Published Aug 22, 2010The cobra that's poised to attack on the front cover of The Budos Band III isn't just aesthetically cool; it's an apt metaphor for the Staten Island, NY-bred ten-piece thus far. The underrated Budos Band's tough, instrumental fusion of Afrobeat and vintage American funk and jazz (self-dubbed "Afro Soul") has, at times, taken a back seat to the glorious funk revivalism of Daptone labelmates like Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. This should change with III, since the improvisatory elements that marred their otherwise exceptional last two offerings have been trimmed to a more compact and ultimately lethal effect. Try sitting still during the badass, sinister "Black Venom," featuring scorching horn charts and pulverizing conga breaks that evoke a widescreen, hypnotic undercurrent of menace. That cinematic vibe continues with the tense, funky "Mark of the Unnamed," which sounds like the theme to a spaghetti western set on the Sahara plains. It closes with a slowed down, trippy, psychedelic cover of the Beatles' "Day Tripper" (titled "Reppirt Yad), replete with some creeped-out vocal effects and backwards tape loops. The Budos Band III is party music for dancing on a razor's sharpest edge.
This album has a darker sound than your previous releases. Would you agree and was this intentional?
Baritone Saxophonist Jared Tankel: I would definitely agree and it's most certainly intentional. Our diverse listening diets come through stronger on this record than our previous efforts. We still have the Afrobeat, Ethiopian jazz and American funk and soul influences, but we also have quite a few metalheads in the band, and when we travel, we usually listen to hard rock from the '70s. Although it may not be sonically apparent, these influences definitely influence the way we approach songs now, our arrangements of songs and sometimes the melodic and rhythm lines as well. The guitar and bass being lock step is one example. The change in drumbeats is another. And while the horns still sound like "Budos horns," there is definitely an attitude behind what we're doing that has changed and we have embraced our darker influences.
Your music has a very cinematic feel to it and it's been used in quite a few videogames, TV shows and movies. Have you guys ever considered scoring a film?
We would love the opportunity. Quentin Tarantino, if you're reading this, we're ready! (Daptone)