I love new music. I love “discovering” a new band and being wowed. So when I read that JR Robinson played on this new to me band’s album, Space Capone, I dove in. Voila! Love at first spin. Return to ‘70s era disco with a feel that is unmistakably the man, the legend, JR Robinson. Your ears, heart and tappin’ toes fall comfortably in a waterbed of rhythm. The music is inventive and comes ripped out of an era, refreshingly bringing it back to the forefront.
Space Capone took a minute to answer some questions about the new album and working with JR. Here’s what he had to say:
HS: What do you look for in a drummer?
SC: No funny hats. Too many times musicians tend to overcomplicate things. That's why they're not songwriters. But especially drummers, they get into this "who can play faster, harder, more technical" school of thought. My drummer's gotta be a human metronome and he's gotta have that pop. And you know what I'm saying. He's gotta have that "thing" already built into him. Like it's been handed down throughout posterity. Like his pops said, "Son, I'd like you to have my groove." Most of what I need in a drummer can't necessarily be taught.
HS: Why did you search out JR Robinson for this recording?
SC: I listen to a very specific type of music. I try to be a good student of music. I think an issue with a lot of young songwriters today is that they aren't digging deep enough. They aren't searching for whomever did it better or before. It just so happens that JR plays on A LOT of stuff that I'm inspired by. The songwriters and artists that I'm paying homage to, JR played for. It's as simple as that. If you truly know what you want to sound like as an artist, why not go straight to the source?
HS: What unique quality do you think he brought to your music?
SC: His command and his energy: JR is a beast. The tracks actually started with just his drums. So all the players involved fed off of that. It was very inspiring. He played along to the demos and then after he was done we pulled everything but him out of the mix and began from scratch. What a canvas to start with right?
HS: Your music has a '70s disco-era feel, while remaining fresh and vibrant. JR's been connected with some of pop's biggest hits over the last 30+ years, what did you see/hear/feel his deep and storied groove adding to your project?
SC: We really didn't have a specific and tangible reason for having him on the record. It wasn't like we said "We have to have JR for this record because…" I think we just really wanted him to be a part of it, to be a part of Space Capone. Somehow by having him play on the record, I now feel a part of his family of recordings too. And we'll continue to do that throughout the record making process. Jay Graydon (Earth Wind & Fire, Airplay, Steely Dan) is playing guitar on the next album. Jerry Hey is arranging horns.
HS: What would you like to add about JR, and/or working with JR?
SC: Just that the process was a joy and an honor. JR was great to work with. We all forget how many legends of music are still walking among us…how young the whole recording game is. Most of us were here for the greatest era of recorded music and JR put his stamp on it.
Watch the "I Just Wanna Dance" video here (don't miss Space Capone's inspired roller skating):http://spacecapone.com/2011/space-capone-i-just-wanna-dance-video/
Find Space Capone here: http://spacecapone.com/
JR Robinson here: http://www.johnjrrobinson.com/Interveiw with Heather Smith, managing editor Drumhead Magazine