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Backbeat Underground

12/19/17 - Special Guest: Backbeat Underground, a DC Jazz Funk Band

Thanks to Satya and RJ from DC jazz funk band, Backbeat Underground, for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

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Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice

 

FROM TODAY'S SHOW

MUSIC

  1. The Way I Love You, by Exit 10 (Blues, Jazz)
  2. She Don't Love Me(Like I Do), by Backbeat Underground f/ Aaron Abernathy (Funk, Jazz)
    -----------------------
    -Interview Break-
    -----------------------
  3. Angels, by Time Is Fire (Rock)
  4. Bad Girl (Live), by Black Alley (Rock, Hip Hop)
  5. Winter Wonderland, by The Harry Bells (World, Calypso)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


ANNOUNCEMENTS

BACKBEAT UNDERGROUND SIGNED WITH FT KNOX RECORDING!

THE LISTEN LOCAL FIRST HOLIDAY PLAYLIST!
We collaborated with the team over at Listen Local First and put together a holiday playlist of exclusively DC region artist’s holiday music.  It’s about 4 hours long!  Finally, a way to celebrate the holidays without those same old tired Holiday Tunes!  It will play at local businesses as well as events around town for the holidays.  We hope you’ll use it at your get togethers as well!  
www.dcmusicrocks.com/playlists

SHIRTS (XMAS GIFT IDEA)!
(Last time we’ll share this, promise!) DC Music Rocks T-shirts and Long Sleeve Shirts are up on our website and available through Amazon, they make a great gift idea for your musician friends and family for the holidays!
http://www.dcmusicrocks.com/shirts

SPONSOR PROGRAM LAUNCHED!
It’s a great opportunity for local businesses wanting to connect specifically with the local DMV music crowd!  If you have ideas on who would make great sponsors, please do reach out to us!
http://www.dcmusicrocks.com/sponsor


NEW MUSIC

Backbeat Underground announced their new release with Aaron Abernathy which we played on the show!  Hope you'll go pick up a copy!

Our ‘2017 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:
https://open.spotify.com/user/dcmusicrocks/playlist/24KrZD9KlUE2yC3eT2oBUI


THIS 2 WEEK'S LOCAL DC SHOWS TO SEE

http://www.dcmusicrocks.com/local-music-calendar

Dec 22 Fri
Yellow Dubmarine & The Loving Paupers @ Hamilton Live by Metro Center (in NW DC)

Dec 23 Sat
Hayley Fahey Band for ‘A Derwood Christmas’ at Outta The Way Cafe in Derwood Md

Dec 27 Wed
Run Come See @ The Kennedy Center Millenium Stage near Foggy Bottom (in NW DC)

Dec 28 Thu
Broke Royals & Owen Danoff @ (The Brand New) Union Stage (Grand Opening) in The Wharf (in SW DC)
Aztec Sun @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown (in NW DC)

Dec 29 Fri
Rocknoceros, The Duskwhales, Milo in the Doldrums @ Union Stage in The Wharf (in SW DC)

Dec 30 Sat
Wings Denied, Technicians, Calm & Crisis @ Rock N Roll Hotel on H St (in NE DC)

Dec 31 Sun
Too many to choose! Check them all out! http://www.dcmusicrocks.com/local-music-calendar
Caustic Casanova, Lionize, Thievery Corporation, The Beanstalk Library, Dangerous Curves, Sub-Radio, Higher Education, Run Come See, 19th St Band, Black Alley, Vintage#18

Jan 2 Tues
Venn @ Milkboy Arthouse in College Park, MD

Jan 4 Thu
Cinema Hearts @ Comet Ping Pong up on Connecticut (in NW DC)

Backbeat Underground Upcoming Show to See - Feb 5, Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center!  Mark Your Calendar!


Patreon

Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
--Daniel Warren Hill  --David Mohl



Backbeat Underground

VIDEO - BIO - LINKS - TRANSCRIPT

Backbeat Undergound's Bio:

14962745_1802874949996859_4958183472571230529_n.jpg

Born in the depths of subterranean groove gatherings, Backbeat Underground is a Washington, DC based instrumental funk group with soul jazz influences. Bringing their years of collective experience in the DC and NYC music scenes, the band delivers tight, energetic sets steeped in fresh improvisation and head-bopping, booty-shaking pockets. 

