loads more… Musically Hendrix. Probably an obvious choice for a guitarist but hey what the hell!
     
    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?
     
     I dunno! Apart from the fact that I don’t listen to a lot of guitarists… but generally I think as  musicians we’re influenced by certain things naturally, without realising it
     
    6. What are you most proud of?
     
    My son, Ashley. He’s my greatest achievement. Apart from that, being involved with FUNKSHONE, without a doubt.
     
    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?
     
    Not as such no… but back in the day I wore some pretty outrageous costumes on stage thinking I was making an artistic statement!
     
    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?
     
    It has to be the gig we got asked to do for 50 quid and free beer! I think it would have been about a 200 mile round trip or something! Yeah right!
     
    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?
     
    I think you need to be willing to see the big picture, you know. It’s like any relationship really. There’s always an element of give and take… it’s all about using your ears, if that makes sense?
     
    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?
     
    Definitely “I Believe To My Soul” by Donnie Hathaway… what a great soulful groove… I’d have made the tea just to be there when they laid that down…
     
    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?
     
    Like most musicians I know, I’m not sure I really do! My partner keeps me in check though!
     
    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?
     
    I felt the same way about CD’s! Buying records was such a massive part of my childhood from a real early age and half the time I had no idea what I was buying! Yeah in a way it’s sad, but I think in another 10 years or so people will be discovering download rarities in the same way. You know. The stuff that wasn’t the single etc…
     
    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?
     
    I’m not that tactical I’m afraid… How do you measure success anyhow? Obviously we’re in the business of selling records and playing to audiences, but for me it’s always been about the music, but a mans gotta eat!
     
    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?
     
    I can’t pretend to know a great deal about DJ’s really to make an informed comment! There’s no denying there are some great ones out there, and they do a great job spreading the word. But there are also alot of dicks who think they’re actually bigger than the music. But there are dicks in all walks of life!  I s’pose they’re a necessary evil!
     
    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?
     
    FUNKSHONE’s debut at The Jazz Cafe Feb 23rd 2008. We tore the roof off!
     
    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?
     
    25 years of gigging has taught me one thing… you can never have too much loo roll!
     
    17. When did you last write something?
     
    I’m pretty much writing all the time to some degree, and I’ve got 2 or 3 things that I’m working on right now. The luxury of a studio at home!
     
    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?
     
    Once or twice over the years, and although I never actually stopped playing altogether I did duck out of the “live” side of it for a couple of years until I was invited to sit in for a friends band. It was then that I realised how much I was missing it.
     
    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?
     
    From a writing and arranging point of view, it can only be a good thing. For example you have an instrumental section and you’re not sure whether to use brass or strings, it’s easy enough to dial up the alternatives and “audition” the sounds. I’m not worried by it. It’s a useful tool but that’s all. You will never replace “the real McCoy”.
     
    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?
     
    You asked me & you seem like a nice guy!
    Cheers
    Philly


     

     

     20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask... Kutiman


    Kutiman is one funky experience! I really dig the vibe and you HAVE to check it out! I am starting to think Israel might be the new funk central. My top track is ‘Music Is Ruling My World’ cos it says it all. That and a few more are up on myspace to mull over but the album is a must folks! Thanks again to Boaz for helping things along.

    Love n’ spangles, TBC

     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

    I do my best to express what ever i hear in my mind…i usually start with the drums .. when the drums work i jam on it with different instruments and eventually i edit everything to give it a reasonable structure …  

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

    Hopefully at the very beginning:)

    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

    I cant really think of one…. 

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

    I’m trying to get new inspirations (not necessarily from music) every day . I really feel that this is what keeps me alive . Just before i started to record my album i heard  some James brown and Fela kuti records for the first time… its hard for me to say that this was my biggest inspiration but it definitely blew my mind far away.. 

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

    I guess not … I discovered “classic” funk and groove music not long ago so most of my influences are quite obvious …James brown , Fela Kuti, King Crimson , The Meters , Soft Machine ……  

    6. What are you most proud of?

    I released my first solo album worldwide and I got a great response to it… a couple of years ago, before the internet took over, it seemed impossible from a rather isolated place like Israel . 

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

    no 

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    As a matter of fact i haven’t been asked to do anything ridiculous … i guess if someday I get more famous as an artist these kind of requests will start to appear .. 

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

    I’m not sure there is such a difference between relationships amongst musicians and any other kind of relationship … and unfortunately I don’t have the secret to a good one :) For me having a “good vibe” is the most important thing whenever I’m working with other people… I wouldn’t work even with the greatest musician on the planet if he’s got bad vibes as a person…   

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

    I don’t really have any specific song that i would dream to play on… although  sometimes when i listen to Fela Kuti I wish I was one of the many percussion players and I would play the simplest part like the clave that goes “click click …click click ” same thing for half an hour :)  

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

    In times when I work intensely on my music there isn’t such a thing as personal responsibilities ..:) To tell you the truth, I’m not really happy with the fact that I can spend weeks without eating properly or answering the phone or doing anything except music .. But i guess that as long as I don’t have a wife or children it’s ok :)  

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

    Not really … no doubt that a vinyl looks, sounds and feels much better compared to any other format but eventually music for me is music and i don’t really mind in which format color or shape it comes as long as I can listen to it. 

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

    My goal in life is to do whatever i want (art wise) and to be able to make a living out of it… as for the game plan ..i’d rather leave this to my manager .. 

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

    I’m not really familiar with many Dj’s but i had the chance to see some big names when they visited Tel Aviv  (Dj food , Diplo ,Mark Hype , Cut Chemist ) and I definitely think they deserve all the respect they get… 

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

    My first live show in Tel Aviv with my “Kutiman Orchestra” band is definitely a gig i will never forget. 

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

    I still get them and i hate it … from my experience the only thing that can make the pre-gig nerves go away is the gig itself. 

    17. When did you last write something?

    All the time  

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

    Every once in a while i feel like I want to quit everything and fly to India :) but what holds me from really doing it is the fact that I want to establish myself as an artist first. Sometimes i feel like there isn’t really such a point and if I will keep on telling myself “not yet” I will never take a break .. 

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instruments during recording?

    I have no problem with it . I even work on some electronic projects myself.. like i said , music to me is music it doesn’t really matter how its created.  

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    thank u…

    The fact that I want to fly to India and I want to establish myself as an artist first :)) he he

    Honestly it really makes me feel great that people like my music and want to know all about it…

     

     
     

    20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask…DJ Blueprint


    It’s a new week and the sun’s out funky people! We’re very lucky to be following The Soul Chef’s Q&A with another of my favourite bloggers DJ Blueprint from  This Is Tomorrow . A fine musician in his own right and an endless font of funky tunes. He’s switched me on to a shedload of tracks along the way and I really dig ‘em! If you’ve not visited his site, then get over there as soon as you can cos you will not BELIEVE the contributors and mixes you’ll find! It’s also where I did my first guest selection which really helped spread the word and jump-start the visits on here, so I’m very thankful to Mike for that opportunity (and I think it’s a cracker…but then, I would!). Keep an eye out for our very own guest mix from DJ Blueprint in the future and be sure to check out This Is Tomorrow cos it’s a biggy folks and you’ll learn a lot by popping in! Many thanks to Mike for everything.

    Love n’ dibdabs, TBC

     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

    i’m a dj, played sets in the uk, spain, france, germany and luxembourg so far. i started dj’ing in 2005 after playing drums in various bands.

    i’m also producing my own sample based music and present other people’s music i like on my blog called this is tomorrow. 

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

    luxembourg isn’t the best place to start a career in music, so i’m still at the beginning. even after doing it for 20 years… 

    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

    my favourite funk song: james young and the house wreckers - barking up the wrong tree. it represents everything i love about music. 

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

    probably john coltrane. in my opinion, a love supreme is and always will be the best album in music history. 

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

    i really like all kinds of music. it always depends on my mood. there’s just two types of music: good and bad. 

    6. What are you most proud of?

    just being alive.   

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

    there are loads of so called managers or business people out there trying to tell you what you have to do or should do.

    but i’ve never listened to these people, maybe that’s why i’m still broke… 

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    as a dj, you get stupid requests all the time. can you play this or that… 

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

    you should always respect your band members and talk about everything. just like in real life. it’s better to work out things together. 

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

    as a drummer i have to say james brown’s the funky drummer. clyde stubblefield’s drums gave birth to so many great hip hop songs. 

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

    personal responsibilities always come first. although i love music, i think there’s more important things in life. 

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

    i still remember where i bought every record in my collection. the last record shop in luxembourg closed in 1991, so i buy most of my records when i’m travelling.

    people are missing out on the whole experience of finding a record you have been searching for years. or discovering an amazing record you’ve never heard before. the smell, the feel, the dusty dollar bins, weirdos buying or selling records…

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

    i do it because i like to do it. as a dj you get the motivation you need when you see the people having a good time. 

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

    depends on the dj’s really. some call themselves dj’s, but all they do is play mp3’s. mp3’s are great but you’re no dj if you don’t have a record collection.

    people like kid koala take it to the next level by using turntables as an instrument, so i think it’s fair to see them as musicians. 

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

    as a performer: when dionne charles of baby charles told me she never danced that much in her life. as a fan: herbie hancock and wayne shorter playing at an amphitheatre in barcelona. 

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

    i don’t know why, but i never get nervous before gigs. i do what i do and that’s it. 

    17. When did you last write something?

    i’m writing this at the moment… 

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

    i stopped playing drums a few years ago because i was getting tired of rehearsing and most of all, paying huge amounts of money for a rehearsal room.

    now i have my own home studio and i can make music at any time of the day. 

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

    in the 60’s and 70’s you had people like sun ra and even james brown, experimenting with electronic instruments. but i think live instruments will always be a part of music. that’s why producers sample live instruments. 

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    I really dig the right side of funky blog and of course to spread the word

     

     

     

    20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask…Vincent The Soul Chef

     

     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

    I fancy myself as an armchair DJ, if there really is such a term.  Basically I have been making mixtapes since 1983, first for family and friends, and now for the world thanks to the success of Fufu Stew. I can and have played a few live gigs over the years but I feel that I’m best known for the mixes I create.

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

    Wishing that I could organise a heavy Funk night in my hometown of Baltimore as it is sorely needed…

    3. Which song (not necessarily yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

    “Do Your Thing” by Isaac Hayes. The lyric tells the story in a nutshell: “…whatever you do, you’ve got to do your thing.”

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

    Besides the world’s most legendary cratediggers whose names are household words to most, I’d have to say that the many and various colleagues that I’ve met in the blogisphere provide me with the inspiration and information I so desperately seek when it comes to buying records.

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

    I’d have to say not particularly, although some people may be surprised to know that none other than Alex Trebek, host of the Jepoardy game show, is also an avid cratedigger. I would really love to be able to browse through his crates someday.

    6. What are you most proud of?

    My ever growing collection of 45s… If I include all of my golden oldies reissues and stuff that I don’t play anymore, I’d have to say that I am the proud owner of about a couple thousand or so, and that’s only after about three years of serious collecting. I know it ain’t much to some, but for me, it’s something that I really am proud of.

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

    Yes. I quit playing the saxophone in grade school. I hadn’t discovered Jazz yet, but if I knew then what I know now…

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    To play Milli Vanilli records at a gig that I did many years ago, knowing that no one would be interested in hearing them. While I did get paid rather well, I would have much rather filled the floor with the Acid House records that I was into at the time.

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

    Communication.

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

    That is a tough question to answer. If it were twenty years ago, I’d say it would have to be “Carolyn’s Fingers” by the Cocteau Twins. Why? I absolutely LOVE Liz Fraser’s vocal skills. I could see myself jamming with the band having the time of my life. As far as now it’s hard to say, but I could see myself playing some wicked guitar licks or organ riffs on a wide variety of Funk classics, that is if I could play… I really do regret giving up playing an instrument now.

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

    My personal responsibilities make it possible to have the music I enjoy. It also helps that my future wife (we are getting married next week) understands and supports my obsession as long as it doesn’t interfere with those responsibilities too much.

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

    Absolutely not. Speaking from personal experience, if it weren’t for the internet, I’d probably be listening to the prefabricated Pop records that basically sell themselves. I could speak volumes on this issue, but I’d only be beating a dead horse.

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset game plan for your music/the band?

    I could say yes, but being the humble individual that I am, if a small handful of people enjoy what I do then I am satisfied. I’m not even looking to make a living at it because I’d be doing it for myself anyway. For me, being able to share my work with people who are appreciative is an added bonus. As far as a game plan, I just keep looking for exciting music that will further enhance that satisfaction.

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

    That’s a fine line. Some say that a turntablist is not a musician because anybody can take a record and run a needle across it. I say it’s all in the presentation.

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

    As a performer, the two times I played 45s at the World Famous Asbury Lanes. Sharing the decks with DJ Prestige, Larry Grogan, DJ Bluewater and all of the other fine DJs of the Asbury Park 45 Sessions team was by far the most fun I’ve ever had doing what I love to do. As a fan, I’d have to say just about any of the twenty or so times that I’ve seen Gov’t Mule on stage were pretty memorable. Their stage show is by far the most beautifully ferocious thing I’ve ever witnessed.

