Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Mar 14th 2010 5:26PM by Stefanie Schwartz
Describe your sound in your own words.
It's raw psychedelic funk soul jazz.
How did the band form?
Breakestra is a funk/soul/jazz project that I've been doing for about 12 years in Los Angeles. It's something that [was] inspired from having heard a lot of funk and soul jazz music in the late '80s and early '90s hip hop samples. It was a musical fantasy of mine to have a live musician playing those tracks in the way a DJ plays, going from one track to the next without any breaks. We basically had started a DJ party around it, with this ensemble of musicians that kind of changed depending on who was available each week. We put a new record out, our second all-original record, called 'Dusk Til Dawn,' which is more experimental, all based in funk.
How did you come up with the name Breakestra?
Hip hop started before rappers. It started with DJs in the Bronx, and those DJs found that a certain section of a funk track, people on the dance floor would get real excited about it and they'd notice it. The break really is rooted in funk but it was popularized by the original DJs of hip hop, and so since Breakestra was playing those sections and emphasizing them and it was a live collective playing onstage, I called it a break orchestra -- a "breakestra."
Who are your influences?
Again, late '80s hip hop, and the pillars of funk foundation: James Brown, Kool and the Gang, Sly and the Family Stone.
Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?
I'd have to say old U2 is one of my guilty pleasures.
What's the craziest thing you guys have experienced on tour?
Breaking down on the Autobahn in the late afternoon, almost sunset, in the rain.
Do you get into trouble on the road?
We've never gotten into trouble. Pretty civilized. Civilized funk musicians.
What do you do to survive a festival like SXSW?
Breakestra's never been down there. I don't know, I'm having trouble keeping track of folks. I've never been down there with that large a group of people; I've always been down there myself.
Do you have one thing you guys can absolutely never tour without?