Charlie Blacksmoke and The Swamp Energy Mass...
|The following is a mini interview of generic questions that we posed to all bands that wanted to answer:|
Charlie Blacksmoke and The Swamp Energy Mass Choir
1. How did you get your band name?
The universe gave it to me as a literal/derivative play on my black gospel roots mixed with my present place within astrophysical R&B.
2. How did this band get started?
I had an idea to have two live drummers playing along with thick, syrupy sub heavy drum programming, so I called up David Hutchinson and Jiles G. who I have known and worked with many times before. We ride similar waves, so they knew exactly what I wanted them to play.
3. What bands are you influenced by?
Not really as influenced by bands as I am singers, composers, noise makers/producers, and individual musicians. The “band” format has been somewhat played out to me for a while. That’s not to say that there aren’t some great bands out there…but that’s not really what influences me most musically.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
70’s Sly and The Family Stone would be the ultimate tour for me in regards to a past artist. They are maybe the most underrated band of all time - most widely known for their radio hits, but Sly had some of the most genius arrangements ever laid to tape. In my head, they are The Beatles of soul music. As far as modern artists are concerned, I’d love to tour with Joanna Newsome, James Blake, or Janelle Monae. They’re included in a handful of artists out now that are not afraid to use every part of their voice as a weapon. I’ve always identified with that style of voice most and it would be insane to join energy with any of them on a tour.
5. Best food to eat on tour?
Swedish fish and sweet tea and I’m good (I’m kind of a health nut).
6. Why should people listen to your band?
I’m harnessing fuckin’ swamp energy over here man…AND because I’m giving the music away for free…c’mon!!!
7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with?
I’d wanna be Venus Williams for sure so I could just touch on my big fine body all day long….and because Venus Williams has got to be one of the coolest names of all time. Now really thinking this over, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna name my first born son Venus Williams.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
For my first Grammy…I would only thank myself. I think that would be the most hip-hop approach. But seriously…winning one of those is probably the last thing that’s on my mind for what I’m doing.
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
What music industry? Music is now a non-commodity and the only people still making money at it are Teen Beat babies and hustlers churning out ringtones (which is what I’m hoping to get into).
10. Memorable tour experience?
Homemade tour bus dying in a ghost town in the middle of Texas and having to hitchhike back to New Orleans, getting an old tour mate Katy Perry (Katy Hudson at the time) to do crazy shit at church shows (previous band/previous life), being stalked by a creepy old white guy who would randomly show up when we least expected, there’s a lot more…hard to pick just one favorite. Being on stage in front of 30,000 people in Holland was nice too, but I mostly remember the dark random moments for some reason.
11. What does AP.net mean to you?
The existence of sites like AP.net means that there’s a real audience out there for thoughtful music and that’s always encouraging when the dollar signs seem to point in a different direction.
12. What is your favorite song to play?
"Don’t Buy Me A Wolf No More" by another band from New Orleans called Club Of The Sons.
13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
NYC…wanna make it home someday.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
When I was a kid all I listened to was classical, soul, black gospel….and all that stuff still fills my playlists.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
I’d wanna be able to communicate with dogs…I mean for real now, imagine being able to have like a dog entourage and have your own set of inside jokes and shit that other humans would never understand. Also I’d be the head of a secret international dog army that would handle all the more visible jobs that the illuminati couldn’t risk doing.
16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals?
I keep it chill with a pretty steady stream of bourbon and usually some alone time about 30 minutes or so before the show starts to make sure I’m in alignment with all my shit.
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
The fans don’t know much about me at all…that’s intentional because it's more fun that way.
18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish?
Radio is a strange beast. It's on lock down by one or two very slow to evolve mega corporations, so there’s no real place for much of what I’m into or what I put out. But the pure idea of radio is really romantic to me, something I would LOVE to see change and open up to reflect the way the music landscape really looks. I think satellite radio is a step in the right direction for sure.
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I don’t have much spare time really….but if and when I do, I actually like to disconnect from myself for a quick bit by watching a show or movie that I’m not interested in at all…something as brainless as possible. I actually think it can be healthy for the creative process.
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
Not many people know this, but I can communicate with dogs.
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