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

    President John F Kennedy once said that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself… I find that if I jump into a gig or a mix head first that only good things can result.

    17. When did you last write something?

    I used to write poetry some years ago and an occasional essay for personal enrichment, but sadly I haven’t done anything like that in several years.

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

    Yes. In fact, just a few weeks ago I was contemplating the thoughts of shutting down Fufu Stew. Needless to say, I just couldn’t do it. Several of my colleagues persuaded me to continue, albeit on a somewhat limited basis for the time being.

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instruments during recording?

    I don’t feel that electronics are muscling in, especially with the revival of true Funk and Soul music and the musician’s use of conventional. sometimes vintage equipment. Electronic music does have its place in music history on so many levels however, so I must say that overall I am not opposed to it.

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    It was my pleasure. I agreed to this Q&A session because I was flattered at the fact that someone out there really wanted to know about how the Soul Chef was born. After all, I really am only an armchair DJ… {smile}

    Peace and blessings.


     

     

     

    20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask…Dionne from Baby Charles


    Heads up funky people! Vincent the Soul Chef will be making a visit from the mighty Fufu Stew on Thursday with a fantastic guest mix and a Q&A! I know…you’re spoilt, but what the funk!

    Next up for the Q&A is Dionne from the seriously funky Baby Charles. Their debut album is sensational and the live experience really is out of this world. I’ve never seen anyone with as much energy totally command a room from the moment they walked into it, and then still somehow turn it up tenfold once they hit the stage. And what a voice…check them out here on myspace and get on the Baby Charles bus, baby! You can also check Dionne on the new single King Comforter by the best band around the New Mastersounds (click on the name, you know how this works now). Many,many thanks and funky vibes to Dionne!

    Love n' smiles, TBC

     
     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?
    We get people moving there feet. That’s what it’s all about!

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

    Right at the very beginning, hopefully. We never really expected to come this far so we are just enjoying all the positive things that are happening to us right now.

    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

    Italian Spiderman, I think it speaks for itself.

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

    James Brown has had to have been the biggest influence for any funk band in existence or you are not playing funk

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

    Metallica. I don’t think people should be surprised though.

    6. What are you most proud of?

    Baby Charles

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

    I sure have – Dionne and its still out there so get hunting, I’m not giving you any clues though.

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    To travel all the way to Scotland from Brighton for a gig, on a weekday and not get paid a penny. Are you kiddin’ me?

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

    Having fun is really important, once the fun has gone its time for the band to split.

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

    Any James Brown song, cause we would have played with the Godfather of soul

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

    It’s the eternal struggle. I (Dionne) divorced my husband and I think this was possibly the best way.

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

    The sound quality on vinyl cannot be replicated and I know they are not as widely used but you can’t beat it. Go buy a record player everyone you won’t regret it!

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

    I think it’s more down to luck and the music than judgement and planning. We are now planning our next album and we hope to have another single out later this year.

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

    I’ve been in clubs dancing till 7.30am loving the music. These guys bring music you would not otherwise have heard, I’m all up for DJs.

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

    Portishead 1993 (I think) Glastonbury. Mmmm it was very good.

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

    You shit a lot and sometimes become slightly irritable and panic a little. I have vomited once or twice as well. The best way to get rid of them is to just get on stage, the side effects disappear straight away.

    17. When did you last write something?

    Today, I’m writing right now!!

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

    Yes. Years ago, I wasn’t well and just wanted to give it all up. The band wouldn’t let me go thank god.

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

    We don’t do it personally but we’re not adverse to the idea, we like to experiment

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    Cause I’ve met you, you seem like a nice man and you asked me!


     

     

     

    20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask…Handsome Homeless


    Handsome Homeless from Watts, LA have some serious funk going on. Their dedication to ‘the funk’ should you need it can be found on their myspace player (check out ‘Shake It Like It Owes You Money’, it’s a belter). I really dig ‘em but know nothing about them so this is another education for me. Funktastic!

    Love n' doughnuts, TBC

     
     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

    The only thing I call it is DIRTY FUNK! It’s the way it was when it started… Raw and Nasty real!

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

     We havin fun. There aint no money but we havin fun. In 2 words, Groovin contently.

    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

    HUBBIN N DUBBIN is what we all about. Just livin like we doin somethin in tha hood.

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

    The old cats like J.B., SLY, METERS, P-FUNK, stuff like that.

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

    One of our top cuts is THE BEATLES. They groove down! We was thinkin of havin fun FUNKin up THE WHITE ALBUM trak by trak! Tell me that wouldn’t feel good on yo eardrums!!

    6. What are you most proud of?

    The music we makin.

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

    NO! We aint never sellin out to nothin. If someone pays for what we givin, we don’t need to regret nothin.

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    Every time we ever played someone be screamin to Rap ova one of our FUNKY GROOVES! We let it go if we in the mood but brothas always pushin too far talkin about they gang bangin or they females they pimpin. That all played way out but everytime we play somebody wanta “SLAP THEY HO.”

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

     I think it’s about clickin up on the same page. We finds so it aint too hard fo us to keep tha groove.

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

     I got 2. YOUR ALL I NEED TO GET BY (MARVIN GAYE) and OOH CHILD (FIVE STAIRSTEPS) I’d play bass. That’s some smooth groove.

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

     It’s all the same to me.

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

    DIG! I remember goin all the way to hollywood on the blueline train from COMPTON when I was a kid just to get a MILES DAVIS record that I heard about. That made the record so much mo valuable to a young brotha. Today some of tha little homies is lazy and they miss out on that hunt.

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

    No. We havin 2 much fun groovin. We’ll see if things go big but aint nobody beefin fo it.

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

    I got a homie who makes bigga money than OBAMA scratchin vinyl! He good at it so people give him props. I think they silly but…

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

    We was jammin at a party on Santa Ana and Graham at tha towers. Tha news came by and did some filmin. At that time, some GRAPES rolled on some essays hangin in K-MOB hood. Everybody runnin screamin but we kept on groovin. I didn’t hear it until they was done. Tha female what was reportin tha thing started cryin cause she was shocked by it. I never saw it on tv.

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

    I never get that way.

    17. When did you last write something?

    Everyday. Just savin up to get into tha studio with some new cuts.

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

    I don’t remember anything like that. I like it too much.

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

    I go by tha old saying that DRUM MACHINES HAVE NO SOUL. If you skin and bones, how can you groove SYNTHETIC!?

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    Ive always wanted a forum to address tha last question. I like talkin FUNK!


     

     

    20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask…Andy Lewis


    Right, well I’m happy now. After much nagging and nudging I’ve managed to get Andy Lewis to stop working just for a minute. This is a real thrill for me as his 2 solo albums ‘Billion Pound Project’ and ‘You Should Be Hearing Something Now’ on Acid Jazz records are a mainstay of my collection and the closest thing in my opinion, that you’ll get to modern day northern soul (or at least the vibe). That said, there’s a lot more to them than that both influence and sound-wise, and the recordings boast an outstanding host of guest appearances and vocalists. If you (somewhat unbelievably) don’t recognise the name, Andy is the man who teamed up with Paul Weller last year to present us with a nifty little number and the best 45 to hit the high street in a very long time, the mind blowingly good ‘Are You Trying To Be Lonely’. He is currently playing some fantastic bass with Paul and features on his new album ‘22 Dreams’ which is at number one in the album chart (and it’s not everyday you get to say that!). He has been touring as part of Paul Wellers band and as such has made appearances on Later with Jools Holland and Friday Night with Jonathon Ross. Aside from this he is also a highly sought after and acclaimed DJ as well as being a member of the bands Pimlico and Spearmint (and is very probably involved in many other things either as a DJ or a musician but I honestly just can’t keep up). Check him out on myspace to hear some of his latest solo work and if you don’t already own his albums…you really,really should folks!. Thank you so much for sparing us some of your indisputably valuable time Andy!

    Love 'n whispers, TBC

     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated? 

    I’m a musician and DJ, currently playing bass for Paul Weller and the mind behind two reasonably successful solo albums for Acid Jazz records. 

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now? 

    Right now I’m probably exactly where I want to be. I’ve a very busy year ahead; a world tour with Paul’s band, Spearmint’s umpteenth album’s in the can and due for release later in the year, my third album needs doing and my old band Pimlico is due in the studio soon to work on their second after a ten year hiatus. I’m also DJing fairly regularly at home and abroad when I’m not doing all that- the diary’s pretty full and the bank manager’s happy! 

    3. Which song (not necessarily yours) best sums you/the band up and why? 

    It’s hard to think of one. “Top Of The Tower” from my last album pretty much sums up my various musical and cultural influences. Everything from Andy Ellison’s vocal through to lyrics mentioning early 70’s Chancellor Of The Exchequer Anthony Barber’s short lived property boom are set to a musical mash-up of dozens of bits of music you think you know. It’s the sound my brain makes… 

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)? 

    The crowd at the early days of Blow Up. I’ve never met such amazingly friendly and receptive people. All the music I make, I make with them in mind. Were I to go back in time with my new stuff back to 1993, they’d dig it! 

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why? 

    Slade. I absolutely love their album “Slade in Flame”, soundtrack to the film of the same name that I also absolutely love. That song “How Does It Feel” is beautiful… And earlier on they sported a Skinhead/Suedehead look that I emulated as a fan of 80’s popsters Boys Wonder. I’ve also got a soft spot for early Queen as well, in particular songs written by bass player John Deacon (who I apparently resemble, only with slightly less hair!) 

    6. What are you most proud of? 

    Having a bona-fide hit single with “Are You Trying To Be Lonely?” last year. Silly little me recording for silly old Acid Jazz selling a silly quantity of vinyl and only losing out at being number 1 in the Indie chart to The White Stripes by a handful of sales. It’s also acclaimed by Weller fans as one of his best performances. Not bad for something mostly recorded in a bedroom in an East London flatblock.  

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted? 

    No… not really.  

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band? 

    I was once asked by someone whilst DJing at Blow Up if I had any Meat Loaf. Fortunately my dear friend Tony had just turned up with a bag full of groceries, so I was able to say in all honesty, “No, but I have got some malt loaf…” This was long before I had a copy of “What You See Is What You Get” by Stoney & Meatloaf (his earliest-and funkiest-record for Rare Earth records in about 1971). 
     

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians? 

    Enough musical common ground so that there’s a selection of songs we all know that can be jammed about in rehearsal semi-seriously. Being able to mess about and come up with something that later ends up a classic pop song or in the set depends on this. It’s what I love about the Weller band- that version of “All You Need Is Love” that we do as an encore sometimes started out as a rehearsal room jam.  

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why? 

    “Groovin’ With Mr Bloe” by Mr Bloe. The bassline, when it kicks in, is magical. So simple and effective. Brilliant! 

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities? 

    Do you mean a personal life? Well, I think it depends on who you share your personal life with. If you’re lucky enough to be sharing your life with someone who supports you, helps you and inspires you then it’s very easy to keep the balance. I count myself very lucky to have a partner who does all of these things and a whole lot more. It’s hard to be a touring musician or DJ and have a conventional home life, but we’re not really conventional people and absence certainly makes the heart grow fonder (and the flat grow larger as all my gear gets packed up and taken away!) 
     

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience? 

    Definitely. There’s nothing quite like finding a dusty old record in a seedy old shop and getting it home to discover that your groove radar hasn’t let you down! These days, it’s dead easy to find out what other people are listening to and copy it. Having said that, it does make getting my music across to other people a lot easier. I’ve friends all over the world thanks to MySpace, and I sell a considerable number of records overseas. I’ve come across a lot of good music on the internet and have bought a lot of vinyl online. But you still can’t beat the thrill of feeling like you’re the only person in the world with a copy of something you found on a market stall somewhere. 

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band? 

    I’ve felt successful even when I’ve been selling no records and earning no money. That’s when the feeling counts. It’s the little victories that keep you going. Somebody mentioning to you that you’re playing the best music they’ve ever heard in a club, or telling you that some song you’ve written and recorded means something personal to them is a just reward for working bloody hard and keeping faith with your own musical taste and sense of self. My motivation is really to get all the silly little tunes and ideas that clutter up my brainbox out of my head and onto vinyl, or I’d explode. And also to tell the world about all the strange records I’ve discovered because they deserve to be listened to. The material things, and the “fame” bullshit stuff barely register as reasons for doing this, and for years there’s been no recognition and no money. I’m lucky to have a little of both now. I don’t need a lot, I’ve got simple tastes and I like being who I am…but it’s nice to be making enough cash to have some fancy threads and flashier equipment! That’s my gameplan such as it is- keep on keeping on! 

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved? 

    Only DJ’s who acknowledge that they aren’t bigger than the music they’re playing are worthy of their fame.  

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)? 

