I met Charles B through the Disco Biscuits and we became excellent friends. He is a DJ, a producer and soon to be a promoter! He was very kind to take some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions and put together an amazing exclusive mix for us. If you are in Denver, Colorado make sure you go to one of his shows, and look out for Denver Disco!
DigitalDavy: You’ve gone from Sir Charles and now to Charles B, do you think this will be your final alias?
Charles B: Hahaha. We’re starting with this? Ok.
Here’s the deal. I started making music under “Sir Charles” back in 2010. In 2011, I got an email from a guy down in Florida who had started performing under the same name. He was already signed Eliot Lipp’s label at the time, and was blowing up. Producing and DJ’ing music is a fun hobby for me, and he seemed to take it more seriously. I obliged and let him have the name. After that, I decided to keep it personal, and stick with “Charles B”. I’m really hoping I don’t receive any more emails.
DD: With all the places you’ve played in the Denver area what is your favorite and why?
CB: Actually, I’ve recently grown fond of this newer club, NORAD. Their sound system is one of the best in Denver, and they started a new weekly Disco event every Thursday night. Brennen Bryarly and “The Hundred” crew have been doing some amazing work with NORAD. I cant wait to play there again.
DD: Are you looking forward to any shows, as a fan, coming up?
CB: OMAN. Mark Farina is coming back to Denver for Halloween. Pretty excited about that one, as I missed his last show in Denver. There’s a huge rumor going around, that Zimmer will be in town for a free show coming up…but I cant say much about it.
Also, Gigamesh is coming back this December; another great artist I’ve failed to see the last two times he’s been in town, due to conflicting gigs.
DD: If you could pick an artist to play with who would it be and why?
CB: I would probably have to say Toomy Disco. I recently discovered this guy, and am absolutely addicted. It’s slightly harder than what I’ve been listening to in the past, but really seems to match my style perfectly.
DD: If you were to change the genre you spin what would you change it to?
CB: Honestly, I’ve been getting into the harder side of NuDisco, even delving into some Tech House. I try and use these influences in my music. Honestly, I don’t like staying pinned down to one specific genre. I love changing things up.
DD: Do you have any new tracks (remixes or original) in the works?
CB: Brennan Bryarly, who I mentioned earlier is about to release his new single. I’ll be releasing a remix for that in a few weeks. Other than that, I’m actually working on my first EP. I’m expecting it to be available later this around March 2013.
DD: You recently started Denver Disco, do you have anything planned for a first show?
CB: Denver Disco is the brain child of myself, Paul Monninger, and Nick Callaio. NuDisco is finally starting to get some recognition in Colorado, and I felt like it was the perfect time to capitalize on this, by creating Denver Disco. I originally started the original group back in February 2012, and that has completely blown up. I recently sat down with Paul and Nick, and we decided it was time to take DD to the next level; by making it an official company.
As for out first show, I cant release too much information, but it looks like Denver Disco will start hosting regular shows at a popular Denver club within the next month! I can’t be more excited about it, and am thrilled to see what lies in store for us in the future!
- Charles B
My good friend Matt Crouse answered some questions and did an exclusive mix just for me. Check out the mix here http://soundcloud.com/digitalguestmixes/crouse-guest-mix and read the interview down below. Make sure you check him out October 26th at The Blockley opening up for Orchard Lounge!
DigitalDavy: What made you decide to use your last name compared to coming up with an alias?
Crouse: I chose to use my last name purely out of necessity. I was never sure what to label myself as, so I figured just using my last name would be fitting.
DD: Who are your biggest influences, new and old?
C: Some of my biggest influences are New Order, Joy Division, David Bowie, The Velvet Underground, Depeche Mode, The Happy Mondays, and A Certain Ratio. A lot of my musical influences come from my father. He was big into new wave and that sort of thing, so I got a lot of that growing up. As I got older, I fell in love with house music and started to realize the roots are very tightly linked with a lot of the music I was already listening to.
DD: If you were to start another band who would you want in it with you and what genre would you guys play?
C: I’d really enjoy starting another live project. I’ve always wanted to do a real rock n roll or punk band; but, I think if I was to pursue doing live music again, it would probably be more in the realm of something similar to The Rapture. Their live performances are great and they blur the line of having an intense, almost punk-like attitude, while still being very electronic and house driven.
I’m not sure who exactly I would want in the band - that could take forever. I’m currently working on a semi-live act, so hopefully you can watch out for that in the near future.