Bandleader Satya Thallam is also one half of the production duo Astronaut Jones which recently completed the original score for the series "Superhuman" now premiering Season 2.

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Backbeat Underground pic.jpg

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

Brian:     Backbeat Underground featuring Aaron Abernathy and the track is, 'She don't love me like I do' and that's the single that they released and holy smokes guys! It's so freaking good, man!

Satya:     Thank you sir.

Brian:     There's all the good feels that are happening with that thing.

Satya:     We recorded it live as a band and I hope that comes across. It's not stacked up isolated instruments and parts.

Brian:     Everybody together. [crosstalk 00:00:30] And Aaron singing at the same time?

Satya:     I think we may have kind of [crosstalk 00:00:33]dubbed him layer by layer, but he's singing along in the booth with us so we can- [crosstalk 00:00:36]

Brian:     Yeah. Scratch vocal track or something. Holy smokes, guys. Amazing. Well, let me give a proper introduction here. So on DC Music Rocks we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. And born in the depths of subterranean groove gatherings, Backbeat Underground is a Washington, D.C. based instrumental funk group with soul jazz influences. The band delivers tight, energetic sets steeped in fresh improvisation and head bopping, booty shaking beats. So it's so good. I first came across these guys when I had Andy Cerutti from Fort Knox Recording was one of the guests on the show and he turned me on to you guys, and I've been such a fan. So thank you for being here, guys.

Satya:     Also, we gotta say, thank you for having us on, but also thank you for doing this. For doing the show and putting D.C., and Virginia, Maryland and D&V, because it is an amazing scene and I think people, especially that come from other parts of the country, they think of D.C. in one way and I don't think that's accurate. And I think you know what I mean.

Brian:     Right.

RJ:     Yeah.

Satya:     They see one version of it on TV and all the noise... but there's an amazing culture happening- [crosstalk 00:01:54]

RJ:     Because our arts scene is somewhat underground really.

Brian:     That's true.

RJ:     But big shout outs to you-

Brian:     Well we're bringing it out from underground absolutely and I'm glad you guys came out from underground too with those subterranean groove gatherings we were talking about. Before I go on introduce yourselves to the folks because they can hear you. So tell them your name and what you play with Backbeat Underground and say where Backbeat Underground came from.

Satya:     This is Satya. I play sax and percussion and do a lot of the writing in Backbeat Underground.

RJ:     My name is RJ and I rumpa-tum-tum on the drums.

Brian:     I'm sorry. How does that go?

RJ:     Rumpa-tum-tums.

Brian:     Oh god, it's so good.

RJ:     Happy Holidays.

Brian:     I love it. And Backbeat Underground: how did it start? Where did it come from?

Satya:     So at George Washington University they have these rehearsal rooms- I don't even know if most people, even the people that go there, know about it, but there's a cafeteria, like a mall food court in one of the buildings and off to the side there's these music rehearsal rooms and they have instruments and speakers and microphones you can use. And one of our partners in the band, John, plays guitar and was going to school there. If you're a student you can use it for free or for a pretty nominal fee so we started- there was no intent. We would do Grant Green covers and Meters tunes and jam sessions that we kind of knew.

     And from there we thought there's kind of a sound, we kind of thought of ourselves as a- you know those like crate digging DJs who find those break beats and go through- like down the street here there's the CD Cellar. They try to find those hidden sort of drum, funky breaks? We thought of ourselves as like a live version of that. Like what if that was a live band that was doing it? But not the original band that was doing it, but anyway... And I think the name came out of that because these groups are literally underground. You wouldn't know they're there. No one can hear them. They're kind of like "in the dark no one can hear you scream." Like that kind of thing that's like that weird thing where-

Brian:     You just became a horror movie. No no no.

Satya:     So I think that the band came out of those- there was no intent. We just got together to play. And then the name was- I think the band rejected every idea that I had. And at some point I just became like "whatever. Whatever you guys want to do. That's fine." So I think the Underground was sort of a nod to that.

