In case you haven’t been paying attention, the good folks at Live Oaks Bar & Ballroom (in the old Miss Ques building) have been doing some incredible shows lately. If you enjoyed Dax Riggs or Doug Stanhope, just wait until you see their calendar for April. This coming Saturday March 30th, they have a band from North Carolina called Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band coming to town. The Booty Band are one of the funkiest bands you’ll ever see live and I’m incredibly excited about this show. I caught up with guitarist/vocalist JP Miller to discuss their current lineup, the progress of their new record and their ever-evolving sound.
First off, I absolutely love the name Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band. I’m sure you’re asked this a lot, but how did you come up with such an amazing name?
The cats told us to name our band that. We receive all of our instructions from the Booty Mama via cats. It’s a long story.
The Booty Band has been around for over 10 years which is remarkable in this day and age. How long has this current incarnation of the band been together and how many original members are currently in the band?
Ten years is indeed, a long time. Myself and our bass player/vocalist are the only original members. Our trombone player has been with the band for about 7 years. Our keyboard/female vocalist and drummer have been with the band for over 3 years, but we have known them for a while through their prior duo (and current side project) Eymarel.
If you had to describe the Booty Band’s sound with one adjective, what would it be?
One adjective: hmmmmm….”funky” would be too obvious, so let’s go with “frisky” since we’re going with the cat theme.
You guys released your last album Doin It Hard last year, but your press release states you’ve been working on a new album to be released in March 2013. How close is that to being completed?
The new album is in the final stages. We just need to mix and master the tracks that we have already recorded at Echo Mountain studios in Asheville. We are excited about the new tracks. We will have a couple new music videos coming out as well, surrounding the release.
The lineup changes have definitely changed the sound over the years. We are really happy with the current sound that we have. We feel more unified in our direction now, more than ever before. Everyone makes contributions to the songs we write for the band.
When listening to Doin It Hard, I couldn’t help but notice a bit of a Curtis Mayfield influence in the song “Lovin”. I know you guys have a huge array of influences, but are there any particular artists you try to pay homage to?
The Red Hot Chili Peppers and George Clinton & the P-Funk have been huge influences on the band, amongst many others.
In addition to The Booty Band, you’re also in a band called The Big Ol Nasty Getdown. Tell me a little about how that project came together.
The Big Ol Nasty Getdown started when me and my business partner John Heintz (with additional help from Frank Mapstone) put together a crazy collection of musicians with a goal of meeting up in New Orleans to write and record an album in less than a week. Many of the musicians had never even met. The results were amazing!
What was it like working with George Clinton, as well as musicians from bands like Morris Day & The Time, Mudvayne and Fishbone?
Working with George Clinton on that album was awesome. He is a very nice guy. It was interesting to see how he conducted the vocal part of the recording session in his studio. We also got to work with P-Funk members Belita Woods and Gary Shider who both passed away recently. It was an honor to write, record and hang out with those two in their final years. Other notable musicians on the album were members of The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Rob Mercurio from Galactic, Kofi Burbridge from Derek Trucks band, Ian Neville from Dumstaphunk, Gift of Gab from Blackalicious, not to mention many Booty Band players and close friends that we brought in for the sessions. We just did some sessions for Vol 2 that included Norwood from Fishbone, Ryan from Mudvayne and many more great musicians to come. Be on the lookout for Vol 2. Make sure you grab a copy of Vol 1. It is a highly entertaining album!
With these two projects of yours, have you found it easy to make a living with music, or do you still have jobs you work when not on tour?
Easy to make a living????….not so much, but we do stay busy. Everyone is always hustling. Fortunately, no one is flipping burgers these days. All our side work involves different aspects of the music industry. We stay focused and work hard at achieving our goals as professional musicians.
For people unfamiliar with the Booty Band, what can they expect from your live show?
The live show is where it’s at. We are a very fun, high energy band on and off stage. People dance the whole time and get really sweaty. We make jokes, sometimes bring fans up on stage to dance with us…..anything can happen.
As a touring musician playing music that’s easy to get freaky to, have you ever witnessed anything crazy happen at one of your shows?
We used to play a song that made everyone take their clothes off. We started getting in a little bit of trouble for that one, so we took it off the list. Every now and then, someone in the audience will revisit that moment and do the “free spirited thing.” Hey, we don’t judge….it’s all about rock n roll! We bring the funk, you bring the freak.