The Way Live Should Be had the opportunity to interview a few bands and get their feedback on the festival phenomenon and their upcoming Bella Terra festival performances. The bands that spoke with us include Start Making Sense, Dopapod, and Sophistafunk; they had some really interesting insight into their music and what we can expect at Bella Terra this year!
We were lucky enough to speak with Jonathan Braun, lead singer and guitarist of the Talking Heads cover band Start Making Sense. Being HUGE fans of the Talking Heads, we had some pretty specific questions for Jon;
WLSB: What led you to start a Talking Heads cover band? How did it all come to be?
The band began approx 2 + years ago in Bethlehem PA. A great venue called The Funhouse had hosted (the majority of the current Start Making Sense band performing) Quadrophenia by the Who, followed by a slew of Led Zeppelin songs. The owner, Tina, liked it so much, she suggested we do another night of music by a different band. When asked for suggestions she said “how about Talking Heads”. So we put together a group of close friends and musical associates who had all worked together in some form or another over the last 11 years. We figured it would be a fun experience and maybe we’d get a nice sounding live recording of it. Our first show there drew 200 + people led us to realize that there were probably more people out there who would enjoy this. We started getting calls for more shows literally the next day and it’s been growing ever since!
WLSB: How does it feel to occasionally get to play with Bernie Worrell? Is it likely he will play with you folks at Bella Terra?
It is the biggest honor in the world to be onstage with Bernie Worrell. The man is a legend. He’s in the Rock n Roll Hall of FAME!!! His contribution to the world of music is ridiculously immense and very, very, very under appreciated. With our whole band being very large Parliment/Funkadelic fans as well as Talking Heads fans, we feel honored and privileged to be able to play this music with him from time to time. And to top it all off, he’s such a great down to earth guy!!! As far as us playing with him at Bella Terra, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility!
WLSB: Have you played festivals before? What is your perception/opinion of the festival scene?
We have played a number of festivals before, including Bella Terra last year. The crowds are always great because the atmosphere is so relaxed. People are there to have fun and toss all pretension aside. The festival scene as a whole is great because the options for both a performer and a listener vary greatly. Musically speaking, whatever you’re looking for, you can probably find it.
We agree! Another fabulous band guaranteed to get you grooving is Dopapod. They have made quite the name for themselves in the New England scene and never fail to blow people out of the water with their intensive musical jams. We were able to get Eli Winderman, keyboardist of the band, to talk a little about his thoughts on the festival scene and also what to expect from their set at Bella Terra!
WLSB: What are your thoughts on the new age festival scene?
I think the festival scene as we know it today has become something drastically different and unique compared to our parents generation. The overall concept is surely there, but the incredible array of genres and people has really become something worth checking out for any type of person. It’s as if the subculture is quickly expanding to a much larger group of people from all different walks of life, especially with the addition of a lot of DJs. I think the popularity of DJs has also allowed mainly instrumental dance music to gain more acceptance, which is great.
WLSB: Where does Dopapod’s signature sound come from? Or the word Dopapod for that matter?
Dopapod is an extreme mashup of musicians with pretty varying tastes genre wise. I would say that is the main reason our sound might be different. It’s as if you took MMW, Metallica, Primus, Phish, The New Deal, and Gwar, and put them into a blender and added some pineapple to sweeten it up. The band name is simply a word I came up with. It has taken many concepts and ideas up under its wings. Mainly symmetry and pleasure all wrapped into one!
WLSB: What can we expect from your Bella Terra set?
Well, we always try and have something special planned for big shows like this, but as of now, not quite sure. You may be able to expect a large quantity of spider monkeys being released during our encore, or you can expect a shower of jello pudding during our opener.
Well, you can guarantee we will be attending Dopapod’s Bella Terra set!!! Make sure to check out their new live album I Saw Live Dopapod Evil Was I! Our last interview is with a fabulous up-and-coming band from Syracuse, NY; Sophistafunk! Keyboardist and Moog shredder Adam Gold got on the wire to discuss festivals as well:
WLSB: Have you played at Bella Terra before? Or any New York music and camping festivals?
We have not played Bella Terra before, but we are more than excited to grace their stage! Some other NY festivals we have played are Sterling Stage Festivals , Live Free Fest, Positive Mental Tripfest, Rochester East End Fest, Rochester Park Ave Fest, Taste of Syracuse, and many more!
WLSB: What are your thoughts on the festival scene? Does the environment affect your show?
I grew up going to festivals like Moe.Down and Phish and Gathering of the Vibes. I never thought I’d get the chance to play audiences close to those! Sophistafunk soaks up all the great energy that comes from the people, and returns it ten-fold, or as best we can in our artistic form. When we see people vib’ing out, it only fuels our creative engines.
WLSB: What can we expect from the Sophistafunk set at Bella Terra?
You can expect some crazy tricks up our sleeves. I’ve been preparing and saving up for some new instruments that I plan on going crazy with this summer, and the way we absorb energy from the audience will only be magnified with an outdoor festival. Also expect us to transgress some musical boundaries. “Hip-hop” is a box, even “Funk” is a box these days. There are SO MANY “funky” bands that are really nasty on the “jam scene”. We are inspiring and positive dance music. Simple as that.
Sophistafunk has a new full length album that they have worked incredibly hard on and which we HIGHLY recommend, make sure to check it out!!
Thanks to all the individuals who took the time to talk festivals with us! We can’t wait to see you folks at the Third Annual Bella Terra Music and Camping festival!!