Brian:     Underground was a nod, and then the backbeat gives it to that kind of funk and soul and some of the stuff you're going on [crosstalk 00:04:34]

Satya:     Yeah it's kind of literal. I don't love the name. I'll be honest with you. It's just-

RJ:     You're engaged to it at this point.

Satya:     I guess.

Brian:     I was gonna say at this point you've come a long way

Satya:     Divorce would be so expensive at this point. We've got kids and everything. Man, we stayed together for the kids, but you know when the kids are out of the house I guess.

RJ:     As soon as they hit 18.

Brian:     Yeah, once they've gone off to college they might have a [inaudible 00:05:02]

Satya:     Yeah, get a one bedroom in the city, visit my songs on the weekend, like I don't know.

Brian:     Oh, this is so good.

Satya:     I don't know. Let's do it. Let's get weird.

Brian:     What's the... what's your D.C. region connection then? You started at Foggybottom. Is everybody from here or what's the connection to this region?

RJ:     Well, I'm from Sterling, born and raised.

Satya:     That's RJ.

RJ:     Oh yeah, RJ, sorry. I'm from Sterling. Shout out Park View High school. Patriot pride. But no here, so that's where I'm from. Currently live in Arlington and all of us currently live in or near- we're all in Arlington now right?

Satya:     Yeah, I think so. [crosstalk 00:05:46] Yeah, I mean RJ's a native and I love it because we always like word thing about the city and how things have changed over time. The rest of us are from all over. Two of us are from New York City. Just kind of all over.

Brian:     And where are you from? Are you one of the ones from New York City?

Satya:     Yeah, I'm from New York, and I've been here about eleven, twelve years.

Brian:     Nice.

Satya:     I feel like official Washingtonian coming on WERA.

Brian:     There you go, right? This is legit local stuff man. Absolutely. You'll be on multiple local stations and podcasts and all over the local scene. I love it. Now, talk about you guys on the personal side. So outside of this whole music thing, are there hobbies? What do you do with your free time?

RJ:     I love live music so I'm very grateful for this [inaudible 00:06:36] and then I just- If I'm not on the stage I try to be in front of the stage somewhere. And that takes a lot of my time.

Satya:     RJ, you love museums and art installations.

RJ:     Oh yeah, I forgot about that. I'm somewhat of a-

Satya:     It's kinda low key, but he's kind of a slut for art.

RJ:     I'm into the D.C. arts, not just music I guess. I'm in all the pop-up exhibits, all the pop-up whatever.

Brian:     Have you been to one recently? What's most recent?

Satya:     Arctic House? [crosstalk 00:07:09]

RJ:     Yeah, I went to Arctic House not that long ago. I know coming up I'm going to the miracle on whatever street that is- the pop-up, the Christmas bar?

Satya:     On 7th street.

Brian:     Yeah

RJ:     Yeah. 7th. Yeah.

Brian:     Nice. What about you Satya?

Satya:     Same. I try to be around musicians and my friends are kind of broken up between musicians and folks in the service industry and restaurant industry so "everyone's a little bit of a foodie these days", but I-

Brian:     I hope they sound just like that when you talk about it too- [crosstalk 00:07:44]

Satya:     It just sounds so basic at this point when someone says like, "I'm really into- I'm a foodie." It just sounds so basic.

RJ:     Yeah.

Satya:     But a lot of my friends work in the wine industry, distributors and stuff like that so I like to think that I'm- I get kind of pedantic about music. "You've got to listen to this. Here's why this important. Check this out." But it's a reverse for things like that: food and wine. I just love being around them and they tell me and they say, "This is good." And I say, "Okay, it's good. I'll drink it. I don't have an opinion. [crosstalk 00:08:13] I'll just absorb it.

Brian:     I wish I could reach out to all those people and say, "Listen to D.C. Music rocks so that I can tell you about the local music scene-

Satya:     Yeah

Brian:     Because that's almost the idea right? We're presenting this in a way that people who don't know anything about it, they can just listen. I'll share it with you. We just- it's so good.

Satya:     Yeah, hopefully they're receptive. [crosstalk 00:08:30]

Brian:     Yeah. Now what about the biggest success moment that comes to mind for you guys when you think on Backbeat Underground?

