I've only recently discovered Greenskeepers, but after watching the show in June at Green Dolphin, I'm hooked! I read that you're the founder of Greenskeepers, along with James Curd. How did the band get started?
Good to know you dig the vibe. Greens Keepers was started in 1998. Jim (James Curd) called me up and asked if I felt like coming by and helping out with the instrumentals on some tracks. We had been skateboard buddies for years, and he was just getting into production. I brought my guitar and things just took off from there. Basenotic (Paris) was the first label to release Greens Keepers. Since then we've put out all kinds of stuff written with all kinds of people. Mark Share and Coban Rudish were added to the ranks a couple years back and we've been a happy foursome since.
You told me that I could find some of your music on iTunes & I found/downloaded album "The Ziggy Franklen Radio Show". It's full of House Swing, which I can't get enough of. What prompted Greenskeepers to experiment with swing music?
We are all music lovers and like swing music to begin with. Other artists had used swing in their tracks in the past. I think that Jim's dedication to the sound helped establish swing as something that should be on the dancefloors of today just like it was 70 years ago. It's fun and up-beat. Something that really catches your ear on the dance floor.
Although, I enjoy the entire album, my favorites are "Low & Sweet", "Should I Sing Like This?", & "Smoke Daddy". I heard you're the genius behind the song "Should I Sing Like This?". What influenced you to create this track?
"Should I Sing Like This?" has a funny story behind it. We had been working in the studio for hours on another track and it just sounded worse and worse the more we worked on it. We decided to start something new and laid a basic bass and drum track down. I free-styled the lyrics on one take and the song was born. It took a whole 15 minutes to do. If the lyrics sound strange it's because half way through I just started singing about what I saw on the TV. It was a football game. Rams vs. Redskins…”rammin' the skin!” Get it?
How did you come up with the track title "Smoke Daddy"? I used to frequent a blues/jazz place called Smoke Daddy in Chicago's Wicker Park area, where several of my friends have performed. I was wondering if there was any relation.
You got it! “Smoke Daddy” was named after the BBQ joint. We couldn't figure out a name for the track so it was named after the place we had lunch at.
Will Greenskeepers be experimenting with other genres of music?
It's not essentially that we experiment with music. Greens Keepers consists of four dudes with diverse musical backgrounds. When we all get together to write you get all these different musical styles coming together in one track. It comes off sounding what some call “experimental,” but it’s really just how we write. I guess the answer to your question is “yes.” What we will mix next depends on who has the idea and how we all work together to realize it.
The band also did a track with Michael Gacchino on The Remix EP for The Incredibles movie, "Is That Incredible (Greenskeepers Full Mix)". How did Greenskeepers get involved with Disney Records?
A Greens Keepers friend in New York hooked that one up for us. His promotions company was responsible for putting the remix project together, and he suggested us as one of the groups to remix pieces of the original score. It all turned out great, though I still have not seen the movie.
I noticed that the band travels all over the world - France, Italy, Scotland, Australia. It sounds exciting. What's touring like? What was your most impressionable experience traveling?
Touring is a ton of fun, but a ton of work at the same time. My favorite part of the whole deal is meeting new people and occasionally seeing something I’ve never seen before. The travel is cool, but sometimes schedules can be hectic and plane ride can be bumpy. You get past all that once you get on stage and get to do your thing.
It seems to me that Greenskeepers is making headway in the music business.
Are there any musicians you would like to collaborate with?
There are so many good musicians out there that it is hard to pick one or two. Tommy Guerrero is one guy that has released a lot of music that we all like. He’s an ex-skateboard pro that started producing years ago. His music is laid back and thoughtful.