He’s baaaack! The man, the myth , the Mad Liberator, Griz, is back to grace your eardrums with yet another masterful production off of his upcoming album which is due out in Spring 2015. Featuring Orlando Napier on vocals and keys, the single “A Fine Way To Die” is about as funky as it gets. From the groovy opening guitar riff to the layers of original instrumentation (mostly played by Griz himself in addition to several other musicians), this one is a certified electro-funk heater. The bass-heavy breakdowns and jazzy horn sections—including some of the finest sax around—highlight this track as yet another signature Griz masterpiece, loaded with good vibes and layers of intricate production. As is his way, this one (along with his entire catalogue) is available for free download. Keep your ears open for more Griz tunes in the coming months. And if you’re in the Detroit area, you can still grab tickets for Grizmas (with support from ODESZA, Will Sessions and Gosh Pit) at the Masonic Temple. Enjoy!
Though he has definitely come a long way since the first time we heard him, Chicago-based producer Manic Focus (John McCarten) has been able to fly somewhat under the radar (and that’s a good thing). If you aren’t familiar yet, it’s about time you get acquainted; and there’s no better place to start than by checking out his latest—arguably freshest—release, Cerebral Eclipse. For those who are already down with Manic Focus, this album is another fine addition to his repertoire, maintaining his signature spacey style of electro-soul while bringing some spot-on collaborators like Griz, Dom Lalli, and Michal Menert (among others) into the mix. Like his previous releases, Cerebral Eclipse is heavy on the bass—putting it somewhere between dubstep and electro-soul—but it also highlights McCarten’s impeccable sampling skills and ear for layers and details in his music. Manic Focus glues together samples from the worlds of soul, blues, and hip-hop with funky, flowing beats and some well-placed instrumentation to take listeners on a journey through the past, present, and future of music. Even though it’s available for free (courtesy of Griz’s Liberated Music label), we suggest you show your support by purchasing the album on iTunes or by checking out Manic Focus the next time he rolls through your town. Listen below and enjoy!
If you have yet to be staggered from the storm that The Floozies has been stirring up with its intoxicating, funk infused electronic concoctions, now is the time to ride the winds. Coming off their recent and widely popular album ‘Tell Your Mother’, which saw its debut on Liberated Music earlier this month, guitarist/producer Matt Hill and drummer Mark Hill are bringing The Floozies sound across the east coast as they, along with Pegboard Nerds, accompany GRiZ for a portion of the Rebel Era tour.
Everyone needs the funk. So for those who can never fully satisfy that desire or for those who have yet to accept its necessity, be sure to properly delve into their Kansas born sounds and get a look into The Floozies tour life, upbringings, and upcoming shows that are not to be missed as we had the opportunity to chat with Mark this past weekend prior to their performance in Philadelphia on Friday.
HT: So you guys are in Philly tonight?
We are in Philly man. It’s a really cool city. Never been before but we went out, walked around, saw the Liberty Bell. Definitely excited to be here.
HT: What’s your pre-show routine look like a few hours before doors?
Well, right now we’re just sitting in the green room, recuperating, resting from last night. We don’t really have a specific routine, just have a couple of drinks, hang out with out friends, get some good food and hit the stage.
HT: You guys are hitting the road pretty hard. Do you ever find time for some post show shenanigans after the show or do you guys just unwind once you’re done?
Ah man, we more often than not wind up with some post show shenanigans. Especially when we are running with a fun crew like the one we’re with right now.
HT: New York City Terminal 5 is coming up on The Rebel Era tour and is looking like it’s going to be a sold out show. Any high hopes for a Friday night show in The Big Apple?
From the get-go I’ve been most excited about that place. I’ve heard that it is just a really cool venue. I saw some pictures and it looks just amazing. Never been to The Big Apple so really pumped to get out there.
HT: So it’s you guys opening and then Pegboard Nerds come on afterwards, correct?
That is correct.
HT: Pegboard Nerds have a very, very different style than you guys. What is it like opening for them musically? How do you feel you transition the crowd into their set?
Well, I think when we’re running with people like GRiZ, the crowd is pretty open minded. He plays pretty soulful music, same as us. I think they’ll handle it just fine you know? We just got to do our thing, let them do their thing and the crowd will dig it I imagine.
HT: The Floozies. Where does the name come from?
The name kind of came from my mom…[she] used the term. And then in college, some girl called Matt a floozie and when it came time to name the band we just wanted a name that wasn’t really serious you know? We just wanted to have a fun name. In all honesty we didn’t think about it that much. It sounded cool and we just went with it. We try not to take the whole thing too seriously. It’s about making good music and having fun not being super cool or whatever and having some badass name.
HT: Well you guys have been doing it for a long time. If you look back right now to the beginning of it all, do feel like it was really hard to get where you are today or were you doing it passionately because thats what felt right?
We’re definitely really passionate about music. We grew up playing music and we always knew that’s what we wanted to do. I dropped out of school and Matt did music in school and we just kind of went for it without a back up plan because we knew thats how you get things done. You just go for ’em. And it was definitely hard man. We played a lot of really bad gigs and struggled on the road a lot but you know we never gave up, and you know it’s my brother too so it was easy to stick with it because we’re family and we’ve been through a lot. So yea it was hard but, we always knew we were going to keep going; you gotta keep moving forward.
