Since forming more than 35 years ago in South Central Los Angeles, Fishbone have been known for their keen sense of humor, a sharp social commentary, and a shake-your-ass mix of ska, punk, and funk with a little dash of heavy metal. Sounding something like the love child of Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin, and Dead Kennedys, Fishbone (below, performing “Behind Closed Doors” for Jam in the Van) have gone on to influence big-name bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addiction, and No Doubt — and they remain vital to this day, regularly performing live, including this Sunday at Brooklyn Bowl. Ahead of their arrival, Knockdown Alley talked to founding member bassist Norwood Fisher.
Which New York City musician — past or present — would you most like to play with? Bernard Wright.
What’s the best part of playing New York City? And what’s the toughest part of playing New York City? The audiences are extra energetic to what Fishbone brings. The guest list gives me anxieties when we play NYC.
What music or song always makes you dance? Fela Kuti
and most Afrobeat.
As a band that’s been around for more than three decades, what do you do to keep things fresh when recording and performing live? We
have always improvised within the structure of our songs. Taking
chances keeps things fresh.
So much has changed in the music world since Fishbone first started playing — a lot of it probably not so great — but what are some things that have improved over the course of your career? Reggae has exploded across the whirl’d! All cultures feel like they own funk. Afropunk is a marketing boon!
Do you have any crutches when writing a song — are there certain words or styles you feel you lean on too much? As a songwriter
I feel free as a bird. I draw inspiration from life, art, pop culture,
and music. I listen to my favorite bands and songwriters and flow.
Not sure if that constitutes a crutch.
Do you have to be depressed to write a sad song? Do you have to be in love to write a love song? Is a song better when it really happened to you? I don’t need to currently be depressed to access the emotion
to write an authentic sad song, because I’ve been there enough to know what it’s like. True empathy can allow you to imagine someone else’s experience and nail it.
At your after-party there’s an endless jukebox, and we give you a buck. Which three songs are you playing? “One Nation Under a Groove,” Funkadelic, “Holiday in Cambodia,” Dead Kennedys, and “Ghost Town,” the Specials.
It’s 4 a.m. and last call has come and gone. What’s your next move? Find a recording studio and create the next episode!
—R. Zizmor | @Hand_Dog
Saturday, Aug 19th
Enter to WIN A BOWLING PARTY WITH ANDREW W.K at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas. The Giveaway Includes: -A pre-show show bowling party with the party-god himself AWK -2 tickets to Andrew W.K. with Rayner...
Tuesday, Aug 15th
BBLV Giveaway: Enter for a Chance to Win 2 VIP Tix to the Metal Alliance Tour ft. Overkill + a $100 Harley Davidson Gift Card
Enter to WIN 2 VIP Tickets to the Metal Alliance Tour ft. Overkill at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas + a $100 Harley Davidson gift card. The show is on Sunday, September 24 and includes...
Monday, Aug 14th
We’ve partnered with Pacifico to give two ticket holders and three of their friends the chance to win a post show Meet and Greet with Donavon Frankenreiter, this Wednesday, August...
Sunday, Aug 13th
In honor of International Left Handers Day we have compiled a list of the most kick-ass, left-handed musicians that you probably didn’t know were in the left-handers club. Only about...
Friday, Aug 11th
Brooklyn Bowl is offering internships in the Marketing department at our New York venue! We’re looking for dedicated music lovers who are eager to learn the ropes of the thriving...
Wednesday, Aug 2nd
Sound the alarm! Enter to WIN a VIP Bowling with the Band Experience for Thievery Corporation Fueled By Lagunitas at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas on Friday, Aug 4th! The experience...
Tuesday, Jul 25th
We knew it was going to be a wild show when tickets sold out only 45 minutes after going on sale (a rarity in Vegas!) Khalid, the 19-year-old singer, and...
Monday, Jul 24th
Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas was in the presence of royalty on Thursday, July 20 when Erykah Badu, the Queen of Neo-Soul, played the venue. Though she took the stage nearly...
Friday, Jul 21st
Playboi Carti MILLY ROCKED Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 19. The night started off strong with opening acts, Young Nudy and Pierre Bourne, who did a solid job of...
Monday, Jul 10th
RECAP: Brooklyn Bowl New York’s Official 8th Birthday at Brooklyn Brewery Presents: A Brooklyn Blast on July 7, 2017
We turned eight-years-old last Friday, July 7, 2017 and it was our best birthday to date! There was a contagious energy in the room from the jump, leading up to...
Friday, Jun 23rd
We’re embarking on our 8th trip around the sun, and we wouldn’t be here without the loyal fans and artists that make up our rockstar music community. In a few...
Wednesday, Jun 21st
Can you believe that Brooklyn Bowl New York is turning 8?! To honor this momentous occasion, we have teamed up with Brooklyn Brewery to bring you A Brooklyn Blast: 8...