Interview

w/Rebirth Brass Band

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (Minch/2017)
Morgan Minch

Rebirth Brass Band speaks about their style, influences, and how they stay true to the roots of New Orleans music.
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You guys are an integral part of the innovative legacy of Brass Band music. Which musical elements have you layered in as your own over this historically rich style? 
Our sound is a mix of all the styles we heard growing up and continue to hear today. We're constantly evolving as we're influenced by the incredible music around us.

There are the well-known influences of yours like funk, jazz, and hip-hop,  but are there ones that may be even more nuanced?
The earlier brass bands like olympia and tuxedo and even Dirty Dozen back in the glass house days were all huge influences.

Do you consider your music processual in that your band often communicates new musical ideas to each other on stage? Are there other ways you build new concepts with each other?
Each set is unique as it evolves from the stage as we feed off the energy of the audience.

What has being on the road been like for you?
Travel is tough on all of us. Being away from home is never easy. But when we get on stage it's like we're bringing home with us. We get to celebrate New Orleans with the people who get it, our fans.

I love the tune "Chameleon." With Rebirth's adaptation, I hear these spiraling solos that comment on the melody like it's a raging fire. What do you guys love about the original song?
Even with all the different members that have come through the band, this has always been a favorite. It was something we all learned to play early on.

Rebirth's music audibly respects the soul of the Second Line tradition. When composing, how do you guys make sure that historical essence is whole?
We let Rebirth be Rebirth.

You guys are inspiring to so many across the globe, and you have instilled self-expression and tradition in young musicians with The Roots of Music. What is inspiring you currently? 
We played with the (Red Hot) Chili Peppers last week on their stage and they took the time to learn one of our songs to play. Then Flea and Josh joined us on stage at the Maple Leaf later that night. How they go about creating and performing, truly inspiring.

I've noticed what when you include vocals in your songs, they are woven in and treated like the other instruments are, encouraging and building the song. Is this style part of a certain tradition of music? 
It's just what we've always done even before there was a Rebirth.

How does the band go about finding vocalists to collaborate this way?
It depends on the song. Each one has its own personality.

When you hear something new, do you have instincts to reinvent it musically?
We can make any song a Rebirth song

What do you guys like to do outside of music that contributes to your musicality?
Working with roots of music has made us better players. To see the effort these kids put in just to play is inspirational.

Your latest album, Move Your Body-- is it hard to not shake, yourselves, as you perform?
Have you seen us play?