RJ:     For me that would be playing on Lincoln Theater.

Satya:     Oh, that's right.

RJ:     Yeah. That was amazing because like-

Brian:     When was that?

Satya:     September last-

RJ:     2016.

Satya:     2016, so a little over a year ago.

RJ:     It was the D.C. Arts Music Festival.

Satya:     It was Labor Day, 2016, or Labor Day weekend. Around that. I totally forgot about that, not that it's not important. I mean it's a historic venue. That was- I think that theater, Lincoln Theater, was around during the heyday of Black Broadway.

RJ:     Yeah, it was. Yeah, yeah.

Satya:     One of the few venues that are still around from the pre-riots and even before that, the Duke Ellington era. So it was cool just standing on that stage. The crowd was great. The sound was amazing. I think a future accomplishment that I'm proud of preemptively is we're gonna be playing at the Kennedy Center this upcoming February.

Brian:     That's right. February 5th, which is gonna be big too.

Satya:     You've had a lot of artists here play the Millennium Stage, but it's just a cool thing to be able to say you've played at the Kennedy Center. The last thing I would say, I think it's not a single thing, but there's this event that happens every year in May for the last four or five years called Fun Parade and it takes place, usually in the first or second weekend of May on U Street and if you haven't been they close down the whole street. And it's not just a parade. There are literally fifties, hundreds of bands, all over. It's kind of like South by Southwest but just way more colorful

RJ:     And one day.

Satya:     Like less square. And we've played it every year, and that's just- Every year I look forward to that because it is people bring it. People bring it.

RJ:     They dance.

Satya:     They dance. They're there all day. Even last year it rained and no one cared. They just went out and they loved it. It's free too, so-

Brian:     Yeah. Check that one out. Now, my favorite question to ask: If you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

RJ:     Man, perfect your craft, whatever it is. Whether it's playing drums, whether it's singing, whether it's drawing, whatever. Perfect your craft and just always be ready and open to the ways of the world because you never know what can happen.

Satya:     Yeah man. This is how I do good. A couple years ago I made the concerted effort to always say yes. Just say yes because every opportunity will have some part of it where you think, "Well that's not quite right. That's not the people that I wanna play with," or "that's not that great of a venue." The worst case scenario if you accept a gig or a jam session is you got to play some music and at the end of it you go on to the next thing.

     I actually met RJ that way. We did- it would take a long time to explain the gig, but it was a mutual friend and the gig was fine, but afterwards we were packing up and we had the room for a little bit and we just spontaneously started jamming. And we were like, "Well this is great." And he made sure as we were packing up to say, "Seriously, if you got something call me." We'll do it. And it was maybe a couple years later actually, but I did. But I remembered him. I remembered how open he was and just his energy and spirit and, just say yes.

RJ:     Yeah.

Brian:     I've caught myself doing that lately when sometimes you're looking at it like, "No," and shame on

Satya:     Yeah, you get around town and-

Brian:     Shame on me for- cause yes. Say yes, man. You got opportunities, [crosstalk 00:12:16] and that's true outside of music too or whatever it is that you're doing, say yes to these opportunities. Don't say no. Now, for folks who want to find out more about the cool things happening with Backbeat Underground where's the best place to go?

Satya:     The website is Backbeatunderground.com, but you can search us out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. It's all Backbeat Underground. You'll find us.

Brian:     Backbeat Underground. Very awesome. And now, if you wanna be guests on this show you gotta bring good music with you and these guys have definitely come through. I've never heard this band until you guys brought them up and I love that we have them. So tell us what you have first here guys.

Satya:     This is Angels by Time is Fire.

10/10/17 - Special Guest: Black Masala

Thanks to Mike Ounallah and Andy Cerutti of Black Masala for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

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Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice

FROM TODAY'S SHOW

MUSIC

  1. Jump in the Water, by The 19th Street Band (Folk, Americana)
  2. Bhangra Ramo, by Black Masala (Funk)
  3. Let Me Be the One, by Juliet Lloyd (Pop/Pop Rock)
  4. Turn the World Around, by The Harry Bells (World, Calypso)
  5. The Less I Know The Better, by Backbeat Underground (Funk)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Oct 10th is National Hug A Drummer Day. If you know one, like James Brown said…”Give the Drummer Some!”  If you make it out to Rock And Roll Hotel on Saturday Oct 14th, our host, Brian, is a drummer and would love all the hugs he can get!

