This meet the band was made possible by our friends at Fat Elvis Records. Fat Elvis Records will have a new record released this summer by Fantastic Negrito and I would like to say thank you to Fat Elvis Records for turning me on to the music of Fantastic Negrito. Most of my friends who have been digging on rock ‘n’ roll since we were kids in the 70’s developed a love of the Blues and Black Roots Music. All of the bands that we listened to always brought up Muddy or Sonny or Howlin or Bo and about 50 other greats whenever they discussed how they fell in love with the Blues. And the Blues led their generation down the path to rock ‘n’ roll. This meet the band with Fantastic Negrito ushers in a new dawn for art that is about the human condition as real as a rock or a tear. Fantastic Negrito is in every sense of the word an artist who is expressing how he feels through his lyrics and how he conveys those words through his music. This is as good as it gets folks and maybe Fantastic Negrito will meet up with us down the road a bit so I can ask him some serious questions about his art and his music. Until then, read on and listen to one of the coolest new artist in years…Fantastic Negrito
Hi my name is….
My sound is……
Black roots music
The band changes, right now it’s the Chilean, Nate, Ruthie, and LJ or Josh.
We are from…….
Who are some that have an influence on you?
I’m influenced by prison chants and negro spirituals. For individuals: Skip James,
Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf, Fred McDowell, and Lead Belly. Robert Johnson’s lyrics
are so cold, dark, and real, almost like an edgy rapper.
How old were you when you started to play and who plays what in the band?
I was 18 when I decided that I was going to really play. The Chilean plays the guitar,
Nate’s plays bass, Ruthie’s our drummer, and LJ (or Josh) is on keys.
Can you tell us about the process you use, from writing the songs all the way
through getting the songs out?
I don’t know if I have a process. I try to channel inspiration and be extremely honest. I
just hear the music in my head, then I play it. I try to write a story. The music and
melodies never stop coming. In the middle of the day they’re there. They’re like voices
in my head. The melodies always come first. If I have an instrument, then I just hum
things or save it on my phone.
What are some of the challenges you face as a musician and how have you
overcome those challenges?
Being a musician is a beautiful thing. I love it. The hardest thing is being as truthful and
as forthcoming as you can while creating the music.
1st concert you went to and age….
Run DMC when I was 13, maybe 14. They ended it in clear Oakland fashion. Like Chris
Rock said, “grand opening, grand closing.”
coolest band t-shirt you ever bought…
I don’t really wear band t-shirts… the Fantastic Negrito shirt is the coolest one I own.
The most insane concert you ever went to or were a part of….
Rap concerts in the 80s. They always ended with fights and violence, and that always
seemed insane to me. People getting beat up and shot. They always got shut down.
If you could open for any Band right now who would that be and why?
Kendrick Lamar because we’re very different, but I think our intentions are the same. It
would be good to cross pollinate. We’re from different generations with different sounds,
but there’s a sense of urgency and a quest for truth in both of us.
My youngest son is 13 and in a Band, what advice would you offer him…
Be yourself and don’t get caught up in drugs. Challenge yourself and work harder than
everyone. Music is the best drug you’ll ever take if you keep your mind open.
your thoughts on the state of music in 2015…..
I’m always optimistic. I think that real artists have a chance to be heard and I believe
that there’s a renaissance right now. There’s an over saturation of EDM, but I’ve seen
the same thing with hair bands in the 80s. I love how the internet has made everything
open and accessible.
Our plans for the rest of 2015…..
Tour and finish an album for 2016.
Fantastic Negrito 2015 Tour Dates:
07/23 – Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel
07/25 – New York, NY @ SummerStage, Central Park
07/27 – Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
07/29 – Louisville, KY @ WFPK Waterfront Wednesdays
07/31 – Chattanooga, TN @ Nightfall Concert Series, Miller Plaza
08/01 – Nashville, TN @ The High Watt
08/06 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
08/08 – San Francisco, CA @ Outside Lands