"It's cold as hell!" George Clinton tells me over the phone from New Jersey. The Godfather of funk is certainly looking forward to relative warmth of Australia and New Zealand this April where he's set to play with his band the Parliament Funkadelic.
The Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame inductee is heading to our neck of the woods to perform at the Byron Bay Blues Festival (April 2-6) and will cross the Tasman for a special show at The Powerstation in Auckland onWednesday April 8th. George gave me the inside scoop about what to expect. "I'll tell you what, tell everyone to bring two booties. Because you're going to wear one booty out!" he excitedly tells me. "It'll be long & funky & groovy... it'll be a big party. If you've been to a P-Funk show you'll know what to do."
Unfortunately I haven't been to a George Clinton / P-Funk show before, despite being hit by the Bop Gunmany years ago. My first initiation to the P-Funk experience was watching the outfit take to the stage with the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the 1992 Grammy Awards performing the Chili's hit ‘Give It Away', and since then I've never looked back.
"Oh yeah, right. That was a party there" he explains. "We first met in Detroit, Michigan when I did the album with them (1985's Freaky Styley). But that was some night... all of us together, that was a party. That was Parliament Funkadelic, Chili Peppers, and Weapon of Choice. That was a show that day."
But that was just one of the many collaborations that George Clinton has featured on. He's worked with the likes of Prince, Primal Scream, Warren G, Outkast, Wu Tang Clan, and Carlos Santana... to name but a few. So which has his favourite been?
"That one (with the Chili Peppers) and I did some recording also with Thomas Dolby. He really knows what he's doing and likes to experiment. We had a lot of fun doing his record and my record. But I've also had fun with Snoop... Dre... Tupac... all of them. They were like family back in LA. The Tupac record ‘Can't C Me'... Dre is a really good producer and that was like being at home. The record ‘Bop Gun' with Ice Cube, that was just like doing my own record. "
Funk is one of those unique genres that can easily cross over to a variety of music, with elements often being heard in Pop, Rock, Metal, Soul, Hip Hop and Jazz. "Yeah, I mean some of the funkiest music is jazz you know what I'm saying? But now you've got electronic music... you know I'm looking for a funky polka!" he laughs.
And who is George listening to from today's scene? "Kendrick Lamar... and you can't miss Pharrell. He's all over the place. My grandkids are always showing me stuff and I forget their names... but I like it!"
Speaking of his Grandkids, they'll be joining Clinton for his New Zealand show. "Yeah, they made most of the new album with me. There will be six grandkids with me when I come to New Zealand."
So at the age of 73, how much longer can George Clinton with the Parliament Funkadelic be able to tour and bring funk music to the world?
"I just did a hologram with Sly Stone and myself" he replies. So we'll be around forever!"
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Anthonie Tonnon is taking his new Extended Player and single to Australia, and to New Zealand towns that missed the first run of dates, or sold out too quickly. He’ll also be appearing at three summer festivals this February.
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.