The Budos Band is a heavyweight of soul, funk and rock, currently made up of nine guys who combine their similarities and differences to create some of the biggest and loudest parties you’ve ever experienced. Playing the drums, guitar, saxophone, trumpet, tambourine and bongos to name a few, these musicians might just make up the best band to come from the Daptone label, and they’ll be bringing their famously sleazy and dangerous parties for four dates on their Australian tour this February. To find out more about The Budos Band, saxophonist, Jared Tankel, let us in on latest album, ‘Burnt Offering’, writing a film score for Tarantino and their penchant for a beer hall.
Hi Jared, where in the world are you right now?
Snowy Brooklyn, New York.
The Budos Band is a collective of nine musicians, how did you all meet?
The majority of the band is from Staten Island and grew up together, went to school, played in bands, skateboarded, caused trouble… The two non-natives are Michael Deller and myself. Mike met Tom when they were both at Hunter College in Manhattan. I met the band at an open mic session that Antibalas was throwing at the time. The guys had a tight rhythm section going, but didn’t have a horn section. That was over 10 years ago now, and we have all been together ever since.
We’ve had the pleasure of listening to your music for most of the day and we’re now feeling like we’ve been chased by the American “Cops” while cruising around New York in a Cadillac. Your music really evokes feeling; when you’re making an album do you have a specific angle in mind?
We definitely have imagery in our minds when writing these songs, but I don’t think it’s usually of a cop car chase. We actually get that a lot, though, so it must enter our sub-conscious somehow and in some way. Usually our imagery is darker, like what’s on the album cover, but we always want to keep the energy high, which leads to the chase aspect. Dangerous, dark music with a lot of energy – I guess that equals a cop chase.
You play baritone saxophone, who would you say your personal inspiration comes from? Does everyone in the band have similar tastes in music?
Personally, I find a lot of inspiration from old Ethiopian jazz and Turkish psych records. I love Canonball Adderly as well, he has this super greasy style of playing that I love. We all have shared tastes and then our own personal passions, but we all love Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Thin Lizzy. The ‘70s hard rock sound runs deep with us as a collective.
You mention “We made a conscious decision to embark on a new sound,” for the new album, were there specific sounds/beats that set a president for the album?
Yes, that ‘70s hard rock sound that I just mentioned really inspired us together for this album. We tried to take that as a guide and use it to inform our writing and recording process for this album. It is still very much The Budos Band, but has a darker and heavier tone to it.
The new album ‘Burnt Offering’ has a darker tone than your previous albums. Was there a reason why you wanted to have a darker tone in this album?
We felt the need to make a statement on this album, to make a slight departure from prior albums. We wanted to incorporate the music that we actually listen to as a band, but we also wanted to get our albums to sound a bit closer to our live show. The live show is noisier and heavier than the albums usually are, so it was important to strive for this on wax.
Your music’s got a real film score feel to it. Do film and visuals play a part in your music?
Visuals certainly do. We talk about the dark imagery that sets the tone for a lot of our writing.
Have you or any of the band ever written a score? Your music would be so well suited to a Tarantino film.
Individually, we have done some of this type of work, but not much as a whole band. We have had our fair share of licenses for films, but we would love the opportunity to write a score specifically for a film, especially for Tarantino! We actually made a cassette tape just for him, so hopefully it finds its way to him and he can find a place for it in his next film.
Your up-coming Australian tour is just on the horizon. When playing live shows do you have the sets planned out or do you go with the crowd?
We usually have most of the set planned out with a few moving pieces that we can change depending on the vibe of the crowd.
Have you played Australia before? Is there a venue in particular you’re looking forward to playing?
We played Australia once before at the Sydney Festival; it was great, but it was a really limited experience of Australia, so we are looking forward to seeing more of the country and experiencing different cities along the way.
How do you find touring with such a big band? Do you get much time to experience the places you’re visiting and the different cultures/music scenes?
Touring with the band is great; we always like to go to beer halls, get a sense for the local beer culture. We usually end up finding some pretty interesting people that give us a great insight into the particular place we are visiting. That being said, we never get a ton of time in any one city. Usually just a day, so it’s load-in, soundcheck, beer hall, show, back to the beer hall!
Will you have any time to travel while in Australia? Where would you like to visit and what would you like to do outside of the shows?
We won’t have much free time while we are there, so the above schedule will likely be in place. Since it is summertime there, some beach time would be nice as well.
What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
We want to get back in the studio as quickly as possible. We have some shows and festivals scheduled for the spring, but we would love to make the follow up record sooner than later.
The Budos Band ‘The Sticks’
MON 16 FEB | PERTH FESTIVAL GARDENS | PERTH
www.perthfestival.com.au presented by Perth International Arts Festival
THU 19 FEB | CORNER HOTEL | MELBOURNE
www.cornerhotel.com presented by Niche Productions
FRI 20 FEB | MELBOURNE ZOO TWILIGHT | MELBOURNE
www.zoo.org.au/melbourne presented by Melbourne Zoo
SAT 21 FEB | OXFORD ARTS FACTORY | SYDNEY
www.oxfordartfactory.com presented by Niche Productions