    Just the other day I was playing with Paul Weller’s band at the last night of a 3-night residency at the Hammersmith Apollo. Roger Daltrey joined us on stage for an impromptu (and unrehearsed) version of “Magic Bus”. Halfway through it, Paul comes up and whispers in my ear “Can you f*cking believe this, man?” That’s probably knocked Pimlico’s sold out show at the Dublin Castle when our singer came on stage wearing a Michael Portillo mask into second place… 

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)? 

    I don’t overcome them, they all but overcome me. But that’s not always a bad thing. Nerves keep you focused. A sense that you’re permanently on the edge of stuffing something up makes you concentrate harder on what you’re doing, so you don’t. Generally before a gig I’ll go for a walk, often quite a long one, just to save wear and tear on the dressing-room carpet. About a minute before stage time, I’d gladly hand my bass to anyone willing to take my place. But as soon as I’m up there, I don’t want it to stop. 

    17. When did you last write something? 

    When I got this questionnaire I was working on a new tune. I’d just programmed the drums and had finished recording the piano part when I thought I’d check my emails… 

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)? 

    Towards the end of 2004 when I’d finished my first solo album but it hadn’t yet come out. I’d just taken a job as a roadie for an indie-rock band who’d just signed a mega-bucks deal with a major label. I was skint, surrounded by people who were younger and more successful than me playing gigs in front of hundreds of people who dug them and I thought that I might as well stop trying, sell everything and try and get a “normal” life. But I had one last DJ gig to do… that’s where I met my wife and basically it was her encouragement to keep doing my own thing that kept me going. I stayed as the band’s roadie for a couple of years though- they turned out to be really nice guys and if they ever need my services again I’d be glad to go out on the road with them any time! My fees have gone up a bit though… 

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording? 

    It’s great. I’m like Les Dawson on the keyboards. Thank goodness for MIDI and ProTools. And we only live in a small flat. There’d be no room for us if we had to compete for space with a real Hammond, grand piano, harpsichord or Mellotron. Having said that, I’d always get a real Hammond player in if I could. Electronics and virtual instruments will never totally replace real ones, there’s a synergy you get when you sit at a real piano or a Hammond that you don’t get with a plug-in. Having said that, the Manekin-Elektronic GMBh Memotron (a digital Mellotron) is the most amazing digital instrument I have ever encountered. It has an authentic Mellotron sound but a feel all of its own. Beautiful to look at and to play.  

    A musician who has mastered an instrument brings something extra-special to a recording session. I think my best stuff has been created when there’s been real people playing real things.  

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions? 

    Your insistence that I should…!



     

     
     

    20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask…Mike from Funkshone


    First things first… The G-Spot at The Pigalle is the place to be tonight (yet again) with Trio Valore, Funk’n’steinCorrina Greyson and a whole host of others that you really don’t want to miss… so get down there and get your funk on!

     We’ve broken out the big guns for you this time around on the Q&A. I don’t even know where to start with this band cos Funkshone are an absolute sensation. Check out their 45’s and you’ll see what I mean. I haven’t had the pleasure of catching them live YET (they return to the Jazz Cafe Saturday the 14th) but I hear it just gets better and better. A mighty big sound from a hugely talented band (most, if not all of whom are individually involved in various other projects of note). Watch this space people cos this lot are the real deal and an album is on it’s way. Check out their myspace player if you don’t know them already and get your hands on some of this funk as soon as you can! Thanks to Mike for sparing us some time and giving us an insight into their world.

    Love n' momentum, TBC

     

     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

    We make deep funk, akin to a freight train coming at you at full tilt!

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

    A fair way in but I’ve still alot of ambition and hunger to do alot of different things in music, as have the rest of the band

    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

    Wired by Funkshone. This is a new one from the new album. We are all playing on it and it has a similar energy to the first 45 purification. Plus look at the title; Wired! Says it all really!!!

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)? mmm tough one.

    For me I suppose people like Clyde Stubblefield, Bernard Purdie.

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

    Er…. Yes! Vangelis! I love the strings and the moods in his work (Bladerunner especially). Yeah it’s not funk but I appreciate sound in a very deep way, I like to think Im quite open minded with music. I also write across different styles and genre too!

    6. What are you most proud of?

    Firstly my kids, leo and dexter. Wow is all I can say. But aside of such a big achievement I suppose making my way n to the industry on my own. I have worked very hard over the last 15 years and supported myself through my career, university etc, no parents bank rolling me!!

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

    Been a bit over zealous at times but no real regrets; everything happens for a reason so they say…

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    To bring an 8piece band to a show for £50 and free beer. Lesson 1 - free beer is fucking useless if you have to drive 200 miles after the gig!!!

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

    Tolerance, understanding and standards. Get that balance right and you can reach for the moon!

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

    Soul Drums by Bernard Purdie. Why?? Have you heard that tune??!! There is no why!!

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

    With increasing difficulty but I didn’t get into this business thinking it would be 9-5

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

    Yes. Somehow it almost feels like you earned the music when you track a 45 or an album down. There’s none of that with the internet.

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

    Gameplan…Keep bringing the funk, I feel we have something different to alot of funk and soul acts so the plan is to develop that and keep in exciting for the band and it’s fans both live and on record.

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

    Folks like Jazzy jeff, craze Q bert etc are different because they are doing something more with turntables. Folks like ian wright, Malachi and Keb are educating people so these people are important. But… there are too many DJs now and alot of em are getting too big for their boots; I met some guy who says he’s a face in Ibiza a month or so ago at a recording session. He was amazed I didn’t know who he was!!! what a prick!! so in short, the answer is yes and no!

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

    Jazz Cafe debut Feb 23rd 2008. Wow!

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

    Don’t get em, I’m the fuckin daddy!

    17. When did you last write something?

    2 weeks ago for a dance project. But, I teach at a university so I write music every day! Happy days!!!!

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

    Yeah more than you know. But, on reflection, when you hear stuff out there that is poor but doing well you’ve got to question your motives in life, get back out there, and show em what you got! If you believe in yourself then you just need to be strong and see things through

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

    Fair enough. There are many things electronic instruments can do that acoustic can not. It’s horses for courses really. I don’t feel threatened in anyway by electronica, in fact quite the opposite. It’s great to be able to write a piece for strings without having to remortgage the house to hire the london philharmonic! Let’s face it, as far as funk and soul are concerned, you aint gonna see too many laptops where the Dapkings and FUNKSHONE are concerned are ya??!

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    The five grand bung you promised me….



     

     

     

    20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask…DJ Prestige


    On with the Q&A series and what better way than with DJ Prestige, on a visit from the mighty Fleamarket Funk. It’s a bit of a coup for me personally that he’s agreed to do this as he’s another great blogging inspiration, Fleamarket Funk is choc-full of educational snippets, suprises and funky mixes and well worth a visit (but you must already know that). Get on over there when you’re done here and see what’s shaking his tree right now! You are definately gonna dig it!

    Love n' choons, TBC

     


    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

    I dig for out of print, forgotten, and under appreciated Funk, Soul, Jazz and Reggae records. I then review them at Fleamarket Funk and most likely include them on mixes which I give out for free.


    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

    I would say that it’s definately on the upswing. I’m at a place where I can choose to play gigs or not. I am known for a certain style, and for the most part, people like it. I do all the DJ stuff outside of a full time job, so it’s definately a juggling act. I make it all work though.


    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

    Roy Ayers Ubiquity: Life is Just A Moment. I say this because it is, so you need to enjoy it. I found that in my life, besides my family and friends, records bring me the most happiness. I’m grateful that I can combine the three and make it all work, and I do enjoy it.


    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

    My biggest influence I’d have to say are a combination of the actual people who were making the music I spin, their hard work and determination to do what they wanted to do at any cost is admirable, and DJ’s like DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, Kool Herc, Pete Rock and all the original cats who paved the way for a digger and DJ like myself.


    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

    Most of my influences are from the music area, so I don’t think that anyone I mention would surprise people. Now if I said I was influenced by Wayne Rooney (I’m a Liverpool Supporter), then most of my friends would say I’m out of my head.


    6. What are you most proud of?

    I’m most proud of the whole FleaMarket Funk package I put together: the writing, mixes, the DJ nights, and the small community of DJ’s and diggers that has come together from it. I know there are a lot of cats out there like me who appreciate this music, but have no means to get it. I’m fortunate that my secret spot is ‘vinyl rich’ and I can keep contributing to the record community, and hopefully make a big impact in the music blogging community.


    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

    Not really, I’ve learned even from the bad times. I’m finding as I approach 40, the experiences, as crazy as they were back then, have made me a better person.


    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    When I was touring in a band (I was the DJ), we played in a strip mall. I thought, what major label band with a legit booking agent gets booked at a restaurant in Canton, Ohio?


    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

    Being honest with each other about what’s going on in the band. There’s nothing worse than thinking things are going great to find out you were dropped from the label 8 months prior and no-one told the band members. As far as the relationship I have with DJ’s I work with, honesty about the gigs and money up front are a huge plus.


    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

    If I could have played on one song it would probably have to be ‘Easin’ In’ by Edwin Starr. There is something about this record that moves me. I play it almost every gig at the beginning of a set, to let people know to get ready, because I’m about to drop a whole bunch of stuff on you. Stuff you might know, or might not know, but you’re gonna have a good time while listening to it.


    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

    It’s not always easy. Like I said, I work a full time job. I’m married, and my wife works opposite hours, so in a way that works for the writing and making mixes. I most typically will try to write all my reviews in a few days, so I can spend my time with my wife and our dogs. It’s a delicate balance, but it’s needed.


    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

    Absolutely. I mean I feel like I’m a kid, buying that Eric B and Rakim ‘Paid In Full’ 12 ” every time I find records at the flea market, thrift store etc. There is definately loss today, because you get instant gratification with a download. Before you got records, liner notes, great cover art that you could actually examine on an Lp, a tangible product. Times change though, and of course I download music and have an mp3 player, but 95% of the music I buy is vinyl. I’ll never stop that.


    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

    I do believe that motivation has a lot to do with it. I mean, for most weekends, I’m the guy getting up at 5 to get records before the next guy, while lots of people are going to bed then. I don’t really have a preset game plan, more like just roll with what’s going on. I know what I’d like to get accomplished, which is helping to get obscure and forgotten music back on the radar. i think I’m getting there slowly but surely. I’d eventually like to do an out of state or country DJ gig a month, so that’s a huge goal as well.


    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

    I believe that some are deserved. Guys like DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, Z Trip, the original DJ’s like Grandmaster Flash and Kool Herc, DJ Premier, man they all deserve it. These fly by night dudes who get a Serato set up (not that there is anything wrong with Serato), and instantly have file of rare records that took me 10 plus years to get, I don’t think they deserve it. The people that put their time in, the ones that actually carried their record flight cases to gigs, dug deep in the field, and did it for the love and made a name for themselves absolutely deserve it. They’re furthering the art and also keeping this music alive.


    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

    While I was in a band, we played the Playboy Mansion, which was a cool gig. As far as just me, without a doubt it was opening for Bad Brains last year. they headlined a festival here in Asbury Park,NJ and I played a straight classic Reggae set before they went on. To have a band that you idolised growing up giving you props for the music you play was the biggest compliment I ever got.


    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

    I relax by either having a huge meal or just by breathing.


    17. When did you last write something?

    I write just about everyday. It’s absolutely necessary and therapeutic.


    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

    I did when I was in the band, I actually quit after 3 years on the road. I mean being in a band is hard, especially when you are not in control of your own destiny. That’s why I like DJing, I can control my own destiny, and do my own thing. Finding rare records and just good music that no-one else is spinning in my area keeps me going. I will never stop in that respect.


    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

    Being a DJ, and not very good at playing an instrument (although I really want to play the organ), I’m ok with embracing new technology. However, you’ll never be able to replace that vintage recording sound. Imagine James Brown done without the JB’s and just electronics, i mean it would have changed the face of sampling and music as we know today.


    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    Anyone named The Beat Collector is alright in my book.


     

     

     

    20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask…Craig from Fred Leslie’s Missing Link


    Who are Fred Leslie’s Missing Link? This is like the beginning of an episode of soap so try and keep up! Craig very kindly put me in the picture - ”The “Leslie” in “Fred Leslie’s Missing Link” is because of Leslie Overdrive. It’s me and my drummer (from Leslie Overdrive), Dave Wilkinson from Phat Fred and Paolo Negri from ‘The Link Quartet’. So it’s a combo of all the names”.  Bearing in mind I’d already tried to contact Leslie Overdrive and sent feelers out to Phat Fred and co it seemed that this particular post was bound to happen and I’d learnt something before I’d even started with the questions (Dave Wilkinson also being a member of Fast3 ). Blimey eh? Seems obvious once you are in the know. As I said early on ‘you’re doing all the work for me’ and this introduction really has written itself. So a very big thanks to you Craig!

    Love n' lollipops, TBC

     

     1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

    Anything that makes you shake your hips…

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

    I’ve only got 4 releases under my belt (with 4 more on the way) so I hope that I’m in the very early stages of my career. There are still too many things to mention that I still want to do, so I hope that I’ll be going for a long time yet.

