When: 9 p.m. Monday
Where: Humboldt Brews, 856 10th St., Arcata
Admission: $10, 21+
Prog-funk act Earphunk plays HumBrews Monday
New Orleans quintet celebrates five years together this month
Those seeking out an earful of groove-inducing tunes that'll get a crowd out of the funk of the beginning of the week, look no further than HumBrews in Arcata this coming Monday as New Orleans quintet Earphunk is scheduled to return to Humboldt. A prog-funk act that packs stage visuals, a bit of rock and a smidge of improv into their shows, the group touring this month in celebration of five years together has garnered notice for their fun-loving mentality, big-name bill-shares, analog take on Daft Punk songs and (even financially) supportive fans.
”The live experience has definitely been evolving,” said Christian Gallé, Earphunk keyboardist. “We've been traveling and performing with more production, namely lighting and lasers. It feels more like a show, like a performance. It's fun... I'd say it's more rehearsed than in the beginning, but still loose enough to create some unique (improv) moments.”
The Nawlins band is touring in support of their seven-song 2013 release “No Nine To Five” -- “the title track I guess was the inspiration,” said Gallé. “The song has kind of become an anthem. The only plot twist is that we do work a nine-to-five, 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
”We recorded a few weeks ago at Studio in the Country in Louisiana,” Gallé said. “That was a really fun experience in a super nice studio. We're really excited to release it for free download on our website (earphunk.com), just like all of our other records.”
Additional artists that've recorded there include Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Stevie Wonder and Trent Reznor.
While the other four members of Earphunk met while attending Louisiana State University, Gallé and drummer Michael Matthews attended Loyola University in New Orleans. Because Gallé knew guitarist Paul Provosty from high school, the two sub-groups eventually formed into one. Guitarist and vocalist Mark Hempe and bassist Michael Comeaux also went to high school together. These guys have history together, and have so far shared the stage with some stellar artists -- George Clinton, Galactic, Big Gigantic, Chali 2na, Particle and Ivan Neville to name some.
”One time we were playing a festival in Atlanta,” Gallé said. “George Clinton was performing directly after us. So, during our set, in the middle of a song, we hear some whistling and yelling, and we turn around and George Clinton is back stage cheering us on. That was pretty reassuring. We've had great experiences and opportunities to play with some of our heroes, it's been a blessing.”
The band from the birthplace of funk whose van is on its third transmission is proud of their home and its versatility within the genre -- you can listen to 10 funk bands from New Orleans and hear distinct differences in all of them, Gallé said. That sort of versatility has given them interesting opportunities, like acting as the backing group for Mannie Fresh, who was one half of the now defunct rap duo Big Tymers.
”I can remember watching Mannie's music videos in my teens,” Gallé said. “It was surreal, I had a smile on my face the whole gig.”
Also worth a smile? The end result of this tough situation: Earphunk recently had about $10,000 worth of musical gear stolen from their van in Chicago.
”Fortunately we still had enough instruments to perform the rest of the tour,” Gallé said. “(Digital) Tip Jar was huge (in helping to recoup some of the losses). Epic. Our friends and fans really blew us away and humbled us by how generous they were. We've replaced most of what was stolen by now.”
Advance passes to see the band that requests Nutty Bars on their performance rider are available at humbrews.com.