RW: Why did we do it? First of all, I run a little studio for a living so it was easier for us to record than maybe some other bands. And we had a backlog of songs. The other thing was we really felt like we wanted to have something that we could sell to people, quite honestly. At that point we had nothing, just t-shirts and stuff. People inevitably ask, ‘do you have a CD we can buy?’ And at the start we didn’t. So that’s how that came to be. AJM: And then things sort of took off for the band after you made Blues Kid City in 2011. RW: Honestly, I thought [2008’s Funk Shui] was going to be a one-time deal. Quite a few years passed until we did the second one, and things kind of happened with the second one. It did okay for us. We got nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award and stuff. We thought, this is great, let’s do another one, and we recorded the next one very quickly after, and recorded it in the same way in that the rhythm section plays live in the room and all those tracks are kept — what you hear is what the band actually sounds like. We were really keen to keep that. AJM: That can be a real challenge. Is it ever tempting to take advantage of all the effects and sounds you can produce in the studio?
their own specific qualities and sounds. What allows you to do that effectively? RW: When you have a band with, say, two guitar players and no horn section and no organ player, it’s tough for every song to sound different. For us, we have a keyboard player. He plays a lot of organ and he can play Rhodes and Wurlitzer, and he can do Moog sounds, so we have that whole other palette of things we can do there. And then we have the horn section. We’re called Absofunkinlutely, but really funk is such a small part of what we do: we do our
It’s not like … Cat Stevens didn’t exist, but I guess no one was dancing to [him]. randy woods
RW: It really is an exercise in restraint in a lot of ways, because you can go in and tune every last vocal and move every note if you want. Trying to leave the essence of what the band really sounds like can be challenging sometimes in this digital world. Back in the analog days it was a lot harder. I recently bought a big analog reel-to-reel machine so if we do another album I’m going to do it analog — considerably more old school than the last few. AJM: At the same time, the songs — especially those on Blues Kid City and Residential Gas Leak — tend to have
very best to do reggae and ska and soul and straight-up R&B stuff, too, so we’re drawing on a bunch of different genres so that when we play them hopefully it sounds like us. AJM: Which leads into the question of dancing. Why do you think dancing to live music, especially funk and R&B, is so rare?
always felt right if the dance floor was packed. It felt like we were doing our jobs. I guess in a way you’re right: in the old days of the big bands and the orchestras it was all about dancing, wasn’t it? Even in the seventies, with disco and funk and all that, it was all about dancing, you know. It’s not like guys like Cat Stevens didn’t exist, but I guess no one was dancing to them. AJM: But there’s a certain appeal, something very visceral to hearing a band play music that was meant for dancing. RW: Gosh, what is it about it? I don’t know. If you walk into a club and there’s a six-piece band with a horn section playing, it’s bombastic and it’s loud and it’s got a whole different kind of energy. It’s mostly pretty positive, whereas in other genres it isn’t always positive. Maybe that’s a part of it, that usually the message is pretty positive. It just makes you feel like moving, and our little goofy bio says groove is essential, and as corny as it is, it’s true. Absofunkinlutely January 24 @ The Bassment $17/23 @ Showclix.com, The Bassment
RW: Yeah, I guess it seems like there’s a lot — especially now and especially in this province — of singer-songwriters. That doesn’t lend itself to dancing. And for us it
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Published on Jan 17, 2014