    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

    I seriously doubt that anyone can answer that question. But it is most likely something dirty and funky (or anything by anyone who has ever mentioned their star sign whilst introducing the band). As much as the whole zodiac thing is a big load of poo, NOTHING is funkier than telling people your star sign from stage!!! ” Craig…Leo…”

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

    Frank Zappa is my all time musical hero, even though he has got nothing to do with  the music that I do. But he is without a doubt the one person who has single handidly inspired me the most (and still does to this day).

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would suprise people and why?

    I listen to all kinds of music, but I don’t think that there are many big suprises when it comes to who influences the kind of music that I klike doing. That’s pretty straight forward, anything with a dirty groove.

    6. What are you most proud of?

    I’m quite proud of everything I’ve done musically, but at the moment it must be the 8 tracks that I just finished with Fred Leslie’s Missing Link. Since the 4 of us live in 3 different countries it has been a lot of work to get everything coordinated, and having never met any of the 9 singers that are featured on the tracks, it has been a rather complicated affair. But everyone has really worked hard and I’m really excited to get the tracks out there.

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

    The only thing that comes close to being something that I’ve regretted is the amount of we’ve played for free just to get gigs. But I don’t really regret that. If you want to play gigs and nobody knows who you are then you have to let them know somehow, and gigging is the best way to do it (whether it’s a paying gig or not).

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    HA! We have done quite a lot of clubs gigs with ‘Leslie Overdrive’ that weren’t specifically ‘Leslie Overdrive’ concerts. So the people who showed up for those gigs didn’t necessarilly come to see us, but just came for a night out. So we’ve had every request you can imagine from Robbie Williams to AC/DC (but on the other hand, we have covered some strange artists, so they weren’t too far off).

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

    All the people I work with are also my very close friends, so I see my relationships with them more as a friendship than a professional relationship. But having to work recently with a lot of people who I’d never met personally, I found that as long as you are real and genuine towards people you will get the same treatment in return.

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

    ‘The Ghetto’ from Donny Hathaway’s album ‘Live’. 12 minutes of pure groove that ends with everybody singing along at the top of their lungs…Still gives me shivers every time.

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

    I don’t think I have a balance…When I’m in the middle of a project I tend to put everything else on hold. It’s a bit selfish but I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by very tolerant people who understand how things work.

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

    Definately!!! I’ve never really caught on to the whole ‘buying music online’ thing. There is nothing I enjoy more than having albums physically. I can see how easy and convenient it is to just go online and two seconds later you have bought the track you wanted, but I much prefer to have it in my hands. Plus coming from a design background (being an animator by trade) I think that covers and packaging play a big role in the experience of it all.

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

    Success plays no part whatsoever in what I do. If it did I probably would have chosen a genre that was a bit broader than funk, cause let’s face it, there aren’t too many funk tracks in the top-10 today. But on the other hand I like the idea of selling one record to a diehard funk fan than selling millions of copies to people who will forget it the following day.

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

    I actually do think it’s deserved. I have a great deal of respect for DJ’s. If it wasn’t for people like ‘DJ Shadow’, ‘Cut Chemist’ etc. digging up obscure rare 45’s, I would never have heard of some of the tracks I love today.

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

    As a performer it would be the very first gig that I played with ‘Leslie Overdrive’. We played a tiny little club in Copenhagen that could fit around 50 people. We were all squeezed together in a corner with all our gear and had no idea what to expect. But it turned out to be packed all the way out into the street with people shaking their stuff. And since we were stuffed into a corner, only the people right in front of us could see us, so everyone else was partying where they were. I love playing gigs when people just dance without paying attention to us. I’d much rather have them dancing with their backs to me, than standing still watching the show.

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

    I’m a bit embarrased to say that I get the pre-gig shakes before every gig. It’s not as bad as when I first started gigging, but they are definately still there. I’m always dead nervous before a gig, but as soon as we hit the first mark and people start grooving along they all magically disappear. i think it’s a good thing, it makes you go out and give it your all every time.

    17. When did you last write something?

    I have a really hard time sitting down and writing something. All of our songs come from sitting down and jamming things out. But when I get a riff or lick into my head that I don’t want to forget I always hum it out loud and record it on my mobile. But 9 out of 10 times when I get something in my head, I’m always in awkward situations, like on the bus, in a shop or just somewhere crowded, which makes it a bit hard to record without making too big a spectacle of myself.

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

    There are always points when doing projects, whether it being recording an album or arranging several gigs in a row, when you get a bit tired of all the hard work. But you always know that the end result always is worth it.

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instruments during recording?

    I don’t think that digital music will ever replace analogue. I like electronic music (although some of it can make me feel ill). I don’t see it as one replacing the other, it just opens up the possibilities for what people can do. Personnally I (obviously) enjoy ‘live’ concerts more, but if an artist can get what he wants to do done by sitting alone in front of a computer, then more power to them.

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    Anything to promote the funk baby, anything…


     

     
     

    20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask…Damon from Trio Valore


    If you get the chance tonight check out Futurebeat Radio. On the Fajita Funk show between 8 & 10 there will be a guest mix from The Beat Collector (which I will also post a download link to here at a later date).

    This time around with the Q&A it’s the turn of Trio Valore. For those of you that don’t know the name, the band consists of members Damon Minchella, Steve White and Seamus Beaghen. All familiar members of Paul Wellers various band line-ups! I don’t really need to add anything to that as I’m sure you’d agree, the pedigree speaks for itself.  Damon was kind enough to spare us some time and give us his answers and describes his role in the band as ‘Bass and decisions…..’

    Love n' live radio, TBC

     
     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

     I play the bass guitar in a band called Trio Valore.Simple really !

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

    career ? Musicians who think of making music as a career really should get out as quick as possible as this is not a job/career, its a way of life……

    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

    The song that best sums me up? easy one-Guerilla Radio by RATM (” move for Gore or the son of a drug lord, none of the above, fuck it cut the cord…lights out!”)
    and for the Trio, would have to be “Anxious Mo-Fo” cos we all are!

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

    Zapatisita revolutionaries of Chiapas in Mexico, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Fabrizio De Andre, Zack De la Rocha, Umberto Eco, John Paul II, Charles Mingus, Buddy Rich, Thelonius Monk…………………………..

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

    All of them because they aren’t what you’d expect…..

    6. What are you most proud of?

    My family and friends

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

    Never becasuse i’ve never sold out on any level, but most of the people i’ve worked with have unfortunately….

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    To play at the Montreaux jazz festival for 600 euros……

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

    Easy! trust, love, friendship, lack of ego, humour, humility…pretty tough to find !!

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

    Rebel Without A Pause by Public Enemy because for me, it..s the most important 5 mins of music ever

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

     ask my wife !

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

    No, because if a person REALLY likes going to a shop when its pissing it down and the bus is late and they are hunover with a broken leg, then they will find a way….personally i’m all for change

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

     HA ha!!!! my motivation musically is to blow my own stack off with what i do…if you achieve that, then everything else follows

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

    Totally, if the public dig em , they dig em…..simple as

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

    Glasgow SECC october 1999 ( ocs) and Live8 with the Who…..

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

    Dont get em….

    17. When did you last write something?

    Yesterday, writing some music for an upcoming english film…

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

    Yeah, a few times and i’ve still got the towel in my hand just incase

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

    Well, they can’t muscle in on their own can they ? if people wanna use em ,then go for it. Personaly i use a shedload of samples in some of my stuff so am cool with all ways of making music….only people with blinkers bang on about such stuff

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    Because you asked nicely!!!!


     

     

     

    20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask…Prema


    The crazy world of Planet Mondo will be dropping by with a monster mix on here for you Friday so keep ‘em peeled you lucky people. Now with the questions it’s the turn of the delightful Prema (click on her name to visit her website when you are done reading). It’s hard to find the words that even begin to do her voice justice so I won’t try, and let you all go and find out for yourselves. Trust me you won’t be dissapointed. Her songs are fantastically enchanting, sophisticated and a real find! Check out ‘So Right’ if you don’t believe me, I was instantly hooked. It’s not often you get to hear anything as cool as this so be sure to check out some of her tracks on myspace as well!

    Love n' style, TBC

     

     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?


    I make music! I write, sing, play guitar, arrange, produce and pretty much do what is needed, fusing each separate part to make the whole.

     

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?


    I am on the cusp of re-launching my music to a new audience. It’s a journey that has spanned 15 years, during which I have done this twice before, in Australia and Malaysia. The music I am making right now is the most authentic to who I am as a person and I am happy to be at this stage in my musical journey right now.

     

    3. Which song (not necessarily yours) best sums you/the band up and why?


    ‘Mandalay’ which is the title track from my new album. It’s hard to choose one really, because each song represents various aspects of my personality and experiences; however I feel ‘Mandalay’ best depicts the fine balance between the earthy and the ethereal facets of my temperament.

     

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?


    My inspirations change as I evolve as a person, as a consequence there is a shift in me as a musician/songwriter/singer. I have always loved the lyrics of Sting, the phrasing of Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald & Miles Davis, the grooves of James Brown & Sly and the Family Stone, the instrumentation, composition, style and structure of Bill Withers and early Stevie Wonder. At this moment my biggest influences and sources of inspiration are Herbie Hancock and Weather Report (with Jaco and Peter Erskine in the lineup)

     

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?


    I am heavily into Jazz, nothing stills my heart and fires up my brain like Jazz; from Coltrane to Miles Davis, Art Blakey to the Marsalis family, from Herbie to Weather Report – it’s my passion! I do however have a musical guilty secret – I have an illicit taste for Disco – oh come on, some of those basslines kick ass!!! :-)

     

    6. What are you most proud of?


    I am most proud of the person I am today. It may sound conceited but it’s more about the journey I have taken to become the woman I am today. I am committed to being the best person I can be and strive to do that in every aspect of my life. It ain’t easy, but I’m, getting there!

     

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?


    No, I didn’t compromise my morals and ethos to get my music heard and never will. This decision however gave me a ton of strife when I was signed to a major record label because they couldn’t coerce me into doing things I didn’t believe in. They took this as a loss of power on their part and it caused a rip in our relationship. This affected my progress as an artiste as the situation led to the label defaulting on their duties to promote my album. Conversely, I took matters into my own hands, hired a manager and together we promoted the album which led to its critical acclaim; with 2 video clips (which were directed and produced for free I might add, by two amazing directors who were fans), high rotation airplay on the radio stations and on MTV Asia, great press and TV presence under our belts. It was quite an achievement and instrumental in giving me the skills I now have to promote my new album.
    It is vital that I am true to myself as an artiste because the music is then always a genuine reflection of my spirit. This is fundamental in making a connection with the listener, which is the whole reason I make music. 

     

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?


    There have not been any ridiculous things really, but one which stands out in my memory – when I was a ‘successful’ artiste in Malaysia (where I am originally from), I was asked to go to a theme park and try out all the rides for free and basically have fun all day, then after that do a radio show saying how wonderful the rides were (which in fact they were!), during which they played all the tracks from my album! Talk about a win-win situation! LOL!

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?


    Ahhh, well it has to be listening; in music and in interactions with each other. As a musician the key to ensuring a great performance is to listen to what everyone else is doing. This is why I love Jazz musicians so much – they know the importance of listening to each other because each instrument has to weave in and out of the other to create a balanced sound. Most musicians forget to listen and are so caught up in their egos and showing how great and shit hot they are that they often over ride the music with sounds and volumes that are totally incongruous with the song. It’s a case of checking egos at the door and working towards what is best for the song; not the artiste, not the musicians, not the label executives but the song.

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?


    I’d have just been happy to be sitting in the same room when Coltrane and Miles were recording, or when Herbie Hancock was recording Chameleon or when Jaco was playing with Weather Report – just sitting in the corner bug eyed, that would have been enough! My poor excitable heart wouldn’t have been able to even perform simple shaker duties! LOL! I get conniptions just watching them on DVD for God’s sake!

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?


    For me, the key is realizing that I am a person first and a musician second. That way I know what is important – I have to take care of my needs as a human being and then as a result I become a much better, more accomplished musician. It’s something that has taken many years to get the hang of because I had it the other way round in the past.

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?


    The way we listen to music has changed. We listen to mp3’s now so it’s a natural progression. I think you can ‘discover’ music online too (I certainly have) – but there is a lot to be said about heading home with a fat pile of records/CD’s grinning all the way, gagging to get home, and to sit your sweet ass down and listen the whole day away…such bliss.

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?


    Success is definitely not my motivation today, it’s just the upshot of getting my music heard and loved. I feel my music serves a purpose – it’s the kind of music that I hope people will want to put on after a hard day, and just let it heal, inspire and fulfill them. So it’s about getting it out there so that people have a choice – that’s my gameplan; to get my music heard, via CD and ‘live’ performances. I also want to share the stage with the fine musicians I will be recording and performing with as they are my inspiration, my heroes.

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?


    DJ’s ‘create’ music in a very different way to musicians. I guess it’s the difference between a painter/artist and perhaps a graphic designer – both beautiful, both expressions of the soul but using different mediums. There’s no harm in DJ’s being successful – one person’s success does not affect another’s you know? I personally dig DJ’s but I have respect for a person who can play an instrument well – that’s what is important to me – I believe in artistes being able to play an instrument well and to also write their own material. Fame is not the same as respect though – so you know, one you earn and the other is thrust upon you! :-)

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?


