I just answered a bunch of questions for the Mental Nomad podcast. Not sure if it will make it in, but I figured I’d publish them here too…
MN: Where are you from? How does living there affect your songwriting?
DF: We’re from Brooklyn, NY. Being from NYC really affects our songwriting. We rehearse in a studio on the Gowanus Canal, it’s ugly, industrial, gritty and I think for that reason we like odd ugly sounds. Yet, there’s so much great, beautiful music in NYC – jazz, gospel, hip hop, Brazilian, afro-cuban and that inspires us, as well as the incredible wealth of visual artists here.
MN: Do you focus on any political themes? If so, please tell us in more detail about them.
DF: We are a very political band, but our political philosophy is about revolution – not through violence, but through music and love. We believe that there’s a fundamental unity of all people and living things and anything that emphasizes that, that helps to get over the essentially minor differences of race, religion and nationality is revolutionary. Music and dance are our chosen means – when people are dancing or in that space where music can bring them, at that moment they’re not killing each other, or focused on hating their brother and sister humans. The more time humanity can spend in this space, the better…
MN: How long have you been playing and what was your first instrument?
DF: I’ve been playing music for 29 years. I started piano at 4 and bass at 13.
MN: How much has heartbreak contributed to your songwriting?
DF: Not much, probably loneliness, alienation, and joy are more influential.
MN: What are your main musical influences?
DF: I have many but some of my favs are Chic, Meshell Ndegeocello, Leonard Cohen and LCD Soundsystem
MN: What’s the last album you bought that you’re enjoying?
DF: Calvin Harris: I Created Disco
MN: Have you seen any great live shows lately?
DF: Yes, The Presets and Cut Copy at Webster Hall in NYC
MN: What is your guilty pleasure band?
DF: The Army of Lovers
MN: What was the first album you ever bought?
DF: U2 – The Joshua Tree
MN: First concert you ever attended?
DF: Without my parents? I think Louis Bellson at the Berklee Performance Center. My friends and I were huge jazz geeks.
MN: Who is your favorite record producer?
DF: I have 2: Nile Rodgers and Quincy Jones
MN: What’s your favorite artist and album?
DF: I have so many, it’s hard to pick one, I like them for different moods. Probably the album that was the greatest revelation to me as a kid was Heavy Weather by Weather Report. Hearing Jaco Pastorius completely changed my conception of the possibilities on the electric bass.
MN: What is your favorite physical record store?
DF: Newbury Comics in Boston – I spent a lot of time there as a kid
MN: What is your favorite movie?
DF: Again, so many it’s hard to say. So many. I did love City of God for the music and the film itself which is incredible
MN: Mac or PC?
DF: Mac – I’ve never owned a PC
MN: Chocolate or vanilla?
MN: Sarah Silverman or Dane Cook?
DF: Whatever, give me old Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy
MN: You have $5 to spend on dinner. What are you eating?
DF: A falafel
MN: John Stewart or Stephen Colbert?
DF: I don’t have a TV
MN: What do you think is the most alarming media story in the last few months?
DF: What’s not alarming in the media? Isn’t that what it thrives on? How do I pick between war, genocide, racism, religious hatred and extremism, famine, environmental degradation, poverty or economic collapse?
MN: Do you support any specific charities and how do you give back as an artist?
DF: Ken and I are strong supporters of the rights of Gay and Lesbian folks to legally wed.
MN: Have you read any great books lately?
DF: Yes, George Orwell’s essay ‘Politics and The English Language’.
MN: What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you?
DF: I got to step into the ring and box a round with heavy weight legend Larry Holmes. (It’s a long story.. but let’s just say he chuckled at my puny 150lb ass)
MN: If you were a superhero what famous musician would be your arch-nemesis and why?
DF: I can’t muster any hate for my brother and sister musicians. Anyone who’s trying to express themselves through music is cool with me, even if I’m not feeling what they’re making. There’s never anything wrong with writing bad songs – we all do it, and sometimes people even think they’re good songs. I mean playing music for people (even crappy music) sure beats bombing, torturing and killing them. That being said, I do like music to have a good pocket..
MN: What is the most adventurous food you’ve ever eaten?
MN: Do you read any online music magazines, if so, which ones?
DF: I dig Music Connection, The Deli and Brooklyn Vegan