JamBase Questionnaire: Antioquia

Welcome back to JamBase's baker's dozen to the bright lights of the music world. Last time we heard from Simon Posford.

There’s a cosmically lubricated whoosh to Antioquia, where spiky rock skitters atop thundering, Latin & African rhythms and a whacky inner gyroscope that spins through the Art Ensemble of Chicago, pre-Stop Making Sense Talking Heads, prime 70s jazz-fusion and a stoned Sproul Plaza drum circle in Berkeley. Antioquia make one reach for vibrant language to wrap around their sound, syllables as rich in exuberance and color as the music pouring out of this hungry, young Bay Area band. What one picks up in their live shows and absorbingly cool 2010 album My piano ate the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle is a powerful sense of the now, a convergence of self-aware modern man and the potentially cataclysmic happenings worldwide, a confluence that’s oddly hopeful in their hands. Antioquia shares a kinship with awesomely whacked forebears like Pere Ubu, Gang of Four and MX-80 Sound as well as contemporaries Rubblebucket and Toubab Krewe, the political and personal arm wrestling inside their tunes, which dig not-unpleasant burrs into one’s brain. This is a fast emerging outfit with something to prove and the drive and creativity to deliver on their ambitions. (Dennis Cook)

Antioquia kicks off their Spring/Summer Tour showcasing their new lead singer and a host of fresh material this Thursday, May 5, with a hometown show at Historic Sweet's Ballroom in Oakland, CA. Check out full tour dates here.

Here's what Antioquia’s Paul Martin had to say to our inquiries.

Antioquia by Sophie Spinelle
Instrument(s) of choice: bass guitar, sang-ban, maracas, voice

Nicknames: Pablo Martinez, Squirrel Master, P-Diddy, but I think that one's taken.

1. Great music rarely happens without…
Dancing. At least head bobbing. At least finger tapping. Or foot tapping. That's dancing. Sometimes I follow the melodies in the air with my hand. That's dancing, too.

2. The first album I bought was…
Whoomp There It Is! by Tag Team. The whole album. I learned all the words to Whoomp. That was a CD though, and it was a Christmas present. I never really bought any albums. I stole lots of my dad's though! Significantly, there’s The Funky Headhunters by Herbie Hancock and Teasin' by Cornell Dupree. And Heavy Weather by Weather Report…whoa…and The Last Waltz by The Band.

3. The last song or album to really flip my wig was…
John McLaughlin and Al di Meola just wicked shredding at the same time, flamenco style, at a show in San Francisco. Don't know the date or venue; my buddy Justin Ancheta was rocking it while we set up for a show and I kept having to stop and and say, "Damn,” and that's all I could say.

4. When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be…
A grown-up. Everything seemed so simple and awesome for grown-ups! They're tall enough to reach stuff. They can stay up late. They can smoke cigarettes and drink beer and eat ice cream. They have complete freedom! So, I guess I wanted complete freedom. Still do. Guess I'm still growing up. I also wanted to be an X-Man. Still do.

5. My favorite sort of gig is…
A festival out in a beautiful place on the Earth. I always fall in love with life at festivals.

6. One thing I wish people knew about me is…
I like to pet people and be petted by them, like a dog. I envy dogs; they just wag their tail and everybody in the room rubs them down! Humans don't usually do that for each other, except at Burning Man. They do that there.

7. I love the sound of…
I love to find the hidden music in quietness. There's always a little noise happening, and sometimes rhythms pop out of that, and then a bird sings.

8. One day I hope to make an album as fantastic as…
Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, the greatest example of album as cohesive piece of art I can think of.

9. The best meal I ever had on tour was at…
Front Range BBQ in Colorado Springs. Amazing everything, including banana pudding like my granny from Cottondale, Alabama used to make, which is only surpassed by their hospitality, which makes sense because Brian, the owner, is a Bama boy, too!

10. I always find the coolest audiences in…
Touch with their inner ear. Wherever the hell they are, they're letting the music flow freely through them, letting go and really listening, and really feeling. This happens a lot at festivals because, duh, it's a gathering of dancing music lovers (on mushrooms…). But it happens everywhere else, too.

11. The worst habit I've picked up being on the road all the time is…
Wanting to be on the road all the time! That habit makes it easy not to hold a regular job though, which is good if you want to be on the road all the time.

12. Led Zeppelin or Radiohead, which flips your switch the most and why?
Led Zep really gets me going. My first real concert was Page and Plant in the early 90s. Jason Bohnam was tearin' it up on drums. Unfortunately, John Paul Jones wasn't involved, but they had a good replacement that played a little organ and everything. Anyway, the way those guys lope through a blues song and turn it into a hard rock song with mad swing just turns me on. Radiohead is great and their new album is very sexy, and I think “Paranoid Android” has one of the greatest rock riffs of all time, but they don't have the grit happening like Zep.

13. The craziest thing I ever saw was…
A tornado. We were driving from Chicago to Minneapolis on a purply-greeny cloudy day and one popped out of the sky and touched down across the interstate. My brother, Brett was driving Bussie (our retired tour bus), and he deftly swerved under an overpass while the twister got sucked back up into the sky. Phew! Then, when we started driving again one tried to drop right in our path!! Brett continued his deftness and promptly found a worthy overpass to let the madness blow over. Just a scare, no casualties, but Bussie got nervous and blew a diesel line out of whack and leaked the rest of the way to Minneapolis. We made the gig and fixed her the next day, which happened to be gorgeous.

Antioquia Tour Dates :: Antioquia News

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[Published on: 5/4/11]

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