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
Thursday, Feb 23rd
Khraungbin is a three-piece band from Texas and bills itself as “taking influence from 1960s Thai funk.” It’s an accurate description, but it’s also like describing a Kaleidoscope as an...
Tuesday, Feb 21st
Things got weird in Vegas this weekend as the Boognish rose for three straight days at The Bowl. Ween‘s first visit to Sin City since Vegoose 2005 painted the town...
Tuesday, Feb 21st
If you love reggae, consistently quote Bob Marley lyrics, but haven’t heard of The Skatalites, there might be a problem. Having performed in Jamaica since 1964, The Skatalites remain legendary...
Wednesday, Feb 15th
The Benevento/Russo Duo is a two person band comprised of Marco Benevento & Joe Russo. If you’re not already aware, they’re going to blow the roof off of Brooklyn Bowl...
Tuesday, Feb 14th
The one and only Phil Lesh, founding bassist of the Grateful Dead, commanded Brooklyn Bowl the last two nights, backed by Terrapin Crossroad’s own Terrapin Family Band. The guys played...
Friday, Feb 3rd
Last night former Kiss guitarist “Space Ace” or “The Spaceman,” Ace Frehley, turned Sin City into Shred City with a full band at the wheel churning out classic hits like...
Thursday, Feb 2nd
Brooklyn Bowl is offering internships for the Marketing department at our New York venue! We’re looking for dedicated music lovers who are eager to get their feet wet in the...
Wednesday, Feb 1st
There are few great American songbooks like that of The Grateful Dead and we could not be more humbled and honored to host 2 nights of music with Phil Lesh &...
Tuesday, Jan 31st
We’re still trippin’ from Juicy J’s charged performance at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas this past Friday, January 27. Following a set from rapper Belly, the veteran emcee delivered hit after...
Monday, Jan 30th
Brooklyn Bowl was electrified with pure disco energy last weekend, many thanks to the power house that is Escort. Their signature disco sound had everyone grooving and we’ve got some...
Friday, Jan 27th
Earlier this month Las Vegas welcomed a slew of techies arriving for CES, the electronics and technology trade-show that takes place here every January. For the second year in a row,...
Tuesday, Jan 24th
All photos courtesy of Marc Millman :: www.marcmillmanphotos.com :: Instagram: @marcmillmanphotos Jans Ingber, former lead singer of The Motet, returned to Brooklyn Bowl this past Saturday night with yet another remarkable...