BoomBox made another Seattle appearance on April 15th, 2017 at The Crocodile. The opener Wildabeast, is a hip hop meets funk style duo. Their performance definitely set the precedence for BoomBox. However, this time with a new edition to the crew, DJ Harry. These two came together after prior member, Russ Randolph, left the band. That being said, the funky, soul atmosphere that BoomBox creates was still intact. The “Dirty Disco Blues” style of music BoomBox plays creates a fun dancing environment spiraled with tunes of jazzy funk. I was fortunate enough to get a chance to interview Zion and Harry backstage before the event took place. Check out what they had to say about their live performances, music production and touring below:
Earthlings Entertainment – I understand that Russ Randolph left to pursue a solo dj/production career. Can you tell me how adding Heath Bennet came about?
- BoomBox – Well, DJ Harry is actually the other addition. We opted to keep Heath Bennet at the front of the house for sound. The connection came about through a mutual friend Ramona. She has came out on tours with us and is a house DJ. Her and Harry go way back and I told her to keep an eye out for potential replacements.
EE – I understand that your last shows together as the original BoomBox was the New Year Eve Weekend Spanning from Dec 29-31 of 2016. Can you describe what emotions you were feeling after this last performance together?
- BB – Honestly, it was kind of surreal. The shows were really fun and we had a really good time on stage. There was not any weird vibes it was cordal. We knew it was the direction BoomBox was going. Still doing our thing like we always did, but knowing it was our last time playing “Stereo” together.
EE – Harry can you tell me what you will be using to DJ the show with Zion tonight?
- BB – I will be doing a mixture of spinning and using an APC midi controller to play keys. I have a piano and synthesizer as well.
EE – Since 2004 you have been making music and touring as BoomBox. Can you tell me what motivates you to continue making music after 13 years? What has been challenging?
- BB – It is what feels most natural to me. Making music gives me a feeling that nothing else does. The one thing that I know I am supposed to do. I am very blessed to be able to do this for a living. I think the challenging thing is the blending of being on and off the road touring. Both are two completely different universes and different paces. Staying on top of your bills versus staying focused on tour.
EE – Two years ago, when I first saw BoomBox, at the Crocodile I noticed that Russ had a top hat and you wore feather like apparel. Can fans still expect this same attire for tonight’s show?
- BB – The feathers were getting in the way, itchy on stage. Fans were taking them, so we decided to phase them out, stripped down the entirety of our past attire to be more simple.
EE – I know you probably get this question asked to you a lot, but being a fan I would like to know for myself. Can you explain how influential your mother Donna Jean Godchaux, former singer of The Grateful Dead, has been in the style of music that BoomBox has produced/performed?
- BB – Like, very influential. More than she even realizes. Her approach to melody, her musical equilibrium harmonically speaking has impacted me. Subconsciously, I think it has helped my melodies. There is a soulfulness she would tap into that is definitely a standard for me to look up to. She is fearless, she is the real deal. When she walks out onto stage there is a feeling you immediately feel in the audience. She has a pretty heavy stage presence that was indescribable.
EE – Following up with the previous question; Throughout your music career has there been any music releases with you and Donna Jean Godchaux, under the moniker BoomBox?
- BB – She sang background on a few tracks on the album Visions of Backbeat. She sang background on the song Stereo and Midnight on the run. We are about to release a song in a few weeks called Right Around Two. She is singing the melody hook on it. It is about a story we have together and it describes that story throughout the song.
EE – The newest BoomBox release is “Laid Back and Loaded.” Is this new track a production with newest member(s) Heath/Harry or is this a solo production?
- ZION – This was just kind of me. It was a track I made right when Russ left.
- HARRY – Zion makes all of the tracks and programs all the music to it.
Everything you hear, all the melodies you listen to are produced by Zion. Overall, I can recommend BoomBox to anyone regardless of what genre of music you may enjoy. The positive melodies that are produced definitely will put the listener in a great mood. If you haven’t listened to BoomBox before check out their SoundCloud and Facebook page. Another huge upcoming show they have is at Red Rocks in Colorado. I wouldn’t miss out on that event!