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
Friday, Dec 9th
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Thursday, Dec 8th
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Thursday, Dec 8th
Win a Pair of VIP Lounge Tickets to Jim James of My Morning Jacket at Brooklyn Bowl las Vegas SAT, DEC 10!
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Wednesday, Dec 7th
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Monday, Dec 5th
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Thursday, Dec 1st
The #STANDWITHSTANDINGROCK Benefit Concert is set to be one night of incredible music to assist the situation in North Dakota with the help of Immortal Technique, Kyp Malone (TV on the...
Thursday, Dec 1st
Trying to get down with the one and only Anders Osborne for two nights? You could be in luck! We’ve teamed up with Bud Light to give one lucky winner...
Tuesday, Nov 29th
Enter To Win VIP Lounge Tickets to Living Legends on Wednesday, November 30 at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas
Enter now to win a four pack of VIP Lounge Tickets to the 10th Annual How The Grouch Stole Christmas FT. all original Living Legends members, Evidence and Grand Tapestry. What better...
Monday, Nov 21st
Neal Casal of Circles Around the Sun and Chris Robinson Brotherhood let us into his magical world of music and beyond. Read this incredibly inspiring interview and prepare to get...
Friday, Nov 18th
Wyclef Jean brought incredible energy and lots of love for New York to the Bowl this past Thursday. From singing classics like Gone ‘Til November to unveiling new singles from...
Thursday, Nov 17th
Win the ultimate Asking Alexandria VIP package including a meet and greet signing with group photo, early access to our venue and crowd-free merch shopping, exclusive 11X17 poster, commemorative tour...
Wednesday, Nov 16th
Yearning to get down with the electronic rock and blues combos of BoomBox and Horizon Wireless on November 18 + 19? You’re in luck! Enter below for your chance to...