JamBase Questionnaire: The New Mastersounds

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

new album
One can compare U.K.-by-way-of-San-Francisco’s The New Mastersounds to soul jazz colossus like Grant Green, Melvin Sparks and Brother Jack McDuff and funk pillars like The Meters and Cymande, OR one can just luxuriate in the fully matured undulations of Breaks From The Border (arriving August 9 on Tallest Man Records) and realize what really terrific modern purveyors of groove these cats are and stop worrying about the antecedents. More simply, what does it matter where they came from if what they’re laying down is this bloody good?

The quartet’s first-ever U.S. recorded album, Breaks From The Border, in fact, breaks from a number of borders previously held by the group, most notably the slinky vocals given prominence from the opening cut. Yes, they still pop and hop like men who know James Brown in their blood but the tinklings of Nigerian funk, Latin slide and Family Stone style group sing that have cropped in their live shows for years have finally found their studio form. Where so much music in this vein can feel remarkably familiar, The New Mastersounds infuse this sound with life, their irrepressible affection for this music inspiring them to mold new shapes rather than simply conform to old molds. This has never been more evident in their studio work than it is on Breaks From The Border, where each cut dices strict genres and stirs them in a big ol’ stoned soup, a warming infusion that loosens limbs and lightens heavy minds. (Dennis Cook)

Eddie Roberts by Casey Flanigan
Here's what The New Mastersounds had to say to our inquiries.

Name: Eddie Roberts
Instrument(s) of choice: Guitar, Tambourine

Name: Simon Allen
Instrument(s) of choice: Drums
Nicknames (if any): Logicbuster

Name: Joe Tatton
Instrument(s) of choice: Keyboards
Nicknames (if any): Josus

Name: Pete Shand
Instrument(s) of choice: Bass
Nicknames (if any): Shandy

1. Great music rarely happens without…
Eddie: An audience
Simon: The right chemistry between the players.
Joe: Keeping ears open
Pete: Quiet passion and acute listening.

2. The first album I bought was…
Eddie: Black Sabbath’s Greatest Hits
Simon: The Housemartins’ London 0 – Hull 4 on vinyl
Joe: Can’t remember, probably something like Duran Duran!!!
Pete: Dennis Coffey’s Fingerlicking Good on Westbound Records (1976)

Simon Allen by John Margaretten
3. The last song or album to really flip my wig was…
Eddie: Michael Kiwanuka’s Tell Me A Tale
Simon: Modeselektor’s Hello Mom!
Joe: Steve Winwood’s Time Is Running Out
Pete: Primital’s Primital Bells

4. When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be…
Eddie: Pathologist
Simon: First stuntman, then I changed my mind to cameraman.
Joe: A cameraman or film director
Pete: A ship builder, then drummer. Bass kinda fits in the middle somewhere.

5. My favorite sort of gig is…
Eddie: A sold out one.
Simon: Tiny club, low ceiling, packed, sweaty, intimate.
Joe: A small stage at a big festival.
Pete: Packed and sweaty

Joe Tatton by Casey Flanigan
6. One thing I wish people knew about me is…
Eddie: I’m Welsh NOT English!
Simon: That I think Cartesian dualism is wholly erroneous.
Joe: I play the trumpet.
Pete: That I’m ok and fine if I decide to do nothing on my 50th or Christmas Day and treat them like normal days.

7. I love the sound of…
Eddie: The sea.
Simon: Rain on a car roof from inside the car.
Joe: Out of tune pianos with the damper pedal down.
Pete: Juno What from Denver.

8. One day I hope to make an album as fantastic as…
Eddie: Electric Ladyland
Simon: Bowie’s Hunky Dory, but I don’t actually hope to make an album as fantastic as that – that would be ridiculous.
Joe: AC/DC’s Back in Black
Pete: Fingerlicking Good

Pete Shand by John Margaretten
9. The best meal I ever had on tour was at…
Eddie: Japan
Simon: A restaurant in Sevilla in Southern Spain in February.
Joe: Michael Stipe's vegetarian restaurant
Pete: Small Moroccan place in Brooklyn, forget the name.

10. I always find the coolest audiences in…
Eddie: San Francisco
Simon: Cahoots with the band.
Joe: Unsuspected places
Pete: Ski towns

11. The worst habit I've picked up being on the road all the time is…
Eddie: Hangovers
Simon: Sitting in hotel bed for hours typing on computer with legs flat - old man back pain ensues.
Joe: Committing burger crime!!!
Pete: Committing burger crime

12. Led Zeppelin or Radiohead, which flips your switch the most and why?
Eddie: Zeppelin – because I couldn’t hum a single Radiohead tune to you!
Simon: Led Zeppelin used to flip my switch when I was 16-18. I have yet to explore Radiohead, but I heard a new track of theirs today and said, “This is cool. What is it?” so maybe the time has come.
Joe: Led Zep - just because my sister used to play it when I was little and I was brought up on it.
Pete: Def Led Zep, more of an original band sound and wicked groove.

13. The craziest thing I ever saw was…
Eddie: An old man hula-hooping with a giant 10’ hula hoop in a lonely alley in New Orleans.
Simon: Our keyboard player, Joe, on whiskey
Joe: A cat playing with a raccoon in a recording studio in El Paso, TX.
Pete: At a frat party in Mississippi.

The New Mastersounds Tour Dates :: The New Mastersounds News

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[Published on: 8/4/11]

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