    I’ve had 2 – one was at the end of my days in Malaysia where I did a 6 night gig at this great venue which was packed with my fans every night. My band was kick ass and it was a truly fantastic adieu to my old country – I felt loved and respected. 
    The second was when I did a showcase gig in 2006 at the Jazz Café in Camden and rocked the house with my original tracks which ain’t an easy thing to do! The show was a result of my having to start again in the UK, put my pride behind me and audition for a slot in the showcase. Now that was hard! I was choking on my pride, which I had to keep swallowing! LOL! However, it has led me to where I am today, working on my album, having musicians I respect and am in awe of wanting to work with me with the prospect of recording my album in the States….all part of the journey.
    Then there was the time I went to see James Brown at Hammersmith – that was the best gig EVER! I was front row centre squealing like a teenager – it was the stuff of dreams and I am so thankful I got to see him ‘live’ before he passed away. He was simply outstanding!


    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

     

    I tend to get a little nervous a couple of days before the gig. However by the time the gig day arrives, there’s too much on to get nervous – sound checks, getting makeup + hair done, warming up vocals, tuning guitars all those kind of things. However around 15 minutes before I get onstage, I get really impatient and just want to be up there doing my thang already – so maybe it’s nerves masquerading as impatience!

    .

    17. When did you last write something?


    These last 12 months have been all about my album – I have been tweaking, arranging, producing and have little time or inclination to work on new material. As things start to hot up and I get closer to recording, my focus will be 100% on the album and working on new stuff just draws my attention and passion away – so I will wait till the time is right and then the songs will come hard and fast! :-)

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?


    Oh God yes! Many, many, many times; I have initiated my ‘career’ in 3 different countries. It’s really quite soul destroying to have to ‘start again’ not just in music but in life as well. The most arduous stage in my life and career was when I arrived in the UK in 1999 – it was the most testing phase for me as a person. I was really successful the day I left Malaysia and was back at square one the day I arrived in the UK all within 24 hours; quite a shock to my system. I had to learn to foster self worth without my music and that was THE most valuable life lesson. It was a time of healing and the process took a lot of time and energy which left little momentum for my music. The music could no longer define me, I had to define myself and only then did my music thrive.
    During this ‘blue’ period I was ready to give up making music. What I didn’t grasp at that stage was what I really wanted to give up was the pursuit of success. It was not until I reconciled with the notion that the journey, the road to success was as important if not more than the destination that I reached a turning point; I focused on the music and it changed everything for me. I took my time in honing my skills, crafting my songs, moulding myself into a musician and singer I respected. By shifting the balance on to my music, it was a weight lifted, it was emancipating and is the putative reason I am on this precise path to getting my music heard.

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instruments during recording?


    I have a zeal for live instruments in recordings; when a great sound engineer and a talented & skilled musician work together – well there’s simply no comparison. The timbre, the depth, the dynamics and various sounds only a human touch can create. I am a purist and am going to record my album with live musicians as electronic music is antithetical to the music I make. I am a ‘live’ artiste predominantly; I started out busking in Adelaide (Australia) so it’s in my blood. Electronics has its place though – it just makes a different kind of music. It works for Drum n’ Bass, it works for dance, but I think it’s mainly the drums that benefit in these genres; I believe in using a ‘live’ bass and instruments, it’s so much more fluid.
    There are so many amazing musicians out there, waiting to make their mark on music but I guess as it’s a case of electronics being cheaper, easier to use and more accessible to people who want to create music fast. It’s a choice people have to make but for me, I won’t compromise on electronics; if it takes longer and I need to find more funding, it’s live musicians every single time! 


    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?


    Thank you so much for asking me Matt, I feel truly honored. These questions were fantastic and I really enjoyed taking the time to delve into the answers, it has been a great help to me! You gorgeous jedi of the funk you! :-)
    I am grateful to be in a position where my thoughts, experiences and opinions may be of interest to some people; it’s a real blessing, so there is no reason on earth to not use this gift to hopefully help others who might be struggling with the same things I’ve struggled with or simply to give an alternative view to how music is and can be made – plus once you get me started on talking about music it’s hard to stop…..
    Thanks for reading!


     

     
     

    20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask…The Fantastics


    It’s the turn of the aptly named The Fantastics. Formerly known as Rev. Cleatus And The Soul Saviours, the band is the sum of the following parts -  James Rule (drums), Ray Hunter (bass), Greg Boraman (Hammond), Mark Norton (flute / sax), Matt Wilding (percussion / congas) and  Pete Collison (guitar).  Pete and Greg (along with ex-Mother Earth keyboardist Bryn Barklam) also make up two thirds of the hammond-led powerhouse that is Captain Hammond. The Fantastics are currently putting the finishing touches to the follow up to their funktastic debut album ’2lbs of Funk In a 1lb Bag’. They’ve also got a couple of gigs coming up on the 16th May at Cargo in London and the 17th May at The Yardbird in Birmingham. Check them out on myspace and if you dig ‘em, go and see ‘em!

    Love n' chews, TBC 

     


    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

    James: I play drums .. They are wooden things with the odd bit of chrome on them with plastic covering them that make all those loud noises singers despise
    Pete: I stumble on the guitar and forget stuff quite a lot
    Raydn: I play bass so I’m basically trying to hold everyone else’s racket together!
    Matt: Hit things, noise comes out. As for the band, well they haven’t even told me yet.
    Greg: we inhabit the funky end of jazz - and the jazzy end of funk - with anything else we like sprinkled on top like musical ‘hundreds and thousands’
    Pete: Mark’s not here, but he does all the plumbing


    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

    Pete: Just got out of bed.
    Matt: Loitering
    James: Looking out of the window
    Raydn: Answering questions
    Greg: we are piddling in the commercial wind by doing precisely what we want/like/love to do which is towing the Queen Mary through a sea of Mars bars


    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

    Pete: Layin’ In The Cut by Lonnie Smith… Not sure exactly why - it just seems to sound right and I like it a lot, just like the band…
    Matt: “Standing on The Corner Watching The Girls Go By” - Bobby Darin
    James: “Freedom Jazz Dance” by various - we are going to play it someday, you can tell we all want to but our faces are not big enough
    Greg - Too Drunk to F8ck - by the Dead Kennedys


    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

    James : Bernard Purdie, Clyde Stubblefield, Haircut 100 and The Who
    Pete: Lonnie Smith / Rusty Bryant / Meters / Muddy Waters / early Stones / Small Faces
    Matt: Ray Barretto, Poncho Sanchez (when working with Papo Rodriguez and the Banda Bros), Snowboy
    Raydn: James Jamerson, Jaco, John Coltrane
    Greg: All the organ playing Jimmies, Jacks - Brian Auger - and Art Blakey


    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

    Pete: Peter Cook, but maybe that’s not a surprise anyway.. 
    James: Pete’s Cat - It just has this “look”
    Raydn: I expect so….
    Greg - The Carpenters - you cant knock those harmonies - Richard & Karen knew jazz harmony backwards!!


    6. What are you most proud of?

    Pete: My cat
    Greg - the fact that I got here at all - with no help, encouragement or understanding from anyone.
    Matt: The acclaim that recordings and performances I have contributed to, in this band and others, have received  
    James: I can shit bricks
    Raydn: My farts


    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

    James: Plenty, luckily the people were bribed easily
    Pete: I think there are some issues with our first album - the sleeve and liner notes come to mind straight away, but we didn’t actually agree to them so do they count?  
    Raydn: We’ve made some good and some not so good decisions along the way but on the whole we are very true to ourselves and our music.
    Greg - Nope!


    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    Matt: Play something we know, like ‘Soul Man’ 
    James: Same as Matt
    Pete: Someone keeps asking us to lift a Hammond organ up a flight of stairs at 3am
    Raydn: “can you please not jump off that ladder”
     Greg - “I know you like all this obscure black music - but you still like Madonna and stuff like U2 dont you?”


    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

    Matt: Not rehearsing with them. 
    Pete: Rum, Bill Hicks, and Tooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrchhhhh. 
    James: Have a good time all of the time 
    Raydn: All of the above plus a bit more rum and some Derek & Clive.
     Greg - High doses of Lithium


    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why? 

    James: Any Headhunters or Meters track - because they are so good
    Pete: theme to Terry & June
    Raydn: Keep Your Soul Together by Freddie Hubbard because I’d only have to play the cool, improvised intro and the groovy bit at the end. During the main head and solo sections I’d just sit back and listen to the rest of the band with Ron Carter on upright playing one of my favorite tunes.
    Greg - The Mystery Of Man by Sarah Vaughan

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities? 

    James: Ignore all responsibilities and they are all therefore balanced by default
    Pete: I can’t!
    Greg - whats a responsibility?


    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

    James : Russian internet illegal downloading scum .. yes some of my tracks can be bought for as little as 10 cents or whatever and I really really get to see any of that
    Raydn: Yes, there’s nothing like flicking through records in an dusty old record shop.
     Greg - yes they are - but the other side of the equation is that people are now discovering stuff they wouldnt have before - even if they doint paty for it!


    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

    James: Have a good time all of the time
    Greg: success? Nope - if I was interested in success I would have joined a boy band in 1988 and developed a six pack. Playing the music we love is a one way ticket to obscurity and starvation - but we still do it anyway.


    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved? 

    James: DJ’s are similar to bands - some are good some are shit.  As long we know more of the good ones I don’t mind
    Greg - Some DJs pay their dues and champion good music- others are just knob twiddlers without the first clue about music.


    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

    Pete: probably the Paris Rare Groove Day last year, everything was just about perfect on that one - and the first night supporting the Godfathers of Groove
    James: Two nights supporting the Godfathers of Groove and having to play in front of my drum hero; and the Paris Rare Groove Day for the same reasons as Pete
    Raydn: Yeah, the Paris Rare Groove Day was really good. The audience were really up for it and that can make all the difference.
     Greg - as a fan - Brian Augers triumphant UK retrun @ The Jazz Cafe mid 1990s - and as a muso - that first night supporting The Grandads of Groove - it should have been recorded!
    Matt: Eddie Palmieri @ Jazz Cafe, 2007. Or the Godfather’s Of Groove support, where I got locked outside the venue and stood chatting to Shadows legend, Brian Bennet.


    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

    Matt: Don’t really get them any more. 
    James: Drink and more drink
    Pete: Rum, Bill Hicks, and Tooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrchhhhh
    Raydn: I don’t get them. I once played in a band with a singer who got so nervous he’d throw up before we played. We used to put a bucket in front of the stage, just in case.
    Greg: punch the promotor


    17. When did you last write something?

    Matt: Apart from this? 
    James : I cannot write
    Pete: 2 seconds ago
    Greg - I wrote a cheque this morning - and my ‘last will & testament’ shortly after!!


    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

    Pete: No - not seriously anyway, I love it too much, and wouldn’t know what else to do with myself.
    James: Nope - I curse a little sometimes, does that make me a bad boy?
    Raydn: Yes, quite a few times…
    Greg: yes - sometimes every couple of hours - but usually every other day - or when I see Pete Docherty ’singing’ on telly


    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

    Matt: None really - luckily for me there aren’t any convincing digital conga sounds. 
    James: If they can seamlessly cut out the dodgy bits of recording and make me happy with what I played then all for it!  That’s mixing thou .. not recording
    Pete: do what you want - if you don’t like something, don’t buy it!
    Greg: I play an electronic instrument - OK its a 1930s electro-mechanical instrument - but anything that makes a good sound is Ok with me


    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    Matt: I haven’t agreed to anything
    Pete: Filthy lucre…
    James: The promise of free lettuce for an entire year.  Or was that the other questionnaire .. shitsticks
    Greg: Its an honour to be asked - we could easliy be ignored - and I was raised to be polite!


     

     

    20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask...Larry from Funky16Corners


    The master himself has stepped up with some answers and an awesome mix. An inspiration to all bloggers and funky soul lovers alike, the Funky16Corners site is a must visit. I genuinely learn something everytime I drop by. He also runs an equally excellent blog at Iron Leg so click on over and check it out when you are done here!  Thanks again Larry, you’re a gent!

    Love n' legends, TBC

     

     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

    For the last 25 years I’ve collected, listened to, researched and written about music, in fanzines, newspapers, web zines and blogs.

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

    I see what I do with the blogs as more of an avocation than a career (good thing because it generates no money). My “career” aka the job I’ve worked at for 23 years is what gives me the funds to chase records the way I do.

    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

    ‘Get It While You Can’ by Howard Tate

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

    My father, who taught me to appreciate music, and the stories behind the songs.

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?
    I actually love the music of Kurt Weill and Nino Rota, which I would guess might be surprising to fans of Funky16Corners.

    6. What are you most proud of?

    My children.

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

    No.

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    One night, in the midst of two very long sets of soul and funk someone walked up and requested a KISS record.

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

    Similar creative and practical goals.

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

    ‘Pass the Hatchet’ by Roger & the Gypsies. THOSE DRUMS!

