Taken from Billboard (Oct 20, 2017)
Bootsy Collinsâ Tips on How to Reach Your Funk Potential
âWe ainât got no balance no more â and funk is here to help funk that up,â says Collins of his new LP.
by Dan Rys
For nearly half a century, Bootsy Collins has been a living embodiment of all things funky.
After getting his start as a teenager in James Brownâs band The J.B.âs in 1970, Collins, 65, emerged as the star-spectacled bassist in George Clintonâs intergalactic Parliament-Funkadelic, co-writing dozens of party-starting classics like âMothership Connectionâ and âGive Up the Funk.â Now, heâs back with a feature-filled new LP, World Wide Funk (Oct. 27), his first set in six years, with guests including Iggy Pop, Chuck D and Buckethead.
Below, Collins explains how he became the icon he is today.
MANIFEST YOUR FUTURE
As a kid, Collins spent his days drawing stick figures with star-shaped glasses, making that vision a reality when he came of age in the 1960s. âYou start taking LSD and seeing all those colors,â he recalls. âWe had the hippie days coming through, and I grew up in that. We got a lot of encouragement about style.â
Established in 2011, the Bootsy Collins Foundation gives instruments to disadvantaged schools. âThe slogan is, âSay it loud: An instrument for every child,â â says Collins, whose wife, Patti, helps run the operation. âMusic class made me want to go to school -- and worth going through math and science.â
One of Collinsâ close collaborators was Bernie Worrell, who died in 2016. He dedicated a track to the keyboardist on World Wide Funk that features music from tapes they recorded around 2002. âWhatever I put down, he made it sound like it was right,â says Collins. âThatâs magic.â
LEARN FROM LEGENDS
Collins often clashed with notoriously strict bandleader Brown. âI never had a father in the house, and he taught me that discipline. I needed that,â he says about Brownâs dress code and demand for sobriety. âBut when I got with George [Clinton], he allowed me to really find myself and do anything I wanted.â
With the new album, Collins wanted to spread a message of fun and positivity in a world overwhelmed by tragedy and sadness. âI felt this record should be more upbeat because people are kind of down; a lot of negative stuff going on,â he says. âWe ainât got no balance no more. And funk is here to help funk that up.â