DD: If you could pick one venue to play at, where would it be and with who?
C: I would love to play U Street Music Hall at some point in my career. The sound there is fantastic, and it’s a real “no frills”-type of venue, which I enjoy. If I could curate a bill, well, it would be filled with tons of artists. Right now, I’d really like to open up for a Lone/Machinedrum live set - have they ever done that?! - and a Disclosure live set would be equally awesome. Nicolas Jarr live band would also be boss.
DD: You released a track not to long ago, do you have anything else original coming out soon? Do you plan on doing any remixes for anyone?
C:I have a ton of tracks in the works. It’s just hard to let something go like that. I feel like it’s never exactly how I want it. Even with “Cold Days Hot Nights,” I still think it could use some work, but at some point you just have to share it and see a reaction. I’ve been getting good feedback from people, so perhaps that will give me a bit of a confidence boost to push some of my other material out.
DD: Besides opening up for Orchard Lounge on Oct. 26th, do you have any shows coming up that you want to tell us about?
C: Yea. I’m playing with One.Man.And/Tek Subport at Dobbs on South Street in Philly on November 10th. Also, Greg D. and I are debuting our collaboration “Risky Disko” on November 16th at Gunner’s Run in the Piazza on 2nd Street - that should be really fun.
Sonic Spank has been on the rise for years now and there has been news of a full length album for probably a year now and here it is! I got in touch with keyboardist Ian McGuire the other night for him to answer a few questions. Make sure you go and grab the album directly from them and donate a few bucks for it. It’s completely worth it. http://www.sonicspank.bandcamp.com/. Make sure you check them out when they come to a city near you. Tour dates and album track list under the interview.
DD: How long did it take you guys to get this album out? writing, recording, mastering all the fun stuff.
Ian: It’s been a long process. The idea for the album came about while we were on tour with UK electronic act, The Egg back in September/October of 2010. At that point we had a bunch of silly songs with sexual references and we were headed out on the road for the first time to test them out. With so much time traveling all over the northeast/midwest, I spent a lot of time in the car trying to think of new ideas for songs and toyed with lyrics for the first time. By the end of our tour there was a clear framework for a full length concept album. Ben and I spent the next year fleshing the tunes out in our home studio and tried some of them out live with Scotty. We originally wrote them with heavy synth bass, vocoder vocals, drum machines, ect.
In December of 2011, we spent a week or so in Kawari Sound Recording Studio (Wyncote, Pa) with producer/engineer Alex Daniels to track live drums, piano, guitar and try out some new vocoder recording techniques. That’s when we had Marc Brownstein and Jason Fraticelli come in to record live bass on two songs. Those tracks ended up having more of a live band vibe which greatly contrasted some of the othertracks on the album that felt stale in comparison. We probably could have gotten the album out a few months earlier but we made a drastic decision during the recording process and decided to trash just about all the synth bass and vocoder. Trying to learn how to actually sing these tunes and schedule additional studio time with 6 other bassists added weeks to the process, but looking back it was the right move. Finally in late August, we took our final mixes to Paul Geissenger (aka Starkey) who tweaked some things and mastered everything. So the entire process took about 2 years.
DD: Who played the biggest part in naming the album and the track names?
Ian: I guess I came up with the overall theme and name. I wrote the lyrics and sang on all the songs except for “Regret” and “It’s You, Not Me” which Ben wrote the lyrics for and sang. It was still very much a collaboration in terms of songwriting.
DD: Do you have more than just these 13 tracks recorded? If so do you see a ”side b” album coming?
Ian: We actually have a ton of songs that didn’t make the album. They’re in varying states of development. Some are still lyric sketches and there’s over an album worth of finished or close to finished demos,but no “side b” album in the works. Now that DRAMA is released, we can finally focus on what to do with the next release.
DD: You have 3 huge, for this scene, bass players on the album, if you could play with any others who would it be and why?
Ian: We were pretty lucky with the bass player situation on the album. As we came closer to releasing the album, we realized we needed actual bass playing and thankfully we had a big roster to call upon. Every bass player we had on DRAMA was someone who we already knew from playing gigs.
If I had a choice, I guess having Squarepusher play bass on a track or live show would be my personal choice. Right now, we don’t have to worry about bassists at our shows. Our good buddy Dave Palan has joined the band for our fall tour and it’s looking like a perfect fit as a permanent member. You can hear Dave on “Not There” which is track 2 of the album.
DD: what sort of pranks/jokes do you guys play on each other while on tour?