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

    I have two small kids, so there are a lot of personal responsibilities but once you prioritize and divide between necessity and luxury (not always what you’d think) you just try to balance the two.

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

    In some ways, internet/downloading probably makes it easier to discover older music (since commercial radio is pretty much dead), but I also think that torrent sites and blogs that rip and post entire albums remove a lot of the real interesting aspects of the ‘game’. My goal has always been to get people to look deeper and to appreciate the often overlooked connections (artistic, cultural, historical and otherwise) in the music they listen to. Offering music to download without some kind of context seems like a waste to me.

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

    The kind of success I want is first and foremost creative. As long as the readers of the blog (and the people I spin for in person) get a lift from the music, or use something I’ve written to explore an artist or genre further, I’m happy.
    Certainly I’d love to make a living doing what I do, but I suspect the kind of living available in that regard would result in my family and I ending up on the street.

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

    I think a truly great DJ is should be first and foremost a tastemaker of sorts. Someone with deep (literally and figuratively) crates and good taste ought to be able to rock a crowd. Listening/dancing to someone selecting and spinning records is certainly a different experience than seeing a band play live (or it ought to be), but they can both be rewarding.

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

    As a DJ, I opened for the Budos Band in Brooklyn last summer on a very hot night to a very receptive crowd. The Asbury Park 45 Sessions nights – with a very solid DJ crew led by DJ Prestige – are always a gas.

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

    No problems there.

    17. When did you last write something?

    This afternoon.

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

    There have been a couple of times where home and work responsibilities (and stress) got to the point where I briefly considered stopping the blogs, but I realized that no matter how much work I put into the blogs/DJing, I get a tremendous amount of enjoyment out of the experience as well.

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instruments during recording?

    Don’t like it.

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    Always up for making a new mix and spreading the word.


     

     

     

    20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask…Alviz from Lefties Soul Connection


    Next up for the 20 questions is Alviz from the sensational Lefties Soul Connection. Having firmly stamped their mark on the world of funk and as they are one of my favourite current bands, I’m made up to be able to share this with you. I wont gush too much but if you aren’t familiar with their music I’d address that immediately. Things don’t get much more on The Right Side of Funky than this! Thank you to Alviz for sparing us his time.  You can check them out at their website, on myspace and of course anywhere that sells good music!

    Love n' choc ices, TBC

     

    My name is Alviz, Hammond organist of the band (also doing some percussion and background vocals).
     
    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?


    Well, we like to call our music ‘garage funk’. Its gritty hard hitting music based on funk & soul music but we also have some 60s beat/mod rock and some 90s bboy hiphop influences. An important influence are the Meters (and New Orleans funk in general) and Booker T & The MG’s but also Small Faces, Beastie Boys, J5, JB’s etc etc.
    Also, especially sound wise, a big influence are the rare 60s funk 45s by bands who recorded their stuff in a garage or cheap studio and pressed only a limited number of 45s. Some of these tracks have a nice heavy sound and especially the drum sound can be nice. These records are used for a lot of the hiphop and R&B classics. They used a drum snippet or a piano/organ riff because it got a heavy rough sound and is played simple but with great soul and groove. We don’t like the glam/flashy site of the funk, like p-funk and disco. We’re more about the down to earth, gritty type funk. No bull shit, just plain clothes, play with everything you got, get sweaty and rock the crowd hard.


    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

    I don’t know. It’s hard to know where you are if you’re in the middle of it (at least, I think we’re in the middle now :)).
    We got some attention with our two albums and singles etc. But we would like to spread our gospel a little further. Also, we’re looking to do some projects with singers and or mc’s.

    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?


    That’s a tough one. Maybe go for the Organ Donor tune (Dj Shadow and our version). Its a good example of a blend of funk with breakbeats and rockish/rough sound.
    That’s basically what we do and like.

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?


    That would be the Meters. They have the best groove and are the master in the ‘less is more’ approach. That is; they don’t play all these notes and show off but they just play a tight groove. The beat and bass are the guidelines and set the flow and mood. The guitar and organ just add some flavor to the groove. They are masters in getting the best groove with only a couple of notes and very simple compositions. I like that a lot. There are a lot of bands out there with great musical education and they know all the scales/chords changes and whatever but they can’t groove like the Meters.
    Of course we’re not on the same page as the Meters but we try to incorporate their vibe and groove into our own music.

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?


    I don’t know. Maybe people are surprised we have influences like Small Faces / 60s Garage bands. But if you hear our sound etc that should not come as a surprise :)


    6. What are you most proud of?


    Getting love from fans all around the world. I couldn’t imagine when we started the band in 2001 that we would get fan mail from Japan and the US. It still amazes me everytime. 
     

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?


    Not really. Of course we did some promotion that’s not really a cool thing to do. Like playing in a major record chain store; we were placed in a corner of the store and nobody was paying any attention to us.
    But generally we know its part of the thing to get your music out there. And most of the time its fun to do.


    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?


    Well, the most ridiculous gig was at a ‘leather bag fair’ in Dusseldorf. They totally mis-booked this one. It turned out the fair wasn’t a success. They booked us to play at an informal drink after the fair. But everybody already left. About 4 people remained. We just played on some small stage and faced a wall (about 4 meters infront of us. And stands with leather bags at both sides. Its was surreal.
    Of course we get also requests for songs; like ‘Happy Birthday’.

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?


    Respect each other and also not to do everything together when you on tour. But the key factor is good communication.


    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?


    This is a really tough one. I don’t think one song stands out. It would’ve been fun to play the organ on obscure songs like Funky Thing (by Larry Ellis & the Black Hammer) or Megaton (by Vecchio). But more well known; maybe I’m a man by Spencer Davis group or The Champ by the Mohawks.


    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?


    For me its not that hard. Music is something I breath. Of course if there are family problems, that will come first. But overall its no problem.


    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

    Yes and no. I think you have to see an album/song as a promotion tool nowadays. People discover your music more easily because of the free downloading.
    On the other hand, also our record sales are down and music is now more a fast food thing. One day they like this song and the next day another one. In my opinion you also see this with new songs coming out. A lot of the more teen marketed songs don’t have any lasting power. But I think there will be a group of people left interested in buying records. We for example have decided to focus on putting out vinyl (45s and 12s) and digital downloads. Maybe later we compile the tracks for an album but we have the feeling the album as we know it will become more a niche market.

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

    I don’t know if we have ’success’. Depends what you mean by that. We’re still a very uinderground band and have to work hard to pay the bills. We don’t have a ‘hit’ or anything :). But we have succes if you define it that we have fans all over the world and that you can get our records in a lot of countries. Also we play in a lot of the European countries. We have not a detailed preset gameplan. We’re not made up by a record company etc. But of course we talk about the future and we think about how we can reach our public (promo/gigs/image etc).

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

    Just talked about this with a guest dj I had last night at my party Struttin in Amsterdam (www.struttin.nl).
    In Amsterdam for example dj’s are more famous than bands and I think its a shame.
    Most dj’s don’t make their own music and on top of that you have dj’s using serato or even an iPod to dj. They just download a lot of songs for free and ask a lot of money to play them in a club. I think that’s stupid. It would be nice if people would appreciate the making of music a bit more, than hearing a song being played by a DJ.

    In Amsterdam its getting worse and worse. I’ve got a second night on Wednesday I organize with live music being played by great bands and special appearences (www.hipdrop.nl). The live part is from 10 till 12 am and afterwards there are dj’s. More people come after 12 am because they just want to dance on records played by a dj.

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?


    That would be our gig at Lowlands 1,5 years ago. Its a big festival in the Netherlands and we played for I think 6000+ very enthusiastic people. From the first note on they clapped, danced and screamed. We felt a lot of positive energy. Very nice vibe.


    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?


    I don’t have them anymore, only if its a very big gig or for TV. In November 2007 we did a performance for a big Dutch TV show and I got some pre-gig nerves. But once I play it’s over.


    17. When did you last write something?


    I have rough ideas on and off. Last week we all made a song together. We not really ‘write’ anything on paper. I use a voice recorder to tape rough ideas and maybe work on it a bit more before we try it with the band. The other band members follow the same route.


    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

    Not really. We’ve got some ups and downs but we straighten it out and carry on. We still think we can grow and make some good music.

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?


    I’m not a great fan of electronics/ computer made music. I’m more a vintage man. For me electronic music doesn’t have soul/ feeling.

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    Promotion baby, spreading the gospel!  :)


     

     

     

    20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask…Number 9 (The Vinyl Selector)


    An all round fantastic character is first up to answer the questions over here.  Number 9 gives off an amazing and energetic vibe as you will see for yourselves. A musician in the band Penelope and a fantastic Dj in his own right. You won’t be disappointed. As well as that, you really must check out his myspace player and dig his groove!

    Love n' that, TBC

     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?
     
    Since I was a teenager I’ve loved to listen to music and especially all that is turning around the MOD SOUND. Quickly I listened to a lot of music and played some bass in french mod bands. And all of those things made me want to give pleasure to people by making them dance and have fun at partys as a DJ.

     
    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?
     
     
    I don’t like to talk about ‘career’. I don’t see music like that. It’s just for fun but in a professional way.
     
     
    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?
     
     
    What a difficult question. I can’t answer with only one song but…if I had to choose one I will say one of Nino Ferrer’s songs called Alexander but played by the german band The Boots. It joins what I like - french sounds and groovy hammond things.
     
     
    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?
     
     
    I’m very inspired by movies and contemporary art like Ne nous faschons pas and Erotissimo (French movies) to Phillipe Parreno or Wim Delevoye and Christian Marclay’s works. And of course, lots of music but essentially stuff with some hard groove, great organ, drums and bass playing.
     
     
    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would suprise people and why?
     
     
    Yes, of course. But in particular a french funny band called Les Charlots. You know they were so stupid they make me laugh. And they play some sensational sounds too!
     
     
    6. What are you most proud of?
     
     
    Lots of things in life of course, but in music to play in different places and with some great bands that I was a fan to before. Like Brian Auger and the  James Taylor Quartet. And I was so proud when those two guys came to see me behind the decks to congratulate me for what I’m doing!
     
     
    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?
     
     
    Yes. To sell some of my records HAHAHAHAHA!
     
     
    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been made of you/the band?
     
     
    Oh yes, you know when someone comes to see you behind the turntables at a mod party you know, have you got some Abba? AHAHAHAAH
     
     
    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?
     
     
    I think between the musicians and between the Dj’s too, the secret is not to be too proud of what you do. If you do that, it’s not for success it’s for fun and to share with people to make them happy.
     
     
    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t) what would it be and why?
     
     
    Another great difficult question. I will say all the Corduroy  stuff.
     
     
    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal resposibilities?
     
     
    Sometimes it’s hard but I have one thing that is important for me. I don’t accept too many dates because you bore people. And music doesn’t pay me, I have to live so the choice is easy sometimes. Ahahahaha. But one thing is sure - music is always in my life and everywhere.
     
     
    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?
     
     
    I think the problem is not with the fans, the problem is with the industry of records. They make the cd, they made it too expensive. I think they don’t ask the good question of the law, they just want to win more money. Personally I prefer to buy some little company records and sometimes download some old stuff for my car.
     
     
    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?
     
     
    Oh no, really no. I do that for fun, sharing my passion with people makes them happy and dance. HAVE FUN
     
     
    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?
     
     
    I think it depends, but as I say everytime because I’m also a musician, I don’t have to be proud to make people dance with the bands stuff, they are really the men to support.
     
     
    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a supporter or as a fan)?
     
     
    My most memorable gig! Let me think, MAYBE the James Brown one when I was younger and I saw him in my town Avignon. It was sooooooo energetic, I loved that. And as a DJ, maybe the first time I played and made people dance with my selection. It was in Paris a long time ago and it was amazing. And as I think about that, one of my dates in Manchester was really great too.
     
     
    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?
     
     
    At this time I don’t have any. LOL
     
     
    17. When did you last write something?
     
     
    As a musician it was a week ago and as an artist in the last hour.
     
     
    18. Have you ever reached the point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?
     
     
    Oh yes, of course. It was when some of my old friends got me away from the band. I was saying that I will never find another band like that, but I met some new people and that was a new beginning, and that’s what makes me want to play my records and continue my passion for being on stage.
     
     
    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instruments during recording?
     
     
    Holy Flypaper (like Robin said to Batman). It’s a shame to me. Electronics give all the musicians an easy way to record stuff and promote themselves and that’s great, but Ipod battles, CD spinning Dj’s, false gigs with two guys behind a computer on stage, makes me sick! I love vintage instruments, vinyl records with some great covers.
     
     
    20.  Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?
     
     
    Because you’re a great guy and that you want to share your passion and I think like you sooooooooo, we have to support each other in that incredible world of mod music. To conclude - LISTEN TO MUSIC, HAVE FUN, SHAKE YOUR BUTT and come and listen to my monthly selection on myspace or listen to my band Penelope.
    BE SEEING YOU
    Number 9

     
     

     

     

     THE FOLLOWING ARE ALL CULLED FROM WHAT WAS THE MODERNIST FLAVOURED BLOG...

