Graham Reid | | 3 min read
If the band name seems vaguely familiar then you are right: B2KDA is the new and updated Batucada Sound System, the multi-culti big band out of New Zealand which took its sound to the world, and the world stood up and danced.
With beats drawn from the Pacific and South America, reggae grooves and horns, BSS were one of the most popular bands on the global festival and dance circuit. And could often address audiences in their own language.
They got rave reviews in places as far apart as Scotland and Seoul.
The name change is a consequence of some members moving on and others coming in, an opportunity for the group to rethink and reinvent themselves.
Which also explains the title of their new album: Rising.
BSS are rising again but now as B2KDA (although ironically one of the first singles is Same Old Thing).
Timely then for manager/bassist/keyboard player Alex Urlich to answer our Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire . . .
The first piece of music which really affected you was . . .
Dire Straits Brothers In Arms album. The big intro to Money For Nothing with the drum fills and stuff alternatively freaked me out and made me really happy. Shoulda been a drummer
Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .
Billy Idol. Tried to get that lip thing down all the time.
Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana, Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z?
Lennon, Ramones, Madonna, MJ
If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .
This is a career? Hmmm, if brains were no object an Astrophysicist
The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear are . . .
Gotta do a bit of promo right? Same Old Thing by B2KDA, What About Me? by Snarky Puppy, African Soldier by Seun Kuti amongst like hundreds of others. Hard question.
Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home?
My girlfriend is a classical pianist and bought a baby grand into the house. I feel pimp now!!
The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .
Miles Davis's autobiography without a doubt
If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . .
Stevie Wonder or if he was still alive, Thelonious Monk. I'd have to be on bass if I didn't shame myself too hard in front of those guys
The three films you'd insist anybody watch because they might understand you better are: . . .
Bad Santa, The Big Lebowski, Big Trouble In Little China
The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . .
Been a while for a 'real' CD. I try to support my mates at their gigs so like maybe Bannerman or Carnivourous Plants Society? Downloads, haha, I was on an Eighties buzz lately so like Huey Lewis and the News and Prince, etc.
One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you in that case would be . . .
Please let it be one of our songs!! Haha. Bill Withers I think would be a good candidate, Ain't No Sunshine maybe?
The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . . .
Can't live with any art forever. I'd like various graffiti artists to randomly bomb my room every couple of years
You are allowed just one tattoo, and it is of . . .
Some weird random thing that no one can recognise but looks cool. Hopefully that I made up
David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” You would spend them where, doing . . .?
I'd still be trying to tour and get my music out. If it's a fantasy, 5 years of world tours with 6 month breaks to record an album each year.... then dead :)
And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best album ever?”
It's not. I think it's shit. Haha. Na, but seriously, it's different from the other ones. It shows where we've been a bit. It's definitely influenced by our touring and experiences we've had. There is quite a bit of autobiographical stuff going on in Richie's lyrics too. Also, it's a band in flux, why it's kinda random, but I quite like that. We had one percussionist in Singapore, one in Wellington, lead singer in Berlin. Had to do songwriting via email and skype. It's like we're in the 'future' now.
All albums are in my perspective a snapshot of where the band are at currently and this is definitely quite accurate of where we were at at the time. Things have changed now so the next one will be really different again I reckon. It's good. Listen to it :)
B2KDA ALBUM LAUNCHES
October 9, Neck of the Woods, Auckland
October 16, Mauao Performing rts Centre, Tauranga
October 17, Bodega, Wellington