Taken from Asbury Park Press (Mar 10, 2017)
Fishbone returns to the House of Independents
by ED CONDRAN
Fishbone singer Angelo Moore, seen at the Coachella festival in 2014.
(Photo: FILE PHOTO)
A pair of funk-punk bands emerged out of the gritty Los Angeles scene during the ’80s. Both acts made their mark delivering songs which range from soulful to metallic. Each possess a unique sense of humor and their shows are often incendiary.
Each group is touring a generation after forming. One group, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, is selling out arenas and the other Fishbone, is on a club tour which stops Thursday at the House of Independents in Asbury Park.
Did the color of the members of Fishbone’s skin hold the band back? “Hell yeah,” Fishbone bassist Norwood Fisher said while calling from a San Pedro, California, studio. “That was an issue for us. That’s a reality that can’t be denied. But I’m not saying anything negative about them (the Red Hot Chili Peppers). When I look at their band, it’s the greatest show on earth ... I’m going to see them pretty soon. I totally get their impact. We grew out of the same punk rock stew they did. It’s just that things turned out differently for us.”
Fishbone was formed by a collection of pals who grew up weaned on L.A. punk acts such as Fear and soul iconoclasts Sly and the Family Stone. The adventurous Fishbone has recorded a number of albums that moved in many different directions. Fishbone easily veers from funk to soul to metal to ska.
“If we were white, we would be hailed as the next Beatles,” Fisher said.
Fisher isn’t talking songwriting but stylistic shifts. Much like the Fabs, Fishbone was always a band that had no problem taking chances in the studio. The same can be said for Fishbone onstage. Vocalist Angelo Moore is one of the most daring, acrobatic frontmen in rock history. “You never know what Angelo will do,” Fisher said. “That’s the way it was 30 years ago and that’s the way it is today. He unreal.”
Members have come and gone but Fishbone, which also includes Fisher’s brother, drummer Philip “Fish” Fisher, trumpet player Walter Kibby, guitarists John Bigham and Rocky George, keyboardist Paul Hampton, trombonist Jay Armant and percussionist John Steward, remains a potent live act and is more than capable in the studio.
“We still go all out,” Fisher said. “Even at 51, I want to try to make music that’s new. That’s hard to do when you consider that nothing has really been new since the ’70s. There was a lot that happened that was new back then with punk and electronic and hip-hop but since then it’s been just about building on that.”
Fisher, who co-wrote the Fishbone tune “Subliminal Fascism” 30 years ago, believes that punk rock will be reinvigorated courtesy of the Trump administration.
“The silver lining of his presidency is that there is a wake up call in music,” Fisher said. “The world is demanding commentary. We live in a world in which we need some artistic context. It’s going to be coming from bands like ours and I would imagine younger punk bands. I’m encouraged by all of the demonstrations that have been held since Trump has been elected. I think people finally realize that we have to fight back and not be so passive. It’s an exciting time to be in a band.”
WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday, March 16
WHERE: The House of Independents, 572 Cookman Ave., Asbury Park
INFO: 732-977-5284 or www.houseofindependents.com