     'HERE COMES THE NICE'

    APOLOGIES TO

    GROOVY UNCLE AND RICHARD FROM THE FIVE ACES

    (I am hunting down the hard copies and will post a.s.a.p, if anyone copied them and can help me out I'd be much obliged!)


     20 Questions You Didn't Know You Wanted To Ask...Rinaldi Sings 


    Thanks to the heads up from Billy on the Adrian Holder post it came to my attention that another member of Here Comes The Nice favourites The Moment would be a good port of call for a Q&A. I’ve no idea why it didn’t occur to me before, but as it happens it’s turned out to be perfect timing. Steve Rinaldi answers his 20 Questions, to tie in with the release of the second Rinaldi Sings album ‘Bingo’ on Tangerine Records, which is out on August 4. If you don’t know the first album ‘What’s It All About?’ , it’s definately worth checking out and Adrian’s own solo album ‘Whistleblower’ is in the blocks and ready to roll. It’s a good time all round for fans of the Mod Gods ! Many  thanks to everyone that helped this along, especially Steve of course, for a great insight into his world.  You can check out some Rinaldi Sings tracks by heading over to the ever helpful myspace or clicking the album above and listening on last fm. You may also be interested in the new download selection I’ve posted over at the mothership The Right Side Of Funky (Button Down Funk) as it’s the kind of thing I consider to be the soundtrack of the modern day mod (that’s my opinion, let’s not go there). Now reach for your firemans helmet and read on…

    Love and peardrops, TBC

     
     


     
    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

    “Now that’s a tough one. I only ever wanted to make the kind of music that I wanted to listen to myself, but I do have very eccentric tastes. I once heard a television scriptwriter talking about ‘Dad’s Army’, saying that if you set a situation comedy in a bygone era, it never dates; it never goes out of fashion. That’s how I wanted Rinaldi Sings to be.” 

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

    “I think I’m kind of where I want to be, living in my only strange little world of violins and trombones. When we started Rinaldi Sings, my manager set out with the grand plan to make me a cult – well, that’s what I think he said. I’m just happy to be making the kind of music I love. I spent so much of my career as a musician playing other people’s songs, whether it be in The Moment or in West End musicals, and I never had the confidence to imagine there might be people out there who would like my own songs and share my eccentric tastes in pop music. I’ve been very lucky as we had great reviews in the music press for the first album and I just hope that ‘Bingo’ is received in the same way.” 

    3. Which song, not necessarily yours, best sums you up and why?

    “Without a doubt, ‘Mr Rainbow’. It was a song written by Mark Wirtz to be a part of his legendary ‘Teenage Opera’. He sang it himself under the pseudonym of Steve Flynn and it was released in 1967. It has such a great catchy tune, the string arrangement is second to none and it is the song that inspired me to write my own songs and start Rinaldi Sings.” 

    4. Who has been your biggest inspiration?

    “I’m inspired by many things. Great songwriters like Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Mark Wirtz and Teddy Randazzo. I’m influenced by the films of the Sixties, by Michael Caine and Dick Lester, by great literature, by flawless pop tunes, by Tony Christie, by buttercups and rainbows and sunny days and afternoons. I’m inspired by General Johnson and Johnny Johnson, by Samantha Jones and Jack Hammer, by David Lean and Pearl And Dean and Powell and Pressburger. If you can listen to it, watch it or read, I’m influenced by it!” 

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

    “I don’t think David Niven has had a cool makeover yet, has he? I could watch ‘A Matter Of Life And Death’ almost every day and he’s just perfect in it. The film even inspired a song on my first album, by way of an R Dean Taylor-style soul stomp. I was speechless when someone recently pointed out that I was listed on a website of famous fans of the film.” 

    6. What are you most proud of?

    “Both of my albums, obviously, but also I’m starting to get reasonably pleased with my multi-instrumental skills. The trombone is my main instrument, but I can find my way around most things and recently I’ve even started playing keyboards live. I did play the guitar very briefly during the first ever Rinaldi Sings gig on a cover version of ‘White Horses’. Although I sometimes write songs on the guitar, I don’t think I’ll be playing one live again in a hurry – it ruins the line of your suit!” 

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

    “If I wasn’t in Rinaldi Sings, I would be in the audience watching the band, so no, there’s absolutely nothing. I know musicians like that, who blame their failure on other people, but that’s too easy. My one and only regret is that I spent so much time playing other people’s tunes when I could have been recording my own songs. I just wish I’d had the confidence to be this tacky years ago.” 

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you?

    “I was asked to do a cover version of ‘Back Home’ for the England football team’s campaign at Euro 2008! That would have been slightly absurd, especially as England really were ‘back home’ during the tournament.” 

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

    “Bring them into the studio, give them the sheet music, don’t tell them anything about what you’re doing, and then record the noise that comes out. And if you feel a Brian Wilson moment coming on, make them all wear firemen’s helmets.” 

    10. If you could have played on one song that you haven’t, what would it be?

    “Anything by The Beatles. Wouldn’t it have been incredible to have sung on the crowd chorus at the end of ‘All You Need Is Love’, or have been a part of the orchestra at the recording of ‘A Day In The Life’. That was the day that The Beatles persuaded all of the orchestral session musicians to come to the studio in full evening dress and then made them wear silly hats and big red clown noses. But I have put on a silly nose if Ringo asked me to, wouldn’t you!” 

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

    “I’ve learnt that it’s much easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission!” 

    12. In light of the Internet and downloading, do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying experience?

    “Yes and I think it is having a real detrimental effect on people buying albums as a whole. When I download songs, I tend to buy individual tracks rather than the entire album. Downloading also means you don’t get the artwork that you get with a CD or vinyl and we spend a lot of time of the artwork of the Rinaldi Sings albums – it’s a part of the whole package and I’d really like people to own it all.” 

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music?

    “I don’t have any plan at all, other than to let as many other people as possible hear my music. I only ever write what pleases me and what pleases those in my closest circle of friends. People can be quite snobbish about music. I’ve got some really good friends who won’t even tell me what they think of my music – they think I shouldn’t be writing catchy melodies, that somehow rock music is so much more of a serious art form than pop, that a song can only count if writing it hurts you. But don’t let the melodies fool you, I’m very serious about what I do and I think the only way I could ever be successful is to write from the heart. Rinaldi Sings is me writing from the heart. Like Marmite, people seem to have a strong reaction to my music – some people get it, some don’t. But success for me will be selling enough copies of each album to keep releasing more albums, and that’s something that not everyone has the chance or the conviction to do.” 

    14. DJs are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

    “Do you mean like Dave Lee Travis and Tony Blackburn. Well, they’re pretty cool aren’t they? What’s not to like about the Hairy Cornflake?” 

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig, either as a performer or as a fan?

    “It would have to be Brian Wilson playing ‘Pet Sounds’ at the Festival Hall a few years ago. It was fantastic. As for my own gigs, any performance where I get out alive is a bonus.” 

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves?

    “I only get nervous if I’m unsure of what I’ve got to do. We are always very well rehearsed and I’m confident of how good we sound, so nerves don’t usually affect me. When I do get nervous I go very quiet and I seem to be able to drink incredibly quickly!” 

    17. When did you last write something?

    “Today. ‘Bingo’ is only just about to be released and I’m writing the next album already. I’m working on two new songs called ‘The Highs Are Too High’ and ‘Empress Of The Splendid Season’. My label have told me I can’t leave it another three years until my third album, so I’ve got to get writing.” 

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away – and if so, what persuaded you otherwise?

    “No I haven’t. I’ve found out that it’s the only thing I’m any good at and I quite like it! I’ve really got no idea what I’d do if I didn’t make music. If people stopped buying my songs I’d just record for myself and sit around playing them with my friends.” 

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instruments during recording?

    “Personally, I only use real instruments on my recordings. Even the bassoons on my albums are real. I’ve got nothing against technology in music – we use a lot of it on every album, it’s just when it comes to the instruments, everything is real: violins, ukuleles, flugelhorns, you’ll find them all on ‘Bingo’.” 

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    “My record label said you’d asked really politely and money can’t buy good manners!” 

     www.RinaldiSings.com


     

     

     

    20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask…Felps from Penelope


    Baby Charles are in the chair (see pic below…do you like what I did there?) doing the Q&A thang for The Right Side Of Funky right now and a guest mix + Q&A courtesy of Vincent the Soul Chef from Fufu Stew will be coming in to land tomorrow, so be sure to pop by and see what the chef’s cooked up - you won’t be disappointed.

    Meanwhile over here Penelope singer Felps has done the honours for us. The fantastic Penelope French Band also boast our good friend and favourite vinyl selector Number 9 on bass (which is good enough for me) and have some crackingly groovy tunes. Penelope are definately one to keep an eye on! They currently have a new track ’Eden Rose’ available on a spanish compilation for Bon Vivante Records. Check them out over at myspace and see for yourselves people, it’s just a click away after all! Thank you to Felps for his time and some choice answers!

    Love n' candy, TBC

     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

    best way to describe penelope ? It sounds like a question for french people !! I guess we’ll agree to say we play pop with 60’s and 70’s sounds…

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?
    mhmhmhm… must we talk about career ?? :-)
    even if we have played in different bands (pop jerk for Alain and soul funk for others !) for more than 10 years…

    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?
    I think “Robot crime” is a key song for us… It’s the most representative of the sound of Penelope, and it’s one of our 1st songs and maybe our favourites : we have energic surf guitar, 70’s keyboard and dance drums !! Perhaps Penelope is an old surfer bitch who enjoys dancefloors !!! :-)))

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?
    WOW !!! I’m afraid it’s a kind of big mix between Serge Gainsbourg, The Beatles, The sonics, The ventures, Air, Phœnix, Jean-Michel Jarre, Jean jacques Perray, Daft Punk, Eden Rose, The mummies and I’m really sorry, but I’m afraid to forget more than a thousand !!!!

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?
    mhmhmm Britney Spears !!!! but I’m not sharing this influence with others !!!!

    6. What are you most proud of?
    My new nike vintage … mhmhmh no.. the famous Korg MS 10 with my fender Bullet !!
    kidding…

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?
    SURE !!! in some cafe concert we had to play… guns’ n roses “knocking on heaven’s door” AWFULL!!!

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?
    they asked me to stop playing tambourine !!!!!! LOL

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?
    to listen to each other ! especially when you play loud !!!!

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?
    well, there are so much songs we’d like to play for different reasons, but most of all, I think I’d so like to sing the B side of Abbey Road : “you never give me your money / golden slumbers”…
    They are the most beautifull melodies I’ve ever heard (and my voice can afford it !)…

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?
    mhmhmm difficult… music first of all !!! Easy to say it coz my job authorizes me this thing !

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?
    Well… that’s a great psychologic problem, you don’t hear an album when you download it and when you pay a big part of your student money !
    The Internet is a great tool for discovering, but buying music is a way to possess a part of the soul of the band… to become a part of the band ! So, fans needs a record to BE a part of their favourite bands !

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?
    LOL I don’t think we have success… YET !!! LOL
    Anyway, YES, we are motivated to play, but no gameplan, we play … and we’ll see !!

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?
    Well, some bands don’t deserve to be famous, some yes … Some Dj’s have talent of their choices, some Dj’s create tracks…
    I think that creation is the best way to deserve to be famous.

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?
    Our best gig (we played) was in Toulon Zenith-Omega, the public was great and we played with good energy !
    But I dreamed my dream seeing Serge Gainsbourg in Marseille in 1989 ! Music was real shit, but HE was THE BEST !

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?
    We have secret dance but … Shhhhhhh, it’s a secret !

    17. When did you last write something?
    well, the last track has been made 2 weeks ago and I’m now, writing the lyrics !

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?
    Well, not yet ! We’re not famous enough for it !!!

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?
    We’re not against using today’s tools !! we just need to use it as a tool, an instrument …
    Anyway, we dream about old school recording session, but we’re not so integrists !

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?
    Well, if there are people on this earth who’d like to know more about us, we’d be glad to tell him (them ?) LOL
    You make the transition between the public and us, it’s a difficult but good job !!
    Thank YOU for asking us !
    Penelopement vôtre !


     

     

     

    20 Questions You Didn’t know You Wanted To Ask…Chris Sheehan


    A quick update for you folks! Everyones favourite french mod vinyl selector Number 9 has his June selection now up on the player over at myspace so be sure to check in (click on his name), plus on The Right Side Of Funky we are lucky enough to have Andy Lewis (all round top bloke, solo artist, DJ and current Paul Weller bass player) giving his answers.

    So on we go with more gold dust! For those of you who don’t know Chris Sheehan   he is a fantastically talented singer/songwriter who thankfully came to my attention with The Bench Connection and has kept it ever since. A band that includes none other than ex-Mother Earth frontman and personal hero  Matt Deighton. Aside from checking out  The Bench Connection on myspace and buying their tremendous album ‘Around The House In 80 Days’ I urge you to listen to Chris Sheehans other tracks (click on his name). A particular highlight on his player at the moment for me is ’Not Just You’. An album ‘Goodbye Cruel Circus’ is on the way!

