I had the chance to speak with Lanu of Australian Funk band, The Bamboos ahead of their performance at WOMADelaide. We talked about their newest album ‘Night Time People’, what they’re working on at the moment, and their upcoming show in March.
J: When are you guys gonna be doing your next album?
I’m not really supposed to talk about this, but I can say that there is going to be a release sometime this year, you can count on that. We’re not stopping, we’re actually coming up to our twenty year anniversary, which will be in 2020, and we have no plans on slowing down any time soon. It’s early days yet, but all I can say that it’s something a little bit different and I think people will enjoy it.
J: You guys are going to be playing at WOMADelaide this year, are you looking forward to that?
Absolutely! The last time we played there was with our friend Tim Rodgers, and the crowd was mind blowing, we had the best time. The time before that we did an afternoon set. Every time we play there we have an absolute blast. We’re really looking forward to it, and I’m really looking forward to checking out some of the other acts on the bill as well.
J: What can we expect to hear in your set?
Last time we were there our set was tailored around the fact that we had just released an album called ‘The Rules of Attraction’. This time we’ll be focusing on our latest album, but it’ll be more of a well-rounded set, with a little bit of everything. We’ve got eight albums, so there’s a lot of material to draw from.
J: Do you know what time you’ll be playing?
I believe we’re playing a prime time slot, it’s exciting. We’ll be playing on the Monday in the evening, I’m not one hundred percent sure what time exactly.
J: You’ve collaborated with artists like Tim Rodgers and Aloe Blacc, can you tell me a bit about that?
We did a whole record with Tim, and Aloe was a guest on our last album called ‘Medicine Man’, both of them were great and we had a great time working with them. We’ve even got some rappers on a few of our tracks, it’s a bit of a concept for us. ‘Night Time People’ was about focusing on the band itself without guests, and showing off our own skills.
J: Can you tell me more about the Rap collaborations?
We’ve had a few guests on our tracks over the years, on pretty much every album since the second one we’ve had Rappers involved. Hip Hop is a big thing for me, and I like the collision of where Hip Hop meets funky blues, when those genres collide there are really cool results. The Track ‘Broken’ on the last record had a concept in the lyrics that was based around emotional health and resilience, and we thought it would be nice to involve three different rappers from three different parts of the globe and get their input. The artists we worked with were J-Live from America, Teesy from Berlin and Urthboy from Australia, it was really amazing to work with those guys, they had a great contribution to the song.
J: If you could collaborate with any artist in the world, who would you choose?
There’s a great vocalist called Leon Bridges that I really love, I’d definitely love to do some something with him. Curtis Harding is another amazing vocalist, he’s a young R&B/Soul artist who’s really peaked my interests. There’s even somebody who’s playing at WOMAD, a local vocalist named VANDO, she’s really incredible, and it’d be awesome to work with her at some point.
J: There’s a lot of different things that happen at WOMAD, last year they did these cooking feature’s where artists talked about the food they loved to eat and showed everyone how to make it, and there are lots of quirky little side shows like that, do you know if you’ll be participating in any of those?
I haven’t heard of anything like that, but it sounds intriguing, it would be awesome to do something like that. I could show my famous Chilli Nachos to the rest of the world, outside of my own walls *laughs*.
J: Have you got any special surprises in store for your WOMAD set?
I feel like wherever we go, there’s a sort of intensity that we bring. We don’t play together week in and week out, so when we do play it’s something really special. It’s hard to explain what happens, we’re like a family now because we’ve been doing this so long, there’s a special connection that happens between us that brings so much intensity to our live shows. Every gig has an edge-of-your-seat moment. We have such a great time when we play together, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in any other band. It’s all about the interactions between human beings.
J: Are you going to be getting up to anything else when you’re in Adelaide if you have the time?
I have family in Adelaide, so I’ll be catching up with them. I love the fact that the festival is family friendly, I’ll be bringing them all along and I’m sure everyone will have an amazing time. I’m also catching a band from Texas called Khruangbin that I’m a massive fan of, and Lord Echo as well. I love those guys.
J: Are there any other acts that you’re super keen to check out at WOMAD?
Yeah, for sure. DJ Harvey is another big one for me, and there’s a bunch of other bands that caught my interest when I was looking through the line-up that I can’t remember off the top of my head. I love checking out as many acts as I can, there so much diversity at WOMAD.
Check out The Bamboos at WOMADelaide this year, March 8 – 11t, alongside many other talented acts. You can check out their most recent album ‘Night Time People’ on iTunes or Spotify, and you can keep up to date with what they’re up to by following them on social media or via their website. Grab tickets to their welcome return to Womad by clicking here.