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, 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...
Monday, Jun 19th
Week two of Bowlive VII featuring Soulive promised and delivered a kick-ass line up of special guests. Eric, Alan, and Neal kept the energy extra funky each night backed by...
Monday, Jun 12th
Saturday, June 10 was one for the books at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas. Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), threw an unforgettable sixteenth birthday bash for is...
Friday, Jun 9th
Night two of Bowlive VII featuring Soulive kept us all on our toes with non-stop blues riffs and funk licks all night! Special guests Doyle Bramhall II and Ron Artis...
Tuesday, Jun 6th
There was a Modest Mouse in the house on June 3! When the beloved Seattle group is on stage, it’s evident that many people are seeing their favorite band. Songs such as “Float On”...
Tuesday, Jun 6th
The connection was all there on Thursday, June 1 when Tremaine Alston Neverson, better known as Trey Songz, brought Tremaine The Tour to Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas. This tour is in...
Monday, Jun 5th
We’re excited to announce that this summer, we will be teaming up with Industry City and The Rock and Roll Playhouse for Sunset Sounds, a new series of free and...
Thursday, Jun 1st
The Wolf Guitar Auction on Wednesday, May 31 was a night that will go down in Brooklyn Bowl history. Jerry Garcia’s spirit resonated in ever corner of the room. It...
Wednesday, May 31st
We could not be more excited for the long awaited return of Soulive’s 8-night residency, Bowlive! To celebrate we’re giving one lucky winner a pair of 8-night passes! Enter below...
Tuesday, May 30th
Advance tickets may be sold out but we’re giving one lucky winner 2 tickets to see the The Avalanches at Brooklyn Bowl, NY on JUN 3. Just enter below for...
Tuesday, May 30th
Advance tickets may be sold out but we’re giving one lucky winner 2 tickets to see the legendary Charles Bradley at Brooklyn Bowl, NY on JUN 1. Just enter below...