Sunday, August 26, 2012
10 Questions: JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound
The amazing retro soul sound of Chicago's JC Brook and the Uptown Sound is some of the best music out there right now. Still gaining momentum from 2011's Want More this band is sure to be a household name in no time. Guitarist Billy Bungeroth and bass player Ben Taylor took some time to sit down with BLS and answer our questions. Make sure you catch them at our own Mississippi Studios this Friday.
BLS: JC you have a love for acting and the stage. What dramatic elements have you been able to incorporate into the band's live show?
JCB: Heightened sense of emotionalism or playing emotional extremes when it suits the build of the song. I also play JC as slightly mentally disturbed...
BLS: The rawness of your live show is one of your strongest selling points. Do you feel you were able to better capture that raw feeling in Want More compared to the Beat Your Own Drum Album?
JCB: I feel that Beat is far rawer production-wise and content/performance-wise. We were just feeling our way through our sound at that point and we recorded it in 2 days.
BLS: What were some of the studio techniques used in the making of Want More that gives it that live feel?
JCB: We all played live in a room together for starters. Revolutionary concept, right? As far as studio trickery goes, we mic'd the drums through the heating duct for Sister Ray Charles.
BLS: Having grown up on my father's Motown LP's I can understand the power of soul. Can each of you remember the first soul album you ever heard?
JCB: I remember watching the Motown 25 special on TV, and later on, my high school jazz teacher teacher lent me James brown's greatest hits, which I taped on the other side of my Public Enemy "Nation of Millions" cassette
BLS: Chicago is a large part of your bands identity. Can you describe what it's like to be a band from Chicago and what is it about the town and specifically the Uptown neighborhood that has shaped your sound?
JCB: Curtis Mayfield and Wilco are both major influences. We have also had the pleasure of playing with Chicago Soul Men Syl Johnson and Renaldo Domino. Outside of that Chicago has great venues and a very encouraging music scene.
BLS: Your music has gained the attention of the blues audience, which is known for loyalty and passion. What has it meant to the band to gain this sort of attention?
JCB: The blues have the first and last word in all modern music. Being from Chicago the blues are incredibly important to many of us. If blues fans dig it were honored by the compliment.
BLS: If it was 1980 - who would win in a cage match between James Brown and Rick James? Would it make any difference if it was officiated by Prince and Bootsy Collins?
JCB: This is irrelevant both parties would be coked to the gills so the outcome would be erroneous.
BLS: Why did you choose to make Bloodshot records, a label more well know for Alt-country, your home?
JCB: Good music transcends genre. So does a good label.
BLS: What can we expect from the band for the second half of 2012?
JCB: More touring, then recording in the fall/winter
BLS: Name 5 bands you love but who few people have heard of?
Josh & Mer
Freddie T & the People