Ian: haha…I dunno, I’m usually the one who screws around with the other guys. I was on a kick last year of stacking every single item I could find in our hotel rooms on top of whoever falls asleep first. Like everything. Ironing board, coffee maker, lamps, pictures on the wall. It’s a bitch to clean up and pretty stupid, but watching people wake up is pretty funny.
DD: Which shows on the tour are you looking forward to the most?
Ian: I’m pretty pumped for all the Florida shows. We play in Tallahassee, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Dunedin, Lake Worth, and Delrey Beach. I’m used to being in the northeast during the fall, so playing in Florida for a week at the end of September oughta be a blast.
DD: Which cities that you’re not hitting this tour would you want to play the most?
Ian: We’re working out another southern trip in December where we’ll be heading to Miami. I’ve never been there before so that’s been on my list. Hopefully we’ll also hit Atlanta on that run. We played there a little over a year ago but we couldn’t work that into the fall tour we’re currently on.
1. Butterflies feat. Paul Weinstein
2. Not There feat. David Palan
3. Regret feat. Jesse Miller
4. Maybe This Is What I Need feat. Clay Parnell
5. Spread Your Legs feat. Johnny Fissinger
6. She Fades Away feat. Jason Fraticelli
7. Interlude feat. Paul Weinstein
8. It’s You, Not Me(Part 1) feat. Paul Weinstein
9. It’s You, Not Me(Part 2) feat. Paul Weinstein
10. Now You Get What You Came For feat. Matt Keppler
11. Feeling Lucky feat. Matt Keppler
12. Quality Time feat. Marc Brownstein
Well here it is folks ‘Side B’ of Funkbots show at E-Villia last Friday. If you missed the interview that I did with him you can find it in the post under this one. Once again please go to his facebook page and give him a like.
This months guest mix is from non other than Chris Norris aka Funkbot. I couldn’t tell you when or where we met but it has been one hell of a ride. We have done many shows together as djs and as friends. Here is ‘Side A’ of his most recent 5 hour show at E-Villia in Baltimore, Maryland and a few questions/answers.
DIGITALDAVY: What made you decide on the name Funkbot?
FUNKBOT: I actually didn’t ”decide” on it… A good friend, Groovy Amy came up to me once, during a Disco Biscuit show, when she noticed my signature dance move… She called me a little funkbot because of it and from there, the nickname just stuck. It’s been that way ever since.
DD: Who are your biggest influences new and old?
FB: Well, when i first really started getting into music it was mostly jazz & funk. MMW, Scofield, Greyboy Allstars… a lot of hip hop Wutang Clan, Old Dirty Bastard, Method Man, GZA…then i found the Disco Biscuits… and that was pretty much it. I had found that band that would have me following them all over… Lately? Producers like Bottin, Miguel Campbell, Rodion, Ilya Santana, Mirror People, Chicken Lips, Dropout Orchestra, Greg Wilson… man i could go on forever… There is a lot of really good good music out there. If its sounds like some form of psychedelic sexual fucking disco soul pop you might be at Funkbot show.
DD: Who are you looking forward to seeing the rest of 2012 and beyond?
FB: I’d really like to see Escort, WHO MADE WHO, Metronomy & My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult
DD: If you could pick one venue to play at where would it be and with who?
FB: Morgan Boyle’s BackYard w/ The Love Explosion
DD: If you were to change the genre you spin what would you change it to?
FB: Idk. I guess more downtempo stuff. Psychedelic hiphop? Actually I would like to do a krout rock set… full on. Maybe one of these days? Who knows?
DD: Do you have anything special in store for us at OktoberFest that you want to tell us about?
FB: Oh man! Oktoberfest is going to be a riot. Hell, if you bring a keg of beer and the receipt, they’ll take it off the price of your admission?! As, for Funkbot? I have some tricks, some treats! ‘The Love Explosion’ will be making an appearance… backing me up on drums and keys! It features, Scott Kapp on the drums, you remember him from the band Push a couple years back? The kid is a beast behind the kit. And then my good friend from a little project from a long time ago called Luca-pher… on Keys and Guitar, Lucas Gates. Who knows, maybe there will even be some original material…?
Needless to say, we are going to have loads of fun!!!
You can catch Funkbot the first Thursday of every month at E-villia in Baltimore, Maryland and on October 27th at the Mountain Springs Arena, Shartlesville PA for OktoberFest! Keep your eyes to this page along with his facebook and soundcloud pages for ‘Side B’ very soon!!