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Interview with The Bamboos

17 MAY 2011 | Posted By: SineadStubbins

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Interview with The Bamboos

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Eight-piece funk outfit The Bamboos are celebrating their 10-year anniversary, which is no mean feat. The gang has performed all over the world, have had their songs featured on big deal TV shows, and even have their music on a Nintendo Wii game. How many Australian bands can say that? (We're not sure, but we reckon it's not many.) Sinead Stubbins got a few minutes with The Bamboos to celebrate their double digits.

Sinead Stubbins: It's been 10 years since The Bamboos were birthed. So how did y'all meet and start making music together?
The Bamboos: The Bamboos started out as a four-piece instrumental band in 2000 playing at a venue called The Night Cat in Melbourne.

SS: You're often called "Australia's greatest modern funk and soul band", but which funk and soul legends have influenced The Bamboos' tunes?
TB: Initially it was The Meters and James Brown. Now there are influences from people like Serge Gainsbourg, Lalo Schifrin and the sounds of Psych and Mod/Soul/Rock thrown in as well.

SS: Your latest album 4 was widely regarded as the band's best. Did it feel like as a band that all the planets were aligning with that record?
TB: We worked really hard to make 4 come off. I think it pushed the band into a new direction but also solidified the things that give the band its signature sound.

SS: What was more exciting – being played on Packed to the Rafters, or recording music for the Nintendo Wii game de Blob?
TB: Definitely recording the music for the Nintendo Wii de Blob Volumes. 1& 2. It's always fun to be in the studio.

SS: What's been the hardest / most valuable lessons you've learned while being a band?
TB: Everything in moderation, including moderation.

SS: How does it feel to be one night playing at the Night Cat in Fitzroy and then all of a sudden hearing your music on American TV like Grey's Anatomy and selling out shows in Europe? Did your progressive success ever freak you out?
TB: I have worked so hard with the band and also with our record label Tru Thoughts to win these small victories along the way. As long as the music itself keeps evolving, progressing and developing then I'm happy.

SS: With so many members of the band being together for so many years, how do you still remain a unit without driving each other nuts?
TB: Things can get intense on the road when you're in everyone's face non-stop and there's no real way around that. At the end of the day the music that happens on stage wipes out any insignificant friction. A band like ours is like a family – and we all know how crazy families can be.

SS: Last year you guys played the coveted headline gig at St Kilda festival to over seven thousand punters, what's been your most amazing or scariest touring experience?
TB: Nearly running out of petrol in Caen, France at 4am with accommodation over six hours' drive away was pretty scary. Playing an ancient Roman ampitheatre at sunset in Piza, Italy was my all-time favourite.

SS: What's next for The Bamboos?
TB: Right now I am writing the new album and a single will be out this side of Christmas with the full album dropping early 2012.

The Bamboos 10 Year Anniversary show

Friday 20th May at The Manning Bar, Sydney University with special guests The Psyde Projects and Paper Plane Project.
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