What is your name and role within the band?
Mark Brown. I am the organist and founder of the band.
Other Band Members:
John Udinsky Jr. – Guitar
Rob Tait – Drums
How did you start?
The band was founded in 2013 with two other Philadelphia musicians and myself. We met on the internet and decided to get together and jam.
We originally would get together once a week and jam old school funk, soul and jazz tunes.
The other two original members are no longer in the band. We went our separate ways 2 years ago due to creative differences.
Where are you based?
Please give an example of your music writing process?
We write songs very similar to how jazz charts are written. One of us will present the band with a lead sheet (i.e. melody and chords). Then we’ll read through the tune together and each member offers suggestions or ideas to add to the song. The composer has the final word, but we all are able to add our input and create our own parts.
Then we play the song live as much as possible. I think the best way for a song to really evolve is to play it out live as much as possible and get feedback from the audience. If the crowd looks bored, then the song really isn’t hitting home and we’ll go back and tweak the arrangement.
What are you working on right now?
We are currently working on a new album. We have about 4 songs written for it so far and will be hitting the studio in a couple weeks to start recording the basic tracks. This album is going to be a lot more involved than our last one (which released in November 2016). We are planning on having horns and a vocalist or two on this next one.
We are primarily an instrumental band but it’s nice to mix it up and bring on a guest vocalist from time to time.
What is your gear setup?
We are an organ trio so the music is centered around the Hammond Organ and Leslie Cabinet which create that classic sound. I have two Organs that I will use depending on the venue and how long our set is. Hambone Relay does not have a bass player. I play left hand bass with the Korg Kross Synth and run it through a Bass Combo Amp.
Hammond A-100 Organ (chop)
Hammond SK-2 Portable Organ
Leslie 147 Speaker Cabinet
Korg SV-1 Keyboard
Korg Kross Synth (for Left Hand Bass)
GK MBII Combo 1×15 Bass Cab
What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?
When you travel as much as we do, you have to find something you can do while sitting in a car for 6 hours. I love to read. Horror novels and books about history also. We all love movies too! We watch tons of movies on the road. I’m personally a big horror fan.
Music is a big part of our lives…so if we have a night off, we’re always trying to see a new band live. I believe it’s very important to get out there and support live music. Especially original live music! There’s nothing worse than a musician who complains about people not coming to his/her shows but then they never go out to see other musicians play. The arts community has to support each other because we don’t always get a lot of support from the rest of the world.
How would you describe your music genre?
Funk Rock… The Meters, Soulive and Jimmy Smith with a little Snarky Puppy sprinkled in there.
Do you know any music theory?
All three of us were music majors in college and so we studied music theory extensively. You don’t have to know everything, but I definitely think it’s important to have a basic grasp of music theory when playing the type of improvisational music that we play.
What are your plans for the future?
Our plans are to keep growing. Every year we play bigger venues and grow our fanbase. As long as that continues I’ll be happy. We definitely would love to book more festivals and get wider distribution for our upcoming album.
How did you get into music?
My parents were very musical. They love music! I grew up on a steady diet of Classic Rock and The Blues. My dad love The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eric Clapton, BB King and Buddy Guy. I heard those artists a lot growing up.
I think I get the talent from my mom’s side of the family. My Great-Grandfather was a professionally pianist in a dance band in the 1930’s in New York City.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Vulfpeck! These guys are amazing. Great musicians who don’t take themselves too seriously. We listen to them a lot on the road.
Who are your top 5 influences and icons?
Jimmy Smith – Hammond Organ great and the reason I bought my first B3.
The Meters – New Orleans Funk band. It doesn’t get any funkier than the Meters!
Jerry Lee Lewis – The reason I took piano lessons when I was 5 years old.
Deep Purple – Their hit song “Hush” was the first time I ever heard the Hammond B3 and I fell in love with it! Jon Lorde was one of the greatest organ players of all time and one of my biggest heroes!
James Booker – New Orleans Piano Player. Someday I’d like to release an album of James Booker tunes. He is truly one of the greats!
When are you playing next?
Our next big show is June 23, 2017. We’ll be playing the Madsummer Meltdown Festival in Pennsylvania. http://www.jibberjazz.com
Please feel free to include any extra info.
You can check out our latest album on iTunes and Spotify…see links below.