”Its like herding cats” joked The Russ Liquid Tests songwriter, producer as well as brass specialist Russell Scott. Rounding up the other two bandmates: drummer Deven Trusclair and guitarist Andrew Block, with different post-show agendas, seemed like a small price to pay for our off-beaten track conversation. Russ relaxed on the green rooms comfy couch surrounded by blonde babes, vying for his attention, giving Borgore a run for his money. Scott entertained the idea of conducting our interview in that space, encouraging said ladies to chip in as they feel fit; its mini-fridge was barren except for a broken seal water bottle and ripe strawberries. Strongly against this idea, I suggested we congregate around the plush salmon seating directly outside. We waited patiently for a $35 bottle of Jameson to arrive.
What were you are JmaCs intentions behind Manic Focus three-stop The Just Like You Tour?
Russ: That was a solo tour, and I just did it with JmaC. The intention behind that was to play some of my more electronic music””thats not the bands stuff, have a bunch of fun with my homie JmaC and make money in order to pay my bills.
How does your newest single, ”Name It,” reconnect the sounds of today with the sounds of yesterday?
R: Its electronic music that has organic instruments in it, utilizing scales that were derived 5,000 years ago in a cave somewhere in the Middle East of America like Detroit.
Deven: Ive got Lauryn Hill on my shirt.
Who invited Russ Liquid to perform at The Big Weekend? What captivated yall to say yes?
R: We just kind of showed up. Thats how weve made our careers: by being musical bullies.
Its a hard world. No ones gonna do that for you. Youve got to stake your claim. We really like the promoters. They are awesome people. Weve done other shows with Silver Wrapper. Weve done North Coast [Music Festival] which is really dope, and we love Chicago a lot.
Where in New Orleans can you get your beignet on while listening to epic jazz music?
Andrew: Theres only one place to get beignets, and its CafÃ© du Monde.
R: And they dont really have good music out front. Every once in a while, this dude tries to play the saxophone. You want to be in the French Quarter. Frenchman Streets where you want to catch all the good music. Blue Nile is a cool club. Its where Andrews played a lot.
Andrew: Nicholas Payton is a trumpet player.
R: Hes actually one of my big inspirations when I started getting into the trumpet. Russell Batiste, every once in a while, plays out there; hes the man.
R: They can expect to have the most amazing time, transcend the bullshit of everyday life. Were basically going to be a shower for your soul.
Which piece on your forthcoming extended play highlights Russ Liquids progression since last years World Gone Crazy EP the most?
R: Well heres the thing, with all the releases that weve done, were not just one thing. Were trying with each release to show a different facet of ourselves, and so this last release is more on the experimental electronic side of things. ProbCause is talking about how crazy the world is on the title track for ”˜World Gone Crazy. We wanted to bring awareness to that but also have lighter music on there to balance it out. We wanted to show that the two can exist.
Are there any pitfalls to being a genre-bending band?
R: Thats the cool thing about it. Its a reverse pitfall. It works in our benefit because theres something for everybody. You might not like one thing, but theres another thing youre going to like. Theres a congruency between it all that makes it accessible. We tend to be a gateway drug for people that dont want to hear straight electronic music or dont want to hear a fucking jam band. The cool thing about our fans is they expect that in a show. Theyre not expecting to hear just one tempo or style of music for the whole night. They want to hear us play trap one minute and the next minute funky music.
When can All Good Records buffs expect the label to return in full force?
R: All Good Records is no more. There hasnt really been a public statement about that, which I disagree with; it leaves fans hanging. As far as we know, its no longer. Its really sad because it was a really amazing thing.
Not only does Andrew Block play guitar with us, but hes also an amazing engineer. He has a studio in New Orleans called Neutral Sound Studio which has been really influential in giving the scene a place to record music. All of our tracks were recorded there. Its a huge, integral part of what were doing. There are other recording studios in New Orleans, but theyre either not very good or too expensive.
Theres not someone representing the people that actually make New Orleans, New Orleans. Along with that, hes going to be developing a record label that well hopefully be releasing our music through. Michael McDonald”˜s recorded at that spot. Zak Starkeys done sessions there, Ringo Starrs son. Theres been some high-end clientele going through there. Its pretty dope. Get the word out. Its $1 million per hour unless you know us. Then, you get the homie rate.
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