Electric Empire will play tomorrow at La Bellevilloise in Paris and I had the opportunity to ask them some questions for this occasion.
Here is the Funkhome's Interview I made with this great band...
Fg : For starters, I would like you to introduce the members of Electric Empire and tell us where you’re coming from?
Electric Empire : Dennis Dowlut (Guitar/Vox). Jason Heerah (Drums/Vox). Aaron Mendoza (Keys/Vox). We all come from Melbourne & Sydney in Australia.
Why did you choose Electric Empire as the Band’s name? What’s the meaning, the idea behind that?
‘Electric’ comes from a song called ‘Love Electric’ that Dennis’ brother wrote before he passed away. The word ‘Empire’ symbolises unity and equality for anyone and everyone.
Let’s talk about our favourite music… because you’re in the Funkhome For you, which are the undeniable artists in Funk/Soul, the ones that have marked the musical history or that you admire the most musically (Past and Present) ? and why? Could you explain your musical influences and tastes ?
Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Duffy. All the old artists are known for creating a sound that was unique to only them. Their songwriting is also unique to each individual. The new artists also have the same qualities as the old but are sonically influenced by the classic artists. We love all types of different genre’s and artists. Usually what influences us is when an artist is being themselves and their music interprets who they are.
How do you explain your love for those kind of Black music ? What is irresistible in it for you ?
It’s real, it comes from the soul and when it comes from the soul, it always resonates with many people feeling the same way.
When I’ve heard your album, I thought immediately it was like a Stevie Wonder’s record… You have the same sense of harmony, Jason sings a lot like Stevie and I’m amaze about that !!! It’s certainly why I love so much your album. Are you flattered by this comparison?
Definitely, he was our greatest inspiration. It’s a big compliment. Thank-You.
We love good music, real musicians and Funk & Soul are the best for us… so we choose to talk only about bands who create something today… How do you explain that Funk or Soul are now less popular? It must be very difficult for you to live of your musical talent today… Are we wrong?
Funk and Soul is still highly respected. With the introduction of synths in the 80’s and pop music slowly becoming more electronic, Funk/Soul stopped becoming mainstream. It’s not difficult to live with our musical talent today because we individually love playing all types of music and are evolving as a band.
You are preparing currently your first tour in France. What are your feelings about our Country ? How do you see France from Australia ?
We are excited to be touring in France. We’ve always wanted to come to France and play our music. We know there’s a lot of people who like Funk/Soul/Jazz music and we always hear of international bands getting their first hit in France. We (Australia) think France is a very important place when it comes to releasing your music internationally.
How about the composition of the tracks? Did all members are able to write tunes? All is ready before you go on the recording studio or it’s more like a Live band creation in it?
Yes. All members of the band are able to compose songs. Whether it be melodies, chords etc. Some songs are complete before we record them, other songs might not have lyrics but we’ll start recording them anyway. It happens in many different ways.
I love your beautiful internet site ( electricempiremusic.com ) : it’s at the same time very class and simple… just like your music Did you go to visit ours and how do you see those kind of information media… Made by music lovers for others music lovers with only one goal… Help the artists (and most of all the independent one) who deserve it?
We visited your site. It’s great to see you supporting so many artists/bands from Soul/Funk. Thanks for the compliments on our website. We updated recently and have used a company called ‘Jaden Social’ to help make our website more interactive with our fans. It has a blog and you can click directly onto our Facebook/Twitter etc.
More and more artists have decided to work without major labels (Your label is SOULBEATS in France) and the Internet has become an unlimited playground… What’s your opinion about this new way of distributing music?
The internet is changing the game of music. Artists/Bands can now create and distribute their music to the world all from home. It forces labels to think outside the box and come up with new ways to do business. It’s not all about getting a label anymore. It gives a more power back to the artist. Of course, there are labels out there that genuinely want to help bands and not use them as just a business transaction. Labels can still help you break into many different territories and that’s important.
Among new talents, emerging now, who are the artists you think will have a great career? Who are the ones best defending the Black Music Tradition?
Sharon Jones & The Dapkings, Raphael Saadiq, D’Angelo, Aloe Blacc, Mayer Hawthorne, Omar are just some of the artists that are keeping the Funk/Soul tradition alive. It’s hard to know who will have a great career, there are lots of many different bands that are doing great things for the world of music.
Which are the 10 albums of all time you couldn’t stand to live without? The ones you can’t take out of your Sound system? Can you give some words to explain your choice
Stevie Wonder – Songs in the Key of Life
Donny Hathaway – Extensions of a Man
The Beatles – Revolver
Michael Jackson – Off the Wall
D’Angelo – Voodoo
Bob Marley – Exodus
Curtis Mayfield – Superfly Soundtrack
Prince – Greatest Hits
Aretha Franklin – Live in Paris
Jeff Buckley - Grace
Thanks to have take time to answered theses questions… Can wait to have the pleasure to see you Live in Paris soon… We really appreciate your music and we are sure the best is in front of you… Don’t change anything, it’s absolutely Perfect !!!
15 May 2012
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