Rocketjuice and The Moon

Még 2008-ban alakult egy olyan formáció, hogy Rocketjuice and The Moon, ami funk supergroup, tagjai Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz, gitár, ének, billentyű), Flea és Tony Allen (dob). 2012. március 12-én fog megjelenni az első, cím nélküli (Rocketjuice and The Moon) lemezük.

Damon Albarn, Flea and Tony Allen will be “making it hard” as Rocketjuice and The Moon. MOJO Magazine’s Lois Wilson finds out how…

FLEA! REMIND ME OF THE rhythm will you?” Damon Albarn, standing up behind his piano, shouts over to the Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist. “It’s like this, “Flea calls back, and commences to pluck at his strings. “I’ve got it, man!” says Damon Albarn, a big grin taking shape on his face. A raw, sweet, psychedelic groove unfurls, and the Bermondsey practice room where Albarn, Flea and legendary Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen are rehearsing comes alive. This is the astrally-dubbed Rocketjuice & The Moon: not a team you’d put together on paper, but one that definitely works.

“We met on a plane in 2008,” says Flea (Michael Balzary). “The three of us were going to Lagos as part of Damon Albarn’s Africa Express collective. I’m a huge Fela Kuti fan and Tony Allen is one of my favourite drummers, so to get to talk and play with him was just phenomenal. The way I approach rhythm and groove is very similar to the way he does, and I feel with him a special something that is difficult to put into words but it’s a beautiful thing. By the end of that Lagos trip we’d made a promise to get in a room whenever we could and cook up some grooves, the only rule being we’d be fucking getting down and getting busy and making it hard.”

Since then the initial plan has expanded. The group have performed live as part of Honest Jon’s October 2011 Chop Up showcase in Cork and London and recorded their self-titled debut album which is due to be released on March 12th, 2012.

Tonv Allen, who also plays drums with Damon Albarn In The Good, The Bad And The Queen, calls it “destiny”. “We were going to meet someday,” he says of Flea, “we didn’t know how we meet or where we meet, but once we meet it feels like I have been playing with Flea for many years.”

Albarn agrees. “Everything just fell into place.” he says. “It felt special being in a room together.” As for the album’s recording process: “We leave egos at the door,” says Allen. “We work in a very unique way. We don’t say, what are we going to do? We say let’s go for it, and we all play at once.

Track by track we do it this way; transmitting something to each other, a musical idea, a melody. It’s a transmission of inspiration; it’s not, you play this, you play that. We allow each other to express ourselves. It’s a question of being free of mind.”

The result of such liberty is 18 tracks put down over a period of two months at Damon Albarn’s Studio 13 in London with additional parts added in Paris, Berlin and Chicago. Guests include Erykah Badu, Fatoumata Diawara. M.Anifest. Cheick Tidiane Seek and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and songs range from mournful, haunting piano ballads (Poison) to expansive, snaking, spiritual jazz (Put It Out).

“It is all funk,” says Tony Allen. “Groove music, music that makes you dance. The audience don’t want to sit and listen, they want to move their bodies. That is crucial, and Rocketjuice & The Moon will make them do that.”