HT: Would you do something differently in hindsight?
You know, probably not man. We went after it. My brother did all the booking originally and he was really good at it. He emailed people constantly and went for every gig we could get there for a while and I don’t regret any of that.
HT: ‘Tell Your Mother’ is out and has been receiving a ton of support and acclaim. Congratulations. Some words getting thrown around in reference to the album are “electro-funk”, “future bass”, and “future funk”. Some are saying there are disco influences. What does the album represent in your words and do you agree with any of those classifications?
Yea all that stuff is pretty accurate. We play funk music you know, and you can call it what you want but for us it has always been about making good funk music. This album was just a step further in that direction; just trying to keep it fresh and try some new things. The talkbox went really well I think. Incorporating that was huge in the writing process. But yea I’m down with all those classifications. As long as funk is in the name, they are very accurate.
HT: Do you ever feel like the word funk and soul get used interchangeably? Do you feel like they stand alone, where funk is not soul and perhaps they just compliment each other?
I think that the terms are definitely individual and probably get interchanged more often than they should, but funk music has soul and soul music is funky so they’re somewhat interchangeable. I think soul has bit more of the depth side of things where funk is just anything that just makes you want to dance and feel good.
HT: Your catalog stands on its own musically and authentically but are their any figures that you guys feel like you might have to give credit to for evolving your tastes to help give rise to your current sound?
Yea man there is a lot of people that have contributed to making us make music that we make now. I could list a million names. They all have influenced what we put out today, everything we have ever heard. A huge influence was definitely listening to funk music growing up…the old school stuff like P-Funk and Kool & The Gang. My family was really into funk so we grew up with that and so definitely, those guys contributed a lot to how we approach music. And you know all the electronic music lately led us to incorporating that into our dreams to make funk music. So just everything man, everything just influenced and inspired us.
HT: You guys think you might ever get on ‘Get Down On It’ for Floozies remix?
(Chuckles)…ah man we used to do more remixes than we do now. Lately, it’s just a lot more fun to focus on making original music. But you know it wouldn’t surprise me as we incorporate more looping and stuff like that, if we pay homage to some old school funk. You never know.
HT: How was working with Grant on the ‘Simple’ collab on Rebel Era? How did that come about and would Matt ever hop on stage for a live rendition of the track?
You know he hasn’t done that yet but we just started the tour last night so you never know it could happen. But yea it was a cool process. He just sent over some music and Matt threw down some guitar and sent it back and Grant did some editing and made it all fit really well together. I think it came out really great man. As far as collaborations go, I couldn’t have asked for a better turn out.
HT: Did the collab result in ‘Tell Your Mother’ being released via Liberated Music or did the collab come about after the arrangements for the release on Liberated?
Well we hadn’t released it yet but we had definitely already talked and were definitely already confirmed to do it as a label release. So it definitely led to a collab. The collab was an afterthought.
HT: Before the year wraps up you guys have SnowGlobe. It’s has a huge line-up and its an amazing event to be a part of. My questions is more that I just can’t imagine that it gets as cold in Kansas as is does in Lake Tahoe.
Oh man it does…gets cold as shit in Kansas. One of the cool parts about Kansas is you get every aspect of weather. It’s really hot in the summer and it gets pretty cold in the winter. I mean, I’m not sure if it gets quite as cold as its going to be in Lake Tahoe but we’re used to it. We know how to bundle up.
HT: Have you guys ever played in freezing temps before?
Yea man we’ve definitely done some cold ones. I mean it doesn’t effect me because I get into it physically and I’m always sweaty by the end of the show no matter the temperature. We got to warm up Matt’s hands – probably the only bad part about playing out in the cold weather. It’s definitely not as pleasant but you know, you get through it and go for it.
HT: After SnowGlobe NYE, do you guys have your eyes set on something in particular? I know its a little early but once the new year rolls around I feel like people get on the lookout out for those summer festival line-ups to drop.
I think we’re just going to try and play as many festival as we possibly can.
HT: Would you guys like to head back to Electric Forest after last year?
You know if they’ll have us. We’re certainly excited to go back man. I mean that was just a beautiful spot. Great staff. It’s just one of the coolest experiences you can have going to Electric Forest and getting to play there makes it all the much more awesome. If they want us back we will definitely be there that’s for sure.
HT: So this is your second stop on the tour tonight and then you guys are hitting it up for how much longer?
I think like a little over two weeks. We’re ending in Atlanta. That is our last show on the tour.
HT: Which part of your hygiene suffers most on the tour?
Well we keep it pretty clean. I’d say the worst part is just the sleep. On the road, no matter the situation you’re in you will always end up sleeping less than you’d like to. That’s not really hygiene but sleep depravation can be bitch on tour let me tell you.
HT: James Brown or Bill Withers or Al Green? Who would you guys perform with if you could?
Thats a tough one man. I think we’d have to go James Brown. James Brown in his prime because that would just be a blast man. That dude was a hell of an entertainer.
Special thanks to The Floozies for sitting down with us to chat. Be sure to catch them in the upcoming weeks as they hit their stops on the Rebel Era Tour and snag up ‘Tell Your Mother’ if you have yet to indulge.