Do you know any singer-songwriters around DC?  Send this to them!  The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District announces the fourth annual Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards. They will award one talented songwriter a Grand Prize of $10,000 and 25 hours of recording studio time with Innovation Station Music which is run by Dave Mallen, a past guest with us on the DC Music Rocks.  Entries must be received by Monday, November 6, 2017.
http://www.bethesda.org/bethesda/bernard-ebb-songwriting-awards-application

Local Music/Arts Conference Alert!
Event Name:  DC Talks Music/FilmDocs/Media: A Cross-Sector Dialogue at Georgetown University
SATURDAY OCTOBER 28TH
10:00AM - 5:00PM
$10 GENERAL | LUNCH INCLUDED
FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/events/616564645399219/

NEW RELEASES

Music:
Sara Curtin - Or So It Seemed (9 Song Album)
Rent Party - New (Single)   

Reminder:  If you ever want to catch up on 2017 New Releases by DC Artists, we’re collecting them for you, check out our playlist!
https://open.spotify.com/user/dcmusicrocks/playlist/24KrZD9KlUE2yC3eT2oBUI

THIS WEEK'S LOCAL DC SHOWS TO SEE

Fri-Sat Weekend Oct 13
Pebble To Pearl, Justin Trawick @ The DC Wharf Grand Opening Weekend by the SW Waterfront, DC

Fri Oct 13
Venn @ DC9 by U St in NW DC

Sat Oct 14
Nah. & Fellowcraft @ Rock N Roll Hotel by H St NE in DC

Sun Oct 15
Taylor Carson @ Pearl St Warehouse by The SW Waterfront in DC
Cinema Hearts @ Slash Run by Petworth in NW DC

Mon Oct 16
Electric Grandmother & Catscan! @ Uptown Art House on Connecticut Ave in NW DC

Tues Oct 17
19th St Band @ Ireland Four Provinces in Falls Church, VA

Thurs Oct 19
Hayley Fahey Music @ Westover Beer Garden in Arlington, VA
The Sidleys @ Bethesda Blues & Jazz in Bethesda, MD
Jackie & The Treehorns @ Villain & Saint in Bethesda, MD


https://www.patreon.com/dcmusicrocks
Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, cohost spots on the show, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!



Black Masala

VIDEO - BIO - LINKS - TRANSCRIPT

BIO:

Black Masala

Can you hear that? Can you feel it? It’s the sound of Washington, DC’s eclectic high energy brass band Black Masala. Ranging from Gypsy music, Balkan brass and New Orleans funk, to Bhangra and Dance music., the band creates an irresistible dance groove packed with funk, gypsy punk, and soul. Black Masala has made a big impact as one of the most exciting live acts in the region and is the winner of four Washington, DC Area Music Awards (“WAMMIES”), including ‘Best New Artist’ and ‘Best World Music Album.’

In just a few short years, Black Masala has released its debut album, multiple remixes, live recordings, and its follow up second album, “I Love You Madly”. The new album showcases the band’s variety of influences and moods, ranging from Bhangra and bounce to New Orleans funk and Balkan brass. This sound was forged on the road, playing countless shows up and down the East Coast to enthusiastic crowds. Black Masala is part of a new generation of go anywhere brass bands, and when they take the stage, their infectious grooves result in dance party that leaves smiling concert goers eager for the next song. 

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Black Masala

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spot light on the great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene.

     Black Masala is Washington DC's eclectic, high energy, brass band. Ranging from gypsy music, Balkan brass and New Orleans funk to Bong-Ra and dance music. The band creates an irresistible dance grove pact with funk, gypsy punk and soul. Did you get all of that? Because that was a lot of influences there.

     Black Masala has made a big impact on one of the most exciting live acts and as ... Well, they are one of the most exciting live acts in the region, they're part of new generation of go anywhere brass bands. And when they take the stage, their infectious groves result in dance ... In a dance party that leave smiling, concert goers eager for the next song.

