Interviews — July 12, 2016 at 12:23

Busty and the Bass

by
Photo credit: Kelly Jacob

Photo credit: Kelly Jacob

On Canada Day, Montreal-based Busty and the Bass played two shows, closing the main stage at The Montreal Jazz Fest for over ten thousand fans. The 9-piece band, signed to indie label Indica Records, formed during their first week at McGill University and groove to the beat of what Montreal Jazz Fest describes as “electro-funk-soul-jazz-hip-hop.” Packing that much talent on stage is the perfect recipe for an upbeat, entertaining night full of catchy soulful tunes. The guys are charismatic, funky, and certainly hold an incredibly dynamic stage presence, so it’s no wonder that their recent EP “Lift” has led to several sold out shows across the country and overseas in Europe. We caught up with them after their Jazz Fest performances to speak about their international summer tour, their new EP “Lift and what’s to come next.

CONFRONT: Let me first start out by saying what a great performance you guys put on during your 2 shows at The Montreal Jazz Festival! This was possibly the largest crowd you guys have ever played for. How do you feel about the performance and experience?

Louis Stein (guitar): Thank you! We had a blast! Coming back from Europe to play that show at the Montreal Jazz Festival was the greatest welcome home we could have asked for. Among the band, there was definitely a different energy in the air for that show. Like Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.”

CONFRONT: You guys dropped your EP Lift with Indica Records on Canada Day. What is the biggest thing you guys learned during the creation and recording process?

Louis: Lift was our stab at recording and producing DIY. From that, many obstacles arose that proved as lessons for the future, from organization of sessions, to the importance of recording the band together. By the end of recording process, we found ourselves only moderately satisfied with one of the tunes (“Blip”), so we all decided that we were going to start from scratch and rerecord everything “from the ground up” in one night. We couldn’t be more satisfied with the result and a powerful lesson was learned: “Don’t settle for mediocrity. If you’re not sold, chances are other people aren’t either. Trust your hunches and make the best product, together”.

CONFRONT: Which is your favorite track from the EP to perform?

Louis: “Say Who” is always a good journey into the mind and madness of our main man, Alistair Blu. But I’d have to say “Stages” always turns the party knob to 11.

Milo Johnson (Bass): For me, Miss Judge is rapidly becoming one of my favourite tracks in the set. We haven’t played it for as long as the other tracks, but the horn madness and high energy on the second half of the song is incredibly fun to experience during the performance.

CONFRONT: You guys got approval from Macy Grey on your cover of “I Try,” which was released on the Lift EP – congrats! If there is any artist you could have cover one of your tracks, who would they be and which track?

Louis: Oh, that’s a tough one. I think we’d all be blown away if Earth, Wind & Fire covered one of our tracks. They are a constant inspiration to us and would definitely play the s*** out of any of our tunes.

CONFRONT: So, you just returned from your first overseas tour. How did your European audiences differ from those back home?

Louis: Honestly, before heading over, everyone told us “Be prepared for European audiences. They won’t loose their s*** at your shows like the North American audiences you’re used to. They’re deep listeners and prefer a moodier and more melancholy vibe.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. At our first show in Europe, we played to a sold out crowd in London and 1 song in, the room was bumpin’, people were jumpin’ to beat of the bass thumpin’.

CONFRONT: What is the greatest thing about travelling with a band of 9 people?

Louis: I can definitely imagine scenarios where a travelling with a band of 9 can be brutal. But my favourite part about this group is it’s a permanent road trip with your friends. And the group is big enough that if tensions arise, there is enough people to offer you space when you need it so it rarely feels crammed. There’s always a new group dynamic to be explored.

CONFRONT: Your 2016 summer tour consists of a mix of live venue shows and festivals. How do you feel the audiences differ on these and which do you prefer?

Louis: The biggest differences between shows is how down the audience is to turn up with us. We’re turning up. Turn up with us. Don’t just sit there and clap at the end of each song. Throw your chair to the ground and dance!

CONFRONT: What are your plans following the summer tour?

Louis: Right now we’re planning on touring through the fall while also trying to find time to finish up our first full length album. It’s an exciting time and we are so grateful that our biggest problem is trying to balance performing and recording music that we love.

CONFRONT: Dead or alive, who would you guys want to play on stage with?

Louis: In our wildest dreams, we would get to perform with Nate Dogg (RIP), George Clinton, and David Lynch.

Milo: Without a doubt I would say World Earth Tour era Parliament-Funkadelic. I read in a George Clinton biography that there were over 40 musicians on that tour, and nearly all of them on stage at one time. That type of party on stage is entirely irresistible and definitely one of the elements that makes our performances so much fun

CONFRONT: What can we expect from the upcoming full length album?

Louis: You can expect to hear it early 2017 and it’s gonna be dope.

Upcoming Tour Dates: 
07.13 – Sherbrooke, QC @ Les Concerts de la Cité
07.15 – Quebec, QC @ Festival D’ete
07.21 – Baie-Saint Paul, QC @ Le Festif (w/Cat Empire)
07.22 – les-de-la-Madeleine, QC @ Au Vieux Treuil
07.29 – Montreal, QC @ Osheaga
08.05 – Blue Mountain, ON @ Blue Mountain Village
08.11 – Chicoutimi, QC @ Festival International des Rythmes du Monde
08.15 – Pierrefonds, QC @ Bibliothèque de Pierrefonds
08.15 – Tlell, BC @ Edge of the World
08.18 – Repentigny, QC @ La Boite à Musique Desjardins
08.19 – Shawinigan, QC @ Place Du Marché
08.20 – Elora, Ontario @ Riverfest
08.21 – Bath, Ontario @ BACK TO THE FARM: MacKinnon Brothers Beer & Music Festival
09.15 – Fredericton, NB @ Harvest Jazz and Blue Fest
Website: http://bustyandthebass.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Busty-and-the-Bass-287992474554672/?fref=ts
Twitter – https://twitter.com/bustyandthebass
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bustyandthebass/
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiqQ1b4tcOZLhl8qReKCydA
Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/artist/4XMc1qHObZ7aXQrH5MmbjK
iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/busty-and-the-bass/id996075316
Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/bustyandthebass