    Love n' acoustics, TBC

     

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

    Here comes the cliche… I try to write songs that resonate with people, frustratingly for me, often people who are a bit down in the mouth - but that for all their apparent melancholy, have a positive undertone of hope. I’ve spent last 10 years trying to work out if I’m the world’s most pessimistic optimist, or optimistic pessimist…

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

    I feel like I’m in the middle of the sea with a penknife, trying to cut my arm and drip some blood into the sea so the sharks will smell it and come and savage me - all the time wondering why I want to swim all the way out here just to get eaten! I’m trying to get the finished record out…

    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

    Hmm… Hard to say … either The Pickpockets because I’m overly cynical; Small Words (in big clothes) because I often wake up and wonder what good I’m doing the world by sitting about writing songs on a guitar; or Not Just You because I think I feel l as much like the lyrics now as I did when I wrote it - 8 years ago age 21. Man, it’s taking some time to get this out!

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

    I think my biggest inspiration is fear of conforming to a life setup I swore I’d never go for when I was 15. Fear of a suit and desk; but also fear of never being financially secure enough to have a real family and stuff, which is the whole point of being in this world. Looks like I’m just scared in general!

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

    Del Amitri. I don’t know why they have this uncool image. Nothing Ever Happens sums up everything I remember about the world around me when I was growing up in the 80’s. The lyrics are brilliant.
    And when you’re 17 years old and you hear The First Rule of Love (off Change Everything) you’re like - how does he know all that when he hasn’t met me!

    6. What are you most proud of?

    Recording the Bench Connection album in my studio - and people saying it sounded like a lost 70’s record. That was the first album I ever engineered/produced. (Matt and I co-produced it but I recorded it) Maybe it was a fluke, I don’t think so.

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

    Not really, I’ve always been overly cautious about that. I got offered a cloak and dagger bye into the fame academy house about 5 years ago and my then manager turned it down flat. A couple of people were like - ‘but you’d make a fortune’ and I just said I didn’t want a 5 minute career doing 90 second cover versions, being taught to sing like a robotic virgin and being judged by people who’ve never listened to All Things Must Pass. And now I’m skint!

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    Nothing major yet - doing a showcase in a rehearsal room with session guys for the entire Island Records A&R department having had 2 rehearsals and no gigs together springs to mind. The guys were fantastic, but you can’t just magic up chemistry from nowhere, with no f***ing audience! They signed Keane instead - sorry about that Planet Earth.

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

    Shared sense of humour, and tons of empathy.

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

    Roll On Babe by Ronnie Lane - I can’t stop listening to it since Matt lent me the DVD. Just makes me so happy. Either that, or ‘Love Is All Around’ by Wet Wet Wet - ah to have royalties coming in!

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

    I convince myself the see-saw is even when it’s blatantly at 45 degrees. I do it badly and make my life constantly intolerable. I have no idea how so many musicians still have so much hair at 35. I’ll need a wig at this rate.

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

    Utterly, totally, completely. Not only are you missing out on the top feeling of going out for the day to buy something affordable (but that gives you infinitely more pleasure than anything else you’ll buy that week) but you end up downloading 3 or 4 albums and never really falling in love with any of them. My favourite songs are always the ones I skip initially, but when I couldn’t be arsed fast forwarding the tape, skipping the CD or moving the needle, you get made to listen to it and think, woa, thats a great line. All my favourites were found like that. Instead of going on itunes, listening to 10 seconds, then hopping onto Limewire or whatever.

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

    Part of it yeah. We’re putting together a really great group of people to work the record on a profit share basis, and looking at how to make the gigs work rather than doing lots of one offs you don’t get paid for and spend a fortune rehearsing for, and getting to. Depends how you define success - making a record every 2 years and having enough to live comfortably on sounds like success to me.

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

    I don’t mind really. I don’t want fame myself - just to make a good living out of doing what I love. If DJ’s are playing your stuff… it means more people are gonna get into it. Spin it man!

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

    My second gig in London at the now defunct Kashmir Klub. I absolutely nailed everyone to the wall. That was a few years ago now…

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

    Generally I don’t. I fluff the first line and then get a grip.

    17. When did you last write something?

    Yesterday - a little grumpy acoustic song called Mannicures for Mannequins

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

    Generally once a month for the last 8 years. I don’t because somewhere inside there’s an incredibly confident numbskull who knows it’ll happen, one way or another. Just keep writing honest stuff, and nicking new chords.

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

    They’ll never completely replace live instruments. It’s all horses for courses. You might have an acoustic guitar but with electronic drums and synths. Or real drums with sampled guitar loops. And a lot of live instruments like drums get chopped up and edited - so could be a sample anyway. Depends what kind of record you want to make. On the Bench Connection record we didn’t use a single click track and used proper instruments on everything, playing live - then used mellotron samples for strings on some, real strings on others. On mine there’s a few synths or sampled shakers - but always for effect rather than like some of these lazy arse (and more successful than me!) producers. I think it’s another great tool to have, as long as you can do it the ‘proper’ way if you need to.

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    Vanity! And a desire to talk to someone today other than my basil plant. (I exaggerate of course)

     

     

     

    20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask…Marie Julie from Stereoscope Jerk Explosion


    And now for something completely different. Marie Julie from Steroscope Jerk Explosion has very kindly allowed us into their groovy world with the Q&A. The debut album is nearing completion and the singer/writer, moog and hammond player has put her tools to one side for a moment to give us her answers. Many thanks to Marie Julie for her time (and in particular, her patience with the English language). You can check out some of their fantastic grooves here on myspace but be sure to click on their name above too, the website is stunning.

    Love n' swirls, TBC

     


    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?
     
    Stereoscope Jerk Explosion is a french instrumental band that makes groovy songs in  a 60’s style, influenced as well by garage, psychedelic or pop music. What perhaps differentiates us from other current instrumental bands of this style, is that we create songs as if they were sung, with verses and refrains and just little chorus’s like in pop songs, but not with long (and sometimes boring) improvisations as is usually done in this kind of music.
     
    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?
     
    I don’t know, nobody knows what will happen tomorrow but one thing is sure, all the members of the band have played music for a long time

    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?
     
    Dancing Drums, Ananda Shankar. This great track contains all the ingredients we use (and sometimes abuse) in our music : sitar and percussions for an indian touch, organ, moog, female vocals and of course, a groovy rythmic section

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?
     
    We all have different influences in the band, some are more Beatles, some are more Stones, some are more Funk, or Soul but our common point is all 60’s music

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

    Ravel. His Bolero is following me for a long time

    6. What are you most proud of?
     
    Our concept album which is just finished now and will be available soon. We’ve made it like a soundtrack of a spy movie called La Panthère Pop, including a complete scenario based on the names of the tracks and a storyboard in cosmic strip. It was a great and long project to realise.

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?
     
    No, we only do music for pleasure, we aren’t looking to get our music ‘out there’ at any price

    8. What's the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    Once we were asked to do a gig but we should pay to play ! Of course, we refused.

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?
     
    Friendship and communication

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?
     
    As an organist, I can’t choose a song made by a great organ player because if I had played on it, it wouldn’t have been the same! So I don’t know, the choice is difficult, perhaps on Sunny, Bobby Hebb, because it’s one of my favorite songs.
     
    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?
     
    I try to do the best I can for the two things, even if sometimes it’s tiring

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?
     
    The records are objects too, that you can contemplate, even put on your wall if you like. Having a list of mp3’s in your computer or ipod don’t have the same effect. With Stereoscope we try to make good music but beautiful records too, perhaps to give more desire to people to buy them ! Anyway, I think that people who frequently download music, buy the cd or the vinyl album too when they really like it.

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

    No, success is not our motivation, only fun, and if people like what we do, it’s even more pleasure

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?
    Some DJ’s are great, they have a good sense of music and make the people dance which is something really cool. But what annoys me is the confusion that is sometimes made beetween musicians and DJ’s. Musicians have to train for years to arrive at a good result, but DJ’s just put records on a turntable (if they do!), so it’s quite different..

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?
     
    With Stereoscope Jerk Explosion, our most memorable gig was our first one, before the James Taylor Quartet. In reality, the band was created to do that. With the guitarist Spagh, we were playing in a garage band called the Cryptones and we had done some demos of instrumental songs together just for fun. When Bruno of Cosmic Groove, our current label, listened to them, he proposed to us that we should open the gig before JTQ a month later. We accepted so we had to find a name and some musicians for the occasion. We asked good friends who were playing in others bands like the Strawberry Smell, to be part of this project. We only had two rehearsals together before doing the gig and the people really liked it. That’s how Stereoscope was born and also that’s the reason why we don’t do lots of gigs now : all the members live in differents towns and play in others bands, so that’s not really pratical..

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?
     
    I don’t get pre-gigs nerves often now, not anymore, but if it happens, the only way for me to overcome them is to drink some gin and tonic, or some champagne in the better case!

    17. When did you last write something?

    I find melodies everytime, sometimes it becomes a song and sometimes not. I was working on our album for a while so I haven’t tried to record a new song, but I have a lot of new themes in mind.

     

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?
     
    Yes, everytime I can’t arrive at the result I’m looking for, but this feeling disappears as fast as it came.

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

    It’s important to live with our time, electronic tools are really great for musicians now, for example in Stereoscope, the songs are first recorded with electronic instruments and after we replace them with real vintage instruments.

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    Because you asked me politely, and to practise my English too!



     

      20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask…Adrian Holder

     
    A nod to Dave over at Planet Mondo for a much needed kick up the jacksey. Plenty of names are lined up for the future and fittingly a true Mod God is the man to ‘kick start the 2 stroke’ and fire off his answers. I couldn’t be happier that he agreed to do it as I find this mans outlook and humour a constant inspiration (as well as his music obviously). A true gentleman, its only the man of The Moment himself, be sure to click on his name and check out some of his fantastic solo material. All hail….Mr. Adrian Holder!!!

    1. How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

    I write and record songs. I make music. I tell stories. I comment on life. I strum the guitar. I create. I paint with sound. I make secrets public. I let it out.

    2. Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

    I don’t think I have a career. A career sounds like a planned thing. Life happens to me and I to it. I can’t remember if I am at the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end. I am still waiting to find out if it has ended or just starting… I am returning from a long break as a solo artist so I must be at the start, right?

    3. Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

    This is a hard one - it changes each time I record something. At the moment the song which sums me up would be ‘Penelope Wood’. It’s my latest work and is therefore the freshest thing I have done. It is of the moment! It’s a love song.

    4. Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

    I no longer am inspired by people I do not know. The biggest inspiration, the people that make me write and record more than anything would be my family. They are more important than any hero past or present.

    5. Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

    Sure, I bet most of the people I think are great would cause a few raised eyebrows back in Mod town. Johnny Cash, springs to mind. I don’t think I have heard one of his tunes played at any of the mod clubs I’ve been to! It’s very rock and roll but with country boots on. As a rule, I am not a country fan but this guy is super special.

    6. What are you most proud of?

    My children.

    7. In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

    Yes. There are many things I would have done differently given a second chance. When The Moment were together, we were in such a hurry to get the work done I often forgot to take a step back and enjoy what was happening. I wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. I also spent much too much time listening to others. I had too much respect for the wrong people. I’ve have since put this right.

    8. What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

    We were asked not to play on Good Friday in Switzerland back in ..87. Something to do with God, apparently… I wasn’t worried though, I knew he was a fan.

    9. What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

    Easy, don’t talk to them.

    10. If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why?

    Any Beatles record would have done me. Imagine being able to say you played on a Beatles track. Priceless.

    11. How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

    I work as little as possible. I come home early. I put the kids to bed and then make the music. It’s a perfect balance.

    12. In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

    Who cares? Things change. I like change, it keeps people on their toes. All things come to an end and record shops are one of those things. Music is music it doesn’t really matter how or where you come into contact with it.

    13. Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

    I’ll let you know the plan when I think of one. Truth is, I am not clever enough to have a plan. I am just an ordinary Joe stumbling through life. Plans are for politicians and business men, neither of which float my boat all that much. As Gary Malby, once said to me when he managed The Moment; ‘the secret of success is to never plan ahead’. Wise words, perhaps.

    14. DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

    No. I never have got this one. It’s a little like making a shop worker famous for selling you a nice suit. Can I add, some of my best friends are DJ’s. DJ’s rule.

    15. To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

    There have been too many to remember and anyway, most of them were negotiated through a drunken haze. I can still remember the very first, perhaps it’s a little like sex, you always remember the first time.

    16. How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

    Not a problem for me. I am usually so drunk I don’t know where I am.

    17. When did you last write something?

    I am constantly writing. I will start writing something new this evening! Writing is good. I like good.

    18. Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

    I threw in the towel a long time ago. I haven’t stopped playing and writing though. Why? It’s what I do.

    19. What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

    No problem. It’s just a different way of making sounds. There’s a place for all of it. A little like sex and porn, different but still connected to pleasure… (for some).

    20. Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

    Technical / Overall Layout

    You.


    Make a Free Website with Yola.