     I first came across these guys when I first started doing the show. I've been a Black Masala fan. The bassist in my band, Brandon Williams, he was like, "Hey. Listen. You're doing local music. You got to check out Black Masala." And that was about two weeks into doing this show. And I've been a fan ever since. So now I have you here. This is a treat. Thanks for being here guys.

Mike:     That's so cool. Thanks for having us.

Brian:     Absolutely.  Now so talk about Black Masala and how did the band come together.

Mike:     So, basically it happened about, we're going on five, six years now. I met a trombone player. He used to live in DC and he wanted to do just gypsy brass music. So it started off just me and him in my basement in DC just working on this music and trying to learn about it a little more and then do our own sort of spin with it.

     And then the word spread. We went through about 15 bass players and 100 horn players and eventually we had a band of stable people. But it was great because all the people -

Brian:     Those stable people. Mentally stable and emotionally stable and no maybe not, but they were ... They came religiously.

Mike:     Yeah. I mean, everyone who was involved in with the band had such a huge impact on the group. And I'm talking about before the band was even, even had a band name. We went through like a ton of different people.

     And so we just developed from there. We were playing locally like once a month in some now de-funked venues like The Getaway. There was another venue above there. I can't remember the name. Then we slowly built. I remember our first big show was at Rock and Roll Hotel, actually, with Congo Sanchez, who's the drummer from Thievery Corporation and then it just expanded. Then I started trying to get us out of town and things like that.

     And so now, we pretty much have the same group. It's always the same people. Before we had to kind of mix and match quite a bit. You know? When you have a band of seven or eight people, it's kind of like that.

     And the music's expanded, obviously from like just being Balkan influenced to like everything else we do, everything else we listen to. And yeah. So now we're doing about 120 shows a year. On the road a lot.

Brian:     Holy smokes. Now does that mean you're doing it full time? Is this your job or is this ...

Mike:     It's like ... It's not a full time job. I also teach music lessons throughout the week. Like private lessons and stuff like that.

Brian:     I see.

Mike:     Yeah.

Brian:     So it's the band and then more music. It's lots of music.

Mike:     Yeah. Pretty much. All music. But yeah. I mean, when you're handling a band of this size and then at the time booking and managing, it's like its own full time gig.

Brian:     Oh. Absolutely.

Mike:     You know? And there's many days where you're doing like ... Or many weeks where you're doing like 40 hours on the band then like 40 hours at your job. And then you're on the road all weekend. And you're just like ... And it was like for years.

Brian:     Wow. Yeah.

Mike:     We've been fortunate to start to build a team around us over the last couple years. So it's taken the pressure off like the one person, but ...

Brian:     That's ... And you ... What kind of lessons are you teaching? You said you teach lessons on the side, too.

Mike:     Yeah. I teach drums and I teach piano.

Brian:     Wow. Look at that.

Mike:     Yeah. Private lessons.

Brian:     And Andy, you're here with us too. Talk about you and your role with the band.

Andy:     Yeah. Absolutely. I'm part of that team Mike was just talking about. And you know, right after these guys started, maybe a year or so into the project, I checked them out. Went to a couple of shows. And I became a fan. And that's really how it started.

      I went to see these guys live and, you know, like you were saying earlier, they have something special. You know, that unique mix of genres, that high energy that they bring to the show and it's just a lot of fun. And then, you know, if you go to enough shows, eventually you've seen it all, so to speak. But then when I would go out to see Black Masala, that was something totally new, something different, something exciting that got me out of the house. So, after going to enough shows, I just started talking to these guys. I was like, "Hey, guys. You have so much potential. I would love to work with you and take things to the next level, help out any way I can."   And now, I don't even know, three or four years later, this is where we are. So it's pretty cool.

Brian:     That's amazing. And talk about the name. Where did ... Black Masala.

Mike:     So, it was kind of ... It was kind of tricky to [crosstalk 00:04:48] name. I just like the word masala. I remember going over it and then we wanted a color to go with it and black was like kind of like the vibe that people were kind of going for. So it was really that simple. Just take this word masala and put black in front of it. And it's kind of the signifies sort of like masala is like a spice that's comprised of a bunch of different spices, so it's like a mixture. So it kind of works in that way, too, if you wanna take some of the meaning.

