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Feeling the Pull
The Defender Talks With Gravity A
Last week, Laura Cayouette attended Gravity A's standing 10 pm Wednesday gig at Banks Street Bar in Mid-City. Gravity A's music is an eclectic mix ranging from a cover of a 1972 Herbie Hancock song to fun funky dance tunes and trance-like electronica.The band, comprised of Jonathan Solomon on bass, Mike (Fou) Fouquier on drums, Andrew (Drew) Meehan on keyboards and Aaron Lind on guitar - all play in bare feet.
Laura Cayouette: You're are playing at Bayou Boogaloo?
Andrew (Drew) Meehan: Yes Indeed.
LC: Bayou Boogaloo is known for its traditional New Orleans music including brass bands and Mardi Gras Indians. What would y'all call your music?
Mike (Fou) Fouquier: New Orleans Funktronica. That's the term we've been leaning towards lately.
LC: Define New Orleans Funktronica.
LC: What does it mean to you to be a New Orleans musician when you're not part of that traditional culture?
MF: I thinks it's a privilege to be able to hear shit-tons of awesome music in different genres every night of the week and appreciate it and be able to play more than any other band in any other city could play within their home city. I think that's the most important thing about being a New Orleans musician.
AM: It's cool to play a lot of the same places where a lot of people you really like play just 'cuz it's New Orleans so everyone's played everywhere.
LC: Where's your favorite place to play?
AM: I like the Blue Nile
Aaron Lind: I like the Dragon's Den.
Jonathan Solomon: I like all those places, probably Blue Nile.
LC: So, there's a little bit of a consensus. Let's see if I can get a consensus on this. The best snowball in the city is...
AM: The best snowball in the city? Occurred in Fou's bedroom in nineteen ninety uh...(all laughing) Hey, you set it up dirty, I come wid it! The best one is the drive-thru daiquiri one at Jefferson Highway across the street from the hospital in Old Jefferson. That's the best snowball. During Christmas, you get Cajun eggnog.
JS: Man, what do you put on top of that shit?
AM: Nutmeg. What else?
LC: Do y'all have a favorite New Orleans band outside yourselves?
MF: Imagination Movers.
AM: Yeah, they're pretty cool. They got DJ Jubilee.
JS: They've got the funk.
AM: But they still incorporated the rap.
MF: I think I gotta say Dumpstaphunk right now as a band that contains mostly New Orleans musicians. I like Dr. Claw as a New Orleans band, but apparently, nobody that's in that band except for... actually nobody is actually from New Orleans. None of them live in New Orleans, but they play New Orleans funk/R&B really well. Adam Deitch, Nick Daniels, Ian Neville lives in New Orleans---
AM: ---I've been liking Government Magic. Their new album's really good.
MF: I'm down with Government Magic.
AL: How about Matt People's Collective. http://mattpeoples.com/
LC: How did y'all come to be a group?
JS: That's a long one.
LC: Well, give me the Reader's Digest version.
AM: It was lots of years ago. We eventually all made a band together.
JS: Fou and I started the band, then Drew joined it and then quit and then that's how we got Aaron and then Drew came back a few years later.
MF: And that's when the snowball happened.
AM: Aw, bringin' it back around!
LC: It's interesting that you two started the band because as you were playing, I noticed that you have a connection and play with and toward each other. So, how long have y'all known each other?
JS: Since high school.
MF: Since 2000, ten years.
LC: How long ago did you start playing together?
JS: Ten Years ago.
MF: Yeah, when we met. We played a little punk rock music and then we didn't see each other for like two years and then they tore down the Movie Pitchers on Bienville Street and then we didn't see each other for two years and then by chance, we ran into each other in Baton Rouge.
LC: Where does "Gravity A" come from?
MF: Actually, Gravity A comes from our first guitarist, Carter. He, I guess, found it reading sci fi and stuff like that and basically I guess if you can move gravity A from point A to point B, everything else will follow it and you can reach the speed of light.
LC: How tough do you think it is for somebody to make a living here as a musician?
AM: You gotta be really good and then spread yourself, I guess.
JS: I guess it just depends on what your living expenses are.
LC: Do you have any words of wisdom for young people starting out?
MF: Young people, they find out for themselves, you know. That was my experience anyway. I didn't really listen to much anybody had to say and that's brought me here, so that's okay.
AM: Put $100 bucks in a high interest savings account and don't touch that shit.
LC: How did y'all come up with your sound?
MF: We're not, I don't know, it's hard to label us as a funk band or an electronica band or a rock band or an indi band or an experimental band, so that's why you gotta see it for yourself. It's good music, none the less. We enjoy good music of all kinds of genres, so that's what we try and make.
JS: We're not a jam band.
AL: Yeah, I guess that's a label.
LC: But isn't Grateful Dead a jam band?
MF: Right. And Grateful Dead has inspired us just like the Meters have inspired us just like Diesel Boy has inspired us. It's all good music that we've all listened to, that we all play and it comes out and we're not trying to sound like one style or the other. It all just comes out creating our unique sound.
LC: So, when are y'all playing Bayou Boogaloo?
MF: May 23rd
AM: At 2:45 to 3:45 and they're pretty strict, but not like New Orleans 2:45, like real 2:45.
MF: And we're playing with Tim Green. We usually only do it Halloween at the Blue Nile with Tim Green, but this is gonna be something new, something different.
JS: The sun's gonna be out.
AM: We're coming back from the Hang Out Festival, too.
Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Elizabeth Davas, Ian Hoch, Lindsay Mack, Anna Gaca, Jason Raymond, Lee Matalone, Phil Yiannopoulos, Joe Shriner, Chris Staudinger, Chef Anthony Scanio, Tierney Monaghan, Stacy Coco, Rob Ingraham,
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B. E. Mintz
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