We recently had a chat to Fat Freddy's Drop keyboardist, Dobie Blaze (aka Iain Gordon) about travelling in a band of 7 mates, kissing Erykah Badu and having a food addiction on the road. Enjoy.
ZR: We recently watched you guys at both the Sydney and Gold Coast Good Vibes festival, and you played a great set for both! What's happening next for the band, any upcoming gigs?
DB: Good Vibes was amazing. Helps when you get to watch Erykah Badu every night before you go on! I kissed her...did so. Unforgettable festival and so thankful we were included on the bill and that I got to kiss Erykah Badu...totally did! Currently we're in the new studio writing/jamming in Wellington. We have a few NZ dates coming up, a weekend in Brisbane at the Tivoli at the end of May, then off to Europe for most of June.
ZR: You guys joined back in 1999, what's it like working and travelling in a big group together?
DB: It's amazing. We're lucky as. It's always a good buzz turning up to the airport. It's all happy happy 'yo whassup bro, howsit going chur chur' hug hug. We get to see Europe at least once a year. Visit friends, play gigs, have a party, shop, eat...it's a blast! It has its challenges for sure...long flights, too much brown food, overnight bus trips, sharing rooms, too much party etc etc. Over a long period it can do your head in.
Normally someone cracks, has a tanty, has a cry, and then everything's fine again...until the next time. These days it's a lot better though. We have the dream team tour and production management in NZ and Europe, all girls of course, who really know how to handle boys, so there's not so much fight club these days. Once on stage of course, any grievance goes totally out the window and it's all about the music and the audience.
ZR: Your live shows are packed with energy and soul. Do you guys have any unique pre-show tactics to get you ready to perform?
DB: Everyone just does their own thing. Some iron and stand in front of the mirror deciding what to wear for ages, some sip vin rouge and play chess, some warm up their voices, fingers, legs, and some sit round and chew the fat. Then everyone has a shot and it's on with the show.
ZR: What has been your most memorable gig so far?
DB: Good Vibes. It was the last one so I can remember it! Seriously though, there have been so many along the way. The ones that are a challenge often come to the forefront. Glastonbury for the mud, Pyramid Rock for the wind, Womad Taranaki when the PA blew up.
Me being a food addict, I also remember gigs by the food. Like when the boys from the Sydney fish market turned up with heaps of prawns and bugs and other beautiful seafood. Or in Paris when a friend turned up with a sack of oysters, and shucked them for us backstage, then cracked open the bubbles. There was also Toulouse, when the chef/owner of the beautiful Le Bikini, cooked us the hugest charolais steak or in Lisbon, with the huge crabs and white port, Allicante and Manollos paella..ahhh I'm hungry now, when are we going again?
ZR: Are there any new releases coming up that we should be looking forward to?
DB: Workin' on it...
To check out Fat Freddy's Drop upcoming gigs, head here.
All images courtesy of Fat Freddy's Drop (photographer Yuichi Ikeda)