Brian:     By the way, is not to be confused with Marsala.

Mike:     No.

Brian:     Which is ... Does that ever happen?

Mike:     That happens all the time. Happens all time.

Brian:     Oh, man.

Mike:     Yeah.   We rage in the background and try not to show it, but we're secretly very upset about that.

Brian:     Oops. When they say, "This is Black Marsala." That is so wrong?

Mike:     Well, I mean, I gotta tell you. We drove all the way to Pittsburgh one time for a show, which was like about seven hours that day. We got to the venue and it said, "Black Marsala" and then underneath it "Pasta Night." I lost it. I just lost it. I mean, we just like fell over. True story.

Brian:     Oh no.

Mike:     Yeah. Yeah. It was that awesome.

Brian:     Oh man, Mike. That's crazy.

Mike:     Yeah.

Brian:     Alright so, now what about ... So you, outside of the music family ... Obviously this is a lot of your life then, but you must have some other hobbies. Talk about that.

Mike:     We like to drive. A lot of driving. And when we're not driving, we like to sleep.  No. Some other hobbies. We just try to stay ... And I'm gonna speak for the rest of the band, too, because they're not here, but try to stay healthy. Just enjoy like going out hiking. Doing things like that. Especially when we're on the road because we get to hit a bunch of beautiful places like West Virginia. So we'll spend the day going out hiking and go swimming, you know, whatever.

     So, but it's so much ... So much of this group is working. So it's a lot of time spent writing. A lot of time spent organizing. Things like that. So ...

Brian:     Wow. And is it mostly, do you a lot of the heavy lifting. Or does all the band pitch in for the writing and the organizing and all that?

Mike:     Well, I think it's just kind of fallen on me. I never really wanted to be just the sole person, but people kind of like look at me that way. I do a lot of the writing, it's just 'cause I like writing music and try to get better at it.

     But I definitely have help when it comes to like when we're on the road, all the guys chip in and gals chip in and, you know, help with like the daily whatever.

Brian:     Got it. Do you guys car pool or does everybody get there on their own? Is it like everybody in a van or something?

Mike:     Well, we almost got a van, but we decided against it. So it's two cars, usually, and put 7 people and the gear [crosstalk 00:07:14]

Brian:     Holy smokes. In two cars. That's impressive.

Mike:     Yeah.

Brian:     I hope there's some pictures on social media somewhere of that because that must be an amazing ... It must be packed to the brim. Unless there are huge vans or something. Two cars and seven people and all the gear for the band. Come on, man.

Mike:     Yeah. Yeah. No we do it. Of course, I have a big car. So ...

Brian:     Okay. That works.

Mike:     I got a drummer's car.

Brian:     Yep. A drummer's car. I'm like, "Gotta have at least a hatchback and room in the back."

Mike:     Yeah.

Brian:     Alright. So, now what about ... Something in your music collection that might surprise us.

Mike:     That might surprise you? That's a good question. Well ... Well, I have a lot of 90s rock and roll. That's a huge part of my music collection. So people listening to the band probably wouldn't think like, "Oh. That guys like Dinosaur Junior or like stuff like that." And I have this huge collection of like 90s rock and roll, you know. Fishbone, Rage Against the Machine, all that stuff I'm really heavy into 'cause I was like Lalapalooza kid when I was younger.

Brian:     Nice.

Mike:     Yeah.

Brian:     Oh. That's fun. Alright.

Mike:     And more bands than that, but yeah.

Brian:     Oh, god. That's funny. Now what about ... Talk about a biggest success moment for Black Masala. What comes to mind?

Mike:     Well, it was pretty amazing 'cause ... Right? We were a band for six months and then we got booked at the Kennedy Center and so we kind of thought we were doing something right at that point. If you watch the video, it's really funny. We're just so like kind of nervous and kind of new. We wanted to be perfect. And people's, people using music stands and stuff like that. And there's music flying on the stage. That was like a huge moment for us as a band.

