Q&A: Dam-Funk

LOOKOUT got the chance to speak with DâM-FunK, L.A. based “modern funk” musician signed to Stones Throw Records, who's venturing North to Montreal on March 5th for a live show at Lambi.


LOOKOUT: About your debut album Toeachizown, the five different volumes each have a life of their own, but still form a comprehensive whole and has an underlying story . Can you tell me something about the different volumes and why you decided to put it together this way?

Dãm: I wanted to make a concept record like progressive rock records I used to listen to back in the day. They would have a theme around it, as opposed to a bunch of hit singles on the record. “I Wanna Thank You (For Steppin’ Into My Life)” is one song that I think could be on the radio right now and be a hit. But, I didn’t want to make a record of hit singles, I don’t even want to aspire to do that. I wanted to create the record I've always wanted to make… and why not make it? In Toeachizown, the first volume is more electric based, the second more serious, Sky more positive, Hood more dark.

Is there something about L.A. that makes it a unique place for funk? How did growing up on the West Coast influence your style of music?

The music we grew up with on the West Coast is a little more laid back. Even though we have sunshine, there’s the darkness and the light… We’ve cultivated something a bit different from East Coast approach.  The warm weather, the palm trees, and the driving culture of L.A. definitely influences my music.

Prince was a big inspiration for you. What Prince era do you draw influence from most?

1978-1987

I feel like you’ve coined the term modern funk. I don’t want to suggest a clear break in “old-fashioned funk” and modern funk, because there’s a definite continuation, but what is modern about your modern funk?

It’s a mix of subject matter, log extended tracks, instrumentals, reverb vocals... It’s a different approach. It’s the funk you’ve always wanted to have. The modern funk approach pertains to some of the science aspects of things, like of exploration of different worlds. Funk is more like funk 45 vibe. Modern funk is more electric based and appeals to post-disco funk. You know what I’m sayin'?

For more Q&A with Dam-Funk check the March 4th issue of The McGill Daily.

Dam-Funk @ Club Lambi - Mar 5, 2010

Listen:

Speak The Truth - Dam-Funk

Toeachizown - Dam-Funk

Passion - Dam-Funk