     But I think anytime you book like your first tour, even if it's not successful, you're just excited because you took something that was nothing, wrote music and then someone in like North Carolina wants to book you. And so that was great.

     And DC government been very supportive to our band, you know. We've gotten some nice grants from them over the years that's helped with recording and things like that. Those all nice moments for us.

Brian:     Those are great moments. Holy smokes. And the DC government, I give them credit. They are very supportive. They supported me and DC Music Rocks, too. And the arts. If you're ... For the artists in town, they do good things for the artists, for sure.

Mike:     Absolutely.

Brian:     Alright. Now this one's for both of you guys. This is my favorite question to ask. If you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Mike:     Andy?

Andy:     Oh. Honestly, Black Masala, I think, is a great example of the advice that I always give to people. And that's just how much hard work it takes, how much dedication. I feel like ... I've even had this conversation with you before, Brian.

Brian:     If you go back and listen when Andy was on the show with Fort Knox Recording a little while ago. And still remember the advice.

Andy:     It just came back to me. But honestly, like I said, I've been working with Mike here now for a few years and it's great working with him because of what he brings, like his work ethic and then the whole band. They're professionals. And that just really makes a huge difference. Even just ... So a specific advice, return your phone calls and your emails promptly when you're booking gigs and when you're making arrangements. It might seem like a small thing to do and you're busy, but just making that time to return those emails or phone calls like promptly shows people how serious you are, professional. And it really just sets the tone for everything going forward. And that kind of advice, I think, is what really makes a difference.  And if you wanna know what it'll get you, it'll get you all the great success that Black Masala's had 'cause these guys just work so hard. It's incredible.

Brian:     That's good advice, too. I mean, we reach out to artists for DC Music Rocks, "Hey. I wanna play you on the show." And we never hear back from them. So, I mean, it really is return those emails. I love it, Andy. What about you, Mike? What do you got?

Mike:     Yeah. I mean, I think that's great. I think when you're in a band, especially if you have someone in the structure of like kind of being responsible for a lot of things, you have to learn how to be a people person with your band because you're dealing with artists. And artists, I've learned this over the years, are a little bit different. They're more ... They're gonna be sensitive about things and people are gonna be moody. You just have to kind of like work around all these issues.  So, you know, you just wanna like be patient and try your best and try to keep it going forward. I guess.

Brian:     Be patient. Try to be nice.

Mike:     Try to be nice.

Brian:     Especially via email.

Mike:     I recommend ...

Brian:     Mike is nodding. That's a huge nod that just happened.

Mike:     Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely.

Brian:     It is true. I ... Absolutely.  And for those who wanna find out more about Black Masala and following you guys, where do they go?

Mike:     So we have a website, www.blackmasala.com. Super easy. You can just type the band's name in Google and you can find just about everything. Facebook, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Spotify, we're everywhere.

Brian:     All that stuff. Is there one social media you guys like just a little more than the others?

Mike:     I've been really enjoying Instagram, recently. But our go-to has always been Facebook.

November 22, 2016 - Incredible Music Show

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FROM TODAY'S SHOW

MUSIC

  1. Tomorrow is Yesterday - Killer Deluxe (R&B)
  2. Mine, Mine, Mine - Backbeat Underground (Funk)
  3. Parallel Lines - Blue Skies and Death (Pop/Synth Pop)
  4. Enough is Enough - Rhestored (Rock)
  5. Humpty Dumpty - Katharine Key (Indie/Jazz)
  6. What Do You Say - Vim & Vigor (Pop/Indie)
  7. You and I Will Change The World - Shumaun (Heavy Metal/Hard Rock)
  8. Mountain Man - The Virginia Southpaws (Rock/Americana)
  9. I Want You (But I Don't Need You) - Cinema Hearts (Rock/Doo Wop)
  10. Last Time - L.A.T.O. (Pop/Rock)
  11. Neko - allthebestkids (Hip Hop/Alt Hip Hop)
  12. Against the Rhythm - Billy Winn (Pop/EDM)
  13. Never Been Kissed - Owen Danoff (Rock/Folk Rock)
  14. Intro/Outro music by Fellowcraft (Hard Rock/Blues)

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